Are you a serial dieter? Have you tried every diet under the sun – losing weight here and here only to find that once the diet is up you pile the weight back on just as quickly as you lost it?
In my years of experience in the fitness industry, I have witnessed firsthand that when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off for good, diets don’t work. Sure, they may offer a quick fix solution - but they simply are not sustainable in the long term and more often than not land you right back at square one. The thing is, you don’t have to cut out whole food groups or starve yourself to see results. When you lose weight in the healthy way by introducing new habits into your life, you are more likely to stick to your guns and experience long lasting and positive change. There’s no doubt that this is the best way to lose weight.
When people ask me about my 28 program, it is common vernacular for them to say it’s a ‘diet program’. I always politely correct them and say it’s a sustainable eating plan – and there’s a significant difference! So, if you’re looking to lose weight in the healthy way, and more importantly, keep it off for good, then I want you to ditch the diet and follow this advice instead.
Cut the crap
When it comes to nutrition, my philosophy has always been as simple as this - just eat real food! When you keep it real and say goodbye to packaged and processed food and hello to wholefoods and real ingredients, you naturally avoid the added sugars that are hidden in too many foods found on the supermarket shelf. Simply eating real food means you don’t have to count calories or worry about every single thing you put in your mouth. Instead, you can build a healthy relationship with food and love everything you eat. After all, food is meant to be enjoyed, not counted!
Know that small changes = big results
Healthy weight loss is all about slowly but surely working those bad habits out of your routine and putting new, healthy ones in their place. So whether it’s replacing your daily 3pm choccie fix with a Greek yoghurt instead, leaving your car at home and walking to work or having two coffees a day instead of three – remember that it’s the little changes that will lead to the biggest results. Check out a few other small changes you can make to your lifestyle to see big results:
Work in 28-day blocks
I’m a big believer that 28 is truly the magic number. It’s long enough to see results but also short enough that you won’t feel like the mountain is too high to climb or your goal is too far out of reach. So, try setting yourself a 28 day goal. Whether it’s to just get moving every day or to have 3 alcohol free days a week - set a goal, tell your family and friends, write it down and put it on the fridge. When the 28 days is up, reward your efforts, hit reset and work towards a new 28 day goal. It really is as simple as this!
Get fit with HIIT
When it comes to losing weight and staying in shape, HIIT is one of the most effective and efficient ways to get there. HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training involves short bursts of high intensity exercise and low intensity recovery periods – and in my experience it’s one of the best ways to lose weight and torch calories. I always tell my clients that the key to weight loss is to just get moving every day – so while I definitely don’t expect you to smash a HIIT session each day, start by incorporating a few sessions into your week alongside any of your favourite low intensity alternatives like walking. If you’re just getting started and dipping your toe in the HIIT pool, give this At Home Beginner Workout a try.
Make mindfulness matter
When we’re trying to lose weight, often we pay plenty of attention to training and nutrition but neglect one important component – our mind. I’ll admit, this is something that even I have been guilty of in the past, but now I’ve learnt that when you get your head in the right place, your body will follow.
Mindfulness can help with weight loss especially when we not only apply it to the way we think, but also the way we eat. Research shows that mindful eating can help people control overeating or binge eating and can help us enjoy food because we are more in touch with the body’s internal hunger and satiety signals. So – each time you sit down for a meal, pay particular attention to the taste, smell and texture of your food. Ditch the technological distractions and focus on the company with you and notice how your body feels after eating. To find out more about mindfulness and why it matters, click here.
Think variety, intensity & consistency
When it comes to training for weight loss, my philosophy is based on variety, intensity and consistency. I believe this will beat volume every single time. What I mean by this is that training is most effective when you mix up your routine (with a combination of HIIT, resistance training and active recovery), push yourself and more your body every single day. You will lose weight and get the most bang for buck when you stick to this philosophy, rather than spend hours at the gym slaving away on the treadmill.
Make sleep a priority
I am always amazed when I meet new clients who have been training consistently and eating well but aren’t losing weight. When I take a closer look at their lifestyle I often find it’s because they’re not getting enough of one thing – sleep. When we consistently don’t get enough sleep, it slows down the process which the body converts calories to energy, AKA, our metabolism. When our metabolism isn’t working efficiently, the body can start to store unused energy as fat. Remember - you can’t pour from an empty cup! Prioritize getting at least 7.5 hours sleep by ditching technology, sticking to a regular bed time and making your room a dark, cool environment. When you’re well rested, you can bring the best version of yourself to smashing your work, relationships and smashing your goals. Click here to read ore about the importance of sleep.
Focus on the journey, not the destination
All too often when we get in a ‘diet’ frame of mind, we become overly focused on the destination of weight loss and a goal weight that we can easily lose sight of how to get there. I’m always telling my 28ers that the journey will be so much more enjoyable if you acknowledge the little wins that you have here and there that take you one step closer to your final destination. Last but not least, never forget that when you’re striving to lose weight the healthy way, your motto should be progress, not perfection.
Trust me, if you focus on getting these things in check you can say goodbye to yo-yo weight loss forever!