How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off
3 rules for Sustainable Weight Loss
If you’ve struggled with losing weight and keeping it off, you’re not alone. But you are in the right place. In this article, we’re going to break down the 3 rules everyone needs to follow in order to lose weight and keep it off for good.
By Ryan Carsia
Did you know that ⅔ of adults who lose weight will regain it within the first year?
It’s a staggering statistic, and when it happens people most often blame themselves. In the majority of cases, it’s not their fault, and it’s completely avoidable.
All you need to do is follow our 3 rules for losing weight and keeping it off. Let’s dive into it!
Rule #1 to Lose Weight – Fix the Food First
Most people have realized by now that, if they want to lose weight, they need to improve their eating habits.
Unfortunately, most go about it the wrong way. People tend to opt for a diet or attempt to count their calories as a way to help them lose weight, but these strategies typically backfire in the long run.
In fact, most of the people we talk to say the problems they were encountering before…
- Emotional and stress eating
- Portion control
…actually become worse shortly after coming off of a diet or restricting their calories. This is why people often see a rapid and dramatic rebound in weight gain – they’re not fixing the main problem the majority of adults struggle with – nutrient deficiency.
I know it sounds crazy, but the vast majority of adults are actually nutrient deficient – meaning they’re not getting enough of the right foods into their diet on a regular basis.
When our bodies lack nutrients, we tend to struggle to control our food intake. When we follow a diet or restrict our calories, these issues actually compound over time.
Additionally, restrictive eating is strongly associated with a host of mental and emotional issues, such as:
- Increased anxiety and stress in social situations (especially when food is present)
- Poor relationship with food
- Poor self-efficacy, self-esteem, and body image
However, if we instead focus on removing these nutrient deficiencies by adding more nutrient dense foods into our diet, people often see a(n):
- Decrease in cravings
- Decrease in stress and emotional eating
- Increase in portion control
- Increased satisfaction from food
All of which translate into a reduction in the overall calories we consume on a regular basis. So the key to fixing your diet is actually adding foods in. Not cutting them out.
Rule #2 to Lose Weight – Start Strength Training
What’s the body’s most important factor for long term weight loss and weight management?
Lean muscle mass.
The number of calories our bodies burn on a daily basis is dictated by our Resting Metabolic Rate. This is the energy our body uses to burn calories while we’re resting.
And folks who have a greater amount of lean muscle mass not only burn more calories while at rest but burn more calories performing daily activities.
This doesn’t mean you need to “bulk up” and put on extreme amounts of muscle. It just means, when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off long term, the number one priority of our exercise routine should be to maintain as much lean muscle mass as possible.
Unfortunately, most people do the exact opposite.
Most engage in high intensity cardiovascular exercise, which has actually been shown to decrease lean muscle mass.
This isn’t to say we shouldn’t perform cardiovascular exercise, as there are immense benefits to doing so.
It just means that, when it comes to sustainable weight loss, we need to incorporate regular strength training.
Not only is it the only proven way to maintain and/or build lean muscle mass, it also has a host of other benefits, including:
- Increased strength
- Improved posture
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Greater resilience to injury
- Increased bone density
So, not only will you be burning more calories while resting and while performing other activities, you’ll build a foundation for a fit, active, and healthy life going forward.
If you want to check out what our recommendations are for a well-rounded exercise plan, check out this article.
Rule #3 to Lose Weight – Have a Reliable Tracking System
The absolute worst mistake you can make when attempting to lose weight is not tracking your weight in a reliable manner.
People usually measure their weight either one of two ways:
They weigh themselves obsessively every day and sometimes even multiple times per day.
This method is not a reliable one, as our weight can fluctuate fairly drastically throughout the day and from one day to the next.
And this method is normally reserved for folks who are more advanced or athletes that compete in weight classified sports.
It takes a great deal of mental and emotional regulation to look at the scale on a daily basis and not have it impact how we feel about ourselves.
They weigh themselves every-so-often with no real system or way of tracking their progress.
Let’s face it – some people just hate the scale.
And if you’re just getting started on your fitness journey, we actually don’t recommend turning to the scale just yet.
There are a lot of variables at play when it comes to weight loss, and most people who start an exercise and nutrition plan actually gain weight at first due to increased water retention from exercise and new foods added to their diet.
However, if you do want to weigh yourself because you’d like to lose weight, here’s what we recommend.
For the most accurate and reliable way to track your weight, weigh yourself:
- Once every week
- On the same day each week
- At the same time each day (such as first thing in the morning after going to the bathroom)
This will give you a reliable number to go off of without giving yourself a panic attack from the natural fluctuations in weight that happen from day to day.
A realistic pace you can expect for sustainable weight loss is anywhere from 0.5lbs to 1lbs per week.
Not only will this pace be easier to sustain for the long term, you’ll also likely remove a lot of the stress and anxiety that typically accompanies more rapid reductions in weight.
Plus, you’ll ensure that the vast majority of weight loss comes from stored body fat. This way, you can retain your lean muscle so you can continue to kick ass for years to come.
What to Do Next
We covered a ton of information in this article. Here’s a quick recap of what we went over and what you can do next to approach your weight loss journey with confidence.
1. Fix your food first
Take a look at your diet and what things you can add in to create better balance. Doing so will ward off cravings and help you get better control of your eating.
2. Start strength training
Look to add 2 to 3 sessions of strength training into your exercise routine. Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced, this form of exercise will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
3. Have a reliable tracking system
You can’t improve something unless you track it. Have a reliable tracking system to ensure you’re making progress at a realistic pace.
Want help becoming the leanest, strongest, and healthiest version of you?
Most people know that exercise, eating well, sleep, and stress management are all important in looking and feeling their best.
Yet most struggle with applying this information in the context of their busy, sometimes stressful lives.
That’s why we work closely with our clients to help them reduce body fat, gain strength, and build lean muscle so they can improve their health…regardless of what they have going on around them.
For an in depth look of what this approach looks like, schedule a consultation by booking an appointment below.