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15 Tips That Will Instantly Kick-start Your Weight Loss Journey
These are simple changes that can easily be implemented by anyone, put as many of these as possibe into place and you will see the lbs start to melt off.
Tip 1 – Calculate your daily calorie needs.
Having an idea of the number of calories you should be consuming each day will give you a number to manage your intake to. As a rough average, multiply your current body weight in lbs x 15 to give you the number of calories you need to consume to stay at your current weight. e.g. if you are 180lbs this would require 180 x 15 = 2700 calories each day to maintain this weight. Now, as we are looking to lose weight as a second step we will take 20% off this figure. e.g. 2700 – 20% = 2160. If we consume this figure or under, with average activity levels we will achieve a 1lb loss of fat per week.
Tip 2 – Record your daily food intake.
Keeping a food diary which records your daily intake will allow you to review what you’ve eaten each day. It’s easy to eat left overs and additional items and quickly forget that they have been consumed. You can either use a hi-tech approach and use a Smart Phone app such as MyFitnessPal to scan bar codes or you can keep it simple and keep a record with a pen and paper. Ensure you record everything that goes into your mouth with sizes.
Tip 3 – Commit to a moderate level of exercise each day
Commit to a moderate amount of additional activity each day. Performing light stretching or 30 minutes of walking each day of the week will quickly add up in terms of calories burnt. Walking also has the positive benefit of not increasing your appetite.
Tip 4 – Improve sleep (aim for 7-9 hrs)
The bulk of the body’s calorie burn comes from maintenance functions. To allow adequate time for maintenance and repair, you need to be getting sufficient sleep. Aim for 7+ hours of quality sleep per night.
Tip 5 – Prepare your own meals from raw ingredients
Preparing your own food from un-processed raw ingredients will allow you to manage what is going into your meals. Eating out and eating pre-prepared food can make it difficult to manage your daily intake within your calorie budget.
Tip 6 – Eat protein with every meal.
Eating a portion of protein with every meal will help you meet your overall daily needs and also assist to keep you full. Aim to have a quality source of lean protein with each of your meals.
Tip 7 – Follow a nutrition plan / programme.
An obvious one to be listed on a nutrition site but having the correct plan to follow as part of an overall nutrition programme will mean you only need to concentrate on execution rather than researching the information to go into it.
Tip 8 – Drink 2 litres of water per day.
Ensuring you consume at least 2 litres of water each day at even intervals. It can also be beneficial to have a glass of water before eating a meal. Often, the body’s hunger cues are actually water related. Ensuring a good supply whilst taking in an increased level of protein (Tip 6) will also assist the body with breaking down protein into fuel.
Tip 9 – Find a passion which keeps you active.
Whatever your interests, finding something which allows you to maintain a moderate level of exercise each week will assist with weight loss. Taking up a new sport, enrolling in lessons or even just walking all provide a beneficial calorie burn which will help with ensuring you are in a weekly deficit and so lose weight.
Tip 10 – Take 20 minutes to complete eating each meal.
All too often we end up eating our meals in a hurry. Ideally we should plan to eat 5 or 6 meals across the day (strategic snacking) and aim to slow the bigger meals down. Using an eat / pause routine with sips of water to elongate the process. It takes at least 20 minutes for our bodies to register the food it has received so using this approach should result in more accurate feedback on satiety from the meal.
Tip 11 – Write a list before going shopping.
A simple tip but it’s easy to become side-tracked into purchasing items we didn’t intend to buy (there are teams of people employed by supermarkets to ‘help us’ do this!) Make a list of the ingredients you need to have for the meals you are planning to make for the week. A lot of the items will be recurring week to week so once you’ve invested the time in making a list, future week’s will be a lot quicker. Using on-line shopping services such as Ocado makes the whole process easy and you can review and re-order previous shops.
Tip 12 – Eliminate liquid calories.
When looking to lose weight, one of the biggest culprits for hidden calories are drinks. Whether these are soda, alcoholic, fruit juices or squashes. All can contain high levels of sugars and calories. Review the labels / nutrition information of any drinks you are considering and decide how that fits into your daily calorie requirements. If in doubt, keep it simple and drink water.
Tip 13 – Prepare your own lunches.
Preparing your own lunches avoids the gamble of eating at a canteen or restaurant. Knowing what ingredients, oils and condiments have been used to produce a meal will give you a much more accurate estimate of the calories contained in it. Part of our nutritional coaching programme is to perform menu analysis and determine optimal choices when eating out, however this is quite an advanced skill and it is easier to play it safe initially.
Tip 14 – Create healthy snacks for the day ahead.
Actively planning to snack through the day will result in a much more controlled intake of calories. Usually leaving meal selections until we are hungry results in poor choices being made.
Aiming to have healthy snacks available will assist with keeping your metabolism raised, blood sugar level and result in less hunger cravings.
Tip 15 – Halve your Sugar, Bread, Rice and Pasta intake.
Aiming to achieve a 50% reduction in Sugar, Bread, Rice and Pasta for a fortnight might be difficult for some people as the Western diet is very carbohydrate centric. However, if you are able to reduce your intake to 50% for a fortnight, the calorie reduction that will be achieved will almost certainly help to put you on track for a weekly deficit and a weight loss.
So, as a round-up, those are our top 15 tips for achieving a kick start to your weight loss journey. Some are common sense, others might be more unexpected. It may be a stretch to put all in place in one go but by implementing as many as possible you will certainly feel healthier and start to lose weight. Remember the key to all of this is energy balance – nothing more.
If after the fortnight you want to take things further, please use the contact form to get in touch to discuss your individual programme requirements.
Any questions on the above, please feel free to comment below.
If all the above sounds great but you’d like to take the headache out of the journey and have us manage the whole process – simply get in touch via the contact form.