Something that is going to be really important for this blog is that you need to know your maintenance calories and how many calories you need to consume to lose weight. We will attach a link to the "how to work out your macros blog" here or alternatively you can get these figures from a Fitbit, Apple Watch etc or on one of the many online calculators, however these may not be the most accurate.
Understanding Your Body and It's Needs
If you've read our previous blog posts then you'll know this information already but we will be quick for those that may have missed those. To lose weight you need to be in a caloric deficit, this means you are consuming less calories than you are naturally burning or you are consuming the same amount of calories that it requires to lose weight but instead you are creating a deficit through physical exercise. Just to note, this physical exercise does not include day to day walking and movement, it is just the excessive exercise done, for example a 30 minute run or cycle.
Tracking Your Calories
If you're struggling to lose weight then it is most likely that you are just simply eating too many calories, this may be because you are not tracking your calories and therefore estimating calories and over eating without realising it. There are so many different ways you can consume a huge amount of calories without even realising you are doing so! We would recommend to anyone who is looking to lose weight that they need to track their calories to see consistent results. You can use the "myfitnesspal" app, it's really easy to use and even allows you to scan barcodes of specific foods so you can get the exact calories, just make sure you check the portion sizes and default settings when doing so.
Sleep Is Important
Sleep is so important for so many different reasons and that includes when you're looking to lose weight. If you're not getting enough sleep you are going to trigger different hormones in your body, a lack of sleep spikes your cortisol hormone which is one of the hormones that regulates your appetite. A lack of sleep can also leave you with lower secretions of leptin (the hormone responsible for your metabolism among other things), this low secretion of leptin can then leave you with a constant feeling of hunger which may lead to you binging more. Sleep can also have a huge affect on your recovery from workouts and the quality of your training sessions which can also have an influence on the amount of calories burned and therefore weight loss.
You're Making Poor Diet Choices
A final reason that is common in a lot of people if you are making poor diet choices or are not being consistent enough. When you are dieting there is going to be times that you are hungry and you've just eaten, it's one of those things that come with dieting but these feelings shouldn't be unbearable. When dieting you should look to eat the most volume of food for the smallest amount of calories, that is why vegetables are great for dieting, high volume low calorie. You should also try to look to lean meats such as chicken breast, turkey, pork loin, low fat beef, low fat fish etc. You should look to filling carb sources such as brown rice, potato, sweet potato, pasta (in the right portions) etc. Fat sources should be oils, nuts, nut butters, fat from meat or fish, avocado.
These are the recommended foods for all diets but it does not mean you have to consume these foods solely. It is fine to have bread or pasta or other sources of "bad carbs" that various articles have made you to believe are the enemy. These are wrong, so long as you are in a caloric deficit you will lose weight, whether that's chicken, brown rice and vegetables or pizza. However, for general health, satiety of meals and a better dieting experience we would advise you to lean towards the food sources we have mentioned where possible.
As last mention, be careful when adding oils to foods or when cooking as these need to be tracked too as they have a lot of calories, there are plenty of 0 calorie or 1 calorie oil alternatives you can use.
Better Exercise Choices For Calorie Burning
Any form of exercise is great but different forms of exercise burn different amounts of calories in shorter and longer periods of time, are you using the best and most efficient form of exercise to burn calories? Going for a long walk is great but unfortunately due to the low intensity the actual amount of calories burnt is pretty low. When you're looking for methods of cardio you have two main options, these are LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). LISS is your incline walking, low intensity cycling or jogging, HIIT is your Battle Ropes, Punch bag, Circuits, Hill Sprints etc.
The most efficient form of exercise in terms of calorie burning is HIIT, this is because when doing it, if done correctly, you can burn a huge amount of calories in a relatively short period of time. It also leaves the body in a heightened state of burning as your metabolic rate can remain at a higher level for hours after exercise. However, HIIT is not easy and done properly, it will leave you absolutely knackered afterwards. LISS is great for when you just want to burn some calories while you watch some tv or a programme on your phone or just want something at a lower intensity.
This probably isn't what you wanted to hear but it's the truth, most people struggling to lose weight are unintentionally overeating and therefore remaining the same weight or even gaining weight! To see consistent results in the mirror you need to be doing these things we've talked about. Dieting does not have to be this terrible experience, it can be a very fulfilling one when you begin to make the right choices but it does require dedication and discipline. Try and take something from this blog and implement it into your routine to see the best results.