Looking to lose weight? It can be a really daunting task at times and requires a lot of hard work. Try incorporating these 5 strategies into your daily routine to maximize your weight loss potential and set yourself up for success:
1.) Drink a minimum of 2 liters of water/day (in addition to any coffee, tea, juice, etc.). This will help you stay hydrated, boost energy levels, and make sure your body's fat burning functions are working optimally. More often than not, our body’s can also confuse thirst and hunger. When you think you’re feeling hungry, but just ate not too long ago, drink a full glass of water (8oz.) wait 5-10 min and then see how you feel. In addition make sure to drink at least 1 cup of water with every meal. This will help to keep you on your hydration schedule and also help keep you from overeating.
2.) Make sure to eat lots of different fruits and veggies each day. It’s almost summer and there are so many delicious fruits and vegetables that have been harvested. Each different fruit and vegetable contains vital nutrients and minerals, and if that wasn't enough, they are generally low calorie while still leaving you feeling satisfied. I like to tell my clients to try and "eat the rainbow" every day.
3.) Be sure that you are eating just below your calorie needs, but not too low. I know counting calories sounds like a super boring and tedious thing, and I certainly don’t want any of you to develop an unhealthy relationship with food. That being said, it is extremely important if your plan is to lose weight that you are not eating a surplus of calories. Likewise, we also don’t want you eating way below your needs too. This generally leads to bad things, like increased desire to binge eat, and that “starvation mode” everyone hears about that increases the body’s stress level which in turn hinders its ability to burn fat. The general consensus on optimal calorie deficit is about 200-300 cal/day below what your body requires to stay at it’s current body weight based on activity level. Not sure what that calorie number is? Consult a dietitian or nutritionist and they can help you figure that out.
4.) Make lifting weights a priority in your exercise routine. I know that we all love looking at the screen on the traditional cardio equipment to see how many calories we burned during each session. Was it 200? 300?? more??? The truth is you will generally burn more calories during one 30 minute session of traditional cardio then you will during a weightlifting session. However, by strength training and building muscle, you will trigger certain hormones to be released in the body which aid in recovery and weight loss, which doesn’t occur after long bouts of low intensity cardio like the elliptical, treadmill, or stationary bikes. Bottom line is you should be doing both, but prioritize the weights.
5.) You need to make sure you are sleeping! Not sleeping well can lead to a number of different issues that will keep you from losing weight such as:
- Increased appetite, even if you’re feeling full, due to its effect on cortisol levels in the body.
- Increased fat stores, as a lack of sleep can interfere with the body’s ability to breakdown carbohydrates.
- Reduction in growth hormone levels, which is a protein that helps adult’s bodies regulate the body’s proportions of fat to muscle.
Hopefully these 5 tips help. If all five seem like too much to change in your daily routine right now, try just incorporating one of these tips at a time. After a couple of weeks and you feel super confident in your ability to achieve your first one, then add in tip #2 and so on. Consistency is the key here, and you only want to set yourself up for success not failure, so be sure to do what is manageable, and build on that foundation. You can do this!!