Many of us understand the basics of weight loss like make sure you’re consuming less calories than you’re utilizing, try to make sure that the majority of the foods you’re eating are whole unprocessed foods as opposed to things that come from a box or can, and exercise regularly.
Here are 5 things, which in my experience, you should do to be successful with weight loss that aren’t super obvious.
1.) Be Patient
In the age of “The Biggest Loser” and other weight loss transformation shows and infomercials, it’s really easy to begin to expect well over 1lbs of weight to come off each week. In fact, I’ll often have clients who have consistently lost 1lb every week who think they aren’t losing weight fast at all, and are concerned that their progress is stalling.
First off, 1lb of weight loss per week is extremely good. Most people will have to work VERY hard to do just that, much less maintain that rate for multiple weeks.
Our perception has been thrown off though having seen people lose insane amounts of weight over short periods of time. Often times we’ll hear of people losing over 5lbs of weight in a single week on these shows or infomercials, and think to ourselves, well if they’re losing 5lbs/week, I should be able to lose at least 1-2lbs/week and keep up that pace until I hit my goal.
Not the case at all. Often times that kind of weight loss is a direct result of extreme actions (sometimes under medical supervision, sometimes not), and done in ways that are not meant to be sustainable or teach good/healthy behaviors, where often safety is not a top priority either.
Be patient with yourself instead.
Understand that weight loss is a process, and yes it’s ok to want to lose weight as fast as possible, but if you’re looking to lose (15lb +) it’s probably not gonna happen very fast in a sustainable way, so buckle down for the long haul mentally and emotionally.
If the scale doesn’t budge one week or you even go up in weight, first forgive yourself, then examine your behavior the week before and see if there is anything you should change to continue losing weight (hint: sometimes, there isn’t anything you need to change).
2.) Stop “Dieting”
“Dieting”, or at least the way you tend to think of it, leads down some really crazy paths if you are looking to lose significant amounts of weight.
When “dieting”, often you’ll think about how we should be cutting down on calories throughout each day and week, which is in and of itself not a bad thing. In fact, you should be recalculating those daily calories every other week (in my opinion) to make sure we’re on the right track.
Here’s the catch, you can only cut calories so much, before you have nowhere else to go without feeling miserable. If you’re somebody who has been “dieting” down for 12 weeks plus, giving yourself a maintenance week at some point may actually be super beneficial for you, and allow you to keep losing weight.
The other issue with traditional “dieting” is often you’re doing what is necessary to lose weight fast, which is not a problem in and of itself as long as we understand that the “fast” weight loss diets are not sustainable.
They can work incredibly well, and be the catalyst for some really healthy change in some folks, but for others they will either develop some unhealthy relationships or rebound back because now that they’ve achieved their goal weight, they’re ready to pig out on all the foods they were depriving themselves of.
My best suggestion is if you’re attempting to lose weight fast this way, work with a coach not only through your dieting, but also with what’s called reverse dieting, and most importantly the mentality change that needs to occur from a rapid weight loss approach to a maintenance approach.
3.) Have a Support System
This might be the most underrated piece of advice I can give that can have the biggest impact on your ability to lose weight and keep it off.
The idea of having a group of people or a community helping you to stay on track and accountable is important in most all endeavors, fitness related or not, but when it comes to weight loss and forming new long term habits it’s essential.
Having that built in support system, like family, friends, a coach (like me), or even just a group of others all looking to lose weight, can help you to overcome the roadblocks that will come during your weight loss journey.
They can help you to keep things in perspective when your weight loss stalls, help you problem solve if there is a behavior you continue exhibiting even though it’s counter-intuitive to your goals, and also celebrate your successes which is super important for helping you to build momentum.
4.) Lift Heavy Weights
I know you got the memo that strength training is super beneficial when it comes to weight loss, and that you’ll need a lot more than just hours of cardio each week to really get the physique you’re hoping for.
The problem I still see people running into though is that they think they must only work in high repetition ranges (12, 15, or even 20 reps/set) if their goal is weight loss.
When you lift in only high rep ranges, you’re often missing out on the benefits of doing some low to moderate repetition (4-6 reps) HEAVY lifting.
There is definitely some benefit to doing higher repetition work, as it’s a good way to not only build some muscle at times but also, finish off a workout when your CNS (Central Nervous System) might be too fatigued to get in those heavy squats etc.
Here’s the thing, if you focus on getting stronger by lifting heavier weights at the beginning of a workout, you’ll still be able to get in all that high volume work towards the end of your workouts since the high rep work doesn’t require as much from your nervous system.
In addition, you get to take advantage of all the awesome things that come from getting stronger including the fact that you’ll be building some muscle which will require more calories to burn at rest.
Bottom line, work on strength first during each session, then focus on hypertrophy and conditioning towards the middle or end of the workout for the best effect. You’ll be left with not only and awesome looking body, but one capable of doing some serious work too.
5.) Be Sure to Get Adequate Sleep
Making sure you’re actually getting some quality sleep is another underrated piece of the puzzle, that can make a huge difference in your ability to lose weight successfully.
I’ve written about this before (here), but when you’re not getting the necessary amount of sleep a whole other host of things that can derail your progress are bound to pop up. Things like over eating, lack of energy, and added mental stress are just a few of the additional concerns you’ll be dealing with if you’re not getting enough sleep.
In addition to the issues mentioned above, you’re going to be one cranky SOB to be around. Eating less and being hungry a little more frequently is usually enough to leave a person irritable, but add in the fact you’re not sleeping well and you’ve got the perfect storm brewing.
Point is, make sure you get the sleep your body needs, and you’ll feel a lot better and be much more successful.
These 5 weight loss tips can be the difference between successfully losing significant amounts of weight and saving yourself massive amounts of frustration or not losing the weight at all. Plan for success and make your life easier by implementing this advice today.
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