There is more to weight loss than simple calories in vs calories out, so what are you missing in your weight-loss journey? Hear the unusual secrets from a long-time personal trainer.
We often say weight-loss is simple maths – calories in vs. calories out. However, as time goes on and we get more and more frustrated with a lack of results and consistency, we have started to realise there is far more going on in our bodies and things are not that simple. Now, I wrote this blog to simplify things rather than complicate them – so let’s get into it, here are 5 ways to help you lose weight without going on a diet (because diets suck, nobody likes those).
Okay, totally obvious right!? I’m not talking about slaving away on the treadmill every day until the kilo’s finally give in to your relentless suffering. I’m talking about finding a fun way to add some fitness and activity to your life.
Join a sports team, take your dogs for a walk in the fresh air, go for a swim, go hiking, join a CrossFit gym (my favourite!) – something DIFFERENT.
Forcing yourself to go to the gym, alone, without direction on and off is a miserable task. After 6 years of being a personal trainer – I have truly learnt that exercise only works if it is fun, varied and consistent. Is that how you would describe your gym routine? If the answer is “no” it’s time to try something new!
- Stress Less
You’ve probably heard this one before, but seriously, it’s huge!
Stress plays absolute havoc on our hormones, hunger, routines, EVERYTHING. How many times have you sat down to a beer, glass of wine, block of chocolate after a hectic day? Now, I’m not saying “suck it up and suffer without the chocolate”, I’m not a monster! But wouldn’t it be easier if we avoided the feelings that led us to these foods in the first place? We want to eat chocolate because we’re having a great day, not because we’re having a bad one!
Life has enough stress already, make sure you’re not accepting stressful responsibilities that bring you no joy. Learn to say “no” when possible, practice “leaving it at the door” when walking both in AND out of work and make time for destressing activities.
Take a bath, go for a walk, read a book, get a massage, take a nap – make time to do something relaxing to negate the stress of your week. Your body will thank you for it.
- STOP Dieting
I know we weren’t going to talk about diets but this one has to sneak in. Yo-yoing through life, on this diet and that diet, restricting calories all week and then inhaling burgers on the weekend does us no favours.
It’s really important to remember that our bodies have a required daily intake simply to survive and we need much more to thrive. Restricting your calories too much, too regularly is generally only going to end in disaster, your body will be hungry as hell and it’s going to make sure you know about it (see; inhaling burgers).
It’s not necessarily your self-control that is lacking, it is often literally that your body needs food and isn’t going to put up with your nonsense diet any longer (cue Netflix and binge).
Temporary diets bring temporary results. Focus on the long-term, maintain your healthy metabolism by feeding it well, listen to your body and eat good food. Build a diet you enjoy, that suits your life and your body.
- Eat More
Woah, woah, woah – exit this blog immediately this lady cray! Sorry friends, but this one is important too.
Restrictive diets annihilate our metabolisms and I’m sorry to say but that stuff your mum keeps talking about, how your metabolism “slows down” as you get older – that’s a real thing. It does not need you beating it up any more.
There are plenty of helpful tools online; check out www.eattoperform.com or www.iifym.com for some cool calculators to get an estimate of what your daily intake should look like. IMPORTANT: this is to guide you, not to obsess over.
You might be surprised how much your body is actually burning and by eating way under your intake all the time, you’re actually hurting your metabolism, making it harder to enjoy the cheeky foods you like without problems and making it harder to lose weight when you try.
This doesn’t mean we can eat 2000 calories of donuts every day – especially if you have been undereating, take it slow. It can be a bit of trial and error but add a healthy meal to your day or up the protein and carbs in current your meals. Try it for a few weeks and see how your energy, focus and workouts improve!
- Focus on Things You CAN Control
How much time per day do you think about losing weight? How much time every week do you stress about losing weight? How often are you beating yourself up about your weight? The answer is… (drumroll please)
A useless amount of time.
One of the absolute BEST ways to lose weight, get fit, tone up whatever your goals are is to focus on things you can actually do. I have had many clients over the years – the ones with the most success were the ones who focussed on making sure they ate breakfast or had veggies in their dinner and the ones who focussed on getting 10 push-ups, running 5km or finishing a workout fast.
The ones who struggled and failed time and time again were the ones who insisted on getting on the scales every morning. The ones who thought every poop was a weight-loss miracle (and every weigh in, pre-poo, was a weight-gain crisis), the ones who were on a different diet every week despite the advice I gave them and the ones who spent most of their PT session telling me how much they needed to lose weight instead of working out.
The point is – you can’t think yourself thin. It’s useless and it is a miserable way to live. Focus on the things you can control – eating well, being active, enjoying your fitness and more than anything, enjoying your life!
So, there you have it – 5 ways to encourage weight loss without having to go on any diets that ruin your social life or body.
Good luck team, rest well, eat well, take care of your body. You only have one!
Written by Phoebee Frost
Owner/Head Coach at CrossFit Long Haul, Perth
Six years personal trainer, 4 years competitive CrossFit