We’ve seen all the different weight loss books out there. Each one claims to have the “secret key” to losing weight quickly and permanently. Grapefruits, Vitamins, Cabbage Soup, Ketones, Paleo. It seems that every month there’s a new book touting a new study on some magical component to losing pounds. So I wanted to sort through all the rhetoric and let you in on the 5 real keys to losing the weight in a sustainable way so you can keep it off!
A key Macronutrient for weight loss, protein helps you stay full longer, build muscle tissue to help boost your metabolism. Try to eat some protein with every meal and snack. Remember to eat fattier cuts of meat like prime rib, bacon, pepperoni, sausage etc., a lot less often as they contain more calories and less protein and excess fat is more likely to be stored as fat on your body. Most important times of the day to eat protein is first thing in the morning to keep you full and prevent you from consuming too many calories during the day, and right after a workout to help your body repair and build muscle and thus speed up your metabolism so you can burn more calories.
4. Regular Exercise
My clients are always asking if exercise is necessary. If you want to change not only the number on the scale but the way your body looks in and out of clothes, exercise is an absolute must. Cardio helps burn calories. Weight training helps change the size and shape of your muscles and raise your metabolism. And stretching keeps you from developing overuse injuries.
I understand that most people aren’t crazy about exercise. They’re always asking me, “How much do I really have to do to see results?” The answer isn’t hard and fast for everyone, but in general you need to move more days than not. I recommend 4 days a week to start, at least two days strength training and two of cardio, stretching for at least 10 min. after each. As you get closer to your goal weight you may find it harder and harder to lose so this is when you should add another day or up the intensity.
3. Vegetables and Fruit
Low in calories, high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and full of water, fruits and vegetables are the key to filling you up and keeping the weight off. Not to mention they taste delicious and are very versitile! There’s not much more I can say about the importance of fruits and vegetables that hasn’t already been said. Even if you think you don’t like any, try to find at least a few that you can tolerate and I’m sure once you see what a difference they can make in your health and waist line you’ll be a converted fan.
2. Fiber and Water (tied)
Fiber and water tied for second place, why a tie you ask? Well you really can’t have one without the other weight loss wise. Fiber and water together help your body move waste out of your system, and in this case the main waste product you want gone is fat! They both also help keep you full and keep your hunger at bay.
And this is where low carb diets get it wrong, without enough fiber you will not lose weight and keep it off, period. If you do want to cut your carbs, choose the ones you do cut wisely. Carbs like beans and lentils and quinoa have lots of fiber plus the added bonus of protein. Also if you cut carbs to lose weight and you just love bread and pasta, keep in mind that as soon as you start eating these foods again (which you probably will) the weight will come back on. Better to eat the foods you love in smaller portions and less often than cut them out completely.
And the most important factor is…drum roll please….
1. A Positive Attitude!
A Positive “Can-Do” Attitude, never giving up, not letting setbacks get you down, learning from your mistakes, believing you can do it. With this attitude I promise you, with whatever ups and downs the journey (and the scale) may present you, you will lose the weight. I have yet to meet a person who was skeptical they could have the body they wanted ever achieve it. A good attitude will get you through the hurdles you’ll face losing weight and into the truly hard part, maintenance.
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