Losing weight is HARD! Lots of people struggle in their effort to lose weight no matter why they are trying. You may have been struggling to achieve a healthy weight for many years, or perhaps the COVID-19 lockdowns have thrown your weight-loss journey off course due to changes in lifestyle, mood, motivation or eating habits. We’re only human! This month’s blog focuses on our 3 main tips to aid safe, sustainable, and effective weight loss.
1. Achieve Negative Energy Expenditure
This means that your energy intake needs to be consistently lower than your energy expenditure to achieve weight loss. To put this simply, energy IN (through food/drink) has to be lower than energy OUT (energy your body uses). One way to achieve a negative energy expenditure is through physical activity and exercise. Be sure to get your daily 10,000 steps in as you will burn between 250 to 600 calories! Lifting weights is another form of exercise that can burn between 200 to 400 calories! Back in Motion offers individual or group clinical exercise classes in our gym space if you would prefer guidance from a Physiotherapist.
2. Set Realistic Goals
Setting realistic goals for weight loss is crucial for long-term success. A realistic goal for weight loss is to lose 5 to 10% of your initial body weight within six months. Don't set a goal that would require massive lifestyle changes or being hungry all the time in order to achieve. A slow, consistent approach is the best way to go!
Also remember, you're only human! Don't be discouraged if you have a cheat meal. One slipup is unlikely to impact your weight loss journey, and it's important not to punish yourself when this happens. But if it is happening consistently, then you will need to sit down and re-evaluate your goals.
3. Maintain Weight/Prevent Weight Regain
Remember that it's not all about losing weight… making sustainable changes to prevent going backwards is just as important. More than half of people who lose weight regain most of their weight loss within the first 12 months. The best way to do this is to set up permanent and easy lifestyle changes that avoid going backwards. Some of these include:
- Talking to your doctor about your weight loss journey
- Seeking help from a psychologist, if needed, to support your mind through this period
- Consistency in the size of your meals
- Don't forget to always eat breakfast
- Reduce your intake of unhealthy or sugary snacks and replace them with healthy alternatives
- Maintain a level of physical activity that is comfortable and easy for your lifestyle
These tips will help get you started in achieving your ideal weight. While this journey may require careful selection of the foods you consume, it is important that you maintain a healthy relationship with food. Keep enjoying the foods you love, whether it is the occasional Meat Lover’s Pizza or a New York Cheesecake. The same way that you don’t lose five kilos from eating a salad once, you won’t gain it from eating a pizza.
We recommend speaking with your GP or registered dietician before starting any weight loss program. This is especially important if you take any form of prescription medication or have pre-existing health conditions. Your health professionals, including your physiotherapist, will work together as a team to help you on this journey.
Author: Mostafa Khatab