Weight loss. This is a topic most of us want to know about in some way or another. How to lose weight. How to get rid of those unwanted kilos. You don’t know where to start or what professionals to believe. Losing weight doesn’t have to be difficult or cost a lot of money. It’s quite simple really.
Almost a third of New Zealanders are obese. Being overweight compromises your health and puts you at higher risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, metabolic disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis and pregnancy problems. But here’s the bright side – ANYONE CAN LOSE WEIGHT. Yes you can!
Humans are products of their environment. If your environment is full of fast food and you live a sedentary lifestyle (that’s little or no physical activity), then it’s very likely you’ll be overweight.
The key to addressing this is EDUCATION. You can change this with knowledge.
Before we begin on how to lose weight, let’s highlight some major myths.
- You don’t need to buy anything out of the ordinary to lose weight.
- Don’t believe the hype. Fad diets and products will ALWAYS exist and they will ALWAYS try to tell you that you need to buy stuff to lose weight. You don’t.
- Despite differences in genetics and backgrounds, anyone can lose or gain weight.
- BMI for measuring isn’t perfect but it’s a good screen.
HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT
Keep it simple and keep it achievable. If you have 50kg to lose, start by losing 10kgs and then regroup to tackle the next 10.
Eat whole foods. This means the food that looks like food. It doesn’t come in packages. Eat plants, whole grains, fruit, high-quality proteins and good fats. It’s important to get organised. Cook at home and pack your lunch during the week. If this means you sit down on a Sunday and plan for the week ahead and go food shopping, then that’s what you have to do.
Energy-in vs energy-out. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or eat-anything-atarian, if you eat too many calories you will put on weight. A balanced diet means a rainbow of colours and whole foods. Balance also means there’s nothing wrong with the occasional ice cream or piece of cake (just not the whole tub, like this author sometimes likes to do). There is no such thing as BAD foods, there is just FOOD.
We recommend HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and strength training is a great way to lose weight, keep muscle, strengthen joints and maintain a better physique. This is especially important as you age. Some cardio is cool. But for weight loss, HIIT and strength is your friend. If you’re a beginner, start with walking. Faster cardio is great for burning calories.
Plan – plan out your food and exercise.
Make it social – you’re more likely to stick to things if others are doing it too.
Screw-up plan – aim for 90% and then have a plan when things go haywire. Because they will.
It’s helpful to exercise early in the day – morning exercise is a great way to make yourself feel good and set you up for healthy behaviours through the day. Get up earlier, instead of being stressed and rushing to work without breakfast or making lunch.
It’s just this simple. Track your calories if you want to. There are LOTS of free calorie and weight tracking apps. These are great because they’ll calculate what calorie deficit you need to reach your goals. All you need to do is enter in what you eat each day and stick to the recommended calorie amount.
In the same way you track your calories, track your weight loss. Just once a week, it’s not about being obsessive.
It is also important to make sure you are getting sufficient sleep.
If you are doing all this and you still can’t lose weight, see your doctor and get a blood test. There could be an underlying issue.
Just remember weight loss and change takes time. So chill out. Calm down and just get into the process.
Here’s what Doctor Sash has to say about it.