The most common advice given out when trying to lose weight is to make extreme changes, eliminate whole categories of macronutrients and other drastic solutions.
Cut out all carbs
Don’t eat fat
The list goes on.
Now these may prove effective for a short while, but its often not necessary and commonly leads to rapid weight gain afterwards and a negative relationship with food.
Not to mention that these fad diets also aren’t always easy:
Avoid foods you enjoy
Makes social settings a challenge
Eating out or ordering food can be a struggle
Your life often ends up revolving around the ‘rules’ of your new diet
For some, you may look at the above and think that’s perfect for me, in which case, I won’t stop you – you do you!
However, for the vast majority of you, who jump to a fad diet by default or in a moment of desperation, I’ve got a few suggestions to try and make things a little easier.
- Remove unnecessary things
Now you may be thinking, didn’t you just say that I don’t need to remove entire categories of food?
Yes, we did, but hear us out.
Instead of removing entire food groups, just ditch the stuff you don’t need – or at least use less of it.
Cooking oil – swap it for spray oil where possible.
Butter/margarine on bread (especially when using other condiments)
Milky coffees (lattes etc) – swap for Americano
These little things can add up and can save you 100+ calories a day without even noticing it.
Note: I’m not saying these things are bad, it’s just many of the calorie dense options are things you can go without, or have less of and barely notice.
- Drink more
Getting in more water is great for your health, but also your weight management.
In a lot of cases, people think that they’re hungry, but are actually thirsty.
Next time you feel hungry, go with a glass go water first. When you go out for a meal, make sure to gulp down a glass and you may notice it’s easier to make better choices during the meal.
It’s also important, that what you drink regularly is calorie free, so things like water, green tea, black coffee etc.
- Cut down your portions – gradually
One of most important things, learn portion sizes.
You may not like counting calories or tracking food, and whilst effective, it’s not mandatory. However, you won’t lose weight without being in a calorie deficit, and for most, this means reducing your portion sizes.
In my experience, small changes over time is superior. It’s easier to keep consistent and isn’t such a drastic change.
Usually have 2 scoops of rice with dinner? Make it 1 and a half for the next few weeks.
4 eggs for breakfast? Change it to 3 for the next month.
If you made a few small portion changes and cut back 100-200 calories for 3 meals a day, you could get a 300-600 calorie deficit and see 0.2-0.5kg (0.5-1lb) weight loss without drastically changing anything. Put into perspective, this would mean you’d lose around 4kg (8-9lbs) a month.
For some it may just be reducing the amount of times you snack per day. For example, if you take away those 2 ‘in-between’ meal Kit Kat bars per day, that’s a reduction of 200 calories without you really doing anything.
Neither of these require you to track your calories, instead just be aware of the amount you eat with the aim of progressively reducing it, until weight loss occurs.
Now the tips I’ve provided aren’t those that will see you drop 3kg in 3 days, and that’s because those diets are setting you up for failure.
Short term results fade quickly, but long term sustainable changes can last, which is everything teach my clients about nutrition is focused around that.
For a lot of people, being able to make a drop of 300-600 calories per day through simple changes that don’t affect them, can have a profound impact on their weight and health.
It can be tempting to dive in head first, doing everything possible, but it will inevitably lead to burn out.
Go slow, keep it simple, and get more complicated down the line when things slow down (if you need to).
Combine that nutrition with a good training plan and you’re set up to make some great progress!
The K1 Team