1. Cardio 20% – Diet 80%
It is commonly believed that if you want to lose weight you need to exercise. Unfortunately most people don’t realise that weight loss is a simple formula. To lose weight you must be using more calories than you are consuming each day.
Calories in < calories out = weight loss.
The illusion lies in the amount of calories burnt during cardio. People ‘assume’ that 30mins to an hour of exercise will be enough to make their calorie consumption pass their calorie intake. However in reality, every 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise only burns roughly 100 calories. When you factor in that the average person eats roughly 1500 – 3000 calories depending on age, gender and size. 300 calories burned in a 30 minute workout isn’t going to be enough to put you into a calorie deficit. To put things into perspective, there’s 265 calories in a mcdonald’s cheeseburger.
To summarize, altering your portion size and food choices is a much more effective way to achieve weight loss than physical exercise. There are additional benefits to exercise so don’t skip it out completely, just take into consideration its inferior role in losing weight.
2. Learn to identify the difference between sugar cravings and hunger.
There are a select few people who struggle with weight loss even when there diet is 100% clean, simply because of their large appetite. However, for the majority of people, the battle of weight loss is not the quantity of food they eat, but the quality. A simply switch to a whole foods based diet will likely result in massive weight loss.
The issue that seems to pop up constantly, is people mistaking their desire to eat junk food, for hunger. Upon finishing a decent sized healthy meal they still don’t feel satisfied. The reason for this is simply because they are craving sugar. If they were to bring their attention to their stomach, they would realise that it actually feels full, just not content.
Sugar is an addiction. These feeling of dissatisfaction are simply your brain reaching out for it’s chemical fix. Fortunately, if you can hold of for 30 minutes to an hour, the cravings will subside. A simple to test to decipher whether you are actually still hungry or just craving sugar, is to ask yourself whether you would eat a bland food like broccoli or oats. If the answer is yes, then it’s highly likely that you are still hungry. However if the answer is no, then you guessed it, you’re craving sugar.
3. Food takes 20 – 30 minutes to satiate you.
For the quick eaters, it is a common mistake to finish a meal and fall victim to the illusion that you are still hungry. Always wait 20 – 30 minutes before consuming any more food. The majority of the time you will find you no longer feel the need to eat.
Occasionally, a glass of water is all you need to get rid of the lingering hunger as it is common to mistake subtle thirst for subtle hunger.
4. It takes far less food to reach satiation than most realise.
The best bit of advice I ever received was to decrease my portion size. I have always had a huge appetite and with that comes the ability to demolish mountain size stacks of food. I was shocked to discover than I could eat 1/3 of the size portion and still achieve the same level of satiation, for roughly the same duration.
Next time you make a meal, try halving it. Then eat one half and put the other half in the fridge for later. Wait 20 – 30 minutes and prepare to be amazed.
5. Create emotional leverage.
A common mistake I see people make during their weight loss attempts, is not having a strong emotional reason for losing the weight. 9 times out of 10, wanting to be skinnier just doesn’t provide the motivation to get yourself to the gym, or resist that piece of cake on the bench.
The key here is specify an exact outcome you wish to achieve. E.g “I want to look sexy in my tight black jeans for dave”. Visualise the outcome and Dave’s reaction. Then relive that thought whenever you feel like opting out. It doesn’t have to be a physical reason either. You might realise that you’re weight is holding you back from something in other areas of your life. e.g a promotion, or potentially a decreased lifespan.
Emotional leverage is a powerful tactic when creating any habit. Your reason why always has to be stronger than your reason why not. If it isn’t, it doesn’t matter how determined you think you are, you will always fail.
Always remind yourself why you started.
6. Slow and steady wins the race.
The idea of weight loss is that once it’s off, you keep it off. The most effective way to do so, is to loss the weight slowly.
let me explain.
We live in a generation where anything that happens quickly takes precedence over something that takes a long time. This causes people to attempt methods known as ‘suicide dieting’. These practices involve the participant taking drastic measures to lose weight. This can be anything from super intense or long workouts to super low calorie intake. Unfortunately these methods always come at a price.
The first problem encountered will be consistency. Even dramatic lifestyle changes require ‘x’ amount of time to take effect. The more intense your protocol is, the less likely you are to stick with it. Even if you don’t have to commit to it for a very long time, the nature of most people ensures they won’t stick it out long enough to reap the benefits.
Look at it this way. It takes more willpower to pull off shortcut methods of dieting than it does to do it the long way. Hence why these extremist version of training/dieting are better left to experienced athletes.
Secondly, even if you do manage to pull off a suicide cut. The probability of you relapsing and returning to your previous condition is almost certain. This is due to the feelings of food deprivation you will experience created by the rapid change in body composition.
Finally, If you’re losing weight, the idea is to do so for life. Baring that in mind, you have a whole lifetime to achieve your goal. Slow down and enjoy the journey and the many learning experiences along the way.
No shortcut methods will ever lead to lasting change.
7. Bland foods don’t leave you longing for another bite.
Healthy foods don’t just contain more micronutrients and less calories. My favourite element of healthy eating is it’s ability to satiate. Sugar and fat dense foods are satanic. Not only are they toxic for your health, they also leave you drooling for more, and more….. and more.
I can honestly say I am able to eat at least 3 times as many calories from junk food than I can from whole foods. Even when I can feel my last bite sitting at the top of my throat I still consider committing to another bite.
By eating whole foods you will be less likely to over consume. Resulting in a lower daily calorie intake.