How to Lose Weight Effectively | The Comprehensive Guide (2019)
This is the most comprehensive guide of losing weight in the most effective way possible. No fad diets, no magic pills, and no crazy fast and easy false promises.
In this guide, you will get access to over 8 chapters of tips and techniques you can use when trying to lose weight and get on track to a healthy lifestyle.
The best part? There may be some things you never knew about weight loss and health in general that you will be able to use for long term success.
1. Reduce Your Calorie Intake
When it comes to losing weight the most verified, scientifically proven way is by creating a calorie deficit by either exercising to that deficit or restricting calories. It’s a method that is always easier said than done, especially when first starting. It can be a factor of either needing the motivation to restrict calories, or you just don’t know how to eat and restrict the right foods.
Until the right eating patterns become a habit, you need to restrict calories to develop the ability to eat to maintain. This is something that is going to be challenging at first, but after a while, it will become second nature, and you’ll find keeping the weight off to be simple.
When you first start you’ll find that many of the things that you have been eating are way more calorically dense, then you thought, and realize where you may have been going wrong. The objective of restricting calories is to learn how to eat for daily life instead of dieting and waiting to get back to “normal.”
Count your calories. The primary way to make sure you don’t eat too many calories is to count them on a fitness/tracker app or write them down. Determining how many calories you should be eating each day might be a bit tricky because you don’t want to overeat, but you also don’t want to make the mistake of undereating either. To find out your daily caloric intake, you need to base it off of five main factors:
- Amount of physical activity
We recommend putting these into the calorie tracker app, like MyFitnessPal, which will calculate all of that information for you. It is best not to guess your daily calorie needs or go off whatever the internet says you should do: This is your body, and you need to take care of it.
Plan your meals ahead of time. When it comes to restricting and counting your calories, in the beginning, it is best to try and plan your meals as best you can ahead of time. It will be a lot easier to stick to the right amount of calories through menu planning, meal prepping, or even freezer cooking. This is always an easier said than done type of thing since life isn’t always predictable, and you won’t be able to plan every meal out. But whenever possible, have an idea or meal prep towards the beginning of your journey so you can get the hang of cooking healthy meals and staying on track.
Cook your own food. All of what we have stated above connects to cooking your own food since that is the most reliable way to eat the correct amount of calories. When you are going out a lot or eating food prepared by someone else you don’t always know what is in it. Until you are more in tune with your body and more knowledgable about the caloric value of food, you should try and cook your meals whenever possible. Of course, as we stated above, we know that life happens and dinners out with your friends are inevitable, but be cautious of all the times you tend to eat out.
2. Stick To A Consistent Exercise Routine
Starting and sticking to a consistent exercise plan is highly recommended when it comes to losing weight efficiently. When people think about exercise and doing it on a consistent basis, they tend to back out at the thought of it being too challenging to stick to or even start in the first place. We’re here to tell you that by starting a workout routine you will be exposed to the many benefits, including weight loss, that come with it
The National Academy of Sciences has the recommendation of doing at least 30 to 60 minutes of physical exercise per day, but only 30 minutes need to be vigorous. However, most people do well on working out every other day as long as they are challenging themselves and switching up their workout routines.
Building muscle burns more calories. One of the worst possible side effects of dieting or restricting calories is that it can cause muscle loss and a slowing of the metabolism. The best way to prevent this sort of thing from happening is by doing resistance exercises such as lifting weights.
Studies we found show that weight lifting can help keep you from losing muscle mass and your metabolism from lowering. This is because your muscles are biologically more active than other tissues in your body such as skin and bone, including when they are at rest.
Exercise works to keep your metabolism from lowering because the more stress you put upon your muscles the more energy your body will require. This means that the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn, and this can result in a higher chance of burning fat for fuel.
Find a workout you genuinely enjoy. Finding a workout that you truly enjoy is essential when it comes to being consistent. When you enjoy doing something, you are more likely to stick with it. The good thing about exercise is that there are many different options to choose from, such as:
- To the gym
- Running around your neighborhood
- Pilates & Yoga classes
- Cycling classes
- Sports team or activity
Exercise can be very enjoyable and something to look forward to if you find something to enjoy about it. From personal experience I found myself dreading to go to the gym and doing the same workout by myself to be draining and lackluster. I decided to try out group classes like pilates and yoga and I found myself enjoying my time there and being motivated by others during my classes.
3. Cut Back On The Sugar
There has been a growing amount of evidence found on sugar being one of the main culprits when it comes to weight gain. The authors of a review of studies on diet and weight gain published in the journal Food and Nutrition Research that the more refined carbohydrates/sugar that an individual ate, the more weight they tended to gain.
Not only is sugar bad when it comes to losing weight, but consuming too much can have adverse effects on your health. Studies show that sugar consumption is significantly associated with an increased risk of obesity and health conditions such as type 2 diabetes.
Avoid Sugary Desserts & Foods. Many desserts aren’t made to provide nutritional value or be eaten every day. They are loaded with sugar that causes blood sugar spikes and can even leave you feeling tired and craving more. Desserts such as pies, ice cream, cakes, cookies, and candy aren’t meant to be a feared, evil treat, but we tend to overindulge way too often. Not all sugar is considered harmful; there are many natural sugars that can be part of a healthy diet, such as:
- Fresh Fruit
- Dark Chocolate
- Greek Yogurt
- Chia Seeds
When you swap out sugary desserts for these healthy sugar alternatives more often, you will reduce your sugar intake and consume more fiber and vitamins.
Read Labels. When it comes to eating less sugar, it is not always as simple as cutting out sugary desserts. Sugar is highly known to always be hiding in unlikely foods such as granola bars, breakfast cereals, and bread. Always look to see how much sugar is in the products you buy because you’ll find yourself shocked at how many sugars sneak into unsuspecting foods.
When looking at the food labels, you can usually see if certain foods have “added sugars” that are separate from natural sugars in milk and fruits. If some of your products don’t provide any information on added sugars look at the ingredients list for these common added sugars, such as:
- High fructose corn syrup
- Cane sugar or juice
- Rice syrup
Be Careful With “Healthy” Labeled Foods. There are a lot of new “healthy” snack and food alternatives on the market that lower the calories, but up the sugar content. Snacks like granola bars, protein bars, freezer meals, and dried fruit can contain just as much sugar as candy bars or other desserts if you aren’t careful. Just be mindful of food products that are processed and packaged since anything can be added to them, even if they are considered “healthy.”
4. Healthy Eating Habits
Weight loss is something many people take the wrong way and go in with the wrong intentions. The reason why all these fad diets exist is because people want quick and fast results and they don’t care how they get it. They aren’t always thinking about the long term and why losing weight and becoming healthy is actually important.
Experts recommend staying away from fad diets specifically for weight loss because they are not sustainable in the long term. Scientific research has also found that following a natural healthy diet while obtaining new habits make it easier to shed extra pounds. To stay on track and stick with your healthy lifestyle long term, you need to create healthy eating habits.
Choose Whole Natural Foods. When you want to be a leaner, healthier person one of the most important things you can do is stick to whole natural foods. Whole foods are not only healthy and provide your body with all the nutrients it needs, but they are naturally filling. Many people think that they can stick to their unhealthy diets or go back to them after they lose weight on their short term diets, but it is just not the truth. When shopping for groceries look for foods such as:
- Produce such as fruits and vegetables (full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals)
- Whole grains (Good source of carbohydrates and phytonutrients that fight disease)
Keep Healthy Food Available At All Times. When you are hungry you are more likely to be tempted by whatever you find yummy in your pantry or fridge at the moment.
By keeping healthy food in your kitchen at all times you will find yourself forced to eat more healthy instead of giving yourself the option to make bad decisions. This also includes making sure that your kitchen stays stocked with food so you aren’t left with the option to eat take out.
Eat Regular Meals. Figuring out the regular frequency for your meals that works best for your lifestyle is very important when combating your weight. When you get in a regular schedule of eating your find yourself overeating or binging less.
This is also a good way to get your metabolism running smoothly and efficiently. This is because when you have an inconsistent eating schedule your body doesn’t know when it will get its next meal so the metabolism slows down in preparation.
5. Consume Healthy Fats
Fats have been a feared macronutrient ever since the market started producing “non-fat” or “low-fat” options and they ended up being everywhere you turned. This then correlated to people being afraid of all high-fat foods and cutting out as much as they can in order to lose weight.
However, research is starting to show that eating fat does not automatically lead to weight gain. In fact, most studies show that unsaturated fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated can help us lose weight by making us feel more satisfied and full. Healthy fats are also essential for many functions in the body and provide a lot of nutrients that we need.
Stop Eating “Fat-Free” Or “Low-Fat” Foods. As stated above the market has been bombarding us with low fat and fat-free options since the ’90s. Now you may be thinking what the problem is with wanting to cut out some fat here and there with these products, but they are very misleading. These types of snacks and products are often loaded with sugar, refined carbohydrates, or starches to replace the lost fat. These types of ingredients can lead our bodies to react by raising our blood sugar and insulin levels, which can cause us to gain weight.
Know What Your Healthy Fat Options Are. Knowing what the good sources of fat are and what they can do for you is the first step. When you learn which specific foods have good fats and the many benefits they provide, you are more likely to start incorporating them into your diet. Here is a list we put together:
- Avocados: Avocados are different from other fruits for the very fact that they are loaded with fats. The primary fatty acid is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which is associated with various health benefits.
- Fatty Fish: This includes fish like salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel, and herring, which are filled with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and proteins with essential nutrients. If you don’t eat seafood, we recommend taking a fish oil supplement such as codfish liver oil.
- Whole Eggs: Whole eggs are loaded with vitamins and minerals, with 62% of the calories being from fat. They contain a little bit of everything when it comes to essential nutrients that our body needs, and even contain antioxidants and choline (A brain nutrient).
- Nuts: They are high in healthy fats and fiber and are an amazing plant-based protein source. Healthy nuts include walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, and peanuts.
- Coconut Oil: This is considered one of the richest sources of saturated fat in the world. They are different from other fats consisting of mainly medium-chain fatty acids, which are metabolized differently, going straight to the liver where they can be turned into ketone bodies.
6. Turn Your Healthy Lifestyle Into A Habit
When it comes losing weight consistently and then sticking to a healthy lifestyle, we need to make our healthy lifestyle a habit.
This is where fad diets and detox cleanses fall short because they aren’t built to be long-term and to be consistent. We need a system that we can trust that tells us how we did in terms of weight loss and staying healthy so we can stay on track.
Making something a habit takes time and dedication and that is not something a diet or magical fast acting weight loss pill can teach you. Losing weight is a journey that requires consistent monitoring to keep you accountable and motivated to continue. Eventually, this becomes a habit and you can be more lenient, but when you first begin it takes time and energy.
Get In Balance. Eating a diet that is close to 45 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 35 percent fats is an excellent limit to base yourself off. When you get in balance with your food, your body starts to become more satisfied with what it is eating, and you are less likely to feel deprived and hungry. Many people see losing weight as something to dread and get over as quickly as possible, and it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to and shouldn’t deprive yourself of the nutrients that your body needs; it will just result in your body overeating to get the nutrients anyways.
Be Strict With Yourself. Setting healthy limits for your self, and being strict will make or break you when trying to lose weight. If you can’t be strict with yourself on eating healthy, exercising consistently, and making healthy decisions, then you can’t expect to see the results you want. You can start being more strict by:
- Sticking to your calorie limit every day.
- Planning your workouts ahead of time and forcing yourself to go & or even making plans with a workout buddy.
- Keeping a journal where you write down how you could have done things better & how you did things right.
- Ditch the all or nothing approach
7. Think Long Term
The goal of this whole article is to create a new way of being that essentially can last for the rest of our lives. Much like brushing your teeth and taking a shower, they aren’t complicated, but we need to do them every day to benefit our lives. There is no such thing as ending your healthy lifestyle and going back to old habits while keeping the hard-earned results; it’s just not real life.
This is where the problem of dieting comes back in, its a short term quick fix for weight loss. The results of losing weight and becoming more healthy are something everybody wants to keep long term, and you should actually enjoy it. Diets are miserable and challenging because they aren’t meant to be long term, so we are trying to make it so you have a healthy lifestyle that works in the long run.
Keep It Simple. When it comes to losing weight, we are going to have to restrict calories and count them to make sure we stay on track. However, when it comes to the long term future, it’s just not possible or healthy to count calories for the rest of your life.
By practicing making healthy choices and thinking of your diet in terms of freshness, color, and variety, your life will become much easier and enjoyable. The all or nothing technique is the exact opposite of what we are preaching here; it’s okay to live life and relax sometimes. However, realize that you don’t want to revert to an unhealthy lifestyle, so keep yourself on track while allowing for some freedom when it comes to food and exercise.
Start Slowly. Trying to change all of your unhealthy eating and exercise habits overnight is just not obtainable and will set you up for failure. When you make such a sudden drastic change in your life, it is highly likely you will start cheating or quit soon afterward because it is just too overwhelming. This can all be avoided if you instead start by taking small and straightforward steps towards weight loss and changing your lifestyle. An example of those small steps can be:
- Restricting calories while still incorporating foods you enjoy
- Adding small healthy sides (salads and fruits) to all of your meals
- Switching from butter to olive oil or coconut oil
- Adding more lean protein into your diet
- Start with group exercise classes to motivate you such as yoga, pilates, and cycling (also having a set time to be somewhere helps you to stop procrastinating)
As your small changes become a habit, you can continue to add healthier choices into your diet and harder, more personalized workouts.
The long term goal with losing weight is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of certain health conditions; make it the enjoyable positive experience its supposed to be.
8. Stop Drinking Your Calories. Drink More Water.
What many people don’t know about weight loss is that water is such an important aspect. One study we found shows that drinking a half-liter of water about half an hour before meals helped individuals eat fewer calories and lose more weight compared to people that didn’t drink water. People even tend to misinterpret thirst for hunger and end up overeating when the problem could have been avoided by just drinking more water.
On a different note drinking your calories is one of the biggest culprits in people consuming too many calories without even realizing it. Sugar is bad, but sugar in liquid form can be worse according to a study we found that shows liquid sugar to be a considerable caloric aspect of peoples diet.
Keep Track Of Your Drinks. Recording the caloric drinks that you do end up drinking is essential because many people tend to forget to count them as calories. When you start recording them, you will not only notice how much calories the drinks begin to add up to, but you will start to second guess ordering those drinks in the future. Drinking only water with your meals to stay hydrated is your best bet when it comes to losing weight because the added sugars and calories aren’t necessary or needed.
Keep Water With You. Keeping water with you when you run errands or at work is essential so you can stay hydrated throughout the day even during hectic times. This also helps you stay less tempted to stop at a cafe or take out place and order a calorically filled drink to parch your thirst. We also recommend you use a straw with your water whenever possible since it is proven that you are more inclined to drink more when there is a straw to sip on.
Drink Tea. If you have a bit of a problem drinking water regularly and want a flavored alternative, we recommend you brew some tea. Green, black or red tea is very flavorful, healthy, and relatively easy to make, and the best part is that it has 0 calories. Tea is used for all times of the day since there are non-caffeinated versions and can be consumed hot or iced. It is also an amazing alternative to coffee since specific versions of tea have caffeine and aren’t dehydrating like coffee tends to be.