10 Things You Need To Know About Losing Weight
Think you’re ready to lose weight? Got your gym membership and kale ready? Well, maybe it’s high time you read some of the most helpful weight loss information you’ll ever read, no fluff, no gimmicks, no lies! Here are 10 things you need to know right now before embarking on your new journey:
#1 Healthy Eaters Aren’t Above Binging
Seriously, if you think limiting yourself to 1,600 calories a day is an excuse to binge on cookies and candy, you’re in for a rude awakening. It does matter where you get your calories from. Just like in the same vein, eating healthy stuff isn’t enough either. You can easily drink 600 calories from one smoothie in the morning depending on what you put into it.
So, to summarize: eating right helps, but it’s no excuse to binge. Just like restricting calories isn’t an excuse to binge on the bad stuff either.
#2 Behold, the Calorie Deficit
If there’s one thing and only one thing you take away from this article, it should be this: losing weight is simple math.
Consider this: you consume 2,000 calories in a day, but you only burn 1,600. That means you eat 400 more calories than you burn. You don’t burn them, so you pack them on. That’s how weight gain happens.
But if you consume 1,300 calories in a day, and burn 2,000, then you have a 700 calorie deficit, meaning you’re burning more calories than you consumed, so you lose weight. This is called creating a calorie deficit.
#3 Water Is Your Friend
It makes your skin and hair better, it helps you feel fuller for longer so you eat less, you sleep better, feel better, detox your body naturally, and even impacts energy levels.
So, yeah, water is basically the best form of hydration ever. Don’t be fooled by those “electrolyte replenishing” drinks.
#4 Intermittent Fasting Is An Option
There are several forms, the most popular one being the 16/8 variety. This is when you eat for a designated 8-hour window per day, and fast for the other 16 hours. The best form is eating from noon to 8 in the evening, then fasting from 8PM to noon the next day.
What intermittent fasting does is force you to intake your daily calories during peak hours when you’re at your most physically active, boosting your metabolism. And during the other 16 hours, it burns fat.
When you’re fed, the body produces insulin to keep your blood sugar at a safe level. It shuttles sugar from the blood to the muscles, liver, and fat cells, increasing fat storage. By not eating 16 hours straight, you lower the production of this hormone and therefore combat fat storage.
But remember, you need to eat right, create a calorie deficit, and exercise. Intermittent fasting alone will not keep you fit, and it’s no excuse to binge eat.
#5 You Will Plateau
Say you need to lose 60 lbs. After losing 30 or so, you will hit this invisible wall where your body refuses to continue losing weight, especially for females. This is due to evolution: your body thinks “but if the world ends, you’ll die quicker if you’re too thin.” So it holds onto the other 30 lbs.
This is when you need to begin experimenting a bit. Eating extra healthy helps, but changing up your exercise routine helps more. Change up your caloric intake for the day if you need to as well. Or even the amount of calories you’re burning in a day.
#6 Your Fitness Level Means How Hard Your Heart Works During Physical Activity
Those with activity trackers likely already know this, but the harder your heart works while exercising, the less fit you are. Fit people can do that and more with their hearts beating somewhere below 130 bpm.
You’ll likely notice a change in three months of consistent, daily exercise, but really change your fitness level in 6 months.
#7 Cardio Can Only Do So Much, You Need Strength Training
It’s true, cardio can help you burn calories, but it’s not a great way to hold onto muscle. If you want a lean, toned look, you need to use strength training as a primary source of exercise, and cardio as a form of tackling excess calories.
#8 This Is A Lifelong Journey, Not A Short Term One
Most people who lose weight gain it all back. The reason is simple: they didn’t learn what they needed to. They thought that losing the weight was enough to keep it off. They thought maintenance was enough to keep being fit. But soon they stopped counting the calories, or working out as much.
And one day, their clothes didn’t fit anymore.
Being fit is a lifestyle overhaul. It’s not just about losing the weight and keeping it off, it’s about constantly training and getting fit. It’s about always thinking of your body as a well-oiled machine. If you don’t want to gain the weight back, you need to take it seriously.
#9 Cheat Days And Meals Are Counterproductive
One cheat and it could lead to days or a week full of cheats. Don’t tempt yourself. Instead, make plans ahead of time. If you want to eat a big dinner over the weekend, wake up early, exercise more than usual, burn those calories, and earn that meal.
In other words, you can live a little and eat the bad things from time to time, but never ever forget your caloric deficit. If you need to, workout extra that day to earn your meal.
#10 Five Pound Fluctuations Are Normal
You’re bound to gain and lose five pounds all the time and it’s normal. It could be water retention, too much salt in your food, too many carbs, or too much sugar. Even poor sleep can do it. The only time you need to really worry is if you gain more than 5 lbs. So aim for that healthy window!