A comprehensive guide to achieving weight loss.

How to lose weight and more importantly, how to keep it off!

In the world we live in now it’s extremely hard to lose weight, it’s no wonder we have an obesity crisis. The amount of easily accessible fast food at our disposal is incredible. Although this can be a huge benefit to a lot of us with busy lifestyles and work schedules, but only if we understand how to manage nutrition as a whole.

For us to achieve weight loss, or reduce body fat, improve body composition and get ourselves generally into better shape. We need to understand nutrition, understand food labels, have a better understanding on calories and the effect they have on our body. To achieve these results and keep them off we don’t need to over complicate anything, we must stick to the basics.

Weight loss or weight gain is fundamentally about getting our energy balance right. The issue with obesity is the fact that people are consuming more calories than they are burning, and therefore putting on weight.

To achieve weight loss, we must create a negative energy balance, which means we must be consuming less calories than we are burning otherwise known as creating a calorie deficit.

This isn’t done for a couple of days or weeks. To achieve long term weight loss results, not just a quick fix, we must be consistent over a much longer period of time.

This is where the understanding of calories comes into play. It would be easy to create a calorie deficit for a few days or weeks by cutting out certain foods we enjoy, like bread, chocolate, pasta, alcohol etc… but of course, this will only end in you wanting more of what you removed, not only that, but when you start to consume these foods again, you will soon see an increase in weight gain

“we’ve all been through this process before, right?”

Cutting out, removing food groups WILL WORK for weight loss, this is simply down to the removal of total calories. But this is not a sustainable plan. Now we understand there must be some form of restriction, but a restriction is total calories and not from specific food groups.

For us to achieve weight loss and KEEP IT OFF, we have some simple but effective steps.

  1. Track your current food intake using MyFitnessPal for at least two weeks. Using this app will help you keep an eye of the total calories you are consuming.
  2. Track your bodyweight – Every morning for two weeks. Our bodyweight will fluctuate everyday, multiple times per day for many different reasons, a few reasons could be time of the day, the amount of food consumed, water consumption, menstrual cycle and many more reasons. Weigh everyday and take the average of 7 days. Weighing everyday will remove the stigma of weight gain/loss and comparing the average of 7 days will give you an accurate measurement of your bodyweight.
    • From here you will have a two week total of calories and a two week average of bodyweight. If your weight has gone up or maintained then we need to reduce total calories by 5-10%, if your weight has gone down then we know calories are about right.
    • If we need to lose weight continue with these steps;
  3. Start by reducing total calories by 10%. For example if you were at 2000kcal per day then reduce down to 1800kcal, then follow    steps 1&2. If no change then reduce total calories by a further 5% and continue steps 1&2.
  4. Ensure we get enough protein everyday. We want to be looking at getting anywhere from 0.8g/kg bodyweight – 1.8g/kg bodyweight for females and 1.8g/kg bodyweight – 2.6g/kg bodyweight for males, the higher number being for those who perform resistance training.
  5. Get the majority of our food intake from single whole ingredient foods, meats, fish, dairy, whole wheat and grains, fruits and vegetables.
  6. Take about 5-10% of total daily calories and consume some highly palatable foods, foods you would class as “treats”. The removal of these foods will result in you wanting them more and potential over consumption if you do have them.
  7. Track your progress
    • Track bodyweight (as mentioned),
    • Circumference measurements (arm, chest, waist, hip, thigh). As we know weight loss can stall or fluctuate for many reasons, this does not mean we are not losing body fat, tracking your measurements will help keep you aware of your progress and help stay motivated.
    • Pictures. A great way to track progress is to actually see how we have changed from a before and after picture. Sometimes we are blind to the way we feel about ourselves but seeing pictures of our progress can be a real eye opener.
    • Comments from family and friends. An overlooked way of tracking progress is feedback from people around us, especially people who we haven’t seen in a while, their feedback on how we look can be very important.
  8. Be accountable, something that we know to do but don’t always do it with the right person. People will say being accountable to someone is a load of BS because if you want the result badly enough you should be able to be accountable to yourself, now for most of us, thats simply easier said than done, there is a reason we are in this position of wanting to change. So having a support network is going to be important. A support network can be anyone from a spouse, family member or friend. Although these people are not necessarily going to be the most optimal to help you stay on track and get results, an option could be to invest in a coach, a coach is someone who is impartial to your feelings and will support you only to help you get results, this can be extremely important and could help you get results quicker as well as educate you along the way so you have more knowledge about the process.
  9. Be patient! We all want results NOW… But like anything, real results take time, its not cool, its not magical and certainly not what we want to hear (which is why its number 9). But we must be patient with the process. All of the ‘life changing results’ that we have achieved at The PT Centre have come about by the client understanding the process and understanding that it takes time.
  10. Have fun. One of the most important parts to getting results is following a process you actually enjoy. If you enjoy the process you’re more likely to be consistent for a much longer period of time.

Weight loss is brought about by maintaining a negative energy balance, this means burning more calories than we consume. 

“Eat a well balanced diet of whole single ingredient foods, consume a small percentage of foods you enjoy regularly and be active as much as you can, be consistent and enjoy the process”.