Sabrina, can you please help me?
10 weigh loss tips
It is not a secret that I used to be overweight and my passion for fitness and nutrition has been displayed all over my social media for the past few years. So, every now and then friends contact me with questions or because they need advice on how to lose weight. After asking them about their eating and exercising habits a few common knowledge gaps need to be closed.
“I eat only twice a day.”
When I heard this I wanted to cry. That must be miserable! I like to eat a lot and I like to eat often, about every 2-3 hours. There is something called intermitted fasting (not eating during a specific period of time each day), and I am sure it is a good choice for some folks, just not for me. As I mentioned before, different diets work for different people. I like to eat. All the time.
Eating meals frequently, however, keeps the metabolism running at a high rate. This means that the body burns more calories. The metabolism consists of the chemical processes in the body that are necessary to maintain life. Those processes require energy and calories are energy. However, it is important to eat nutritious and healthy food. Read my tips about eating a balanced diet and learn about macros.
“I eat so little, why am I not losing any weight?”
After questioning my friends about what they eat daily, I often find out that most of them are not consuming enough calories. The body is made to store fat for times of starvation and it is very efficient at that. This means that the body tries to hold on to fat and we must trick it into losing weight.
Crash diets may result in weight loss but the body typically draws energy from muscle mass instead of stored fat. This is exactly the opposite of what most people want. To lean out in a healthy way and change the body composition (losing fat and maintaining or gaining lean muscle mass) requires a long-term view, a mindful diet, lifting weights and cardiovascular exercises.
“I’ll just train a bit more later and work it off.”
Unfortunately, that is not how this works, believe me, I wish it were! You probably heard before that you cannot out train a bad diet!” The calories a person burns during exercising are usually overestimated and people tend to not take their Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) into account. This means that everybody’s metabolism already expands calories to keep the body alive and going. Just to give you an idea, mine is about 1800. Common serving sizes stated on packaged foods are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
The amount of energy needed by each individual differs depending on gender, age, and amount of muscle mass. The BodPod or Inbody test can be used to determine that number along with body fat percentage and other statistics. So, being accurate and exact with your nutritional intake is crucial to reaching most fitness goals. I recommend tracking your calories and macronutrients by logging everything you consume using the MyFitnessPal app. It is easy to use, free, and can be customized.
“I do at least one hour of cardio a day.”
A common misconception, especially among women, is that lifting weights will make them bulky or manly. I have to admit that I used to be one of those women. But once I tried to put on as much muscle mass as possible, I realized that this truly isn’t the case. To lean out, you don’t necessary want to just lose weight, you probably want to change your body composition. This means gaining lean muscle mass and losing fat mass. So the weight on the scale might not be a good indication of your health or aesthetics. Muscle mass requires more calories than fat mass and a pound of muscle mass is much denser than fat mass, which means that you look thinner even though the scale displays the same weight.
- Don’t skip breakfast
- Eat every 2-3 hours
- Eat enough calories
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet 40/30/30
- Track your food intake
- Meal prep
- You can’t out-train a bad diet
- Don’t overdo cardio and neglect weight lifting
- Drink enough water
- Get enough sleep