When it comes to weight loss you're probably sick to death of having 'calorie deficit' screamed at you...
No doubt, by now you KNOW that you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, but HOW to get into and stay in a calorie deficit is a completely different ball game. Without the right tools, maintaining a calorie deficit is hard work.
And because weight loss is hard and there's so much information on the internet about what you could or should do, I'm going to simplify it for you and give you 3 strategies to streamline weight loss and make staying in a calorie deficit much much easier.
So, here's three things I would do today if I was starting my weight loss journey from the beginning.
1) Eat 2 large meals per day
In a modern society, most of us aren't particularly active and consequently don't use THAT many calories during the day meaning that if we want to maintain or lose weight, we have to be somewhat diligent with our calorie intake.
An easy way to do this is to focus on having 2 substantial meals per day and 1 smaller, lighter meal too.
For most people, this means a light breakfast followed by a larger lunch and dinner that fall within your calorie needs.
So, for example, if you're aiming to consume around 1600kcals per day, you could have 300kcals for breakfast, 600 kcals for lunch, 600kcals for your evening meal and 100kcals spare for drinks or an ice lolly or small chocolate bar at the end of the day!
Make this meals high in volume by packing them out with plenty of fruit, veg, protein and complex, wholegrain carbohydrates like potatoes, brown rice or wholegrain bread.
Alternatively, some people find that they like having a larger breakfast and evening meal and keep lunch a bit lighter.
One pitfall to avoid with this approach is trying to save all of your calories until the end of the day, which is a common trap that dieters fall in to. This actually just leaves you lacking in energy all day and hangry when you get home which leads to poor decision making, lack of energy and rubbish concentration during the day and overeating in the evening. Make sure one of your larger meals is eaten during the day.
The reason having 2 large meals is helpful is because snacks and tiny meals are not particularly satisfying or satiating, meaning that they don't 'hit the spot' or keep you feeling full for very long. It's easy to accumulate a lot of extra calories during the day picking at snacks compared to eating a large lunch of chicken and salad sandwiches with some fruit!
2) Approach fat loss with the mindset of "I'm choosing this to care for myself"
It's hard to make sustained lifestyle changes when you come from a place of hating yourself and constantly telling yourself that you "should" or "must" do certain things.
It's much easier to make changes when these changes come from a place of choosing caring for yourself and your body (because remember that dieting is a choice that you get to make).
So next time you find yourself getting into a negativity spiral about weight loss, eating healthily or exercising, remember that you don't HAVE to diet, you GET to diet, and you get to CHOOSE to eat in a way that nourishes and cares for your body.
3) Stop trying to manipulate the scales for a lower weight tomorrow
We get so wrapped up in the scales... Has it gone down today? Has it gone up today? How can I max myself out today to make the scales go down tomorrow?
In reality, stressing about the scales is a pointless exercise.
We can't force them to change, we have no control over what they tell us today or tomorrow, because the scales show us more than just our body fat. They show us water balance influenced by hydration, hormones and food choices, how much the the content of our digestive tract weighs based on the weight of the food we ate the day before and our carbohydrate stores... which are all highly transient from day to day. It takes much longer to see sustained scale weight change as a result of reduced body fat.
What we CAN control are our behaviours. You are in control of showing up for yourself every day, how you plan for your days and how you respond to the uncontrollable or unexpected situations that are presented to you in everyday life.
Change your behaviours, consistently, and the scales will take care of themselves.