This ultimate guide on how to keep fit, eat right and lose weight will keep you focused on your weight loss goals. Is losing weight more difficult than you thought? Are you struggling with the balancing act between food and exercise? This guide is designed with you in mind so keep reading!
I previously posted about my struggles with losing weight and staying fit. Having battled with my weight for pretty much my entire life, I have tried a few options to shed some pounds. Some were successful, some not so much.
After trying many diet plans, fads and weight loss programs, I have figured out what actually works and also what is sustainable in the long term.
Today I’m sharing this valuable information with you to help you lose weight and achieve your weight loss goals!
Balanced Diet And Exercise For Weight Loss
Ok, this might come as a surprise to some of you, but… What you eat contributes to your weight loss. How you exercise also contributes to your weight loss.
And yes, while it is possible to lose weight by controlling your calories alone; it’s actually more effective to get the right balance of calorie-controlled diet and exercise regime in place.
In fact, for long term sustainable weight loss, the magic balance seems to be around 75 per cent diet and 25 per cent exercise.
If you lose weight by only cutting calories, then only some of the weight you will lose will be attributed to fat loss. There will be other contributors such as muscle and bone density, which you need.
Whereas, balancing a fitness regime with a calorie-controlled diet will build muscle and increase your metabolism meaning that you’ll burn more fat and less of the tissues that you need.
It’s important to be aware that by losing weight with diet and exercise, the numbers on the scale might not change much or look too impressive. This is because you will lose fat but gain muscle, which weighs the same. However, muscle is much more dense, meaning it takes up less space and you will be slimmer.
Therefore, you shouldn’t rely solely on the scales. You should also judge your weight loss by taking your measurements and feeling the difference in how your clothes fit.
You are what you eat!
What you eat contributes to your weight loss; I just wanted to reiterate that point.
If you’re trying to lose weight then you really need to address the food you eat. Eating take-out or fast food every night will not help you to lose weight. Nor will eating heavily processed ‘easy bung it in the oven’ frozen foods.
While processed foods require no effort at all to cook, they are missing key nutrients the body needs. However, processed foods are full of artificial additives and preservatives which can slow down your weight loss or make you gain weight instead.
There has been a reasonable debate regarding the right balance of food and the correct diet to follow for weight loss.
It is true that low carb/keto diets do see quick results. However, these diets are not sustainable in the long term.
Nor are liquid diets, soup diets, cabbage or spinach diets, or anything else that gives results that are too good to be true.
Skinny coffee anyone?! I only wish that worked!
The reason these diets don’t work in the long term is that when you significantly cut calories, your metabolism slows down to conserve energy. Unless your eating habits change, you’ll probably regain any weight you may have lost.
Lifestyle change for sustainable weight loss
The key to losing weight includes a healthy balanced diet based on fresh ingredients. Fresh fruit and vegetables provide an abundance of vitamins and nutrients to help your body to function effectively.
Typically speaking a good layout of your plate is as follows:
- A ½ meal is Vegetables
- A ¼ meal is Whole Grain Carbohydrates
- A ¼ meal is a Lean Protein
Making a lifestyle change to base your diet on fresh healthy ingredients will enable you to achieve sustainable results. The keyword here is ‘lifestyle’.
We’ve established that crash diets don’t work because all weight that was lost is easily regained when you return to old eating habits.
A lifestyle change is just that. A conscious effort to not return to the failings of the past. To keep moving forward with your goals in sight and a much healthier attitude towards food.
Ingredients may differ from person to person due to personal taste or allergies. However, some of the staple ingredients that I cannot cook a meal without are included below:
- Spinach, Broccoli, Kale and Cabbage
- Peppers, Mushrooms and Onions
- Sweet potato, Leeks and Tomatoes
- Eggs and cheese
- Chicken, Mince (5% fat), and Beef
- Salmon, Mackerel and Haddock
If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘macros’ it’s quite simple. Macronutrients are the three food groups that are required for our bodies to function. Carbohydrates for energy, Fats to keep you fuller for longer and Proteins to build and repair muscle damage.
The balance of macros in a diet will be the difference in whether weight is gained or lost. To work out your macros breakdown I suggest using the IIFYM macro calculator.
MyFitnessPal is also a very handy tool for those looking to be more mindful of their calorie intake or anyone balancing their macro breakdown. By tracking what you eat, you can avoid overindulging in the wrong foods and the inevitable weight gain that comes with that.
Exercising for weight loss
I have explained that while yes, it is possible to lose weight without exercising it’s actually not as beneficial for you.
Aside from raising your overall fitness levels, by workout out as part of your weight loss plan, you will lose more fat and build muscle as a result.
There are numerous types of exercise you can incorporate into your daily routine. Some examples include:
- HIIT training
- Resistance/weight training
In order to keep a solid workout routine, it must be something you find enjoyable. Choose something you love doing and working out won’t feel like a chore.
I am a particular fan of HIIT Workouts and I’ve also written about the benefits of HIIT. HIIT is my favourite type of workout because I can get my heart pumping and complete a full-body workout in under 30 minutes.
I feel like I get the benefits of cardio and bodyweight exercises but I can easily fit it around my busy lifestyle.
Being Accountable for sustainable weight loss
Being accountable for your weight loss is essential for longterm success. It’s all too easy to achieve some level of weight loss and slip back into old habits. Then, of course, the inevitable weight gain happens and we’re back to square one. Having been there too many times myself, this is why it’s important to make a lifestyle change rather than to crash diet!
I have a few methods for keeping myself accountable for my weight loss.
- Keeping a food and exercise diary in MyFitnessPal
- Keeping track of Macros and Calorie intake in MyfitnessPal
- Using my fitness watch to count my daily steps
- Creating my own fitness routines and sharing with you
- Weighing and measuring myself regularly
As mentioned above, one of my methods for holding myself accountable for my weight loss is by creating fun workouts and sharing them with you.
I have created a range of workouts designed to boost your weight loss and fitness levels. We will be starting with HIIT workouts before branching out to other fitness routines.
I will also share my weight and measurements periodically to show progress and discuss what aspects work and don’t work for me.
The reason for periodic weigh-ins rather than weekly or monthly is to see more accurate results over a longer period of time rather than tiny fluctuations week to week or month to month.
It’s also not healthy to become obsessed with the numbers on the scales. Therefore, periodic weigh-ins should avoid any fixation with taking weight or measurements too often.
I’ll admit that although this is quite a positive and proactive step, I am a little anxious about sharing the numbers with everyone. However, I keep reminding myself that sometimes it’s good to do what scares us and it’s only numbers!
Until next time…