Sometimes, the set rules of weight loss just need to be explained because across the whole industry of weight loss, there is tons of conflicting information you don’t know what’s true, what’s not!
You should never skip breakfast! You should skip breakfast for intermittent fasting! Don’t eat carbs, go keto! Actually keto is terrible for you, you need to eat carbs! Going vegan is the way to go! Um, no way, you don’t get all the nutrients you need on a vegan diet.
See? It’s all back and forth, you don’t know who to believe!
Well, there are some rules of weight loss that actually are set in stone. These rules are proven, no question, no conflict.
You can lose weight, keep it off for good, get healthy and make a permanent lifestyle change that you love by following these rules of weight loss.
Drink lots of water.
You know it. I say it all the time, for a good reason! I know the repetition can get annoying, but you can never have too many reminders to be healthy. Our bodies are made of mostly water, so it’s obvious that we should be replenishing our supply.
In case you do not know, here are the amazing weight loss related benefits of getting in that h2o.
Water gives you energy and promotes a healthy brain. Dehydration can cause fatigue. And when most people feel fatigued, they reach for an energy drink or a sugary snack for a pick me up. It may work for a little bit, but that crash is inevitable. These do nothing for your energy levels long term, water is the best choice.
Water helps you lose weight.
First, there are zero calories in water. So right off the bat it’s a great choice. It’s also a known metabolism booster! Yes, water will increase your body’s fat burning! A study that was conducted showed that the participants metabolism boosted by 30% after drinking water, this is called thermogenesis. The effect lasted about an hour. So imagine if you drank water all day, every day? Huge metabolism boost!
Here’s a link to the study!
Water can help you have a better workout.
Being well hydrated can help prevent muscle cramps when you’re working out. And it helps lubricate your joints so you’re less likely to get hurt. So you should never forget your water bottle when you go to the gym!
I mean, if you’re going to follow at least one of these weight loss rules, choose to lots and lots of drink water!
Eat unprocessed foods.
I’m talking about fruits, vegetables, whole grains, grass fed meats, and full fat dairy. Most foods you eat should be clean and natural, without many added ingredients, if any.
Chemically processed foods are not very good for our bodies. They are high in sugars, salt, trans fats, preservatives, and artificial ingredients. They’re low in nutrients and basically empty calories. People who regularly eat processed foods have a higher chance of developing cardiovascular related disease, at least 12%.
I know sometimes life gets busy, and sometimes you might need to get a quick microwave meal. That’s okay, once in a while is not a big deal. Just don’t make it a regular habit.
Here are the some of worst ingredients in processed foods you should avoid:
- Partially hydrogenated oils (Trans fats)
- High fructose corn syrup
- Artificial colors (Like Red40)
- BHA and BHT (butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene)
- Potassium bromate
Weight loss comes down to one single thing. That’s calories in vs calories out. So in order to lose weight, you must eat less calories than you burn in a day.
There are a few ways to figure out how many calories you should be eating.
You can calculate your BMR (basal metabolic rate: how many calories your body burns by just existing) and eat that number of calories per day.
Calculate your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure: which is how much your body burns daily with your activity level) and eat 10%, 15%, or 20% less than what that total is.
Or you can use a calculator that will tell you a number of calories for you to eat.
The choice is yours, all of these ways will put you at a caloric deficit and all will lead to weight loss.
You can start cutting calories by eating smaller portions, snacking less, and replacing high calorie foods with lean meats, fruits and veggies.
Don’t drink your calories.
Another great way to cut calories is to not drink them.
A 20oz Coke has 240 calories.
A large sweet tea from McDonalds has 160 calories.
Around 16oz of juice contains 180 calories.
That’s a lot of calories for just a single drink. And if you drink more than one a day, that adds up! I don’t know about you, but if I had a choice on whether to eat my calories or drink them, I’m going to eat them.
Just about every single calorie in these popular drinks come from sugar. So you’re basically drinking sugar.
Why not replace those sugary drinks with water? We all know how great water is! Try it with some lemon, or frozen fruit.
Some other great alternatives to sugary drinks are flavored sparkling water or tea sweetened with stevia.
Eat a lot of plants.
Lots of fruits and vegetables. This is another one of those highly important weight loss rules. If you can’t follow all of them, add this one in your top 5!
The recommended serving is 2-3 cups of vegetables per day, but that’s just the minimum. You can always eat unlimited veggies! The recommended serving for fruits is 1-2 cups per day.
Plants like fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. All of these things are necessary when you’re trying to lose weight.
They’re also low in calories, and will help you cut calories easier because you will be filling up on fiber, which helps you feel full.
Here are some tips to help you get enough fruit and veggies:
- Choose fruit when you’re craving something sweet.
- Add veggies to your eggs, like spinach, onions, or peppers.
- Substitute zucchini noodles for half of your spaghetti noodles.
- Swap out a tortilla or a bun for a lettuce wrap.
- Add extra veggies to casseroles.
- Make a new recipe with vegetables as the main component.
- Reduce the amount of cereal or oatmeal in your bowl and add fruit.
Eat more protein.
You probably hear this one all the time. Protein helps you lose weight! But do you really know why?
Protein can increase the hormone, leptin, which is responsible for feeling satisfied and it can reduce the hormone, ghrelin, which is responsible for feeling hungry. This is why many people say that protein keeps you fuller longer!
Studies have shown that eating enough protein each day can make you eat less calories overall, and have fewer cravings.
Protein also helps build and preserve muscle mass. Most of the time, as you lose weight your metabolism will lower too. This is because heavier people use more energy. The way to lessen this is to eat more protein. This will minimize muscle breakdown and help you keep your metabolism up.
Protein + strength training = fat burning machine!
Remember what I said about protein? It builds and preserves muscle. Add lifting weights into it and it can increase your metabolism even more!
Lifting weights beats cardio when it comes to fat burning.
After a strength training session, you’ll continue to burn more calories for hours afterward. This is your body recovering.
Lifting increases muscle mass and muscle uses more energy than fat cells. The result? Boosted metabolism.
Stress can cause weight gain in a few ways:
- When you’re stressed, you want to feel better. Food is comfort, especially junk food.
- It can increase cortisol levels, which has been shown to make you want to eat. Cortisol also is linked to increasing fat storage, especially in the belly.
- Stress can affect the reward system in the brain and increase food cravings.
You should definitely work on getting rid of some stressors in your life. If you’re taking on too many responsibilities, then take a step back and prioritize them.
If you’re stressed about something more serious, try talking with a therapist.
There’s an app called Youper, and I think it can be a great way to help you learn about your stress and manage it better! Look for it in your App Store!
Have a set plan.
If you’ve been reading my blog often, you know I am 100% all about a weight loss plan! Why? Because it works.
You might think you can wing it, but lack of planning will cause you to eat unhealthy foods and skip workouts. I’ve been guilty of it too!
You should know what you’ll be eating for your meals and snacks every day. You should know what days you’ll be working out and what workout you’ll be doing. Definitely don’t wing it. Eventually you’ll catch an “I don’t care anymore” attitude.
It’s a lifestyle change.
It’s. Not. A. Diet.
When you think of the word “diet”, what comes to mind? For me, temporary restriction comes to mind.
Dieting causes you to cut certain foods for a short period of time, and when the diet is over you can resume eating those foods that were off limits.
Don’t diet. Don’t cut out your favorite sweets completely. Instead, eat them less. Practice moderation. Dieting will make you crazy!
Start making small changes at first, like replace your mid afternoon bag of chips with an apple, or some nuts. Once that becomes the norm, then replace something else. Soon you’ll have new healthy habits that will be here to stay!
Want some more easy healthy eating tips to get you started in the right direction? Here ya go!
Don’t obsess over losing weight.
Obsession is never good, especially when it comes to weight loss. I used to feel like this. I was so obsessed with getting on the scale and feeling like a total failure when the number hadn’t moved or worse, gone up.
The number on the scale is only a number.
Don’t take extreme measures to lose weight. That means don’t eat too little, don’t take unhealthy supplements, and don’t kill yourself with excessive exercise.
Your goal is to get healthy, and obsessing over losing weight is NOT healthy. You will lose weight, just focus on making that sustainable lifestyle change.
Focus on the process.
Not the end result, for the most part. Yes, your end result, aka your goal, is a great motivator. But sometimes you need something more to keep you going.
You need to find things that you enjoy doing on your weight loss journey. Cook meals that you like, do workouts that you love doing.
I know these seem so obvious, but many people think losing weight is all chicken breast, steamed broccoli, and boring workouts.
It doesn’t have to be any specific way, as long as it’s healthy, and you enjoy doing it.
Your end result will come soon enough.
These rules of weight loss are important when you’re trying to lose weight because they work. Always try to put them to use. It’s okay to make mistakes, no one is perfect! As long as you’re consistent, you will see results.
What is your number one weight loss rule? Leave a comment!