There’s a lot of weight loss advice on the internet. Most of it is either unproven or simply not true. The truth is, the relationship between food, your body, and your weight is very complex and differs for each individual.
In this article, our dietitians from The Biting Truth share 5 key things to know about losing weight. Understanding these fundamentals will help you reach your goals and make the entire process a whole lot more enjoyable.
1. There is more than one way to lose weight
Pick up any diet book and it will claim to hold all the answers to successfully losing all the weight you want. Some claim the key is to eat less and exercise more. Others swear by eating like our ancestors to shed the kilos, while others claim a low-fat diet is the way to go.
The truth is there is no “one size fits all” solution to permanent, healthy weight loss. What works for one person may not work for you, since our bodies respond differently to different foods and patterns of eating, depending on genetics and other health factors.
Finding the weight loss method that’s right for you will likely take time and require patience, commitment, and some experimentation with different foods and meal plans.
2. It’s ok to treat yourself
When trying to lose weight it might seem like a good idea to compile a list of foods (usually junk or treat foods) that are banned from your diet; however, there is actually some benefit to allowing yourself to indulge in small amounts of these foods when trying to lose weight.
Including treats as part of your weight loss plan can actually mean you’re less likely to go overboard when you next encounter them. And let’s be honest, it’s unlikely you’ll never encounter another cupcake or piece of pizza again in your life.
3. Meal prep is important
Meal preparation is an effective tool that can help you stay on track with your weight loss goals. Having food prepared answers the “what to eat” question at mealtimes and helps limit mindless or impulsive eating.
If you’re new to meal prep, it can all seem a bit time consuming and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Rather than thinking you have to prep and plan for every single meal, here are a few tips to get started:
- Set yourself a goal for how many meals it is realistic to prepare for
- Write a list of recipes to make
- Create a shopping list
- Have a bunch of healthy snacks available
4. Slow and steady wins the race
When embarking on a weight loss journey, it’s easy to get excited about shedding many kilograms in a short period. Time and again people find themselves looking for quick and easy ways to lose weight, which usually means following overly restrictive and unhealthy diets.
What might come as a surprise to you is that slow weight loss is actually much healthier and long lasting than quick weight loss. Slow weight loss is likely to be a result of fat loss instead of just carbohydrates and water. The best way to lose weight is to do it slowly, by making small, achievable changes to your eating and physical activity habits.
Ideally you want to be looking to lose 0.5-1kg a week until you reach your desired body goals and weight. This type of weight loss is achieved through an ongoing healthy lifestyle that incorporates healthy eating and regular exercise.
5. You can’t just keep cutting calories
If you’re trying to lose weight, it might make sense to cut as many calories from your diet as possible; however, this is not necessarily ideal. Chronically undereating won’t help you lose weight.
Everyone has a set number of calories, or energy, they need to simply live. Consistently eating less than this can cause your metabolism to slow down and your body to begin preserving what it can to survive.
In other words, eating too little can actually backfire on your weight loss goals, and cause other health problems such as nutritional deficiencies.
Here are some signs you’re not eating enough: