Embarking on Your Weight-Loss Journey: Top Tips to Start Strong and Stay Motivated
The start of your weight loss journey can be exciting, but at the same time, it presents many challenges.
However, with the right mindset and a solid strategy, you can overcome all obstacles and lose weight.
Some tips and tricks can help you along the way and ensure that you stay motivated along the way.
In this article, I am going to share some of my top personal training tips to help you lose weight.
Why Is This Weight Loss Journey Important To You?
Phase 1 – Understanding your “Why”
I want to talk about understanding your “why” and the importance it can have on your overall success in losing weight.
I want to start off by talking about the importance of understanding your “why” and the long-term impact it can have on your success.
If you set a goal that doesn’t excite you, you will likely give up the moment things get a little difficult.
However, if you have a strong and deeply personal reason for wanting to lose weight, you will have a burning desire to achieve your goal.
As a personal trainer, I aim to dig as deep as I can during my consultations to help my clients clarify this.
I have found that it’s only when you are clear about your “why” that your desire to work towards change is ignited.
You will need to make sure that it is more powerful than “I want to lose as much weight as possible,” – which is a goal I hear all the time as a personal trainer and coach.
You need to be able to create some excitement and get emotionally invested in your goal to avoid veering off course.
You will probably find your motivation diminishing and your willpower crumble once you see a packet of crisps.
This is why I feel that starting your weight loss journey without a good why greatly reduces the odds of success.
Now that you know all this, how do you set a deep and meaningful “why” that will help you maintain your focus and purpose?
- Why do you feel like you need to lose weight?
- Why is this important to you?
- Do you have an event or competition looming?
- Or do you simply want to fit into your favourite pair of jeans and feel more confident in your physical appearance?
Once you answer all of these questions, your answer will be something similar to this.
“I want to lose as much weight as I can” will become “I want to lose weight because I want to see my belly bulge when I wear a shirt, and this will help me feel younger and more physically appealing”.
This is so much better than before because now there is an emotional connection to your weight loss goal (this is extremely important), which will help boost your motivation and chances of success.
Dig Deeper To Find Your True Motivation
However, we could probably be a little more specific if we probe a little deeper. There are two more exploratory questions that I would like you to ask.
- How would it make you feel if you were to reach that goal?
- Why do you think you would feel like that?
Let me give you an example of why this is important. I have had many clients tell me that they want to lose as much weight as possible.
However, once I have gone deeper into their why, the true reason behind why they want to lose weight emerges.
I want to lose weight because I am so unhappy with how I look and how I feel. I feel ashamed when I look at my body, and I am worried that my wife no longer feels I am the man I used to be.
If I am being honest, I have always felt like I have been unappealing to women and haven’t been in many relationships with women in my lifetime.
However, if I can lose weight and improve the muscle tone in my body, I know that my wife will look at me differently again.
Considerably deeper and more powerful than “I want to lose as much weight as I can”, right?
With this level of emotional investment, your motivation will go through the roof, and you will have a greater sense of purpose when going after your goal.
This is also a big reason why I deliver the results I deliver.
Using Goal Setting To Ignite Your Weight-Loss Journey
Phase 2 – Goal setting
Most people are vague when they set goals.
However, once you have set an ambitious goal that you are emotionally invested in, it can still be a little bit overwhelming.
Let’s say, for instance, you want to lose 4 stone.
· Where do you start?
· What do you eat?
· How many days do you exercise?
· How long do I exercise for?
· Do I do weights or cardio?
· Should I try the Paleo diet?
There can be so many options that it can become overwhelming.
Therefore, goal setting is useful.
The purpose of goal setting is to break a goal down into smaller manageable chunks to increase your success rate.
If you think about this logically, it makes perfect sense. Once your goals are broken down into smaller tasks, it is easier to act.
It’s a bit like getting step-by-step instructions on how to load software onto your laptop.
If you follow the simple steps, you can’t go wrong…..
Well, sometimes I get these things wrong, but I can be silly sometimes…..
Anyway, moving on….
You can break your goal down into 3 manageable chunks based on length, and each goal works towards you achieving the long-term goal……..
Let’s use the example of trying to lose 4 stone in a year as an example to demonstrate how to set goals.
Let’s do the maths to work out how many pounds equal 4 stone:
· There are 14 lbs per stone (and the goal is to lose 4 stone)
· 4 x 14 (lbs) is 56 lbs (4 stones)
· 4 stone is 56 lbs
We now know that 4 stones is 56 lbs.
To set a solid goal to achieve losing 56 lbs in one year, we now need to set some markers that we can test.
Let’s work out how many pounds you would need to lose each month to achieve this goal.
We need to divide 56 lbs by 12 to discover how much weight you need to lose per month (12 months in a year):
56 / 12 = 4.6666
It is safe to lose 1lb a week (4 lbs a month); however, if you are greatly overweight, then going slightly over this target is fine.
With that in mind, the goal is to lose 5 lbs a month, which is easily manageable.
Let’s see how your goals would look if you wanted to lose 4 stone in a year:
Short Term Goals (less than 1 month)
Your goal would be to lose 5lbs in your first month
Moderate Term Goals (1-6 months)
After 6 months, your target is 30 lbs.
Long Term Goals (more than 6 months)
After 1 year, you should reach your goal of losing 4 stone.
OK, so what next?
You will also need to look at what actions you will take to lose this weight in your goals. For instance:
· How many calories do you need to eat a week?
· How do you minimise alcohol expenditure?
· How do I find the balance between healthy/unhealthy foods?
Any diet that stops you from eating the foods you want is not going to be sustainable.
You should be allowed to have a burger, glass of wine, or anything else you want to have……
But in moderation………
To do this, you have to plan for it………
These are some of the variables I look at within the goal-setting process to give you a clear blueprint to achieve your goals.
Lose Weight With A Healthy DIet
Phase 3– Diet
I don’t want you to think of your nutrition as just another diet.
I want you to think of your diet as a sustainable lifestyle change that will help you find a healthy balance in life.
As I may have alluded to before, getting your mind in the right place and changing your thinking over some time is the most important thing when you’re trying to lose weight.
- If you don’t know what to eat
- how much to eat
- how many times a day you should eat
- how to find the balance between eating the things that you enjoy and eating healthy foods.
It won’t matter how much planning, reviewing and goal-setting you do. Your weight is going to stay the same, or even worse, it may increase if you get your diet wrong.
Getting your diet wrong isn’t just about eating the wrong foods.
Sometimes, a diet that is scientifically perfect for weight loss can be wrong for you.
For instance, if you are busy, perhaps you need a plan that is flexible to your needs.
Here are some of my top tips for nutrition.
Include Lean Proteins
Protein has a higher thermal effect compared to carbohydrates and fats. This means that your body will burn more calories to digest one gram of protein compared to carbohydrates or fat.
I advise all my clients to ensure that 30% of their macronutrients come from protein.
Choose Healthy Fats
Fats have gotten a bad rap over the years, but not all fats are bad for you. Try to for healthy fats like:
- Olive oil
- Coco nut oil
- Butter instead of margarine
- Oils from fatty fish
Try to keep your diet intake to 20% of your total macronutrient intake.
Water makes up 60% of Our body, and it is important for cellular function and general health. Drink plenty of water as it is important for weight loss as it helps to:
- Curb your appetite
- Helps you flush toxins out of the body.
- Helps with digestion
It’s recommended that, on average, you should try to drink 2 litres of water, or eight glasses a day.
Getting Started With Exercise
When I was 17, a friend of mine introduced me to boxing, and it changed my life forever. Boxing has had a great impact on the workouts I do with my clients.
The other biggest influence is my degree in Exercise, nutrition, and health.
The combination of my passion for boxing and my academic background led me to formulate a fat-burning training system, and I am going to share the principles with you.
Let’s get started with why these workouts are so effective for losing weight.
Did you know that if you do long, steady, state cardio workouts (long, slow jogs, cycling, swimming, etc) for between 30-60 minutes constantly, eventually, it can lead to fat GAIN around your belly, hips and legs?
I realise that this may come as a shock to you. Still, studies are showing that long, low-intensity cardio workouts can impede thyroid function.
Your thyroid is the organ in your body that controls the speed of your metabolism.
The reason that I mention this is that in the 15 years that I have been working in the fitness industry, helping busy executives lose weight.
I have noticed that most people who start an exercise program to lose belly fat end up doing long cardio sessions at low intensity.
So, what can you do about this?
1) Add some zing into your workouts to burn that hard-to-reach, deep-rooted layer of fat
There are two types of fat that you have in your body. They are subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.
Visceral fat is sometimes known as “active fat since it can actively increase your risk of various health-related diseases.
It is in the abdominal cavity and surrounds your vital organs.
This is the type of fat you want to avoid.
In order to get to this deep-rooted fat, you need to be efficient with your time and exercise in the most effective way to release the hormones you need to maximise your weight loss.
This is why I created the HEET system.
2) Why a shorter workout of 45 minutes is more efficient at burning calories.
Here is a scientific fact that you will like. For every litre of oxygen that your body consumes, you will burn 5 calories.
We burn calories when heat is generated by our bodies. During exercise, heat is created, your heart rate accelerates, and then you burn calories.
Calorie expenditure is proportional to the oxygen requirement of the body.
When the intensity of your exercise increases, your body requires a greater amount of oxygen to maintain exercise, so therefore, more calories are burned.
During a HEET workout, your heart rate will be raised throughout the workout to maximise oxygen consumption and calorie burning.
Let me explain how this is achieved.
3) 4 types of training you should consider.
1. Strength Training – The goal of this training is to strengthen muscles, improve muscle tone and look good by increasing key hormones in your body that aid in burning fat.
2. Aerobic Exercise –By keeping your heart rate above your resting level, you will shed fat while also improving the performance of the lungs and heart. In a HEET session, we keep the heart rate elevated for the entire session
3. Anaerobic Exercise – This type of exercise is hard, fast, and explosive in nature. It also affects a rapid breakdown of glucose in the blood to help increase your metabolism and accelerate fat loss.
4. Peripheral Heart Action Training (PHAT) –PHAT involves exercising your lower body (legs), then immediately exercising your upper body while your legs recover. This maximises calorie expenditure by keeping your heart pumping the whole time as it never rests despite resting a body part.
The combination of all 5 components can counteract the negative effects that come with ageing or weight gain.
You will increase your chance of losing weight if you can make a strong emotional connection to your goal. Take time to write down your why and then make a step-by-step weight loss plan to help with weight loss.
Nutrition and exercise also play a key role in ensuring your success. If you need to become more familiar with how to put together a good nutrition plan or exercise plan, then seek help from a personal trainer, nutritionist or health care professional.
Good luck losing weight; I wish you all the best.