- The single most important factor for weight loss is that you burn more than you consume. So in 99% of cases if you are not losing weight you simply have not gotten this balance right no matter how good you think you have been!
- What you burn is determined mostly by your metabolism and also by your level of activity. Under-eating is one of the fastest ways to kill your metabolism!
- It is very normal for weight to fluctuate quite a bit on a day to day basis. Water intake, medicines, alcohol, the digestion of food and hormone balance can cause this. You should not judge your weight (whether up or down) on just one weigh-in. You need to look at the overall TREND of how you are doing.
- Tracking is extremely important. You must weigh food portions carefully and log all extra foods. Remember you must save 3500 calories to lose 1 lb per week. That’s 7000 calories for 2 lbs per week! 100 calories here and there quickly adds up. If you are out by 200 calories a day, then that adds to 1400 calories per week, add a burger and chip at the weekend (800 calories!) and a few extra pints (200 calories each!) and you can quickly be fighting just to lose 1 lb!
- Watch out for the sneaky hidden extras. Adding some sugar here and there! Hidden butters! Lashing on the sauce! Fish with bread crumbs! Very quickly a 400 calorie meal becomes an 800 calorie meal.
- Attitude is everything when it comes to weight loss. With the right attitude you will definitely succeed. You can’t just cut and run if you get a bad result. You need to sit down and identify what is wrong and then correct it.
- Motivation – what are you doing about it? It’s not a mysterious gift that appears and disappears. You need to actively work on it. Some top suggestions are: Stay focussed on the next 7 days only! Focus on ALL the positive benefits you get – more energy, less bloating, clothes getting looser! Put up motivational pictures at home and work! Play motivational music to get you in the form for exercise! Start giving away your large clothes and buying smaller ones that you will soon fit into! Put a short 3 to 5 word motivational phrase as a screen saver on your laptop and mobile e.g. ‘Just 1 step forward’ and ‘It’s now or never’.
- What’s the alternative? If you quit where do you do? Remember you won’t stay the same weight. Your weight will go up and up! You are overweight in the first place because you are out of balance and that imbalance will stay there if you quit and the problem will get worse and worse.
- One step forward! The critical thing is that you are moving forward even if it is by a small amount every week. You just need to get the balance right so that you are losing even just 1lb a week! At least if you are moving forward and your shape is improving you will feel positive. You then can find ways of improving further again but still enjoy life.
- Payback – weight loss should be achieved by a balanced diet combined with a realistic amount of exercise. You cannot afford to do excessive exercise as your diet will not support it. However in cases where you have obviously exceeded allowances then you need to carefully log the excess and in that case pay it back with extra exercise. For most people for every 100 calorie excess you are talking about 1 extra mile of walking or jogging!
Back to the beginning! It is worth repeating again that if you are not losing weight the problem is that you are consuming more than you are burning. You might have convinced yourself that you are not, but you need to step back and scrutinize what you are doing. Some how some where you are miscalculating – possibly not weighing your food accurately enough, not counting all foods, missing out on hidden calories or maybe even in total denial!
© David McDonagh, Dietician, Metabolism expert & Fitness Coach, Creator of System 10 Weight Loss.