RIGHT, there’s too much advice out there, every expert lending an opinion, contradicting the last. It’s confusing and you haven’t got the time for confusion! You’ve still got to catch up on the final season of Succession! So we wanted to cut through the noise and focus on what all experts agree are the TEN FACTS about weight loss.
Weight Loss Comes Down to One Simple Equation
The basic formula for fat loss is calories in vs calories out. This means that to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. You can do this by eating fewer calories, exercising more, or a combination of both. This is called achieving a calorie deficit!
All Diets Come Back to This Formula for Weight Loss
Mind-blowing revelation: every ‘in vogue’ diet, from Keto to ‘Skip-a-meal Mondays’, boils down to this one principle of calories in vs calories out. Why? well it’s science. Food is energy and any energy you consume that you don’t burn from your daily activities generally gets stored as fat. If you eat less then you’ve burned, your body will take the energy it needs from your fat stores. SIMPLE HACK: start paying attention to how much energy (calories) is in your food.
Eat Less, Move More
Building on the last two FACTS, if you’re expending more energy than you consume, you’ll lose weight. So every day think about how much you’ve ‘moved’ that day. Have you eaten more energy than you’re body has used? Well then, go for a walk to offset those extra calories. Fitness trackers and apps are great ways to track how much energy you’re using.
Not All Calories Are Equal
Some foods are harder to digest, and so you’re body spends more energy digesting them than others. This is because these foods are high in fiber, lean protein, or water. When your body digests these foods, it has to work harder to break them down and absorb the nutrients. This process is called thermic effect of food (TEF).
The Thermic Effect of Food
TEF is a small percentage of your total daily energy expenditure, but it can add up over time. One study found that eating a high-fiber breakfast cereal increased TEF by 10%. This means that if you eat a high-fiber breakfast cereal, you will burn about 10 more calories digesting it than if you ate a low-fiber breakfast cereal.
Drink Plenty of Water
Ok, no award for creativity here, but no list on weight loss facts would be complete without including this! Water helps to keep you feeling full and can also help to boost your metabolism. Also, those times when you think you’re hungry and want to snack, you’re actually just thirsty. Take a glass of water and wait 30 minutes, see if you still want to binge!
Getting Enough Sleep is Essential for Weight Loss
When you’re sleep-deprived, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to weight gain. A study, published in the journal “Obesity”, found that people who were sleep-deprived were more likely to crave high-calorie foods, such as pizza, ice cream, and cookies. The study also found that people who were sleep-deprived were more likely to eat more calories overall.
Less Stress, Less Reaching for That Donut!
When you’re stressed, your body releases hormones that can lead to weight gain. These hormones can increase your appetite, make you crave unhealthy foods, and make it harder to lose weight. The problem is people don’t always realise when they’re stressed and will unconsciously reach for those unhealthy snacks to comfort them. It’s essential to pay attention to your emotional state. Everyone is different, but you know when you’re about to spiral and when you are, try to replace eating with another healthy de-stressor habit such as going for a walk.
Plateaus Happen and Will Happen!
Weight loss plateaus are a normal part of the weight loss journey. A weight loss plateau is when you stop losing weight, even though you are still following your weight loss plan. When it happens, be patient and try to readjust your calorie intake, this is because as you lose weight your body needs less calories to maintain bodily functions so you’ll have to eat slightly less to achieve your calorie deficit. Or you could switch up to a different type of exercise, this is because when your body is used to a particular exercise it becomes efficient and burns less calories doing it.
Set Long Term Goals
Be patient. Losing weight takes time and effort. You’ll be surprised how little changes done consistently will make all the difference. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Just keep at it, and you will eventually reach your goals. Don’t give up. Weight loss is a journey, not a destination. There will be ups and downs along the way. But if you stay committed to your goals, you will eventually reach them.