And people ask me questions like “what does it take?” or “what’s the secret?” To help with this, I’ve created 10 rules of weight loss that include my ideas of what it takes to be successful.
1. You can’t outwork a bad diet
- I’m sure you’ve heard someone say it before, or maybe you’ve even said it yourself. “I hit the gym today, so I can have pizza!” or something along those lines. Truth is, it doesn’t work like that. Hitting the gym more often won’t actually make you lose more weight; unless you’re assisting it with a proper nutrition plan.
- You don’t actually know how much you’re eating unless you’re tracking it. I use MyFitnessPal to track myself and we recommend everyone to use it as well. I see people on our nutrition plan get lazy and say they don’t have time to track their food, but they still know how much and what they are eating. But when the results come out, they really don’t know. The same goes with measuring your food. A lot of people will guess on their amounts. ½ cup of rice or 1 tablespoon of honey and it can easily end up being a little extra every time. Tracking is also good for monitoring your sugars, sodium and balancing your macronutrients. Bottom line is, if you’re not writing it down, you don’t have a good idea of what your daily intake of food really is.
- Cheat meals. We all need them every once in a while, and some of us even deserve them. But I’ve noticed how quickly a cheat meal can turn in to a cheat day or even a cheat week! For example, you decide to go out for lunch with some friends, and decide to have your cheat meal of a burger and fries. You deserve it and you want to enjoy it with your friends. Fair enough. But don't let yourself fall down that steep hill and think that because of this meal, you’re entire day is ruined and there’s no point in trying anymore. This is how you fall off track. Enjoy your cheat meal, and then get back to your regular routine. Your body will thank you for giving it nutritious food again.
- Everywhere in the grocery store we see these 100 calorie snacks, or gluten free or fat free products that make us want to believe the product is going to be a healthier choice. But most of the time, they still aren’t your best option. I generally try to follow the 5 ingredient rule. If it has more than 5 ingredients, it’s not healthy. This rule doesn’t apply to everything, but if there is sugar added, or ingredients that I can’t even pronounce, it makes me wonder what I’m actually eating.
- Meal prep: It will save you and your diet. It’s a weekly task, and it’s not necessarily the greatest chore in the world, but it works and it makes your week a whole lot easier. Prepping your breakfasts, lunches and dinners ensures you have healthy food planned for the entire week and doesn’t allow you any excuses to fall off track. Take the time one day of the week to get it all done.
6. Avoid restaurants
- Although I know this is impossible when you want to have an active social life, but try to avoid eating at restaurants as best you can. You never really know how they’re preparing your food, or what is added to it. But if you are planning to eat out; here’s a few tips on how to make some better choices:
- When ordering salad – always order dressing on the side so you control how much you add to your salad.
- When ordering vegetables – ask for them not to be fried in butter.
- When ordering meat – ask for it also to be not finished in butter.
- Order plain baked potatoes – no toppings.
- Always order water – it will help you fill up faster and it’s free!
- If you don’t like something you’re eating, but you’re only eating it because it’s healthy for you, find an alternative. You need to actually enjoy what you are eating if you want your weight loss to actually be sustainable. If you don’t like broccoli, don’t eat it! There are plenty of other options for vegetables or fruits you can still eat and enjoy.
- Make it a new habit to always have a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. You might want to buy a couple more water bottles to help with this, because it’s a lot better than spending $3.00 on bottled water from the vending machine. Take it to work with you, or when you’re out getting groceries or when you’re at your kid’s soccer game. It will help with cravings and keep your stomach full throughout the day. Just make sure you always have access to washrooms!
- Weight loss might be one of the hardest things you do in your life. It takes a lot of willpower and strength to be able to fight off certain food cravings. This is why you always need help and encouragement from your friends and family. Tell them what you’re doing so they know. If they don’t know, they can’t support you. You need this, you need the positive support and continuous encouragement to keep on powering through. This will help you learn who really is there to support you, and who really isn’t; which nicely ties into rule number 10…..
- Seriously! Friends, family, co-workers….they’re all assholes. They’re the ones doubting you, tempting you to have that piece of pizza and questioning all your healthy decisions. They’re the ones asking you to skip your workout to have drinks with them, and when you say you can’t miss your workout, they put shame on you like you’re a bad person. And be careful; assholes are everywhere. They’re impossible to avoid. So how do you deal with them? They are a difficult creature to handle, but the best thing you can do is have patience and remind yourself why you started in the first place. Let the assholes be assholes, and let yourself be yourself. Your true friends will meet you at the gym anyway!