We all know that we are being constantly inundated with all types of tricks, fads, diets, supplements, clothing, workouts and whatever else to help us create the body we desire. We know we are being sold, people aren’t stupid, yet still, time and time again we put our faith in such products before taking tried and true actions.
I’ll try not to over simplify things in this short and hopefully straight to the point article I want to outline some things that I tell people nearly every single day.
When people ask me about, for lack of a better term “diet things”, they’ll say things like “I’m really trying to cut out carbs” or “I have these weight loss shakes in the morning” etc etc and normally I say “cool” and then ask them if it’s working. If it is, great! But I also make sure to point out that the typical mechanism behind why things like this can work is because they have managed to create a caloric deficit. I make sure they’re aware that there’s nothing magic about that expensive weight loss shake or that Carbohydrates aren’t as evil as they think. I also like to highlight that a less drastic and more easily adherable approach exists – this isn’t new.
Step 1 – Count and track your total Caloric intake
*Track your body weight as well and make small adjustments to your caloric intake over time. Apps such as MyFitnessPal can be a very effective tool.
The biggest piece of advice I could give to people is to make exercise a part of your daily routine, make it part of your lifestyle. It doesn’t have to consume you, but you should have a rough daily/weekly plan as to how you are going to fit exercise into your day. The pros and cons of specific types of exercise would warrant an entire different article, for most, just building some consistency with any type of exercise is a big step in the right direction. Typically I recommend 3 days of full body resistance training paired with 3-4 days of cardiovascular exercise, remember you might need to work your way up to that.
Step 2 – Make exercise a part of your lifestyle
Excuses, just stop them. You do have the time, you can make it happen, people in a lot worse situations with a lot more going on can do it and so can you. If you don’t want it enough to make changes, changes aren’t going to happen. I had a conversation with a gym member the other day about people using the excuse of being “too busy to exercise” and jokingly it ended like this: “The Rock isn’t too busy. Are people busier than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson?”. It’s a generalisation but it made us laugh.
Step 3 – Cut out the excuses
If you are a complete beginner and don’t want to go it alone or if you’ve had a serious crack at the 3 steps above but are still struggling then it’s time to get some help. I’m biased in that I’m an Exercise Science graduate and Accredited Exercise Physiologist who believes that the knowledge gained during our education means we are experts in this field. This isn’t to take anything away from other health or fitness professionals, it’s simply stating that this is what we are trained to do. Seek us out and get the help you need.
Step 4 – Get expert help
Weight loss can be a very individual and nuanced endeavor, I hope no one sees these simple steps as condescending or disparaging but more so as a simplified breakdown of what could be called your first plan of attack.