How to lose weight sustainably
Updated: Apr 21
Nine steps to sustainable weight loss
Losing weight isn't usually a problem but keeping it off is what we straggle the most. So, what can you do to help you lose weight sustainably? Below are some of my top tips to help you lose weight and keep it off for good!
1. Expect challenges
Weight loss is a process of trial and error, finding what works for you, what your body thrives on. Don't give up if something didn't work - think about why it didn't work, what you can change and move forward. “Nothing good in life comes easy. The best things take work.”
2. Aim for long-term weight loss
The sooner you accept that sustainable weight loss is about a lifestyle change rather than just the number of the scales the better, it'll save you time and disappointment. Think about the bigger picture.
3. Diet on as many calories as possible
It might be tempting to significantly drop your calories to get better results faster but... If you go too low you'll lack energy, you'll feel hungry, your concentration will be affected, you won't feel like exercising or your performance will be affected. How long can you go feeling like this? Not long, it's not sustainable. Yes, you might lose weight but is it worth it? Nope.
4. Prioritise protein
Protein will make you feel fuller for longer which in turn will make you eat less. It will also help preserve lean body mass during periods of caloric restriction. Aim to include protein in every meal.
5. Start strength training
RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) is the largest component of energy expenditure, accounting for around 60 to 65% of TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure).
RMR is closely related to our body composition, with higher levels of fat free mass meaning a higher RMR. In short - the more muscle mass you have the more calories you burn at rest. Given the relationship between body composition and RMR, be sure to include some resistance training into your schedule for maintenance/growth of muscle mass. In the past, the common exercise prescription for weight loss consisted of a lot of cardio. But what do you think is going to happen when you are expending that much extra energy on a daily basis? You will be hungrier, more fatigued and need more energy!
6. Implement some diet breaks
Dieting for a long period of time can be mentally exhausting, but there are also metabolic adaptation that occur. These adaptations can result in reduced TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure. Therefore taking some breaks from dieting will help you mentally since it will reduce the feeling of restriction and it may also help with your progress.
Bare in mind that I don't mean "going all in" during the break, I simply mean going from being in calorie deficit to eating maintenance calories. You should still focus on having a well balanced diet with an occasional treat.
7. Eat volumous & fibrous foods
Dieting doesn't mean eating small portions, not at all. Yes, limiting portion sizes of foods that are higher in energy density - calorie per gram (e.g. white bread, butter, biscuits, chocolate, sugar-sweetened beverages etc.), is still important if your goal is weight loss. However, if you choose foods low in calories per gram (e.g. whole fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, soups) you can enjoy larger portions! Those types of food are also high in fibre which will make you feel fuller for longer! It's a win win!
8. Readjust to the new baseline
As you lose weight your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), the amount of calories you burn at rest, changes. As we get smaller, our BMR drops because there is less of us to maintain, therefore the calories need to be be readjusted so you can continue with your progress.
9. Reduce your stress levels & sleep more
Stress, when not managed can have a negative impact on your overall health. It can affect your hormones, sleep, mood and behaviours which can make weight loss more difficult as a result. Try implementing some relaxation techniques in your daily routine. If you'd like some help with managing your stress book my 1 to 1 Stress Management Workshop.
How long and how well we sleep can either support or hinder your weight loss. Sleep deprivation increases our hunger for salty, savoury, sweet, and fatty foods. It also stimulates hunger beyond what it normally, our hedonic drive. Sleep deprivation has also shown to increase muscle loss in those trying lose body fat (Source: NCBI).
Do you need help eating more healthily, losing weight and feeling more in control? BOOK YOUR FREE CONSULTATION TODAY