Start using these 5 techniques to guarantee weight loss results:

  • Food Log to accurately track Calories.
  • Lose 1-2lbs per week to ensure sustainable fat loss.
  • Weight train at least twice a week to avoid losing muscle.
  • Only try to lose weight while you are motivated.
  • Start with a goal of losing 5-10% of your body weight.

While fad diets come and go, the principles of proper nutrition remain unchanged. To avoid the frustration of failing diets or gaining back any fat you lose, adopt these 5 principles:

  1. Food Log Wisely

Why it’s Important:

The best way to measure what you are consuming is to log it. Your body needs a certain number of Calories per day to survive. Based on this number, you can calculate how many Calories you need to lose weight. Food logging is beneficial by helping you stay within that Calorie limit. Measuring out the food you log can also re-educate you in terms of what healthy portion sizes looks like.

How should I use it?

We recommend getting the app MyFitnessPal, and begin logging your food daily for one week. At the end of this week, review your log to gain an idea of how many Calories you are consuming daily. Begin to identify the foods or meals that can be improved upon to create a Caloric deficit. After this initial week, try to log only one day a week for the following weight loss period. This check-in log will keep your Calories on track, but prevent you from getting obsessive about the logging itself.

  1. Limit your Loss to 1-2 lbs per week

Why It’s Important:

When you lose fat too quickly, your body doesn’t have the time to adapt and reset to the new you . This is why people often lose large amounts of fat, only to gain it back within a year or two.

How should I use it?

Instead of losing fat as fast as possible, aim for 1-2 lbs of weight loss per week. This slower rate allows your body the adapt to the new metabolic demands, and ensures that the fat will stay off for longer.

  1. Lose at most 5-10% body weight per attempt.

Why It’s Important:

Your weight loss goals need to be realistic so that you are successful and the results, sustainable. If you set too high a goal, not reaching that goal will destroy your motivation. 5-10% weight loss is an achievable result that can be reached in several weeks to months.

How should I use it?

For example, If you weigh 200 lbs, set a goal to lose 10-20 lbs (5-10% body weight). If you follow the 1-2lbs per week rule, this should take you anywhere from 5-20 weeks to complete. Pick the time period that you feel like you can consistently devote to this goal, then decide whether you can handle the Caloric restriction needed to lose one pound per week or two.

  1. Lose when you are motivated. Maintain when you are not.

Why It’s Important:

Motivation is an expendable resource. If you just try to lose weight every week for an indefinite amount of time, you won’t be able to weather the periods of low motivation. You also won’t give your body a chance to adapt.

How should I use it?

Instead of trying to lose weight forever, give your weight loss efforts a definite “Green Light” period. When your motivation is high, devote a 4-6 week period to being as diligent and accurate as possible with food logging, eating properly, and positively reinforcing yourself. You may lose 10 lbs, you may lose only 5. The results don’t matter as much as the effort. Avoid burning out by working towards short periods of weight loss followed by short periods of weight maintenance. During those weight loss periods, be happy about any progress you make, and don’t get bogged down in reaching a set number of pounds lost.

  1. Weight Train to lose Fat, not Muscle.

Why It’s Important:

If you diet only, you will lose weight. However, up to 40% of the weight lost will be from muscle. Essentially, your body knows it is experiencing Caloric restriction, and it breaks down your muscle that’s not being used to fuel your body. By engaging in some form of resistance training, you are telling your body that you need those muscles! Your goal should be to lose as much fat as possible to reach your goal, not muscle.

How should I use it?

During weight loss periods, try to perform 2-3 resistance training sessions per week that train the full body. Focus on compound, multi-joint movements that tax large muscle groups. Keep your reps low (about 4-8 reps) but keep the weight relatively high. After that 4th to 8th rep, you should feel like you might not be able to perform another 2 reps without resting.

You can’t lose in one year what took 10 years to gain. Accept that weight loss is a process that takes time, and enjoy victories you have throughout the journey. Follow these 5 principles to approach fat loss seriously.

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