If part of your resolutions for 2021 was to lose some weight, this is about the time of the year when they start to fall apart and you start to give up.
You’ve probably jumped on one too many fad diets, lost some weight only to gain it all back (yes, this was me), or you’re new to this and it’s all a bit overwhelming.
These tips will help you get started and improve your chances of success:
Set a Realistic Goal
Setting goals that you can visualize yourself achieving will make you more committed but that doesn’t mean your goals shouldn’t challenge you. To set a goal that is tailored to your schedule, fitness level and lifestyle ask yourself:
How many days in a week can I workout?
How long can each session last?
What time of the day works for me?
How much weight do I want to lose?
And start with that. A safe amount will be 0.5kg – 1kg per week. This number will be higher the farther away you are from a healthy BMI and it’ll reduce as you get closer to your goal weight. That means that the more weight you lose, the harder it’ll be to lose weight.
You don’t have to start by cutting whole food groups out of your diet or running 10 miles a day.
Introduce more vegetables into your diet, consciously reduce your portions, cut down on the snacking, start with forms of exercise that you’re comfortable with like walking, swimming or dancing (yes! there’s tons of dance workout videos on YouTube).
Understand that this is a long term commitment and pick a form of exercise that you can be consistent with.
Be Aware of How Much You’re Eating
Food has units of energy called calories and when you eat more calories than your body needs, the excess is stored as fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, you should eat a little less calories than your body needs (an average of 1500 for women and 2000 for men) but most of us don’t even understand that it’s possible to be eating healthy food or smaller quantities and still consume more calories because some foods are more calorie dense than others.
Although tracking calories is not something I think you should do everyday, it’s important to educate yourself so you know what types of food to take in what quantities for your goals
Give That Scale a Rest!
Most people think that when you start a new diet/ fitness routine, the numbers on the scale declines gradually in a linear manner. But it really just fluctuates and you end up at a lower number over time, so don’t discourage yourself by stepping on the scale everyday because sometimes the number on the scale isn’t reducing but you’re losing inches.
Try taking progress photos once every week and you’re going to see changes that you probably wouldn’t notice checking the scale or looking at the mirror everyday.
To track your progress accurately, use the scale once a week in the morning before you’ve had anything to eat or drink.
Be Prepared for Failure
It’s okay to mess up once in a while, you’ll fall for temptations and overeat sometimes or miss workout sessions. But rather than feel guilty and give up all together, get back to your routine and keep showing up for yourself. There’s room for bad days as long as they’re few and far between.
Don’t Compare Your Results
It’s great to have people as your body goals and be inspired but don’t let somebody’s success completely determine your expectations for yourself. Not everybody responds the same way because we have different body types.
Some people will lose weight faster than others because of factors we can’t control. Fitness is not a one size fits all.
*Odunuga is a certified fitness trainer and is the founder of Easyfit, a brand that aims to simplify the obscurity that people have about fitness. You can follow @Easyfitng on instagram for fitness tips, motivation and healthy recipes.