There are definitely some weight-loss rules you can bend a little and still drop pounds. On the other hand, if you’re serious about slimming down, here are five strict rules that shouldn’t be broken if you want to see the number on your scale go down.
Always Eat Breakfast
Skipping meals is a big mistake, especially breakfast. Enjoying a hearty and nutritious meal in the morning can actually jump-start your metabolism and encourage pounds to drop. Choose a breakfast that’s high in protein to give you energy as well as full of fibre to keep you satisfied for hours.
You Have to Make a Change to See a Change
Unfortunately, you can’t continue eating huge bowls of ice cream after dinner and expect to see the scale numbers drop. In order to encourage a change in your weight, you need to make healthier lifestyle changes that include eating nutritious, balanced meals most of the time, with the occasional splurge.
Remember, you’re not just dieting — you’re changing your eating habits. That’s the principle behind the 80/20 rule. You can’t be 100 percent all of the time, but you can be 80 percent all of the time.
Healthy Foods Don’t Mean All You Can Eat
Nuts, nut butter, avocados, sweet potatoes, brown rice — these foods are all highly nutritious, but that doesn’t mean they’re void of calories. You still need to be aware of serving sizes, even for foods that are super good for you.
Calories in Can’t Exceed Calories Out
Losing weight is about simple maths: you have to burn or cut out 500 calories a day to lose one pound in a week. If you burn 250 calories on a morning run, you’ll need to cut out 250 calories from your diet that day.
Don’t get in the mind-set that a workout gives you a free pass to splurge, because you’ll end up taking in more calories than you burned, which will result in weight gain instead of weight loss.
Once the Weight Is Gone, You Can’t Go Back to Your Old Ways
You used to drink a can of Coke with your lunch, but when you decided to lose weight, you replaced it with water. Now that the weight is off, don’t go back to your soft drink habit.
Losing weight is a forever lifestyle change, not something you do until you reach your weight-loss goal. Once you go back to old eating habits, the weight will quickly creep back on.
Away from healthy eating, I would also add:
Exercise – Mix it up
Ensure you have a good mix of core, cardio and weights. If you do the same thing day in day out, your body knows what’s coming. Keeping it varied ensures your body doesn’t get to a new ‘daily norm’ which will slow down weight loss. But be prepared to plateau, everyone does, so it’s important not to lose sight of your long term goal when weight loss stalls Stick with it and it will kick back in.
Don’t get hung up on the ‘sad step’
The scales are important, but take other measurements, body fat % and physical inches around your chest, stomach, thighs & arms.
1lb of fat will take up a lot more room than 1lb of muscle, so whilst the scales might not be moving down as fast as you hope, if your clothes feeling loose, and the inches are disappearing you are going in the right direction.
That said, if nothing is changing and you are hitting the gym sessions hard 3 or more times per week, then you need to re-visit your food diary!
Have a great day 🙂