When it comes to weight loss there's no shortage of advice - it's enough to make your head spin. Having personally lost 80 lbs and spent nearly a decade coaching others has taught me what does and what does not work.
In my experience, small, simple habits done consistently always win out over harder, complex quick-fixes every time.
Below, you'll find what I call the "Core 5." The "Core 5" are the 5 eating and exercise habits that when done consistently have produced the best weight loss results for my clients.
Your body takes about 20 minutes from the time you start eating to react to the release of the chemicals that control your hunger signals. If you're a fast eater, you may be consuming too many calories - even if you are making healthier choices.
In a study at the University of Rhode Island, researchers served lunch on two different occasions to a group of 30 women – a plate of pasta with tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese.
For each meal the women were instructed to stop eating at a comfortable level of fullness. One meal was to be eaten quickly and the other slowly by putting their utensils down between bites.
When the researchers looked at the amount of calories consumed for each meal they found:
67 calories may not seem like much but if you saved that for 3 meals per day, it would equal 73,365 less calories per year - that's roughly 21 lbs worth of calories!
Learning to listen to your body by eating slowly is a great first step. However, eating slowly only works if you listen to what your body is saying and not overeating.
80% isn't an exact level of fullness, rather the point at which you could eat a bit more but feel satisfied.
If you're like me and were always told to clean your plate, you may feel like you are wasting food. If this is the case, try putting less food on your plate and adding more until you reach 80% full.
No matter your fitness goals, you need protein. The exact amount will vary depending on your activity levels and goals.
A great starting point is 0.65 - 1.0 g of protein per pound of body weight. If you are fairly sedentary, start on the low end. If you are active, aim for the higher end of that range. For example, a 180 lb male doing strength training 4 days per week would aim for approximately 180 grams of protein per day.
What makes protein so great? I could write an entire article on that subject, but here are just a few reasons:
Everywhere you look there is a focus on steps, calories burned, and cardio-based exercise. Many people are under the belief that cardio is the best way to burn fat.
I lost 80 lbs and barely stepped foot onto a cardio machine or did any running. I had a client who lost over 50 lbs and cut his body fat percentage in half without a single day of cardio.
I’m not saying you should avoid cardio – I personally enjoy jumping in the pool for a few laps, hitting the heavy bag, or working the battle ropes. What I am saying is strength training at least 2-3 times per week will help:
According to Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD here are 5 reasons we should drink more water.
You know you need to eat your veggies but you might not know why it's important to have a good variety.
Fruits and vegetables are divided into 5 different color groups and each color provides different phytonutrients - plant nutrients, that help us fight disease and stay stronger for longer.
Most of us don't get enough phytonutrients in our diets
Fix this by eating at least 1 cup of each color per day. Check out the list below from fruitandveggies.org
Yellow / Orange
White / Brown / Tan
What Do You Think?
Did you find this information valuable?
Are you already doing these habits consistently? If not, which habits will you add?
Let me know in the comments below!
P.S. Most of us know what we should be doing but have a hard time doing it - this is exactly what my ProCoach Nutrition & Fitness Program is designed to help you with.
Stephen's passion for health started with his own 80 lb weight loss journey. Today, he is taking that passion to the next level as the founder of the Fitness Solopreneur Academy. When he's not working out or training others you'll probably find him writing his next speech, teaching himself graphic and video editing, or watching the latest Marvel movie.
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