Weight loss is about building healthy habits that can be carried out each day, which ultimately lead to a healthy, fit lifestyle.
A common problem, though, is that many individuals aren’t sure where to start. Many think you have to make drastic changes, such as eliminating all carbohydrates from your diet, in order to lose weight.
However, we’ll discuss 10 small changes you can make, starting right now, for better weight loss results and greater health and fitness.
#1 Find a Diet That Works for You
When it comes to nutrition and weight loss, there’s a lot of self-proclaimed “gurus” that hold the “secret” to effortless fat loss. As part of their schtick, they promise to give you the one, be-all, end-all diet that will solve all of your problems.
Unfortunately, there is no one diet that’s right for everyone in all situations. Some individuals experience greater satiety eating higher fat and lower carb while others are just the opposite.
While we each might have a different diet that helps us stick to our calorie goals and maintain a calorie deficit, there are some fundamental points the most effective weight loss diets adhere to:
- Reduce intake of hyper-processed foods
- Limit/restrict sources of liquid calories (fruit-only smoothies, juices, gourmet coffees, alcohol, etc.)
- Emphasize nutrient-dense whole food sources like fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats
#2 Track Your Calories
It is possible to lose weight without tracking your calories or logging your food intake, but the margin for error is substantially greater, meaning that even if you think you’ve cleaned up your diet and are only eating “clean” foods, it’s still possible to overeat, and thus undermine your weight loss efforts.
Tracking your calorie intake (using the 1UP Fitness App) is easy to do and requires very little time. It also helps eliminate the guesswork as to whether or not you’re actually in a calorie deficit -- which is the core principle driving weight loss.
Our Fitness App is FREE and allows you to effortlessly track all of the food and drink you consume throughout the day. You’ll also get access to our private support group as well as help with figuring out the right training program for you based on your goals, age, gender, experience, and equipment availability (home vs gym).
#3 Have Protein at Every Meal
Consuming enough protein is essential for losing weight, building muscle, and overall health and fitness. It supplies our bodies with the essential raw materials it needs (amino acids) to repair, rebuild, and create new tissues.
From a weight loss standpoint, protein also helps keep us feeling fuller for longer and it requires more energy for our bodies to break down and utilize than either carbohydrates or fat. This means protein offers a two-pronged boost for weight loss!
A good rule of thumb to aim for when setting your protein intake goals for the day is about 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. So, if you weigh 130 pounds, then you’ll want to eat 130 grams of protein each day, preferably spaced out evenly across your meals throughout the day.
- Dairy (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.)
You can also incorporate protein powders, such as 1UP Whey Protein or Organic Vegan Protein, to help supplement your protein intake and make sure you hit your daily goals for those times when you’re pressed for time and just want something quick and tasty.
#5 Be Wary of Fads & Gimmicks
Each year the fitness industry abounds with seemingly “new” fad diets or magic exercise programs that promise to improve health and radically streamline the weight loss process. Realistically speaking, most of these “new” trends are just rehashes of concepts that have been around for years and years.
Every once in a while these fads might actually be helpful, but by and large, you’ll be better served by avoiding the latest hype and focusing on the core principles of weight loss:
- Tracking your calories
- Maintaining a calorie deficit
- Reducing processed foods & liquid calories
- Emphasizing whole foods
- Performing resistance training 4-5 times per week
- Adding in cardio
#6 Don’t Focus on the Scale
Many of us live and die (as well as judge the success of our body transformation) by the number that’s on the scale. Keep in mind though, the bathroom scale doesn’t take into account your actual body fat percentage or body composition (ratio of fat to muscle) -- it just reports how “heavy” you are.
Your bodyweight is actually a measure of all the water, muscle, fat, bone, and organ mass you carry around.
As such, the scale can be one indicator of how your weight loss journey is going. It is by no means the only metric by which you can track progress and/or success. Keep track of your bodyweight but also make sure to take measurements and progress photos along the way. Quite often (especially for beginners), it’s possible to lose weight while building muscle so that your weight on the scale might stay relatively consistent but your actual body composition and body fat percentage is changing.
#7 Cook at Home More Often
Restaurant meals are notoriously higher in calories (as well as fat and carbs) compared to meals prepared in the home. Even if a dining establishment or meal-prep company lists the calorie and macro contents on their website or app, that is an estimate at best. It’s almost always over.
Cooking at home means you have 100% control of what goes into your meals, which means it’s much easier to know whether you’re staying on track with your calorie and macronutrient goals each day.
Plus, being able to cook delicious food is one skill that will never go out of style and it just might help you land that special someone one day too!
#8 Focus on Small Changes
So often when we embrace a new venture in life, weight loss in particular, we seek to make drastic changes, such as going from exercising hardly at all to doing 2-a-day workouts. While this might seem like a good idea, this often leads to burnout rather quickly.
Truth be told, you don’t have to completely overhaul your diet or exercise regimen to lose weight. The most sustainable results (and thus the most successful individuals) occur as a result of small changes implemented over the course of days, weeks, and months. Eventually, this small changes become habits, which compound on themselves and deliver life-changing results.
As such, when embarking on your weight loss journey, start with simple things, such as going on a 10-minute walk after your meal or ditching sugary sodas for sparkline water or diet soda.
#9 Manage Stress
Stress is a part of daily life, and while it’s not entirely possible to outright eliminate stress entirely (and you wouldn’t really want to, if we’re being honest), you can improve how you handle and respond to stress.
Being stressed all the time increases cravings (particularly for high-salt, high-sugar, high-calorie fare) and it also reduces desire to exercise all the while disrupting key hormones in the body that dictate hunger, satiety, and fat storage.
With that in mind, when you feel yourself getting stressed try removing yourself from the situation (if possible) and taking a few deep breaths to center yourself and relax.
#10 Have a Support Network
Support is a key factor in just about any venture in life, including weight loss. There will be times when you’re tempted to skip your workout or go off your nutrition plan. Having a solid support network, be it family, friends, or acquaintances on social media, can help you avoid temptation, overcome stumbling blocks and stay on track with your goals.
When you enter our transformation challenge and/or use the 1UP Fitness app, you also get access to our private Facebook group where you can interact and get encouragement from other like-minded individuals who are living the fit life.