Lockdown is in full swing, and we’re all settling into some kind of normality.
If you still lack structure, then check out my last blog on how to get back into the swing of things.
With all that said, we can use this time to achieve some new goals and challenge our bodies in new and exciting ways.
If you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing you want to lose weight, so why not now?
There couldn’t be a better time than right now to achieve it!
Have you got more free time?
Are you able to find those extra minutes in the day?
Then let’s get after it and get you closer towards your goal.
Now, straight off the bat, to lose weight, we need one thing, and that’s a calorie deficit. This trumps everything else, no matter what diet you choose.
It doesn’t matter if it’s Atkins, Keto, or Weight Watchers, fundamentally you need to burn more calories than you’re consuming.
So, how do we do this? One of the most popular methods, and the one I use myself, is tracking calories using ‘My Fitness Pal,’ which is an incredible app!
However, I’m aware that you may not like tracking calories and still want to lose weight?
With the right principals and a few rules, I’m here to tell you that this is 100% possible.
What we do need is change. How can we achieve something if we keep doing the same things day in day out?
We don’t need to change everything all at once, but small changes lead to significant changes. So with this in mind, I wanted to help you by giving you nine tips that I use myself for losing weight without tracking your calories.
#1 Eat a portion of protein with as many meals as possible
It’s a cliche for a personal trainer to put this but hear my out. Protein isn’t just for bodybuilders, it’s for you as well!
Everyone needs protein, and it should be the most important macronutrient on the plate. Protein is more satiating than fat or carbohydrates, meaning you’ll be much fuller for longer…winner.
As well as this protein will help you tone, build, maintain, and get a lean physique. It truly is magic. So the next time you load up the shopping trolley, head to the protein isles first.
#2 Careful with fat
“Aren’t avocados and nuts are good for me???”. I know you love your Instagram style breakfasts, and I do as well. But fat contains over double the number of calories than carbohydrates or protein, so we need to use these to our advantage and with just a little caution.
A tip that works for me with oils is to drizzle and not pour. It’s too easy to add needless calories you’ll not feel the benefit of just by adding too much oil to the pan.
I am by no means saying ‘fats are bad’, they’re awesome. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can be good for your heart and lowering your cholesterol levels, so let’s no rule them out completely. But, the next time you grab a pack of nuts, stick to a handful…not the bag!
#3 Double your water intake
Our body sometimes likes to lie to us!
Ever finished your meal and about half an hour later been hungry again?
Well, I hope that’s not just me haha!
Your body will sometimes perceive dehydration as hunger, leading you to go back for more or dig into your cupboards and find the nearest thing you can to consume.
Your magnificent body is made up of nearly 60% water, and even a slight drop can lead to fatigue, a bad mood, or reaching for the digestives!
I never eat a meal without water and will consume at least a pint with every meal.
Dieting can be so hard for a big eater who loves to feel full at the end of every meal, trust me. I am one of them! Be kind to yourself and make yourself happy.
#4 Move a little more
You’ve probably heard the classic phrase ‘move more, eat less,’ and in theory, this is correct. You’re creating a deficit just by doing this and exercise is massively important for a magnitude of reasons. Physically, mentally even spiritually.
I work out because it sets off a chain reaction effect for the rest of the day. I get more work done, feel better, and look at the world differently.
Just by doing a small amount, we achieve huge psychological change in ourselves.
I challenge you straight after reading this blog to go outside and walk for 15mins, turn off your phone, and put on your favourite music or podcast. Come back and consciously think about how you feel. I bet you’ll feel ten times better! Let’s get moving!
P.S. If you want to tone your muscles and get a good sweat on why not search for the best at home bodyweight workouts. This will help you gain some inspiration and give you workout ideas that you can complete in the comfort of your home.
#5 Eat more veggies and fruits
For one, they’re an unbelievably good source of vitamins and minerals that our bodies are craving, so feed it with goodness. They’re mostly low in calories and great to use to bulk out a meal, or if you have a sweet tooth, you can use the natural sugars in fruits to satisfy your cravings differently. Making just a few tweaks and substitutions can get you one step closer to your goal.
#6 Choose ‘low-calorie options’ when you can
We live in an amazing time, and we have access to many different types of food, and there are some fantastic low-calorie options. For example, I picked up some delicious low-calorie lentil, hummus, and quinoa crisps in my local Aldi the other day, as well as some low-fat mayonnaise. In all they will save me around 200-300 calories a day just by choosing this option, therefore keeping me in a deficit. Take your time when you’re buying, is there an alternative? Can you take this time to get creative?
#7 Go one layer deeper, it’s not just losing weight
“You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul,” and it’s time to take ownership. As soon as I began making myself accountable, results began to happen.
We can all blame an external situation, and it’s hard to take control of the path that we’re on and steer another way. But if you want something badly enough, you should be able to obtain it with the right work ethic and sacrifice.
You may want to lose weight, but why do you want to lose weight? Why is this goal important to you? Why now? Why are you reading this blog?
Ask yourself these questions and write down the answers. You’re more likely to get to your destination if you search deeper. This is what’s going to get you up in a morning when you’re tired. This is what will help your friends and family understand. Superficial is a good start, but when it comes down to it, mental resilience will trump everything.
#8 Rewards will come in time
Hands up, who’s got the end of a workout and thought, “I’ll reward myself with a chocolate bar”…(puts hand up). Although it may feel like we deserve it and I know it’s hard, but try and resist. By rewarding scenarios like this, we’re building bad habits that will inevitably lead us away from the overall goal.
Flip the situation, rewards yourself with healthy and nutritious food to repair and fuel your next session. You worked hard, but how can I work harder. How can I do it better next time? What can I achieve next?
Center everything around your goal, and you’ll want to do everything you can to get there.
#9 Cook as much from scratch as you can
One thing I’m enjoying at the moment is having more time to cook, and I’m challenging myself to learn new skills in the kitchen. We’re at home more and with more time on our hands, so use it as a time to be good to yourself. Cookbooks and YouTube are fantastic places to start, or why not try some LEP recipes?
Fill in the form below, and we’ll send you a free recipe book…
What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to make? Could you plan this for this week? Can the family help, or can you challenge to do this by yourself? Add to that arsenal of recipes or start cooking for the first time. Feed the body, and you’ll feed the soul.
I’m a massive Star Wars fan, and as the great master, Yoda once said “patience young Jedi”. Although I’m not sure, he was referring to weight loss. But he did make an excellent point. We need to exercise patience.
Nothing happens overnight, and Rome wasn’t built…okay, I’ll stop!
But we can be far too hard on ourselves too often, accept that this will take time, and enjoy the process. The journey is a great one, and you’ll learn and pick up plenty of skills along the way. Don’t rush…it’s a marathon and not a sprint.
Take-home points, stop being so hard on yourself. It’s amazing that you’re reading this blog, and for that, you should pat yourself on the back.
You’ve already consciously or sub-consciously opted to make a change, and that’s a huge step.
Take everything day by day, incorporate actions that work for you, and it doesn’t matter how long it takes, I believe you can do anything with the right mentality and outlook.
I really hope you enjoyed reading this blog, have a fantastic day. Stay safe and stay indoors.
Ollie (personal trainer at LEP Fitness)