- Losing weight can be simple, but it is not easy.
- In the last six months, I have lost about 15 kg, mainly by changing my relationship with the diet.
- From why you should not cut carbs to why the number on the scale means very little, I have learned a lot about how to make lasting fat loss sustainable.
- Here are seven of the most important lessons I've learned about healthy weight loss.
- Visit the INSIDER homepage for more stories.
Losing weight is, in theory, simple. But that does not make things easy.
The vast majority of people – and women in particular – always try, or at least wish to lose weight, no matter how heavy, for health or aesthetic reasons.
If it was as easy as it appears on paper (that is, consume less energy than you burn it), the diets industry is several billion dollars would not exist.
That's like a reality TV star trafficking a workout DVD for the Blitz bikini, an influencer plugging laxative teas or a tabloid. claiming to have developed a diet plan that will allow you to lose 10 pounds in a week, so-called miracle solutions are ubiquitous because we all like the idea of making minimal effort and getting results quickly.
But the truth is that none of these things work. There is no shortcut, and anything that results in quick weight loss will not be healthy or sustainable.
You have not gained 10 pounds in a week, so how could you lose it as quickly?
In the last five months I have lost about 15 kg.
Like many people, my weight fluctuated during my adult life, but by the end of 2018, I was the biggest and heaviest of all time.
I felt slow, I hated shopping and I did not wear almost any of my clothes (the blouses were life), but I do not think I realized all the weight I had gained until then that I have a body scanner at the end of November.
I had put 5 kg since my last weighing last July and seeing the number on the scale was the alarm that I needed.
Read more: Major new study says poor diet can lead to more deaths than smoking
If you are in good health, there is nothing wrong with gaining weight, but it was not my case, and my weight gain reflected the fact that I was not taking care of myself.
The weight had increased over the years, as is often the case. I will always love to eat and drink, but in London, I was 20 years old, I lost all sense of moderation or balance, regular drinking and eating too much.
My diet was not necessarily unhealthy and I was very active, but I just ate too much, often eating up to the pain.
I had an unhealthy relationship with food and my body, and that's what I decided to work on consciously at the beginning of the new year – so make the most of the atmosphere. " New year, new me ", after all.
My main motivation was to lose weight, but it was part of the lifestyle change that I managed to do. And that's what makes this time different from all the other times I've lost a few pounds.
It was time to start putting myself, my health and my happiness first.
No restrictive plans, no strict rules, no thinking of myself as being on a diet. But on the contrary, approach it as a journey towards creating a healthier, happier world, durable way of life.
And it worked.
Journalist specializing in lifestyles, focused on health, diet, well-being and fitness, I was already very knowledgeable on how to lead a healthy life. However, I still have a lot to learn this year, training in the treatment of saboteurs (two completely separate articles).
But the most important changes I've made concern my diet.
Here are 7 lessons I've learned about how to eat to lose weight in a sustainable way:
1. Cutting food just provokes a frenzy
Cutting bread, sugar or anything else you enjoy outside of your diet is not a good idea because you will end up eating it. Do you want to cut these delicious foods forever? I did not mean it.
You may think that you can not do moderation (that is, stop yourself after a few squares of chocolate and not eat the whole bar), but you can do it if you stop demonizing the food. There are no "good" and "bad" foods, although there are actually richer and less nutrient dense foods.
For me, this has also helped to think of foods in terms of macros, that is to say. Are they a source of protein, carbohydrates or fats? So, a chocolate bar is a carbohydrate, just like a banana or oats, and they can all be part of a healthy diet.
Read more: I tried to eat healthy while ordering all my meals from a food delivery app for a week – here's what happened
If you like donuts, you do not have to abandon them forever to lose weight, which can help them resist more easily when your colleague brings a box of Krispy Kremes – you know how they taste, you will eat them donuts later in your life, you do not do it need eat one just because they're there. But at the same time, if you really want a donut, eat one and enjoy!
If you feel that you are punishing yourself, it will never work.
2. Exercise will not result in fat loss if you do not apply to your diet
Before changing my lifestyle, I was already working 4 to 5 times a week, combining weightlifting, dance classes and netball. I was also active in my daily life, walking at least 14,000 steps a day. But I was still overweight.
The last six months have shown how much the saying goes: "You can not get yourself into a bad diet." Or, more specifically, a diet that simply involves consuming too much.
Training is great for you in many ways, and it certainly helps the fat loss process (more about it another time), but if you think that only exercise will see your weight lose weight, you risk being disappointed.
3. Increasing your protein intake will help a lot
It's a complete myth that eating to stay fit means chicken and broccoli with a protein shake at every meal, but it's true that it's important to maintain your protein intake.
In fact, various studies have shown that following a high-protein diet can help maintain muscle and metabolism, feel full when trying to lose weight and reduce hunger.
"Consuming enough protein when you lose weight is important for maintaining lean muscle," specialized dietitian Nichola Ludlam-Raine told INSIDER.
"Eating about 1.6 grams of protein per kg of body weight, as well as resistance exercises, help maintain both muscle strength and metabolic rate (the speed at which your body burns calories).
"Protein digestion also requires more calories than carbohydrates and fats, and helps keep you satisfied."
Read more:Protein strengthening muscle bars can be as bad for you as a chocolate bar. Here's how to know which ones are really healthy.
I did not count the macros, but I to have I'm trying to eat at least 1.5g of protein per kg of body weight each day, and this has not even been very painful because there are many delicious ways to bring your protein (yogurt to the Greek, I'm looking at you)).
4. Do not be afraid of fats, because they will satisfy you and satisfy you
We are often told to eat complex carbohydrates such as whole pasta and brown bread for slow-release energy and to keep us satiated between meals, but if you do not make sure each meal also contains fat, you do not have you will not be satisfied and will not be satisfied. to want something else soon after.
In addition, fat consumption is essential to our overall health.
"All macronutrients (ie, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) must be part of a healthy, balanced diet, and some proteins and fats are essential to food. they, our body simply could not work (essential amino acids like fatty acids must be consumed because they can not be made in the body), "said Ludlam-Raine.
"Fats in particular are essential in the diet because they contribute to the hormonal function, the absorption of vitamins (A, D, E, K) and help to keep our heart and our blood vessels in good condition. health.
"The predominant type of fat in our diet must be unsaturated, which is found in vegetables such as olive oil, rapeseed oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, as well as in oily fish. "
5. Reduce alcoholic beverages will have a huge impact
Although I have never had a problem with alcohol, London is a city that revolves around alcohol, so if you are sociable, you may find yourself drinking a lot while walking. It was my life for a long time.
At the beginning of the year, I was doing Dry January (I was getting sober for January) and I felt so much better that I drastically reduced my alcohol consumption since then, and I have no doubt that it will mend me. helped to lose weight – not just because alcohol is incredibly powerful. high in calories, but because you always tend to eat more energy while drinking and the next day, when you feel a little worse.
Read more: Drinking a bottle of wine a week could increase a woman's cancer risk as much as smoking 10 cigarettes
Plus, drinking a lot less has certainly helped to become stronger and more fit.
You do not need to completely give up alcohol if you want to lose weight because if you take a drink, it will never be a sustainable way of life. But if you can reduce it, it will help you a lot.
6. The figure on the scale means very little
We are all talking about "weight loss" and many of us have been conditioned to live and die by the scales. However, realistically, we should aim for "fat loss" and the scale can not measure it (even high-tech scales claiming to measure percentages of body fat are not considered totally reliable).
For women in particular, the number on the scale can vary greatly depending on the condition of your menstrual cycle, the time you last ate and the size or salinity of your toilet meal, and Other factors.
Read more: Being too hungry could prevent you from losing weight, according to a personal trainer
You should also remember that if you put on muscle, it also affects your weight.
I learned to detach myself from the number on the scale, considering it as a mere measure of data and nothing more. Whether it's up or down does not affect my day anymore, it just allows me to see a general trend as the months go by.
Instead of obsessing over the scales, take progress shots every month and record your body measurements with a tape measure.
7. The overall caloric deficit is what follows from it, but it is not necessary that it be radical
Despite all the fad diets we bomb everywhere we look, losing weight ultimately means being energy deficient.
But, you must make sure that it is not too drastic. There are two reasons for this: First, if you reduce your calorie intake too low, your body will start to burn your existing muscle as well as your fat, which is not what you want.
Plus, living with 1,200 calories a day and being hungry all the time is horrible and therefore totally unsustainable.
"Calories are the watchwords when it comes to weight loss, but it's not as simple as" eating as little as possible "because our body does not like to go through it and get on with it. will either defend by increasing appetite, which could lead to a frenzy, or make you feel lethargic, which will make you burn fewer calories than you do less, "said Ludlam-Raine.
"A moderate daily caloric deficit of 300 to 600 calories (created by a reduction in calories consumed and in addition to burning more through movement) is enough to burn 1/2 to 1 lb of body fat a week early."
If you love your lifestyle while losing weight, you will not be able to change durably. Just try to make sure you eat a little less than before, the pounds will disappear and you will not hate your life at the same time.