Apps like MyFitnessPal have a good system that allows you to enter everything you’ve consumed by searching it up or scanning the barcode of what you’re having.
I’m not a doctor but here’s what worked for me
By Mo Hussain, Contributor
DISCLAIMER: This is not formal nutritional advice at all, this is just an explanation of what worked for me. Make sure to do your due diligence, and consult a physician or trained professional before taking any of these steps
After seven years of trying to lose weight and properly get in shape, I finally managed to make significant progress on my weight loss ambitions last year. From May 23 to December 14, I lost 29lbs. For seven years, I tried to do it myself, but it was ultimately some tips that I learned from hiring a personal trainer that made the difference.
Here are three tips I learned from him that ultimately got me results.
Counting calories can seem very restricting and complicated. You always must keep in mind how many calories you get to have, you must buy a food scale, and it makes going out to eat seem like a big challenge. However, I would make the argument that it helps you learn more about yourself and can help liberate you more than you think.
When you’re tallying up how many calories you consume, you can directly see which foods and drinks have the most impact on your body. Seeing that can help you understand which areas you need to improve in, and reverse-engineer your diet. Counting how much you can eat also affords the luxury of being able to fit in those foods you do like, without losing much progress. It’s just a matter of understanding how much you can consume. If I was going to have a cheat meal, for example, I could find a way to fit that meal within my calories.
Apps like MyFitnessPal have a good system that allows you to enter everything you’ve consumed by searching it up or scanning the barcode of what you’re having. Consult a nutritionist or check out websites online which can give a rough estimate of how many calories you should consume given your goals.
Finding substitutes for foods and drinks you like
While eating your favourite foods in your calorie range is good, it’s not always efficient. I’m not a health expert, but strictly eating junk food every day as long as it fits your macronutrient goals doesn’t seem healthy. However, we all know that cutting out those foods and drinks completely isn’t realistic.
What did the trick for me was shopping around for healthier alternatives to the foods and drinks I liked. For example, my problem before losing weight was the amount of soda and juice I liked drinking. No matter what was for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I always needed a soda or juice by my side. When I got on my recent journey, I knew cutting off the soda wasn’t an option, so I went shopping for an alternative. That alternative for me became, and still is flavoured sparkling water. Most sparkling water has zero calories and gives the soda fix that I need. I tried a couple of different ones until I found which one I liked, and I haven’t looked back since.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect but it’s still better than consuming an unhealthier version.
I’m also someone that likes dessert, so I also went out and found 90 calorie frozen yogurt/ice cream bars at the Superstore that has less sugar. So, make a list of all the foods you like having and look up online and in-store what alternatives you can grab so you can enjoy yourself but keep your progress going.
Remember this is a long game, so treat it that way
One of the most important realizations I came to was that I’m not going to be perfect, but I’m going to make my perfect days outnumber my non-perfect days. Are there days where you’re going to miss workouts? Yeah. Are there days where you’re going to go crazy and double the number of calories you should eat? Yes. Is it the end of the world when these things happen? Heck No.
I can’t even count how many screw-ups I had in both of those categories, but what kept me in the game was persistence. It’s all about making sure the right decisions outnumber the bad ones. If it’s a special occasion and you’re out with friends, enjoy yourself. If you’re sick and can’t work out, don’t work out. Just make sure you are ultimately eating healthy on most regular days and working out when you’re feeling healthy. If fitness is causing the same amount of stress as the amount of stress you had when you were unhealthy, chill out for a bit and re-assess what you want to do.
It’s important to stay healthy, but it’s even more important to stay sane.