How to Start Your Weight Loss Journey (+ Free Guide)
Starting a weight loss journey can seem daunting for many. How do you start? How often should you workout? How much cardio do you need to add? What and how much can you eat?
These are all valid questions. That's why today we're sharing our trainn tips on how to start a healthy weight loss journey 👇🏼
#1 Set a realistic weight loss goal 📝
You already know the direction you want your fitness journey to go in, but setting yourself a clear & realistic goal is paramount to success. It will keep you organised in your efforts, make it easier to track your progress & motivate you by how far you're progressing along the way.
How to do it:
Ask yourself a few key questions to determine your goal:
Is there a specific weight, feeling or health condition I am trying to achieve?
Do I have a certain time frame, or do I just want to change my overall lifestyle?
How many times per week do I realistically see myself working out long term?
Which healthy habits would I like to include more of in my life?
Which unhealthy habits would I like to minimise?
#2 Get the right amount of protein 🥜
Protein is an incredible help for your weight loss journey. It helps keep you full for longer so you snack less on sugary treats, and it maintains and builds up your muscles so you're burning fat, not muscle. Proteins will help repair muscle tissue after every workout and build them stronger for the next session. It's ideal to spread out your protein intake throughout the day instead of having it all in 1 or 2 meals. There's only so much protein our body can absorb in one sitting.
How to do it:
For each of your 3 main meals, aim to get in 15-30g of protein. This could for example be 180g tofu, 200g of cooked chickpeas, 2.5 eggs or 120g chicken or soy mince substitute.
Out of your 3 main meals every day, try to keep 1 of those meals solely protein and veg. This could be a spicy black bean chili, or scrambled tofu. For the other 2 meals be sure to include carbs & healthy fats as well.
💡 Reminder: just because you're trying to lose weight, it doesn't mean your diet should only consist of protein and vegetables - healthy carbs & fats are just as important. Fats keep your brain & hormones healthy, while carbs give you energy for your day (and workouts). Be sure to include carbs & healthy fats in your diet.
#3 Start a realistic workout routine 💪🏼
It’s easy to say to yourself you're going to start doing an hour of cardio everyday, but we all know this isn't realistic in the long run. If you do this, you'll burn yourself out after only a few weeks, and you'll have zero energy or motivation for your life outside the gym.
Therefore, when starting your weight loss journey, set a realistic amount of workouts you're able to maintain long term. Focus most of your workouts around strength training, and add in cardio slowly.
If we don't prioritise strength training during a weight loss journey, we risk our body burning muscle instead of fat. Strength training will also leave you with more overall rewarding results
How to do it:
Set yourself an amount of workouts per week, you can see yourself maintaining in the long run.
Ideally, aim to start with for 2-4 strength workouts per week and a total of 60-90 mins low intensity cardio per week. For best results, do cardio after your strength workouts or on separate days.
#4 Track your progress 📉
Whichever fitness journey you’re on, tracking your progress is useful. It will help you stay on track and motivate you in the long run.
The 2 best measures of progress for your weight loss journey are taking pictures and weighing yourself (in the morning, before eating) Pictures help us see the changes we don’t notice looking in the mirror every day. Comparing them to your start pictures will motivate you more than you think!
Weighing yourself regularly lets you know if you're losing weight steadily and when it's time to make any changes.
How to do it:
Aim to take pictures before your journey and every 8-10 weeks thereafter; and weigh yourself every few days.
Track your progress daily or weekly. If you notice a few weeks go by without any change in the numbers, make small changes to your nutrition or add in more exercise.
#5 Avoid hitting a plateau ✍🏼
Hitting a plateau is when your progress comes to a standstill – when you haven’t lost weight for a few weeks and you’re not feeling stronger in the gym. You feel like you've hit a stop.
Don't worry, many of us hit a plateau every once in a while. It's completely normal and only means your body has adapted so you need to introduce a few further changes. It is however important to remind yourself that your weight won’t necessarily go down every single week - that’s normal. So don't take any drastic measures after a bad few days or a week.
How to do it:
If 2 or 3 weeks go by with no progress at all, try making simple adjustments like eating more protein, swapping out your snacks, lowering calories slightly, or upping your strength or cardio training. Nothing too drastic.
With a personalised training plan from the trainn app you'll know exactly how to workout each week and see the right amount of progress in your workouts, so you can avoid as much as possible hitting a plateau.
Reminder: as motivating as it is to see your weight go down every day, it's completely normal if a few days (or even a week) goes by without any progress in your weight. It's normal and your body sometimes needs time to adjust. So don't beat yourself up or make any drastic changes after a few "bad days" 😌
#6 Have a healthy approach to food 🌱
It’s no secret that to lose weight you'll need to make a few diet changes. However, it's important to build a diet you can see yourself maintaining in the long run.
As easy as it is to set up strict rules for yourself like "I'll only eat chicken salads from now on" and "I can never eat chocolate or ice cream", this is not sustainable. Avoid falling into the trap of thinking there are good foods and bad foods. Instead, think that there are certain foods you should eat more of (protein, veggies and wholegrain carbs) and other foods you should enjoy in moderation (sugary treats or fried food)
Having a balanced diet with all kinds of food is proven to not only be more relaxed and enjoyable, but also help you maintain your new weight for life.
Let's wrap up - here's what you should do
There can be plenty of changes to make when starting a weight loss journey, which is why a slow and steady approach give you the best results in the long run. To recap here are the initial steps you should go through:
Set yourself a realistic goal
Build in strength training 2-4 times per week
Slowly build up cardio
Include protein with every meal
Include carbs & fats for 2 meals per day
Make minor adjustments if your progress stalls
Keep a routine of tracking your progress
Enjoy food with a healthy mindset and don't set up strict rules for yourself
We have created a FREE 20-week Trainn Guide designed to help you level up your workouts. Every week you'll receive effective workouts, high-protein recipes and healthy habits to live by. Click here to start the 20-week Trainn Guide.
Ready to start chasing your fitness goals? Download the trainn app.