Written by Sarah Louise & Bill Wynne • Updated Jan 9, 2022
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 📝 How to start a weight loss journey
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 and make it easier to chart your progress & keep tabs.
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 less healthy habits would I like to minimise?
#2 Get the right amount of protein 🥜 How to start a weight loss journey
Protein is an incredible help for your weight loss journey. Firstly, it helps you feel full for longer, so you therefore snack less on sugary treats. And secondly, it maintains and builds up your muscles, so you ensure it’s fat you’re burning off.
How to do it:
Aim to eat 15-25g of protein for each main meal. Examples could be 150g tofu, 120g soy mince, or 200g of cooked red lentils, chickpeas or black beans.
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.
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 💪🏼 How to start a weight loss journey
It’s easy to think non-stop cardio is the answer when it comes to weight loss. When you’re starting your fitness journey build cardio in slowly – you’ll avoid feeling burnt out, losing motivation and having no energy.
Strength training is more important, because it not only burns more calories in the long run, but also maintains your strength and leaves you with more overall rewarding results.
How to do it:
Aim for 2-4 strength workouts per week and start with a total of 90 mins low intensity cardio per week. For best results, do cardio after your strength workouts or on separate days.
#4 Monitor your progress 📉How to start a weight loss journey
Whichever fitness journey you’re on, monitoring your progress is useful. It will help you stay on track and motivate you in the long run.
The 2 best measures of progress 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 any changes.
How to do it:
Aim to take pictures before your journey and every 8-10 weeks thereafter. Weigh yourself (regularly) in the morning and take note of your progress.
#5 Avoid hitting a plateau ✍🏼 How to start a weight loss journey
‘Plateauing’ 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. Think of it like athletes ‘hitting the wall’.
Hitting a plateau happens to all of us, and simply means it’s time to make small but necessary adjustments. 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 have gone by with no progress at all, try making simple adjustments like; eating more protein, lowering calories slightly, or upping your strength or cardio training. Nothing too drastic.
#6 Healthy approaches to food 🌱How to start a weight loss journey
It’s no secret that you need to make diet changes, when you're starting a weight loss journey. However, avoid falling into the trap of thinking you can ‘never eat’ your favourite snacks again, or that you have to completely cut them out.
It’s not true and it probably won’t be sustainable.
Instead, think of all the new things you are gaining in your diet - new healthy recipes, new snacks, more energy and veggies you probably haven't cooked with before. It’s time to learn new healthy ways of living and eating.
There can be plenty of changes to make when starting a weight loss journey. That's why a slow and steady approach will 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 almost 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 of gaining rather than cutting out
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