7 things losing 35 pounds taught me about how to eat for fat loss
- Losing weight may be simple, but it is not easy.
- Over the past six months, I've lost around 35 pounds, mainly due to changing my relationship with food.
- From why you should not cut out carbs to why the number is very little, I've learned a lot about how to make fat loss sustainable along the way.
- Here are seven of the most important lessons I've learned about healthy weight loss.
- Visit INSIDER's homepage for more stories.
Losing weight is, in theory, simple. But that does not make it easy.
Wishing to lose some weight, no matter how much, for health or esthetic reasons.
If it is as easy as it appears on paper, the multi-billion dollar diet industry would not exist.
Whether it's a reality tv star peddling a bikini lightning workout dvd, an influencer plugging laxative teas, or a tabloid claiming to have come up with a diet plan that will lose 10 pounds in a week, probably quick fixes are everywhere, because we all love the idea of putting in minimal effort and getting results almost.
But the truth is, none of these things work. There is no shortcut, and anything in rapid weight loss will not be healthy or sustainable.
You did not gain 10 pounds in a week, so how could you possibly loose it that quickly?
Over the past five months, I've lost around 35 pounds (15.2kg).
Like many people, my weight has fluctuated over my adult life, but at the end of 2018, I was the biggest and heaviest I'd ever been.
I felt sluggish, hated shopping, and barely fitted in any of my clothes (smocks were life), but I do not think I have done a body scan at the end of November.
I'd put on 5kg since I'd last weighed myself the previous July, and I'll call the number on the scale.
Read more: A bad diet could cause more deaths than smoking, according to a major new study
There's nothing wrong with gaining weight. If you're healthy, but I'm not gaining weight.
The weight had crept up over the years, as it often does. I always want to eat and drink, but as a 20-something living in London, I'm lost in the process of moderation or balance, binge-drinking and overeating.
My diet is not happy, but I was very active, but I was eating too much, often eating the point of pain.
I've had an unhealthy relationship with food and my body, and that's what I decided to do on the new year – might as well capitalize on the "new year, new year" vibe, after all.
Losing weight was not my main incentive, but it was part of the overall lifestyle switch. And that's what's different from every other time I've lost a few pounds.
It's 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 rather, approaching as a journey towards creating a healthier, happier, sustainable lifestyle.
And it worked.
As a lifestyle journalist with a focus on health, food, wellness and fitness, I was already well informed about how to live a healthy lifestyle. However, there's still so much I've learned this year, from how to deal with saboteurs (both separate articles entirely).
But maybe the most important changes.
Here are 7 lessons I've learned about how to eat to lose weight sustainably:
1. Cutting out foods only results in bingeing
Cutting bread, sugar, or anything else you enjoy out of your diet is not a good idea as you will only end up bingeing on it. Do you want to cut those delicious foods out forever? Did not think so.
While you may think you can "do not do" moderation, you can stop drinking. There's no such thing as "good" and "bad" foods, although yes, there are more and less nutrient-dense foods.
For me, it's also helped to think of foods in terms of macros, ie. are they a source of protein, carbs, or fats? So a bar of chocolate is a carb, just like a banana or oats, and they can all be part of a healthy diet.
Read more: I tried to eat healthily while ordering all my meals from food delivery apps for a week – here's what happened
When you colleague in a box of Krispy Kremes – you know what they taste like, you'll eat Donuts at a later point in your life, you do not need to eat one just because they're there. But at the same time, if you really want a donut, just eat one and enjoy it!
If you feel like you're picking yourself, it's never going to work.
2. Working out will not result in fat loss if you do not so address your diet
I've worked out 4 to 5 times a week, doing a mixture of weight-lifting, dance classes, and netball. I so active in my day-to-day life, walking at least 14,000 steps every day. But I was still overweight.
The past six months have seen, "You can not out-train a bad diet." Or, more specifically, a diet that simply involves consuming too much.
The fat-loss process (more on that other time), but if you think exercise alone is going to make your weight dropping off, you may be disappointed.
3. Upping your protein intake will help a lot
It's a complete myth that eating and eating with a protein shake on the side for every meal, but it's true that keeping your protein intake up is important.
In fact, various studies have shown that a high protein diet can help maintain muscle and boost metabolism, keep you feeling full, and reduce hunger.
Specialist in registered diet Nichola Ludlam-Raine told INSIDER.
"Eating around 1.6g of protein per kg of body weight, next resistance exercise, helps to maintain both muscle strength and metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns calories).
"The digestion of protein also requires more calories in comparison to carbs and fat, and help to keep you feeling full too."
Read more:Muscle-building protein bars can be just as bad for you as a chocolate bar. Here's how to tell which ones are actually healthy.
I have not been counting macros, but I have been eating at least 1.5g of protein per kg of my bodyweight every day, and there are lots of delicious ways to get your protein in (Greek yogurt, I'm looking at you ).
4. Do not fear fats, as they'll satisfy and keep you full
Wholegrain pasta and brown bread for slow-release energy and to keep it full between meals, but if you do not have any satiated, you will not be satiated and will be craving something else shortly after.
What's more, eating fats are essential to our overall health.
"All macronutrients (ie, carbs, protein, and fats) should be included as part of a healthy and balanced diet, with some proteins and fats being essential to eat as well as they are bodily The fatty acids need to be eaten as they are, "Ludlam-Raine explained.
"Fats in particular are essential in the diet as they help with hormonal function, vitamin absorption (A, D, E, K), and help to keep our hearts and blood vessels healthy.
"The predominant type of fat in our diet should be in olive oil, rapeseed oil, avocados, nuts and seeds as well as oily fish."
5. Cutting down on booze wants to have a huge impact
While I've never had a drinking problem, it's a booze, so you're a sociable person. That was my life for a long time.
I did Dry January (going sober for January) at the start of the year and felt so much better that I've drunkenly cut down my drinking since, and I've no doubt it's helped me loose weight – not just because alcohol is so incredibly high in calories, but because you always tend to eat more energy-dense foods both while drinking and the next day when you're feeling a bit worse for wear.
Read more: Drinking one bottle of wine a week could increase a woman's risk of cancer 10 cigarettes
What's more, more than enough.
You do not need to give alcohol altogether if you want to lose weight, because if you enjoy a drink, that's never going to be a sustainable way to live. But if you can cut it down, it'll help a lot.
6. The number on the scale means very little
We all talk about "weight loss" and many have been conditioned to live and by the scale. However, realistically, we should not be aiming for "fat loss," and not even that high-tech scales.
For you in your menstrual cycle, when you last went to the toilet, and other factors.
Read more: Getting too hungry could be stopping you from losing weight, according to a personal trainer
So you have to put on muscle, that affects your weight too.
I've learned to detach myself from the number on the scale, seeing it as just one measure of data and nothing more. Whether it's gone up or down, my day, it's only going to make a general trend over months.
Instead of obsessing over the scale, take progress photos every month and log your body measurements using a tape measure.
7. Overall calorie deficit is what it comes down to, but it does not need to be drastic
Despite all the fad diets we're bombarded with wherever we look, ultimately, losing weight comes down to being in an energy deficit.
But, you need to make sure that is not too drastic. There are two reasons for that: Firstly, if you cut your calories too low, your body will start burning your existing muscle as well as your fat, which is not what you want.
Then there's the fact that it is very dangerous.
"Calories are king when it comes to weight loss, but it's not as simple as it is possible, as our bodies do not like to go back and forth." binge, or by causing you to feel lethargic, which would make you less likely to burn, "Ludlam-Raine said.
"A moderate daily calorie calorie deficit of 300-600 calories (created by a reduction in calories and in addition to more through movement) is sufficient to burn.
The only way you'll make lasting change is if you enjoy your lifestyle while you're losing weight. Just try and make sure you're eating a little bit less than you were before, the pounds will come off, and you will not take your life in the process.