7 Ways to Lose 7 Pounds

This is not a magic, ‘lose 7 pounds in an afternoon’ type of blog.  We’ve all read about or tried stupid ways to lose weight quickly.  And we’ve all piled it back on again, and then some, because those tips are not sustainable.

If you are looking for a magic bullet, you’re in the wrong place.  But if you are looking for some healthy and achievable ways to lose some weight, read on.

1. Use An App

There are some great apps out there to help you manage your weight loss.  Our favourites are Noom, FitBit and My Fitness Pal.

Now, before you think this sounds expensive, let us assure you it isn’t. All three of these apps offer a free version, so all the basic tools you need are there to help you manage your weight loss. If you need more support you can upgrade to the package you need. And the great news is, they all talk to each other which is great if you want to use them as exercise trackers.

2. Create a Calorie Deficit

The rules of weight loss are actually quite simple. Think of it like putting fuel in your car. If you use up all the fuel, you’ll have an empty tank, but if you don’t use it, that fuel just sits there.

Calories are the same.  If we don’t burn them up by moving or exercising, those extra calories just sit there slowing contributing to our weight gain.

Forget all the fads and special diets.  All any of us need to do to lose weight is create a calorie deficit.  We need to burn more than we are putting in.  Now that is where those free apps come in.  Take My Fitness Pal as an example.  The app allows you to scan barcodes on food and track everything you eat and drink in a daily log.

As the calories stack up,  you can make informed choices each day on what you decide to eat.  Link it to your exercise tracker, or use the FitBit app and you’ll also see how many calories you are burning through the day.

There are plenty of online calculators that you can use to work out what your deficit should be,  but a good rule of thumb would be to consume around 300-500 less calories than what your body needs each day.  This will help you lose weight at a sensible rate and won’t leave your energy levels in a slump.

3. Exercise is Your Friend

You don’t have to just cut back on your calories to create a deficit.  You can also burn them through exercising.

Now before you jump in the deep end and start exercising like a mad fool, just wait.  Moving more so you can eat and drink more is not the goal here at all.  So if you are celebrating the fact that you can drink more wine or eat more chocolate,  then stop reading now.  This blog is not for you!

Your goal would be to think of your extra calories as a bonus. If you did some overtime at work, you might have a bit of extra money in your pay packet. What you could so is save half but spend half on a treat for yourself. This is how you should view your bonus calories earned through moving more. Save some towards the deficit, but use some for a Yorkshire Pudding with your roast dinner, or a guilt-free ice cream on that day at the beach. Diets fail because we cut out the things we enjoy, when really all we need to do is cut back or make healthy swaps.

By using an app you’ll soon see the calories you are consuming and the ones you are burning.  The data will encourage you to keep up the good work, but it’s also fabulous enjoying a chocolate bar or glass of wine as a well earned treat, confident in the knowledge that you have not ruined all your hard work.

What’s even better is when that little voice pipes up in your head, persuading you to have a smaller glass of wine, or a treat size bar of chocolate.   Less calories and still having the things you enjoy?  Now that’s what we call a win-win!

4. Change Your Snacking Habits

Snacks themselves are not your downfall, but the snack or the size of it is where you are going wrong.  Noom is great at explaining this to you, suggesting lots of healthy or surprising swaps that still feel like a treat.

One thing Noom suggest is to go for snacks with a higher water content.  Stack you plate high with things that are 90% water and you’ll consume far less calories.  We might not be the biggest fan of salad, but grapes, strawberries and pineapple are delicious and packed with water.

If crisps are your go-to snack, then reach for lower calorie snacks such as French Fries, Quavers or those cute Pom Bears rather than your usual bag of Walkers Cheese & Onion.  Even better, invest in a popcorn machine and airpop your own popcorn.

If you must have chocolate then scale down to a smaller bar.  Even better, go for a smaller snack like a Penguin bar or 2-finger KitKat.   Or if you have the will power, buy better quality chocolate for that cocoa hit, but only eat a few squares and save the rest.

If crunchy veggies are your thing but don’t quite hit the spot, try them with a blob of peanut butter.  Celery works well, or if you prefer fruit, apple goes really well too.

Don’t cut out snacks completely though.  They are great at keeping energy levels up throughout the day.  If you cut out the snacks you’ll just binge on something later.  Then you just end up feeling bad and blow the whole day.

5. Change How You Eat

It’s not just about what you eat. How and when you eat are important factors too.

Try not to skip a meal or a snack.  This just makes you hungry later and that’s when you end up eating more or making bad choices.  Try and have 3 meals a day plus a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack.

When you are eating, focus on the food.  Stop watching TV, don’t eat at your desk and put your phone down.  Then chew your food slowly and carefully,  enjoying each mouthful, rather than hoovering up the contents of your plate.   The best benefit of eating slowly is that you won’t miss the signal of feeling full.  It’s OK to stop eating when you feel full.  If you are in a restaurant,  ask them to pack up any leftovers and you’ve got a tasty snack or lunch ready to go.

Speaking of plates, take a look at the sizes of them. As kids we were conditioned to clear our plates and finish the food put in front of us. As adults we subconsciously do the same thing, but plates these days are a lot bigger so we often eat more than we need unintentionally.

6. Reorganise Your Food Cupboards

This one probably sounds so obvious, but when it comes to reaching for unhealthy options, out of sight really is out of mind.

It’s all too easy to grab the chocolate, crisps or a biscuit if they are the first thing to greet you when you open the fridge or a cupboard, so the solution here is simple.

Store treats somewhere out the way so you don’t come across them easily.  Don’t use clear containers or bags, as you’ll still be able to see them.

Make reaching for higher-calorie treats a deliberate decision and not something you do as a subconscious habit.

7. Drink More Water

Sometimes we misread the signals and we reach for food when all our body actually needs is some fluid.

When you are hungry, drink some water then go back to what you were doing and distract yourself.

If you are still hungry in 15 or 20 minutes later, then you know it’s time for a meal or a snack. But if that feeling of hunger has gone, you’ll know you were just thirsty and have saved yourself a heap of calories to enjoy later, or contribute to the deficit you are trying to create.

Now the really important thing to do before you hit the gym or make big lifestyle changes is to talk to the experts. Your local doctor’s surgery will have a nurse who would be more than happy to help you make healthy changes to your lifestyle. Please talk to the professionals before you embark on a health plan.

The smallest changes really will help you to lose weight.  Just be sensible and patient … you didn’t put the weight on overnight and there’s no miracle plan to lose it either.  A slow, healthy weight loss achieved in a sensible and sustainable way really is the key.


Published by So Just Be

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