Don’t you wish to have an easy manual to maintain a healthy body weight? Well, if it was that easy, we would all be blessed with them abs, but it’s not the case, unfortunately. It takes consistency, will power -yes, so redundant-, and time to list a few! What can make things easier though, is having a clear plan and knowing what to do and what to avoid. While there are many variants when it comes to achieving your weight goals, I’ve compiled 4 main points to consider so you’d be able to see satisfying results in the near future. So let’s start right away:
Counting Calories & Macronutrients
For me, this is the most effective part and I couldn’t stress enough how important this is for reaching your goals, I know it sounds dreadful and troublesome but there is no escaping it, it is the magic bullet. Whether you want to gain muscles, lose fat, increase strength, or endurance, maintaining body weight this is your ticket. Luckily, there are apps like MyFitnessPal that can help you do that process. All you gotta do is just add the food and the quantity and the app has a database with the nutrition facts that you need. If you are too lazy to do so or you don’t have time, you can simply determine your daily desired calories and search the internet for diet templates containing the same amount of calories you desire to eat daily.
However, the drawback of that method is that the food might not match your preference or your macronutrient ratio. If the previous two ways don’t work with your lifestyle, you can seek the assistance of a nutritionist. This will save you from the hassle by setting up a diet program according to your required calories in the form of daily meals with easy to measure units. While it may sound fancy, I have to admit that it saves you a lot of time!
Setting Realistic Goals
We all know how we can be really unrealistic sometimes when it comes to goal! Only Beyonce and Christian Bale who can lose zillion kilos in one week! For the rest of us ordinary people, losing 15 kg in a month or gaining 10kg muscles over summer is a recipe for despair and depression! A simple piece of advice would be having both short term and long term goals withing realistic timelines. For short term goals, 0.5-1 kg pure fat loss is very efficient on a weekly basis for weight loss, and if you want to gain muscle unless you are a beginner, genetic freak, or on steroids, your goal should be about 0.5 kg muscle gain per week. For long term goals, it should be solid, like transforming your shape, having visible 6 pack abs, beating your personal record for a certain lift, or simply just being in your best shape!
Don’t Let The Scale Fool You
I was 100% guilty of falling into this rookie mistake. I depended on the scale only as an indicator for progress and that is wrong. You should use the scale as one tool of many to determine your progress, and here’s why:
- Our weight on the scale can fluctuate for many reasons, like having a full stomach or empty, the outfit you wear during weighing, the carb intake during that day/the week before, the water intake, and water retention. So, you should set a fixed day with fixed timing each week, like each Friday morning, before breakfast and after going to the toilet. Try to minimize the clothes items you have when weighing yourself.
- Our body shape is always more important than the number on the scale. You should monitor yourself in the mirror and take pictures to witness changes. Let’s say 2 weeks have passed and you wanted to lose 2 kg of fat, but you find yourself losing only1 kg. Don’t let discourage you, because, in reality, you lost 2 kg fat and gained 1 kg muscle. This point can sound a bit confusing so I’ll have another article dedicated to this later.
Don’t Go Too Extreme
This step goes hand to hand with step 2. Reaching your goals requires consistency, and in order to be consistent, you have to be comfortable with your diet and lifestyle. At the end of the day, you are a human being with a busy life, work, and responsibilities. So, in order to reach your goals, don’t go overboard with your diet. Try to stick to the basics and do what is most suitable for you. Don’t stress over the picky details that will make you eventually end up quitting the whole thing. The most important point of all is to listen to your body. Remember that the most successful diet is the one that you can go on for the longest time possible, and that can turn into a lifestyle in the long run.
That’s all for now! Read more: Myths Debunked: Is Consuming Fat The Reason Why You Are Not Losing Weight?
Hossam El Morally
A pharmacist who squeezes workouts during exam nights, and a certified Sports Nutrition Coach who will make you regret the double Big Mac that you had last night!