6 Uncommon Weight Loss Journey Tips

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Tip 1 – Weigh yourself every day, but don’t look

One of the biggest hurdles newcomers to weight loss hit is what can be called “scale obsession”. This is when we get so excited about our new journey that we weigh ourselves every single day and are taken aback by the fact that we didn’t lose any weight day-to-day, even after hardcore cardio sessions. It can be heartbreaking and completely shut down your will to continue.

I used to be one of these people, that is until I discovered scales that can sync to an app on your phone. Personally, I use the Fitbit Aria 2, which syncs to my Fitbit app after every weigh in. For me, it has been liberating. You obviously want to check your weight, know where you are starting from and to see some progress, but this eliminates the need to have to look each time.

Why does this help? Because, you can weigh in each morning, go about your day without having to worry about the scale said. In addition to this, once you do look at the numbers (I highly recommend every two weeks) you will see that weight loss isn’t linear and neither are the numbers on the scale. Some days you might be up, some days you might be way down. This is because some variables change day-to-day. Maybe your bowels are full, maybe you had too much salt or are bloated some days. Overall, though, if you are doing the right things and staying committed, you will see the daily trend going in the right direction.

Bottom Line: Get a Wi-Fi enabled scale that can sync to your phone or app. Weigh yourself every morning but DON’T LOOK until 10-14 days have passed. This will help you understand how your body changes.

If you are looking for a good scales and don’t want the Fitbit, these are also good for syncing: Withings Smart Body Composition Scale, iHealth Wireless Body Composition Scale.

Tip 2 – If you snack, brush your teeth immediately!

Look, it isn’t reasonable that you are going to go on a 6-12 month weight loss journey and completely cut out all snacks, sugar, or other junk food. In my journey, I have had plenty of all these things, and more. But there is one thing I have also noticed: as soon as I have one chip, one cookie, one bite of ice cream, my brain and body instantly crave more.

It is a well-known fact that sugar intake releases dopamine in the brain. [1] This means that when you eat sugar you feel happy and an overall better sense of well-being. Like the way drugs and alcohol can affect you. Because of this, once you have that one bite of sugar, your brain instantly wants more and more, often causing people to binge eat.

I am no exception to this. However, I have found a solution that works for me. If I slip up and have sugar or junk food outside of a cheat meal, I will use mouth wash or brush my teeth after the first bite. By doing so, all that sugary and salty flavor that was coating my taste buds is instantly gone. Overpowering my brain becomes much easier. It’s amazing what toothpaste/mouth wash can do to the taste of a treat. I use Tom’s cinnamon toothpaste or Crest mouthwash. Trust me, nothing tastes good for a while after.

Bottom line: Toothpaste/mouth wash are your friend. They can help stop a binge before it begins.

Tip 3 – Eat vegetables throughout the day.

When you are first starting out, one of the hardest things to do is ignore the constant feeling of hunger and the growling of your stomach. You just changed it up on your body and it will resist.

There are two friends you have in this battle: vegetables and water. Vegetables, such as carrots and broccoli, are full of fiber (which helps you feel full). [2] In addition to this, they are not very calorie-dense, but can take a lot of room up in your stomach, helping to neutralize much of that empty-stomach-feeling acid. If you can, I’d recommended eating these kinds of foods throughout the day, as often as possible when you first start. Eat them BEFORE you start to feel hungry.

Water is also a great tool to help you feel full, make sure you are hydrated, and is great for your skin. Often, people think they are hungry, but their bodies are just dehydrated. When you start to get the growl in your stomach, drink 12oz of water, wait 15 minutes and see if you feel better before consuming food.

Bottom Line: Eat fiber-rich foods, drink a good amount of water throughout the day. Do this BEFORE you feel hungry.

If you are interested, casein protein shakes are a great way to curb hunger. It is a slow-releasing protein which takes a couple of hours for your body to digest and absorb. I find it great for feeling full when I do not want vegetables. Some brands I recommend are: Optimum Nutrition, Dymatize Elite, and Naked Casein, which is great because it has no artificial ingredients.

Tip 4 – Eat a large meal before consuming alcohol

Drinking alcohol makes you hungry. [3] This is reportedly not due to a loss of control, but it turns on your brains signals that cause you to want to eat. As you might imagine, this is a double whammy for your weight loss journey. Personally, I love to have a craft beer or two (a nice glass of Cab Sav is also always welcome) and this was one of my biggest struggles when choosing to lose weight. Drinking was more than just “trying to feel good” but it is what my friends and I did together, as a hobby (tasting different beers) and as a way of connecting socially.

For the longest time alcohol held me back before I discovered a way to get around some of the more negative effects on my journey. My solution? Eat a large, healthy meal full of fiber, water, fat and protein before drinking. There are so many benefits to this. One, your stomach will be full which means you will want to drink less (especially beer) and when it’s time for those signals to come on that tell you to eat, your stomach can significantly help you counteract that. Two, having food in your system significantly slows down the absorption of alcohol, meaning those hunger signals won’t come on as strong and your body has time to filter the alcohol out.

Bottom Line: Eat a large healthy meal, enjoy your life, your friends, and your hobbies while keeping the harm to your weight loss journey at a bare minimum.

Side tip here: alcohol dehydrates your body and causes you to lose valuable electrolytes. I do a bulk order of water with electrolytes that I keep at home and in the trunk of my car. So when before I drink, I have consume one of these bottles of water beforehand. Another way to do this is to buy electrolyte packets that you can mix with water anywhere.

Tip 5 – Do not do too much too soon

When I began my weight loss journey, I told myself: I will eat low carb every day, I will do 45 minutes of cardio every day, no added sugar, no cheat days, etc. I’m sure you can imagine how successful that attempt was. You must understand; a weight loss journey is a big change in your life. People are often afraid of change and it can be very hard. But what if we look at this another way? What if we tell ourselves, we will make one change per week over the course of several weeks?

For example, you start by doing an elliptical workout 15 minutes a day, 3 days a week. Will this get you to drop 50lbs in 3 months? No, but it will be a step in the right direction. Next, you say to yourself, I will limit my calorie intake to a certain maximum per day. For instance, perhaps you are currently eating 3,000 calories a day as a 5’8” female. This, of course, is likely way too many (unless you are doing some serious bodybuilding). But instead of cutting out 1,500 of those calories all at once, you cut 500 the first week, 250 the next, 250 the next, and so on.

The point of this kind of change is to allow your body and mind to adjust to what is happening. Personally, I would always psych myself out with how daunting everything was to try and do all at once. But if your routine becomes one of these first steps, suddenly, the changes are happening gradually and its much easier for you to lean in to it.

Bottom Line: Make one adjustment to your diet and workout regime at a time. Make the change to what you want over the course of several weeks. Give your body and mind a chance to adjust.

Tip 6 – Do not talk about your journey to anyone

This tip likely isn’t for the reason you think. When we make a change like this in our lives, something that is good for us, we often have the inclination of wanting to talk about it. Take a step back and ask yourself, why? Why do people want to talk about their weight loss journey with others?
There can be many answers to this question, yes, but there’s one that’s very prevalent that will kill your motivation: validation and feeling of accomplishment. Often, people who are just starting out on their weight loss journeys make the change for a few days or a couple of weeks, see some pounds drop and instantly tell their friends/family/coworkers about it. Having these people tell you “good job”, “great work”, and “that’s amazing” does nothing to help you, rather, it makes it seem like you have accomplished something, when you really haven’t.

Everyone who wants to make a change should be encouraged, absolutely. But I wanted to share this tip as I found myself constantly doing this. I wanted the validation, I wanted the prize before I had even begun to work for it. I recommend letting your work speak for itself (wait for people to notice and they will). Doing so keeps you extremely motivated and when you have others noticing without a word, you know you have done something amazing. This feeling will keep you going.

Bottom Line: Don’t seek a reward for a goal you haven’t reached. Don’t look for validation. This journey is about you and you want nothing to kill your motivation before you begin.

As always, we recommend you start your weight loss journey by calculating your body mass index. This well help you understand where you are today and where you need to go. You can do this!

Sources:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15987666

[2] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss/art-20044318

[3] https://www.bbc.com/news/health-38562048

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By |2019-01-11T13:37:23+00:00January 9th, 2019|Fitness Tips, Weight Loss|Comments Off on 6 Uncommon Weight Loss Journey Tips