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ATW Nutrition Coaching
5 minute read
8 Dec 2017
12:38 pm

The 5 non-negotiables for effective weight loss

ATW Nutrition Coaching

There is so much information out there about weight loss and dieting, that it’s almost impossible to wrap your mind around which ideas will work best for you.

Picture: iStock

Because there is so much information, and you can’t possibly do everything that everyone is suggesting. You might have decided to just ‘give up’ on your weight loss goals, but don’t despair.

Researching new theories and diet concepts, and trying to implement new weight loss and diet techniques will leave you exhausted and dissatisfied with your results. Also, a lot of the time we get so bogged down in the research that we don’t even get to the implementation part.

So to help you break it down, I’ve put together five simple ideas for effective weight loss. These are the non-negotiables. If you don’t do these, then your weight loss journey will be tough.

If you do implement these, you’ll find yourself losing weight consistently, and in a healthy way that will ensure the weight loss is long-lasting.

Do this and you’ll be right on track for a super healthy, weight-loss friendly lifestyle.

1. You do have to count calories

Yes, as unfashionable, and annoying as this is, the simplest idea in dieting still stands.

You have to eat (and drink) fewer calories than you burn every day in order to lose weight. Calories are the body’s fuel. If they’re not used, they get stored. It’s as simple as that. You want your body to start using up all the stored calories it already has.

Ensure that your diet is rich in nutrients and vitamins, but low on calories (not too low either, you don’t want to starve yourself). This is a process, and it takes time. Be patient, measure your calories, and your progress will be consistent and effective.

2. The quality of your calories counts too


Picture: AFP/File/David Gannon

If you need to eat 2 000 calories per day to lose weight, why not eat them from chocolate bars? I mean, at least you may enjoy the diet then.

I’m sure you know this already, but eating chocolate bars all day, every day, for a long period of time won’t make you feel good. It won’t make you healthier, it will almost certainly make you unhealthier, and it certainly won’t satisfy your hunger.

All these things will make you miserable, and you’ll end up binge-eating. So while you could do a diet of chocolate bars, you’re going to be far better off eating proper foods for humans, like vegetables and fruits.

These will offer the vital nutrition your body needs to function optimally. You’ll have more energy (for exercise!), and you’ll have a clearer head and fewer illnesses. All this gives your body the time and energy to do what it does best – burn fuel.

3. There is no ‘evil’ macronutrient

vegetables, fruit, potassium, food

Protein, fats, carbohydrates … one of them always seems to be in the dog box – depending on which diet is popular at a specific time.

But here’s the truth: macronutrients exist because your body needs them to function at optimum levels of health. None of them are evil.

However, the quality and type of macronutrient that you choose to eat can affect your diet. For example, among the proteins, plant proteins have fewer weight and health risks than animal ones do. When eating carbs, a banana or potato is obviously a lot better for you than a cake. If you’re eating fats, go for avocado, nuts and omega-rich flax seed or fish rather than greasy bacon and other animal fats.

Just be careful not to vilify a whole group of foods because of your lack of self-control when it comes to the really ‘nice ones’. Balance is important.

4. Dieting is a long-term thing

Yes you can lose a couple of kilos in a couple of weeks, but for most people, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

If you need to lose 10 or 20 or 30 kilogrammes, you need to give yourself time to do so, and then exercise a lot of self-discipline to see it through. If you think about it, this is logical. Think about how long it took to put on the weight … a few years at least. Weight gain is a slow process, and healthy weight loss is just as slow. But believe me, the end result is so worth the effort!

I’m sorry to tell you that you are not going to find any artificial weight-loss pill/programme/treatment that will make weight loss quicker. But if you eat the right quantity and quality of food every day for a long time, you’ll see real results.

5. These things harm your diet the most


A nice glass of tawny (Credit: Jon Sullivan/Wikimedia Commons)

There are some seemingly ‘normal’ things that make weight loss much more difficult.

Here are some of them:

  • Alcohol
  • Chronic medication (Please do not stop or change any chronic meds without consulting your doctor)
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress
  • Dehydration
  • Environmental toxins
  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of self-control

You need to make sure these things are all taken into account in your weight-loss journey. Go through the list and try to identify how much each of these things affects your life right now. Take each item, and work on that aspect for the next two weeks. Once that’s sorted out, move on to the next item.

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