You are NOT “doing everything I can”, says Shannon Collins, nutrition coach on weight loss journeys. In a long post on Instagram, the expert shares, "I will say, my biggest pet peeve as a coach, is talking to people who are actively pursuing fat loss and getting like 3k steps a day."
"It’s frustrating to me that people waste a lot of time and even money but don’t even have “the basics” of fat loss in play. So here I am revealing “the secret”," she writes and goes on to explain the 5 secrets of weight loss:
Calorie deficit is essential
Calories deficit is when you reduce the intake of calories and keep it less than the actual amount of calories you burn.
Stressing on calorie intake, Shannon says, "Nutrition must be in a calorie deficit. Eating/ drinking less calories (energy) than you use (burn) in a day. Nothing else matters if this is not in check. Can't out-exercise a terrible diet," and emphasizes on not just quantified eating but also mindful eating.
Weight training should be your priority
Weight training automatically becomes a part of daily routine the moment you embark on a weight loss journey.
"Weight training should be your #1 priority as far as workout activity. Some of you can build muscle while losing fat! Take advantage. We also want to maintain what muscle we currently have. Having more muscle on your frame will burn more calories at rest and will make you look toned," Shannon says.
Focus on non-exercise activity
While exercises are a must, one should also keep in mind that non-exercise activities like walking, climbing staircases and other such activities which do not come under the purview of the gym should be done throughout the day as well.
"Increase your non-exercise activity throughout your entire day. Easiest way to do this is through walking and tracking a step count. Stop being sedentary and be expecting to lose fat," the expert suggests.
Increase protein intake
The golden rule of weight management is cutting down carbs and increasing protein intake. One should portion the meals accordingly so that the body is provided the right kind of nutrients in order to keep the weight under control.
"Keep protein consumption high! 0.8-1 gram per pound of body weight for the average sized person. Your body uses more energy (calories) to digest protein over carbs/ fats. It is also imperative to prevent muscle wasting during a dieting phase. We want to lose fat, not muscle!," the expert explains.
Sleep is very important
Adults should get 7-8 hours of sleep in a day. While some people can seem to pull off an entire day with less sleep, it is medically not advisable. Even if you can manage it, do complete the number of hours of sleep compulsorily.
"Get plenty of quality sleep! A well rested body will be able to perform better in the gym. A tired, exhausted body will have an increased appetite and hunger throughout the day due increased ghrelin and decreased leptin. This makes over eating more likely to happen," says Shannon.
On cardio workouts, which are unavoidable for a healthy body and indispensable when you want to lose weight, the expert explains, "increase cardio if the previous measures are not enough. Remember cardio will always be more about heart and mental health, not long term physique changes.”