Starting a weight loss journey can be a daunting task for first-timers. Even with all the different diets out there, choosing the right fit for you may still prove to be a challenge. But despite all this, weight loss doesn’t necessarily need to be difficult. In fact, with just the right guidance, anyone can lose the first pounds without breaking a sweat.
This article will teach you 3 easy steps for losing weight in a healthy, effective, and safe manner.
All strategies for weight loss revolves around calorie intake. No matter the type of diet, whether it’s the ketogenic, high protein, or vegan – all abide by this law. And while knowing a great deal about calories can prove to be an advantage in the long run, as a beginner it’s good enough to know that it’s critical for losing weight.
Having said that, how do you lose weight by manipulating calories?
Here are the 3 steps to achieve that:
Step 1: Avoid Processed Food
If you really want to lose weight, avoiding junk is by far the most important step. In fact, most individuals will see results simply by avoiding any kind of processed food. From ice cream, chips, doughnuts, soft drinks, and so on.
Why the effect?
Again, it’s all because of the calories and the effect junk food has on the body — it doesn’t provide much satiation and in turn, causes you to eat more, leading to more calorie intake.
The more calories you eat, the more fat storage occurs — hence the weight gain.
Step 2: Reduce Caloric Intake
Once you get junk food out of the way, decreasing caloric intake (if you’re still not losing weight after a month of no junk) from whole food is the next big step.
There are two ways to do it: count calories or manage portion size.
A. Calorie Counting
Counting calories is by the fact the most effective method for dieting. However, it’s certainly not the easiest. In fact, the majority of beginners cringe by the thought of calculating every ounce of food on their plates. For some, it can even turn out to be a headache. But if you’re serious about keeping it a long term goal, then this approach will yield the highest success rate (you can even get away with eating some junk food if you master this method).
And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to count calories. All you have to do is head over to sites like nutritiondata.com or fatsecret.com, look up the ingredients used to cook your meals, then do the math.
Another good alternative would be to use applications like myfitnesspal, which is also pretty accurate.
B. The Portion Size Method
This strategy requires a little less thought than calorie counting. Here’s how you do it:
- Eat your meals 3 times daily (snacks must be avoided) to keep things constant.
- For every meal, remember to use serving cups.
- For carbohydrates (which should be limited to legumes, potatoes, yum, or brown rice), a maximum of 3 cups per day is the limit. That would turn out to be 1 cup of carbohydrate source for each of the 3 meals.
- For protein (i.e. chicken, lean beef, and fish), a maximum of 3 to 4 cups a day is also the limit.
- For oil, if the protein source isn’t fried or cooked in oil, then you may add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in one of your meals.
- Always include a serving of fruits and a serving of vegetables (preferably steamed) each meal.
Just make sure you stick to this method 5 days out of 7. And as for the remaining 2 days (most commonly weekends), you may add an additional meal (a cheat meal) on top of the 3 meals.
This will help you relieve some mental tension from dieting, and also avoid metabolic slowdown from the constant caloric deficit.
Step 3: Move More
While you certainly don’t need exercise to lose weight (though highly recommended to stay healthy), it’s an additional strategy to boost weight loss.
And it doesn’t have to be limited to working out or running. Anything that makes you move more will be effective — an hour of walking (you can even use a pedometer to set a specific step number each day), swimming, skiing, tennis, etc. So long as you stay active for at least 1 hour 3 times a week will do the trick.
As you can see, weight loss doesn’t need to be difficult. Again, this process can be summarized in 3 easy steps: avoid processed food, decrease caloric intake, and move more.
Once you get these steps dialed in, you’ll soon lose your first pounds without even noticing!