Lose weight by yourself | Master these 12 techniques to succeed
This is my first blog of many, so first I will introduce myself quickly.
I’m a physiotherapist living in the Netherlands. My wife is a lifestyle coach who knows how to change people’s behavior.
I’ve been helping people with their physical problems through my website Always Fysio for a few years now.
But I also have a passion for helping people with other problems.
Especially weight loss.
And not just because the weight is a problem but primarily because being overweight prevents you from doing the things you want to do.
A few examples:
- Playing with your children or grandchildren
- Making a nice walk through the forest or the park on your holiday
- Climbing stairs without having to rest for 5 minutes after
You know what I mean.
It just sucks not to be able to do the normal things in life.
And I want to help you solve this problem permanently.
Since I haven’t been overweight ever, I know exactly how you can maintain your weight and still enjoy your life.
And I’m going to teach you how you can do the same.
There are a lot of things that prevent you from maintaining your weight.
Most of which you’re not even aware.
So let’s start right now.
The first thing you need is an activity tracker to monitor your activity level during the day. It will you to increase your activity level during the day, which will help you reduce cravings and hunger and also increases the number of calories you burn.
1. The only diet that works is a diet you can maintain for the rest of your life
Everyone has tried them: Diets
Some are very strict; some are a little easier to follow. But they have one thing in common:
They restrict you from eating certain things.
Wheatear’s carbs or fat, you have to cut down completely on one of them.
It works great for losing weight quickly. But it doesn’t work in the long run.
That’s because you can’t maintain this kind of diets.
In fact, in a study conducted in 2005, they compared four different diets. However, only 50% of the participants completed the trial. That means that 50% didn’t want to follow the diet for the full testing period. Also, the weight loss after one year was minimal. It mainly depended on dietary adherence. The higher the dietary adherence, the higher the weight loss.
The problem is that at one point, you’re just craving for a specific type of food that you haven’t eaten for a long time.
That’s when people collapse and give up.
The key is to maintain a diet that you can continue to follow for the rest of your life, without getting sick of it.
That leads us to the second thing you have to master to lose weight by yourself.
2. Classical conditioning
Another major factor is classical conditioning.
Ivan Pavlov was the first to research classical conditioning. That’s why it’s also known as the Pavlov Reflex. He found that you can teach a dog that hearing a bell means food which causes him to drool. Even when there is no food present.
It’s the expectation of something happening at a particular moment.
In humans, its no difference.
For example, we have a habit at home to eat fries every Friday. We just came accustomed to this.
When I lived at my parents’ house when I was a kid, we didn’t do this.
The thing is that now on Friday I have cravings for fries and don’t want to eat anything else that day for dinner. As a Kid, I didn’t have that feeling because I didn’t expect it.
In other words: I became Classical conditioned.
Everybody got these habits.
The trick is to identify these situations to be able to turn it around. It will reduce the number of cravings you have during the day and will result in eating less and losing weight.
Eating less is one of the main things you have to do to lose weight.
You know: A minute on the lips a lifetime on the hips.
3. Improve willpower and self-control
In 2018 a study was conducted to see what happens in your brain when you’re at a caloric deficit trying to lose weight. They found that when you lose weight, levels of leptin, and ghrelin in your brain reduces overtime.
It also reduces the activity in the brain regions that are responsible for the excellent feeling you get after eating. That results in less craving and less emotional eating.
However, these changes only started to kick in after three months.
That’s why training self-control is necessary. You have to get through these first three months to notice real results and increase your chances of permanent weight loss.
Mastering this technique might be the essential feature of people that can maintain their weight loss over time.
Also, your locus of control is an essential factor for the effectivity of your weight loss journey. Research shows that people with an internal locus of control have the most significant change in maintaining their weight loss over several years.
An internal locus of control means that you believe that you can influence your life and many things that happen in your life.
People with an external locus of control believe that everything that happens in their life happens due to forces outside of their control. They think that they are not able to change the course of their life. They are less like likely to reach their goals and live a happy life.
You can also buy this book about willpower written by a well-known psychiatrist and will help you with small exercises to improve your will power to change your life and be happier.
4. Exercising is not fun, so make it enjoyable
Exercising isn’t fun. Especially if you just began.
That’s because of endorphin, the hormone that makes exercise fun releases after 30 minutes of exercising.
That means that during the first 30 minutes of exercising, you won’t feel the benefit of exercising, you only feel the pain.
But exercising is essential when you want to lose weight. Exercising is the perfect way to use more calories then you consume.
That’s why you should make it fun. You can do this for instance by exercising in front of your tv.
Watching your favorite tv program gives you the endorphins as well, providing you with the lucky feeling that otherwise would have been provided through the exercise itself.
Riding a stationary bike in front of your tv is a great way to burn more calories, feel better and fitter and just become happier. Therefore I picked the best stationary bike for you. It shows you how many calories you’ve burned, your heart rate and many other things that will keep you motivated to perform even better the next time. The best thing is that you can fold this bike away so it doesn’t take much space in the room.
That is how you can make exercise fun and also without it interfering with your favorite activities.
5. Know how many calories you need
To lose weight you have to balance your calorie intake and usage.
So to know how much you need to eat, you first have to estimate how many calories you use.
Of course, some days its more than other days, but it’s about the average.
To lose weight, your calorie intake has to be lower than your calorie usage.
When you know the balance, you can calculate more or less what and how much you have to eat.
You can use a calorie calculator to calculate how many calories you need. And with the myfitnesspal app, you can calculate how many calories you consume during the day. To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories then you use.
With these two tools, you know how your balance is and what you need to do to start losing weight.
You can either use more or consume less.
6. If you use less, take less
Some days you are more active than others. Balancing your calorie intake on your demand is essential to losing weight.
That means that when you are less active, you should eat less as well.
This way you won’t gain weight when you have a less active week, like during your holiday.
We do the same at home: On Sunday, we eat hardly anything because we don’t do much.
I had to adjust in the beginning, but now I like it very much.
And then it’s not a problem that the food is not healthy. It’s only one day in the week, and it’s a relatively small amount.
7. Drink more water against cravings
When you eat less, you will feel hungry for food during the day especially at the beginning of the process.
Study suggests that It helps to drink plenty of water if you want to lose weight.
Water fills up your stomach. It makes your belly to expand.
Because your stomach expands, it sends a signal to your brain that you’re full.
It will make your sense of hunger disappear.
That is why drinking a lot of water will let you lose weight. You eat less because of it. You have to do this during the entire day and not just around your meals because that doesn’t work.
If you don’t like water, you can look at some lime or lemon to it, to give it some flavor.
To make sure you drink enough water during the day, putting a water bottle on your desk will help you drink more. I selected a water bottle for you that will motivate you to drink more water to help you with your weight loss.
8. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
A study shows that when you eat breakfast you can better concentrate, increases alertness and were in a better mood during the day.
Another study showed that people who ate breakfast were more active in the morning. Also, the total calorie intake reduced during the entire day. Also consuming more calories in the morning is more effective for weight loss than consuming more calories in the evening.
As you can see, eating breakfast has a lot of positive effects on your weight as well as the happiness in your life. There are more reasons why you should eat breakfast. I experience this myself as well. I can’t run or study before I ate breakfast. I don’t have the focus or power. That’s why I never skip breakfast.
It doesn’t matter if I have to wake up at 5 in the morning or 9 in the morning. I eat the same amount of breakfast.
Unfortunately for many people, it’s hard to eat breakfast because they’re not hungry in the morning.
Luckily this is also something you can learn.
It also has everything to do with what your body expects. If it doesn’t expect you to eat it won’t make you feel hungry to be able to consume anything. You have to train it.
To help you get started with breakfast, I selected a great book you can buy here with 75 easy and healthy breakfast recipes. That way, eating breakfast will be healthy and easy.
And after breakfast, you’ll have to eat regularly to prevent cravings. I’ll show you how this works now.
9. Eat regularly to prevent cravings
Cravings is the feeling that you have to eat something or that you’re hungry for a specific food.
Several factors contribute to the feeling of hunger or having cravings.
One of the main things I’ve discussed already is Classical conditioning.
When you know you will eat something specific because you always eat it on the same day and time, you will experience cravings for that food.
Drinking a lot of high sugar soft drinks are associated with weight gain. There are also indications that drinking high sugar drinks increases appetite. That’s because your body doesn’t recognize the carbs in the soft drinks. That’s why it doesn’t fill you up resulting in consuming more calories.
It’s also very addictive resulting in more cravings.
What you want to do instead is eating products that are high in fibers and protein. A study shows that eating high fiber and protein meals increase satiety.
Another critical factor is the availability of food. If the food that you often crave for, especially candy, potato chips, etc. are easily accessible, this will increase cravings as well. Just not having the food you often crave for will reduce the cravings.
Also, by only treating yourself in the weekend will prevent you from craving for it during the week. That is because you know you will eat it in the weekend.
That’s always better than not eating it at all because this is something you can’t maintain.
10. Treat yourself in the weekend, not the entire week
Treats like chocolate, hamburgers or soda taste very good but are not your best choice. They contain a lot of sugar and saturated fats.
This way, you will add a lot of calories to your daily amount. This way, it will be challenging to lose weight.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t eat them at all.
That’s what a diet would do.
Instead, limit the tastiest, and often most unhealthy, food to just the weekend. This way, you can control your calorie intake during the week, which allows you to take a little extra sometimes at the weekend.
The weekend is only 2/7 of your week after all.
So over the entire week, you can still eat less then you need, letting you lose weight. This way, it will be easy to maintain this lifestyle because you can even eat everything you want. You have to limit it.
It will also improve the taste of your food because now it’s something you’re looking forward.
11. A minute on the lips a lifetime on the hips
It’s not just what you eat that is conditioned, but also how much you eat. You can learn to eat more just by doing it. Your body comes accustomed and adepts.
It happened to me as well — all my portions were too big, which causes me to gain weight.
Just reducing the size of my portions turned it all around again.
At first, you will feel hungry and unsatisfied, but this is just a period your body has to adapt. It’s an addiction you have to overcome. I’ll explain more about that later in this post.
If you keep your portions small, your body will become eventually adapt, and you will feel full again.
You have to know of course how much you need to eat to see if you overeat.
12. Motivate yourself by setting goals based on activities, not on the scale
Many people that want to lose weight, only focus on the number on the scale.
Unfortunately, the scale is often very depressing. The number doesn’t go down fast enough if you want to do it the right way. Losing weight is a life long process which means that the scale won’t give you any motivation for a while.
It’s much better to set goals based on activities that you want to be able to do again.
Many people can’t sit on the floor playing with their children or grandchildren merely because they can’t get up again.
They can’t play sports because they lack the stamina or their knees hurt
Or they can’t fit their favorite pants or that cute dress anymore.
These goals are usually much more motivational then simply pursuing a number on the scale.
The number on the scale fluctuates, and you often hit a plateau for a few weeks to even months.
It can be very demoting.
But when you are pursuing an activity that you want to be able to do again, it’s much easier to continue because you will see the continuing process.
This way you’ll stay motivated.
In de end….
In the end, it’s all about pushing through and keep doing the right things to both lose weight and also become happier.
With this blog, I want to help you achieve that so that you can become as happy as I am with my life.
So let me know what you struggle most with, and I will see if I can help you.
Please leave a comment which thing you’re going to master first. Are you starting to eat breakfast, or are you going to change the things that are caused by classical conditioning?
And if there is another strategy that works great for you, I would be happy to hear it and add it to the list.
Let’s make the world healthy again!