This post is the accompaniment to this video. Generally speaking, there are two components to losing weight and keeping it off. Those are nutrition, and training. I’ll address the training component first.
From personal experience, the one thing that is going to make a massive difference in your training success is to have specific training days. For example, Monday, Wednesday and Friday could be cardio days, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday could be lifting days, and Sunday a rest day. This specificity will keep you accountable, and it becomes a routine that if broken, is only your fault. Whatever schedule you choose, it’s very important that you can sustain it, and that it becomes as natural as brushing your teeth at night.
The second component to sustainable long term weight loss is nutrition. This is arguably the bigger piece. If I can conceptualize my approach in three words, they would be “eat real food.” It starts here, and here’s why. I see weight-loss as a bi-product of a healthy lifestyle, it does not (or should not) exist in a vacuum. This means that losing weight should accompany a commitment to healthier being: better sleep, stress reduction and real healthful foods. As an example, someone experiencing a severe illness may lose a lot of weight, but it’s not in the slightest healthy. Health, not looks, should be the focus. If done this way, the looks will follow.
The other reason that I advocate a real food approach is that processed, refined foods in today’s world have not existed for the past few millions of years of our evolution. This means that our bodies have not adapted to eat these things, thus causing inflammation and making weight-loss and healthy living very difficult. Food companies also manufacture foods to be addicting, and so telling someone to “just eat less” doesn’t work, because we’re not hard-wired to “eat less.” The solution is to “break-up” with junk food, and adopt a whole foods diet that fits your lifestyle and your body. I believe people tend to feel better on either a higher carb or higher fat diet. Which macronutrient ratios you choose matter much less than the quality of the food you eat. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and organic meats/eggs/dairy are the foods that we’ve evolved to eat. Eggs and dairy are much more of a recent introduction evolutionarily speaking, but if you tolerate them, I think there’s a place for them in your diet.
If you don’t want to adopt this approach, and you’d rather take a “flexible dieting” or “IIFYM” (If it Fits Your Macros) approach, go for it. But if you do, then it comes down to eating less than you are eating right now, and that’s difficult. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, one macronutrient (protein, carbs and fat) has to be on the lower end. It’s easier to be committed 99.9% of the time (and cheat once in a blue moon) than to know that some foods are bad for you but eat some of them sometimes; psychologically, it’s easier to see non-food as not food. Just because you can put it in your mouth, chew it and poop it out doesn’t mean you should.
I hope this is helpful. Best,