Have you wanted to lose weight for ages but don’t know how to go about it? Well, it pretty much comes down to some simple arithmetic, and then putting some equally simple steps into action.
Weight Loss is a Basic Equation
Want to know the honest truth? It’s one that all the fad diets and miracle weight-loss solutions won’t tell you. And here it is – weight loss all comes down to this basic equation:
Calories In must be less than Calories Out
This means that to lose weight, the calories you eat and drink each day have to be less than the calories you burn through exercise and your daily activities.
Write this message in lipstick on your mirror, stick it on your fridge, glue it to your forehead. If you’re serious about weight loss, it’s what you really need to know. It’s so important that we’ll say it again: burn more calories than you eat and drink, and you WILL lose weight.
Weight Loss and Nutrition
Nutrition is crucial to weight loss. That’s because no matter how much exercise you do, if you eat too much you’ll still put on weight. As Michelle Bridges says:
“Losing weight will always come down to what you put in your mouth. End of story!”
The winning formula for successful weight loss is that it comes down to 80 percent nutrition and 20 percent exercise. “If you nail your nutrition, you can stay on track,” says Mish.
What is Healthy Nutrition?
The best way to describe healthy nutrition is that it incorporates plenty of nutrient-dense foods. These are foods that give you the most nutrients (like vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids and fibre) for the lowest number of calories. They’re usually whole foods, which means they’ve been through little or no processing. For example:
- lean meat
- tofu and other vegetarian protein sources
- fresh fruit
- whole grains
On the other hand, calorie-dense foods are any foods with loads of calories but little in the way of nutrients. They’re usually high in fat, salt or sugar (or some combination of all three!). For example:
- hot dogs
- cakes and biscuits
- soft drinks
To lose weight, you need to minimise the amount of these calorie-dense ‘junk’ foods you eat and make nutrient-dense foods your champions.
Portion Sizes Matter
The good thing is that because healthy, nutrient-dense foods are lower in calories, you can eat more of them – so you won’t go hungry. Win win! However, you still need to be careful about how much food you put on your plate.
Measure out your meal like this:
- a quarter of your plate should comprise lean protein (like poultry, fish or tofu)
- another quarter should be low-GI carbohydrates (like brown rice or wholemeal pasta)
- the remaining half should be filled with vegetables or salad
And here’s a golden rule for weight loss: don’t go back for seconds! You don’t need them.
The most important thing is to be aware of how many calories you’re eating throughout the day. 12WBT’s Meal Plans do all the thinking for you. They’re made up of more than 900 healthy, delicious recipes, created by our amazing team of dietitians to make sure you gain all the nutrients you need at calorie levels that will help you reach your weight loss goals.
I need to lose weight around my stomach but I’m not sure of what exercised to do, can you help?
Unfortunately, there is no way to ‘spot reduce’ body fat. Good nutrition (eating a variety of foods, close to nature) and a mix of regular exercise (cardio and resistance training) will help to reduce the size of your stomach. It will take time so stick with it – consistency is key. Good luck!