Your Definitive Guide to Weight Loss in 2022

Woman who succeeded at weight loss

If you’re like most people, then you’ve likely tried weight loss programs in the past with little success. You know you need to lose weight and feel better about yourself, but so far you haven’t found anything that works as well as you want it to. Don’t give up hope! There are plenty of options available to help you reach your weight loss goals in 2022.

In this comprehensive post, you’re going to learn about every factor that contributes to your weight loss success.

Read until the end to learn the most eye opening tips you’ve probably never heard of before. Let’s get started.

Energy balance and calories

These are two terms that weight loss experts and dietitians love, and you should too. Energy balance refers to how much energy (in calories) you’re taking in versus how much energy you expend each day. A negative energy balance is what most dieters are after—meaning you expend more calories than you take in—and it helps drive weight loss.

The truth is that fat loss is actually triggered by the energy balance, and it occurs into two distinctive stages. The first stage is lipolysis. Lipolysis occurs when you’ve not eaten enough and your body starts to scavenge the body for other sources of energy. That is when it starts to break down fat stores to release fatty acids into the blood streams to be used for energy. When these fatty acids are in your blood, the body will simply use them to fuel any activity that you are performing. This is also known as oxidation, and it’s the second stage of fat loss.

When both stages occur successfully, this leads to the shrinkage of your fat cells which cause your weight to drop.

The best ways to achieve a caloric deficit

Everyone’s metabolism is different, so no single weight-loss approach will work for everyone. While most people who want to lose weight take in fewer calories than they burn (i.e., diet), others prefer exercise as a means of weight loss. Combining exercise and a lower-calorie diet can produce greater results, though many health experts recommend that people combine diet and exercise when trying to lose weight instead of using only one or the other.

The most important factor to get you started is understanding how to calculate your calories. Once you know how many calories you need to consume every day to lose weight, you will be able to have a better idea of how much you’ll need to reduce your food intake or how much you’ll need to exercise.

Macronutrients are just as important for weight loss as calories

healthy meals for weight loss

To lose weight and keep it off, you need a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. This is the part where many people get confused and start asking questions like ‘How should my plate look like?’ or ‘What am I supposed to eat’? These are very common questions, and you’re not alone.

Maconutrients is an ‘umbrella’ name given to three major nutrients called proteins, carbohydrates (carbs) and fats. Everything you consume will fall under one of these nutrients, but it’s important to note that everything contains a mixture of all macros. They are categorised under one or the other because they’ll contain more of that nutrient than the other.

Each macronutrient provides a different set of vitamins and minerals which all support your health and weight loss goals. By consuming a mixture of all three in a balanced way, you are likely to achieve optimum nutrition. Optimum nutrition is vital because everything you eat can have a significant impact on your body. If you’ve ever felt like you are tired for no reason or you’re more grumpy than normal, you may already be experiencing the effects of nutritional deficiencies.

Nutritional deficiencies occur when you don’t get enough of nutrients for prolonged periods of time. You may experience things like headaches and migraines, tiredness, mood swings, hormonal imbalances, weak immune system, slow metabolism, and more. All these factors can have an impact on your ability to stay motivated, keep working and lose weight.

This is why consuming a balance of all macronutrients is so important.

Carbohydrates (carbs)

Everyone needs carbohydrates because they are a primary source of energy. Many people who are trying to lose weight, are avoiding carbohydrates (carbs) because they are under the impression that they will make them fat. The truth is that there is a lot of misleading information about carbohydrates and weight loss.

For instance, some people say that carbohydrates inhibit your ability to lose weight due to the rise of insulin. So, let me elaborate on that.

During digestion, carbs are broken down into simple sugars, scientifically known as monosacchrides. When they are broken down into sugars, they will circulate in your blood stream which leads to an increase in your blood sugar levels. This causes insulin to be released by your pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that’s responsible for regulating blood sugar levels, and it does that by pushing the sugars into tissues like muscles and liver. This then enables these sugars to be used for energy by your whole body.

The problem arises when you over consume on foods that are high in simple sugar, like snacks and candy. These types of foods make your blood sugar levels to fluctuate drastically, and when this happens on regular basis, your body becomes resistant to insulin. This means that it stops taking up any sugars that insulin is trying to push into muscles and liver. As a result, your body will start signalling to store these sugars as fat in an attempt to lower blood sugar levels. And that’s how weight gain begins due to carbohydrates. This is also how diabetes begin too.

Which carbohydrates are healthy?

Now that you know the effects of sugary foods and snacks, it’s important to understand that carbohydrates are great for you and they are an important part of a healthy diet.

Healthy carbohydrates that can support your weight loss journey include carbs with low glycemic index (GI). These are high in fibre and keep you fuller for longer.

Examples include: beans, oatmeal, quinoa and whole grains. In addition, limit or avoid eating refined sugars as these don’t provide any nutritional value whatsoever. You should also drink plenty of water before meals because drinking water can help reduce your hunger and keep you full for longer—which helps prevent overeating.

Learn more about carbohydrates, their structure and the way that they support your health and weight loss by checking out our previous post.

Protein

We’ve all heard that protein is important for muscle development and repair, but did you know it’s also essential for weight loss? In fact, research suggests that a high-protein diet can help with weight loss because protein increases your body’s thermogenesis—in layman’s terms, that means it helps burn more calories. Research has also shown that people who eat high-protein diets are more likely to lose body fat and retain lean muscle than those who consume lower amounts of protein.

A 2020 study, amongst others, have shown evidence that protein-rich diets increase energy expenditure by raising thermogenesis.

In general, protein and its amino acids are vital for many body functions, probably more than you suspect. Learn more about the function of proteins and the amount of protein that you should be consuming everyday by reading our previous post.

Healthy fats

Fats are essential for weight loss. If you can learn how to distinguish between healthy fats and unhealthy fats, you will shed fat and live a healthier life. Fats are important for your body because they serve as energy sources and provide a lot of other useful benefits. Eating too little fat can result in serious health problems like deficiencies that could cause death if not corrected quickly. Healthy fats such as monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, vegetable oils, nuts and fish help lose weight by providing necessary fuel for muscles and other parts of your body. When these foods are combined with a healthy diet plan, it is easier to keep off extra pounds.

Since there are a few different types of fats and their functions differ tremendously, it might be worth reading a bit more about healthy fat sources to know exactly what you should eat and avoid, as well as how much you should consume.

A healthy diet

Your weight loss plan should include a healthy diet based on real, unprocessed foods—ones that are low in saturated fats and high in fibre.

A healthy diet consists of a balance between macronutrients as well as vitamins and minerals. The purpose of a healthy diet is to ensure that you obtain all the nutrients your body needs to keep healthy. I’ve mentioned this a little earlier in this post, but nutrients can significantly impact your ability to lose weight.

For example, a deficiency in vitamin B-12, B-6 or Biotin, can affect your metabolism. Since metabolism uses approximately 70% of your total daily energy expenditure, it’s important to keep it fully functional. Don’t worry, you’ll learn more about the metabolism later in this post. However, this is just one small example of how nutritional deficiencies can hinder your ability to lose weight. Other examples include deficiencies in potassium and magnesium which make you feel so fatigued that you won’t be able to exercise or stay motivated. Both of these factors affect weight loss because they encourage you to grab sugary snacks to boost your enegry levels.

If you want to build a healthy diet, you should focus on following the Eatwell Guide which has been created by medical professionals to help people achieve optimum nutrition. Thanks to the Eatwell Guide, you will achieve all the vitamins and minerals you require too.

Cheat days

When you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll likely hear a lot about cheat days. And while it might sound tempting, it’s generally not a good idea. Cheat days are meant for people who are significantly overweight and who are trying to change their lifestyle. Unfortunately, cheat days can work against weight loss by promoting inconsistency and calorie slacking (small but consistent fluctuations in calories). More importantly, they set up unrealistic expectations of what dieting is really like – which usually results in binge eating later on because you never really develop that healthy relationship with food.

Many dieters use cheat days as part of enjoying the diet, but their strategies are normally really poor. If you’ve been trying to lose weight or shed fat for a while now, you’ve probably done cheat days on numerous occasions.

And, tell me – Did you manage to control your cravings? Did you have a strategy? Or did you eat whatever you wanted as it was your cheat day?

I don’t want to break your spirit here, but just one cheat day can affect a whole weeks’ worth of dieting.

How?

Weight loss occurs as a result of a CONSISTANT caloric deficit over 3-7 days. If you attempt a cheat day without a proper strategy, the calories that you consume on your cheat day will bring your average calories over your caloric deficit for the week. It is so easy to eat 3,000 calories or more if you indulge in pizza, crackers, muffins or cookies. An average cookie has 70-90 calories. So, having just 5 cookies on your cheat day can get you just under 500 unnecessary calories. Plus, it can actually take a while to recover from a cheat day too. If you overindulge to the point that you overconsume by 3-4,000 calories, your next week will also be affected.

Your cheat day may be one singular factor that’s been stopping you from losing weight. If you have been having cheat days, make sure to incorporate this strategy to enjoy your cheat days guilt free.

Exercise and weight loss

men and women exercising for weight loss

Exercise and weight loss are two very close friends. In fact, exercise in conjunction with a healthy diet is the best weight loss solution EVER. Think about it – a healthy diet that follows a caloric deficit and exercise burns extra calories and helps to tone your muscles helping you to create a bigger caloric deficit.

Different types of exercise

There are a variety of exercises that you can use to help lose weight, including strength training, cardiovascular exercise and stretching. Choose different types of exercise so you’re not doing exactly the same thing day after day. This will increase your body’s calorie burn and give you more energy for your daily activities. It’s important to note that each type of exercise benefits weight loss in different ways.

Strength training

Strength training is any exercise that builds your muscles and helps you become stronger. Muscles are made up of protein, and when you break down your muscle during strength training, it rebuilds bigger and stronger than before. While strength training is often touted as one of the best ways to shed fat, it’s just as important for overall health.

How does strength training assist weight loss? Well, it burns a lot of calories to exert strength and power, plus muscles and thermogenic. This means that muscles speed up your metabolism and they help you burn more calories at rest. That’s why incorporating strength training into your weight loss routine is important.

Cardio

Cardio can mean a lot of different things, but when I’m talking about weight loss, it’s pretty simple: Cardio is all about increasing your heart rate and pushing yourself physically. Because it promotes lean muscle growth and cardiovascular health, cardio is an important part of any weight-loss plan—and it’s something you’ll want to make sure you’re doing regularly if you want to shed pounds quickly.

The best part about cardiovascular exercise is that it uses aerobic energy energy pathways. This means that length cardio that is low in intensity uses your fat stores for energy. So, if you just ran for 20-30 minutes a day or a few days a week, you’ll be burning quite a hefty amount of calories and fat. If you find regular cario boring, consider taking yoga or a boxing class; either one is fun, challenging and provides excellent aerobic benefits for shedding fat.

You may be wondering about which one is better to fat loss right? Well, the truth is that both provides a number of benefits and it’s quite important to attempt a mixture of both.

No matter what kind of exercise you choose, remember that everyone burns calories at different rates; check with your doctor before starting any new workout program so he or she can help ensure it’s safe for you based on your current health status.

If you don’t know where to start, be sure to enrol in the Nutrition2change online course on ‘How to Build effective workout programs’, so you can train like a pro in no time.

Supplements

It’s hard to know exactly what supplements are most helpful for weight loss, but some supplements that are commonly used are caffeine and green tea extract. Caffeine is thought to block an enzyme that promotes fat storage; it also stimulates adrenaline release, which can boost energy expenditure (i.e., helping you burn more calories throughout your day). Green tea extract is a source of catechins, which have been shown to increase thermogenesis by boosting levels of norepinephrine (which helps burn fat) and epinephrine (which gets blood flowing). If you’re not ready to buy a green tea supplement, opt for one cup of brewed green tea every day instead.

The truth is that there are hundreds of supplements on the market, and 90% of them DO NOT WORK. What’s worse is that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has found that 25% of sports supplements contain unlisted steroids and other chemicals. That’s right, isn’t that scary? If you’ve tried supplements before, you’ve probably already had some kind of steroid you may have not been aware of.

Although green tea extract and caffeine have been proven to assist in weight loss, it is also important to note that there are others you should be aware of like apple cider vinegar, grapefruit, and fucoxanthin.

As a qualified nutritionist, I prefer natural thermogenic foods rather than supplements, as I’m a strong believer that we do not need supplements to achieve our weight loss goals. For example, including thermogenic foods in your diet can significantly improve your weight loss results.

Metabolism

healthy eating

The term metabolism is thrown around a lot when it comes to weight loss and health. So what exactly is metabolism? In general, it’s your body’s process for converting calories into energy and heat. Metabolism takes place when you eat food and drink water, but it also occurs during physical activity like walking or even digesting (i.e., burning) that food you just ate. Everyone has a unique metabolism; some people burn calories faster than others.

As you may remember, metabolism contributes approximately 70% of your total energy expenditure. This means that it is one of the major factors contributing or hindering your weight loss.

Somethings that’s very important to know about metabolism is that it changes and adapts. What I mean by that is that if you’ve never been on a diet, your metabolism is likely functioning well and burning a number of calories that it’s supposed to. However, if you have been dieting for a while, the metabolism adapts. For example, if you used to eat 2,000 calories and reduced your calories to 1,500, your metabolism will slow down and burn less calories. This is the way that it preserves calories for your survival. You’ll notice that your metabolism has adapted when your weight loss has reached a plateau.

When you start restricting your calorie intake too low, your metabolism gets suppressed and it makes your fat loss impossible. In fact, your body starts hoarding calories and store them in the body to protect you from famine. This is because dieting works against your body and metabolism rather than with it. However, there are some powerful techniques and strategies that you can use to speed up or reset your metabolism to restart your weight loss and enjoy long lasting weight loss results.

Some of the best techniques includes weight lifting as well as thermogenic foods. However,these techniques are not always enough to reboot your metabolism. To learn more, enrol in the Nutrition2change online course on ‘metabolism’ which teaches you exactly what metabolism is, how it works and how to take advantage of it.

Hydrate to lose weight

Hydration is key for weight loss for so many reasons. The first is it can ward off hunger pangs by keeping you feeling full throughout the day. It can also improve your cognitive function, which will help you make smarter choices when it comes to diet and exercise. If you want to lose weight safely and effectively, drink plenty of water every day!

Aim to drink approximately 2 litres a day or 8 glasses.

Manage your stress levels to start losing weight

Stress is a part of life. It can be caused by outside forces like family, friends and work, or it can also be brought on by more internal factors like job security and financial worries. Stress has both physical and psychological effects—and how you deal with stress is often just as important as the cause itself. When your body is stressed out, hormones are released that trigger an immune response. The result: You feel fatigued and weak—the opposite of what you want when trying to lose weight! Since stress tends to affect our habits, it’s vital for your diet success that you find healthy ways to keep it at bay.

Yoga

This is a biggie. Stress is huge—it’s on par with obesity as one of our biggest killers, and there are plenty of ways it affects our health that we don’t even realize. The good news is you can manage stress by eating right, exercising regularly, and practicing yoga.

Yoga has been shown to improve focus, reduce anxiety and depression, and even promote better cardiovascular health. Not bad for a practice that’s supposed to be all about managing our stress levels. The secret is that yoga helps you manage your emotions so you aren’t as affected by them—something many of us struggle with. This means you can keep stress from wrecking your health, which will help you lose weight (and keep it off) and live longer. Best of all, people who participate in yoga tend to enjoy doing it because they feel great afterwards.

Meditation

Meditating is one of those trends that it’s easy to get on board with. Practitioners claim a litany of benefits from improved concentration and productivity at work to reduced stress levels and better sleep. Anyone who meditates regularly will tell you they feel more relaxed, positive, and energetic both during and after a session. What are you waiting for? Getting started is easier than you think, start off with guided meditation using APPs like Serenity or Headspace. Alternatively, check out this Youtube with relaxation and meditation music which can also help you get started.

Pilates

While often overlooked, Pilates can be one of your best weapons for weight loss. Pilates builds muscle that raises your metabolism and helps you burn more calories. Even better, because muscles demand so much energy for proper functioning, they tend to burn fat even when you’re not working out. If you want a visible body—not just toned muscles—Pilates is an essential component of that plan.

In addition to raising your metabolism, one of Pilates main benefits is that it helps relieve stress. This can have a positive effect on your diet, helping you crave healthy foods and reduce cravings for junk food.

Summary

Weight loss is an intricate process which requires a few different factors for success. This includes things like a healthy diet, caloric deficit, exercise and few other considerations in terms of supplements and your metabolism. Once all these factors have been mastered, you’re going to achieve the best results you’ve ever seen.

For further support, be sure to check out my self-help guides and online courses.

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