People want to lose weight for many reasons, from concerns about medical health to wanting to look a certain way, to wanting to win the epic prize offered by a weight loss competition. Whatever the motivation, weight loss can be both incredibly rewarding and incredibly challenging.
NouFlex founder Anel Bellevue is a weight loss expert, having helped countless clients lose weight – many for weddings – in his years of training experience. He won’t tell you to go to extremes, doing endless HIIT workouts, burpees, or cardio. His advice is focused on achieving a weight loss that lasts. These are the 6 strategies he recommends for sticking with and conquering your weight loss journey and making your results permanent:
1. Have a Motivation
We all need a reason to get started, and that reason may be why you’ve looked up this article. Weight loss can be motivated by health issues, aesthetic goals, a desire for change, a weight loss challenge, or anything else. It is just important to know what that motivation is, so you can create your goals around it.
2. Make a Commitment and Create Accountability
With all that motivation, weight loss journeys can start strong, but slowly lose steam as social events, work, and burnout distract us from our goals. Committing to your goals by making yourself accountable will prevent this from happening.
One way to create accountability is to hire a personal trainer or sign up for online virtual classes, like those offered by NouFlex. This makes working out more difficult to miss, and also helps you be with people who encourage you to keep going. If trainers and classes aren’t in your budget, you can partner with a friend who has similar goals, ask friends or family to check in with you or create deadlines for your goals. You need to make yourself accountable.
3. Set (the Right) Goals
Someone’s goal may be to simply “lose weight,” but having such a broad and general goal can make it harder to achieve. Anel recommends having SMART weight loss goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
A realistic goal is one you can achieve without taking an extreme route. If your goals are unrealistic, you may get unfairly discouraged, even when you make smaller gains in your journey. A specific and measurable goal is one that has a definite end, or you can definitely know you have achieved it. For example, the goal of “losing weight” is not specific or measurable, because there is no marker that tells you you’ve finished. The goal of “fitting into your old jeans in 8 weeks” is specific and measurable, because you can know if you have achieved it.
Also, when you start doing resistance training, the number on the scale will be influenced by the muscle you have gained. You may be losing pounds of fat, notice positive aesthetic differences, and see your clothes getting looser, while the number on the scale does not change. Because of this, sometimes depending on your scale weight for your goal may not be ideal.
4. 80% Resistance Training
Anel says that at least 80% of your exercise should be resistance training. This means doing bodyweight exercises, lifting weights, using bands, or doing other movements that build muscle.
While a treadmill session may burn a lot of calories, only doing cardio can slow down your metabolism. Building muscle and strength with resistance training will increase your metabolism, which increases the number of calories your body will burn throughout the day. Using different types of resistance bands can also help with injury prevention, bone health, and aesthetic goals.
5. Focus on Nutrition
Good nutrition habits are a vital part of weight loss. You should aim for an ideal ratio of macronutrients. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, fat, and protein. The ideal macronutrient ratios are very individual, so in order to know what is best for you, we recommend consulting a nutritionist or dietician.
6. Aim for a Lifestyle Change
The reason that Anel does not promote nonstop days of hardcore exercise is that this is an extreme approach that can rarely be sustained in the longterm. Often, people will lose weight only to gain it all back. That’s why we recommend that you aim for a healthy lifestyle change, rather than a temporary, extreme period of exercising.
Learn what types of exercising you enjoy so that you will continue doing them after your goal is achieved. Incorporate physical activity into daily tasks, such as biking to work, walking during your child’s sports practice, or vacuuming often, so that your body keeps moving. Find an online fitness class and create an exercising schedule or mode that fits into your weekly life.
This way, after all that hard work, you can maintain the healthy lifestyle you have fought so hard to achieve!