So I have decided to write this post for two reasons, 1) it’s a New Year and about 45% of people are hoping to lose weight for their New Years resolution, 2) about only 8% out of the 45% will actually achieve that, and to be honest, I find that both scary and disappointing.
America is of one the most malnutritioned countries in the world. Note that malnutrition does not mean near-anorexic skinny but rather, not getting the nutrients your body needs. For that reason, I have decided to create a simple guide to losing weight, packaged with a no-Bs approach and plenty of goodies (yes, chocolate!)
So let’s start:
1. Create a “Calorie Deficit”
That sounds semi-smart, I know, so let me explain.
A calorie deficit is essentially “starving” your body of calories – “subtracting” calories, and thus losing fat. Generally 3,500 calories = 1 pound of fat. A calorie deficit usually comes in straight up eating less than usual OR exercise – your choice.
To lose weight, aka burn calories, you need to move.
Think about it this way: you can’t spend money without earning it first. Think of eating as earning money, and burning calories as spending it – In order to lose weight you need to max out your Credit-Calorie Card.
Every time you burn calories, you create a gap to be either filled by earning calories (eating) or to be expelled (lose fat).
You want the gap to be there, so DO NOT EAT BACK YOUR BURNED CALORIES. Seriously, it’ll just set you back.
If that makes no sense, here’s a graph:
The rest of the black bar is used up by your body’s other, normal functions.
Note: If the purple bar is not eaten to begin with, and the total amount of calories you eat looks like the last bar instead (700 calories) that could also cause weight loss. However, that is extremely dangerous, so please don’t even try it. That’s very literally starving yourself.
2. “Just Do it”
To lose weight, you need to move. I don’t care what you do: MOVE. Move up and down, walk around, sit and get up and sit again, really, JUST MOVE.
I know that sounds ridiculous, but it really is that simple.
For me, just “moving” isn’t exactly easy, because to be honest, I feel like an idiot. Which brings me to my next point.
3. Move how you WANT to move.
Throughout the years one of the hardest things to figure out was how I liked to move.
I have purchased, and played, and worked out to sooo many DVD’s, you can’t even imagine. I’ve even danced to an instructional Pussycat Dolls video. Yes, I’m serious. Not to mention that I’m awful at every single sport known to man.
It wasn’t until I found a $20 treadmill at a garage sale that I discovered how I liked to move: monotonously in a straight line, for a whole hour at 3 mph while Drunk in Love blasts from my earphones.
You know what’s the best part? I feel like Beyoncé walking through her music video and burn approx. a whooping 500 calories per hour – usually an hour daily – bringing the total weekly calories burned up to 3,500 (aka a full pound).
DVD-wise, I still enjoy watching muscle-toning videos, because god knows I need all the help I can get!
I really enjoy doing Jillian’s 30 day shred, and Tracy Anderson’s videos, particularly the Mat Workout – she kicks your ass without you even noticing, but trust me, you’ll feel it deep in your soul the morning after, and you only need a mat. A big plus is that Tracy is quiet (Jillian gets on my nerves, I actually swear at her when I workout to her videos.)
I also use Youtube videos occasionally, like XHIT Daily’s Victoria’s Secret Series, their Kim Kardashian’s Butt Workout – because you know you want her butt too, and this girl’s videos, because they thicken my chicken legs into thunder thighs.
But for what it’s worth, you can use any video you want!
4. Eat well … and simple.
Healthy eating is a major part of weight loss. I know, I know, nothing is worse than eating like a cow … Literally .. They eat grass right?
There are three ways you can eat if you’re looking to lose weight:
1.) Eat whatever you want, but not more than a certain limited amount.
If your daily calorie allowance is 1,200 calories, you can eat whatever you want, yes, whatever, But DO NOT GO OVER THAT.
I know how sweet that sounds, but this is less nutrition-filled option for several reasons, 1) you’d probably be eating cookies and hot dogs, which hardly has any nutritional value whatsoever, and 2) because fattening/fast food has so many calories, you’ll be eating very little and will be starving for most of your days.
2.) Eat generally “healthy foods.”
Think simple and anything your ancestors would recognize as food. If you can’t pronounce it, it’s probably not good for you.
Also, know what you’re eating – as in read the nutrition label and research the ingredients, and aim for genuine, organic foods.
For example, know that pastured eggs are healthier because the chickens are free to roam and eat what a chicken is supposed to, compared to the mass-produced eggs, where the chickens are kept in tiny cages for their entire lives, and thus their eggs contain less Vitamin D.
Another example, mass-produced milk contains growth hormones, meaning you’ll be fattening up.
In short, please read the nutrition label, and if you’re lazy, use an app like Fooducate, where you can simply scan barcodes and on a scale A-F see how “good” your food is.
This: *protein* *fiber* *simple* *hardly any sugar* (yes, you can add a tiny bit of sugar and eat it with milk, as cereal – you get plus points if you add fruit)
Is better than this:
*less protein* *10x more sugar* *
3.) Eat a balanced diet.
This is a mixture of 1 & 2.
Basically what this means is, have a calorie allowance and eat mostly healthy foods while also eating chocolate (preferably a single square of dark chocolate) but not going over your calorie limit.
This is by far my favorite option. It’s easier to stick to, because I’m not left starving for days, and I get to eat chocolate and a cookie every once in a while. Feels good, feels good.
The best way to do this is by turning what you already eat into a healthier equivalent by trading out the ingredients for healthier ones.
For example, if you like pancakes, try making protein pancakes, or Banana-Egg Pancakes.
If you like French Toast, try using olive oil to make french toast (at a low temperature, olive oil can burn) and switch out the Syrup for a pinch of sprinkled sugar.
You can also mash up avocado and use it in place of mayo (my favorite since I’m an avocado addict.)
… You get the point.
For me, this is kind of what #3 looks like:
Note that these are simplified examples of my actual meals, but they are great, simple starter meals. For more on healthy eating you can also go here.
Lastly, I’d like to say: Weight loss is ultimately a balancing act and sometimes even a bit of a mindfuck. If you eat well, and move accordingly, you should lose weight, I can almost promise you. The trick is sticking to it, and know that you’ll only stick to it if you like it.
Before starting a new weight loss program or exercise, ask yourself if it’s truly what you want, what you like, and something you’d be willing to do for the next 6 months or so.
Be realistic about what you like. I like chocolate, and I will eat chocolate. Starving myself of chocolate just to lose weight will only lead to me binge eating chocolate in such high amounts that all the progress I’ve made will be useless. So think of ways of incorporating your likings into a healthy diet.
With that said, I wish you all best of luck, as it’s time for me to go back to the treadmill zone, where I just tried to escape from 😅
Love, Nicole 💋
Note: Please know that I am no professional, so please discuss your health and diet with a doctor.