How are you feeling?
I hope you’re feeling great and looking even better
However, if you’re struggling to lose (and keep off) that 2, 5 or even 10 lbs that will really allow you to feel the way you want to (and deserve to) then you’re in the right place.
This post is for you if;
You’ve struggled to lose weight
It’s an uphill battle to keep the weight off
You’re not sure what to do or how to do it
You feel like you’ve tried everything and none of it works
This post will show you, step by step, what you need to do to finally lose that 10 lbs (or more). By the time you’ve read this post you’ll have a simple, pickup-and-go guide to losing 10lbs and keeping it off for good.
Let’s jump in…
Set A Realistic Goal That You’ll Achieve
The vast majority of people fail to reach theirs goals, both big and small for one very simple reason, they have unrealistic expectations of what it’s possible for them to achieve and the time frame in which they can achieve it.
If you want to set a goal and achieve it, then you’re first step is understanding and accepting what’s physically and mentally possible for you to accomplish and then sustain in any given time frame.
This is key because our aim here is not only for you to reach your goal, but to surpass it whilst maintaining what you’ve achieved.
The best place to start is to learn what’s possible, the goal of this post is to show you how to lose 10 lbs so let’s work off of that.
When it comes to fat loss most people can reasonably expect to safely and steadily lose 1% of their total body weight per week.
For most people this will be in the range of 1 – 2 lbs of weight loss per week.
When done right you will be minimising the amount of muscle mass you lose whilst maximising the amount of fat you lose, which will result in you looking lean and muscular.
At the very least it’ll help create the flat belly look that most people desire.
Your time frame will largely depend on the amount of weight you want to lose, but for most people 10 lbs of fat loss at 1 – 2 lbs per week will take between 5 – 10 weeks.
If you’ve got more weight to lose then you may reach your goal quicker as you’ll be losing more weight per week initially.
However, if you’re looking for a rapid fat loss guide then you’re in the wrong place.
Managing Your Expectations
When starting your weight loss journey, you can expect to see a ‘whoosh’ of weight loss in the first few days as water stored in your muscles get’s flushed out your body as your overall food intake is reduced.
It’s important to recognise this for what it is so that you’re not disappointed or dishearten by the following slowdown in weight loss.
Aim to lose 1% of your body weight (in lbs) per week and you’ll be golden.
To manage your expectations as you progress you need to take the time to celebrate the small wins along the way to your big win. For example;
Every week you lose weight, whether it’s 0.1lb or 2lbs, is a success and another step towards your ultimate goal. Never forget this.
Every day you eat a diet that works with your lifestyle and your goals is a win. Give yourself the recognition you deserve for making this change and sticking to it.
Every time you complete a workout is a reason to feel happy and proud of what you’re accomplishing right now and will go on to accomplish in the future
Choose The Most Sustainable Nutrition Plan For You
If you’re failing to;
Lose weight & keep it off
Avoid weight gain when dieting
Then your diet isn’t sustainable and because it’s not sustainable, it’s not effective. If it was, you wouldn’t be here.
Diets can be unsustainable for numerous reasons;
Fortunately, it’s a simple problem to fix and this comes down to 2 main points;
There is no perfect diet, only what works best for you (this includes your health, fitness goals and lifestyle)
What ever diet you choose, moderation is key to making it work. As soon as you start cutting things out you start inviting cravings and binge eating in
The best place for beginners, those new to dieting or anyone who has previous found eating for fat loss to restrictive to start is with 1 simple goal;
Hit your calorie & protein goal every day without fail
This keeps you on track to lose weight but gives you the freedom to fill the rest of your calories however you like after you’ve met your protein goal. I find this makes this easier to adjust to and improves dieting sticking power as you get started.
Remember getting the basics down will make a massive difference to your progress, whereas messing up advanced tactics will get you nowhere.
Start simple, get it right and build from there.
To calculate your calories, take your body weight in lbs x 12 and aim for 1 g per lb of body weight of protein every day.
As we’ve discussed choosing your ‘diet’ or way of eating comes down to;
What your fitness goals are
What allows you to maintain good health
What fits with your lifestyle i.e. working pattern, social life & family commitments?
From personal experience and that of my friends and clients most people adjust well to one of 2 ways of eating;
#1 - Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting, using the 16/8 setup, is a great fat loss tool for those who don’t enjoy, usually eat or care about breakfast.
The reason it’s such a great tool is because by skipping breakfast (no it’s not bad for you), you save anywhere from 300 – 1,000 calories depending on what you usually eat and drink.
You can then add these calories to your lunch and/or dinner allowing you to bigger and therefore more filling meals around the times of day your most likely to snack or feel hungry.
Additionally, you could use these ‘saved’ calories to eat a small meal between lunch and dinner if you’re the kind of person who gets hungry in the afternoons.
#2 - Standard Diet
The standard diet is exactly as it sounds, you eat the typical 3 meals a day, aiming to spread your calories through the day to help with hunger and feelings of fullness.
This setup works well for those who prefer to eat breakfast or generally like to eat more often throughout the day.
Note: I strongly advise against cutting out any macro in its entirety as this is generally not a good idea
Train Effectively For Your Goal
When it comes to fat loss a lot of people fall into the trap of thinking more is better;
More training days
More calorie burn
However, this is a recipe for disaster. Fat loss, particularly fat loss with muscle retention is not a short-term sprint.
It’s slow and steady.
It’s careful and measured.
It’s not a marathon but more like the 1,500 metres, not over in the blink of an eye but still fast enough to keep you interested. So, when it comes to training you want to avoid tonnes of cardio and working out more than 3-4 times a week.
Instead, you want to, not only do the right things, but do them the right amount.
Finding a training method that’s effective for your goal comes down to a few things;
Sustainability – can you keep doing it over a prolonged period of time?
Enjoyment – do you like doing it?
Suitability – is it bringing you closer to your goal?
When it comes to fat loss there are 2 primary ways of training that in my opinion are superior. The first is weight lifting which is vital for helping you preserve your existing muscle mass and strength and the second is walking because it’s accessible to everyone, low impact and low effort but a highly effective method of exercise to support fat loss
If you want to be successful in your training goals then you need to be aware of a few key points;
When losing fat, a reduced training frequency is better
You must apply progressive overload
You need to be consistent in your efforts over time
Let’s take a closer look at each in turn.
When eating a calorie deficit to lose fat, your body finds it harder to maintain a positive state of protein synthesis.
The very simplified version of why this matters;
A positive state of protein synthesis = muscle repair and building
A negative state of protein synthesis = muscle breakdown and loss
For this reason, you want to reduce the overall amount of stress on your body when trying to lose fat.
Generally, speaking 3 days of weight lifting per week is enough to stimulate muscle retention with the expectation that strength will be maintain or lost slightly.
For the reasons above, walking is the perfect pairing with your weight training as it puts little additional stress on your body but still burns calories and helps maintain overall cardiovascular health.
It’s also accessible and maintainable for everybody.
Progressive overload refers to the act of continually increasing the stimulus you put your body under when weightlifting.
The typical ways of doing this are;
Load – weight lifted
Time – rest time between sets
Reps – the number of times you perform an exercise per set
Sets – the number of rep groups you do per exercise
All of the above counts for nothing if you don’t do it regularly, this is where consistency comes in.
To see the progress, you desire and lose those 10 lbs then must stick to the plan, this means;
Not skipping gym sessions
Going for a short walk daily or a long walk on rest days
This is where it really all comes together, as not only does consistency create an accumulative effect over time, but it allows you improve and adjust, whereas inconsistency builds bad habits and makes reaching your goals more and more difficult.
Guarantee Your Success In The Long Run
The truth is, most people fail because they’re not looking or thinking further than reaching their goal. This means if they get as far as hitting their goal, they have no idea how to maintain and continue their progress.
Sadly, this leads to most people gaining back the weight they lost and declaring the experience a failure.
Even if you put parts 1 to 3 into practice there is still the question of how you keep the momentum going on your way to your goal and after you’ve achieved it. Learning how to set systems in places to keep you reaching for your goal, and more, is vital to your long-term success.
There are 3 easy ways to get and stay successful on your fitness journey;
Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress doesn’t need to be complicated, in fact I recommend you start by only recording 2 main statistics;
Your waist measurement
For your weight you want to weight yourself daily and take a weekly average.
Aim to do this first thing in the morning in just your underwear, after you’ve been to the toilet and before you’ve had anything to drink.
For your waist take measurements every 2 – 4 weeks (pick one and stick to it i.e. every 2 or every 4) and track how it changes over time. You’re looking for a steady decline between measurements.
Identify Potential Barriers & Solutions
It would be incredible if you could go from point A to point B on your fitness journey without any setbacks. The reality is life just not that smooth.
Shit happens and slip ups, setbacks, illness and injury are a normal part of the process. However, the difference between being derailed and staying on track lies in your preparation.
This why identify potential barriers and their solutions is so important. If you can do this as you begin your journey, then you’ll 10x your chances of staying the course when problems arise.
You often snack after dinner whilst watching TV at home and go over your daily calories
You’re a sweet tooth and often crave something sweet after lunch
Whenever you go out to eat with friends you eat too much and ruin your deficit
If you’re busy or tired after work, you’ll often skip your workout
Stop keeping the snack foods at home, you can’t eat what’s not there
Allocate 150 – 300 calories a day to allow for a sweet treat when you feel like it
Use intermittent fasting to make room in your diet for meals out or higher calorie food
Work out in the mornings so whatever happens your work out is done
Accountability can be a very powerful motivator when done right. However, it’s not a cure-all.
If you don’t want to do something in the first place, then no level of accountability is going to keep you on track, but if you have the desire to change and are looking for that little extra something to keep you going when things get tough, then accountability can work wonders.
It’s like the little voice in your head that tells you what to do…except you actually listen.
There are a few ways you can use accountability;
Get a gym buddy
Buy a course
Hire a trainer
Join a community
Both number 1 and 4 work because as humans we don’t like to let people down but we’re also competitive.
This means not only are you less likely to miss a gym session if your friend is waiting for you but you’re also much less likely to go off track on your diet if you have someone checking up on you.
Not to mention that joining a like minded community is a vital source of inspiration, guidance and accountability.
Whilst points 2 and 3 also have some crossover with the point above, it’s main method of holding you accountable is that you’ve paid for something. You’ve put your money where your mouth is.
This combined with the fact someone will be checking on you is often all the motivation people need to follow through on their goals.
Losing 10lbs and keeping it off doesn’t have to be a complicated task.
If you know the basics and can commit to the time you need to reach your goal it can become very simple.
In fact, it can be done it 4 steps.
Set a realistic goal
Choose a sustainable nutrition plan
Train effectively for your goal
Use strategies that guarantee your success in the long-term
Do this right and losing 10 lbs is just the start.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, there’s no telling what you can achieve.