Weight loss unarguably is one of the most common fitness goals that keeps on confusing most, even though it is well studied and information relating to it is freely available. Following are my top 5 tips to help you know more about weight loss, how it can be achieved and effectively managed even if you’ve tried and failed before.
* Medical Check-up: Believe it or not but this is probably the most underrated weight loss parameter. This helps to check for any pre-existing medical condition (hormonal, etc) and nutritional deficiencies (vitamin d, iron, etc.). Sometime clearing these nutritional deficiencies and/or addressing the necessary medical issue may be all that is needed for weight loss. It is always better to get a check up done by a qualified doctor before starting any random type of diet and exercise program.
* Calorie Deficit: No matter how much you sweat in the gym, if you’re not in a calorie deficit as per your needs, weight loss will not happen. Calorie deficit means eating slightly less than the recommended daily calorie intake for you for a predetermined period of time. Daily calories depend on current body weight, gender, age, physical activity status, body fat percentage, etc. because of this calories intake cannot be same for everyone and has to be individually calculated.
* Exercise Selection: Although not as important as the above one, it is relevant for all those who simply follow the herd mentality in choosing workouts. It is better to do that exercise which you enjoy, is well tolerable and would do on a regular basis. Losing weight is one this thing, keeping it off is another and exercise selection has a important role in it. Consider this, if one eats the recommended daily maintenance calories for one’s body weight and adds exercise, it would lead to increase in energy expenditure, which may lead to a calorie deficit if the exercise/workout chosen is intense enough.
*NEAT: Called as Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. It is a summation of all activities performed as part of living other than the regular exercise. Examples: taking stairs in the office instead of elevator, moving around the house/office, playing with children, preparing food, etc. It is not as big a contributor to weight loss but still does play a significant part. Solely considering only this parameter may not be enough and as such is integrated as part of a weight loss program.
* Food Timing: For weight loss eating calorie dense foods especially carbohydrates around the workout (before, intra, after) is better than eating them before going to sleep or when you know that you’re not going to be active physically for the next few hours.
Bonus Tip: While there is more than one way to lose weight, keep in mind that all of this comes under Adherence. If adherence is poor results may not be satisfactorily. This also does not mean that you ignore all other activities of daily living and start focussing only on weight loss. A good weight loss program should adjust to your lifestyle and not the other way round.