Are you ready to quickly shed weight?
HEAR ME!!! Quickly shed weight, not effortlessly. Again for the people in the back! NOT effortlessly!
I want to share 7 steps that you can take to start your weight loss, or rather fat loss journey. Fat loss is a very different goal because you aren’t worried about water weight or every .2 lbs that the scale reads. You want to lose fat! This can be achieved quickly, but it does not come without hard work. It can be very simple, but again that does not mean it will be easy. It takes effort and commitment to make it happen.
The Basic Plan!
To be super clear, I love using the MyFitnessPal app to track my macros because it works for me. You need to pick something that is sustainable to you. I am not willing to cut out all carbs from my life, so Keto is not for me. Maybe you are focused on super clean eating so Whole30 would be a better option for you. Do what works for your body, AND your mind. If you mentally have decided this is a diet instead of simple eating habits, it might be harder to sustain it.
So here it is…in a nutshell. How to lose fat. A caloric deficit!!! I don’t care if you are practicing intermittent fasting, intuitive eating, keto, paleo, 21 Day Fix, calorie counting, macro counting (also known as IIFYM or flexible eating.) All of these will have you losing weight or preferably fat because there is a caloric deficit. You are eating healthier foods that are less calorie dense. You are only eating during certain hours. If you have fewer hours of the day to eat during, you will be consuming fewer calories. They all revolve around a caloric deficit.
How to Start
All debates aside, I am assuming you are reading this because you have some kind of fitness goals you want to meet and have struggled with. If you don’t have something that is working for you then you need to try something else. Instead of giving up, try a new method. What I am offering today is a simple plan to start losing weight that will not take time to set up, and it will not cost you money.
Sometimes big goals can seem overwhelming and unachievable. This is a lie!!! None of your goals are unachievable if you want them badly enough. Maybe you just need some help organizing your plans and overcoming your fear. To quote THE amazing Dave Ramsey, let’s start with baby steps! Everything seems less difficult when you have smaller tasks to focus on that do not seem overwhelming or impossible. So let’s jump in, or, as discussed, take a small step in the right direction
1. Download The App and Start to Shed Weight!
How will you every make progress if you never start?
Yes, the fitness world is a bit overwhelming. There is so much information, so many different diet plans, so many different supplements and products. Don’t let the information overload overwhelm you. Remember small steps. The free version of MyFitnessPal walks you through set up. How active are you? What are your starting and goal weights? It will totally get you set up.
You can start in literally minutes. It won’t be perfect, you can adjust later. You can learn about counting macros later. But to begin just start following the app. Tracking your calories is better than not doing anything. Just play with the app, enter your food and get used to how it works. Everything takes time to learn, but you will never start if you let fear stop you. Figure it out as you go, it makes a lot more sense once you know what the app actually looks like, or how calories are actually counted by, wait for it, portion sizes! But we’ll get to that later. For now, just start by getting the app and following along.
2. Track EVERYTHING!
Track everything, I mean everything. If it goes in your mouth, track it. Except water, you can track it on MyFitnessPal if you prefer to. I know how much water I need to drink every day. 3 full Nalgene bottles at a minimum, so I am pretty bad about tracking water because It is not something I usually struggle with.
Okay, onwards. What goes in your mouth gets tracked. If you have gummy multivitamins you eat every day, are you tracking it? Did you know there are 3 carbs and 15 calories in those vitamins? If you do take supplements such as pre-workout, or some type of greens or superfoods, they can have a lot of calories in them as well. I am NOT saying you can’t take them. I am saying you need to track it. If you put creamer in your coffee you need to MEASURE it then track it. You would be amazed at how many calories you consume every day that you didn’t even consider.
For the love of all things, track your condiments. Butter on toast, ketchup, salad dressings. you would not even believe what is in ranch dressing until you read the label and then measure it. Carrots are calories, spinach, apples, celery…all calories. I am not trying to make you see all food as evil, but rather to recognize what you put into your body.
Reasons to Input Everything Into MyFitnessPal
1. You can focus on whole, healthy foods and you will probably be able to eat larger quantities of food if this is something you are concerned with. You do not have to starve all day if you choose nutrient-dense foods.
2. There is more to track then just calories. I do not obsess about every nutrient category listed at the bottom of the food diary under the “nutrients” button, but I do pay attention to a few. I try to keep my sodium lower. I have a salt addiction! I also try to hit my fiber target every day. Personally, I know I have low iron and I need to be aware of how much is in my food.
The point is, track what goes into your mouth or you will miss the key principle of fat loss. A Caloric deficit.
3. Measure Your Food if You Want to Shed Weight
There is a reason almost every food comes with a portion size listed. You need to measure your food. I have not graduated to a food scale yet. But still measuring your food is not super hard. Go to Walmart and get yourself some $.98 measuring cups.
I love having cereal at night sometimes. My husband will laugh at me when he sees me measuring out my fruity pebbles. But for real, I will end up having two or three portions if I don’t measure it. I am horrible at guessing. Funny, but I am also always willing to make fewer dishes. I can’t even tell you how many times I have had a glass of chocolate milk out of a measuring cup or eaten hummus out of a measuring spoon because it made fewer dishes.
If you want to track your food, you have to actually track the amount you are eating, not just what you are eating.
4. Do NOT Sync Your Fitness Devices
I don’t care if you have a fancy Apple watch, I totally want one someday! Or, if you use a Fitbit or other device. Do not sync your devices with MyFitnessPal. Resist the urge. It is awesome to see how many calories you burned. But, let me explain…
I spent a few weeks not realizing that my steps/calories burned were influencing the number of calories I was allowed to eat. I would sometimes prefill my main meals for the day if I knew what I was making for dinner. I would go to have a snack later and check to see what calories I had left. I could eat so much! I really should have noticed how much extra food I was consuming, but we’ll call that a blonde moment. One day I realized I was just looking at what I had left to eat instead of the total consumed. It was over 2,200 calories. That’s not horrible for maintenance, but again I am shooting for fat loss which means I need a calorie deficit.
It is great to exercise or hit a step goal and burn calories. But guess what? If you are intentionally eating your calories because you burned them, you are not actually creating more of a deficit, you are diminishing it. I try to hit 10K steps on my Fitbit every day! But I do not want to waste those calories by eating them, I would rather know that I moved, got exercise, and I will potentially lose fat faster because I burned those calories. Not that I made room to eat more food.
5. Learn to Track Macros
Alright, here it comes. You can never make progress by becoming content with what you are doing. You need to learn more, use trial and error. Try some different calorie counts or macro counts. If you have not ever used macros and need to know where to start, you need a macro calculator. This calculator is free and also has a ton of information you can read. There is seriously nothing you cannot google these days and learn. But, once you have some basic guidelines, Protein, Carbs, and Fats then you can go into the settings on MyFitnessPal and input the new macro counts.
They may be crazy different then what the app initially gives you. It’s okay. Try the new numbers and compare them with your initial calorie counting and see which you prefer. The biggest benefit of counting macros is to hit a protein goal. If you are not tracking your food, I can almost guarantee you are not eating enough protein.
6. Experiment with Your Macros
Storytime. I like to experiment with things. So one time I changed my settings to wanting to lose 2 lbs a week. It dropped my calories to 1260 a day. Holy Guacamole Batman! It worked so well! I lost weight very fast. But girl, I was H-U-N-G-R-Y! I was moody because I was hungry, my energy level dropped off, and I have not been so tempted in over a year to binge so badly. I wanted to eat everything in sight and it literally consumed my thoughts half the day.
I like tracking macros, I like having a higher amount of calories to consume because I do not like to be hungry all the time. As a basic principle, I try to get all three categories of Protein, carbs, and fats within +/- 5 of my target amount. I almost never go over my calories when I keep my macros on point.
Try some different things, adjust the percentage of your macros or calories if you want to see what happens, if you have hit a long plateau, or you feel too comfortable and want a challenge. Don’t be afraid to try some new numbers. This is all about being flexible and finding something that you can sustain without always feeling like you are dieting. Stop thinking of food as evil or bad or unhealthy. If you think about the numbers you will start to make better choices and enjoy your food instead of resenting it.
7. Track Your Food Early in the Day
Don’t wait until 1:30 p.m. to track your food. By then you are starving and want lunch but don’t know what you can eat. If you know what you will have for dinner then enter it in. I like to put my food in for the day after breakfast when things with the kiddos settle down.
I can enter my breakfast, lunch if I have an idea and dinner. This will allow me to spend less time on my phone tracking throughout the day. Also, I am more willing to stay on track when I already have taken a few minutes to track. When the main meals are in I can go in and add snacks throughout the day.
If you have something special you want to have, the earlier you put it into your tracker, you can adjust the rest of your day accordingly. If you know you will be going out to eat later you can look up some of the menu options and choose some better options.
You don’t have to waste your time at restaurants with family and friends on your phone. But, you can use common sense when choosing options, and also pre-plan so that you can make healthier choices. Don’t wait until dinner time to input your food and say “oh well guess I went way over on carbs today.” You can eliminate that by planning ahead.
Shed Weight Quickly by Sticking with your Plan
You have 7 basic steps to follow that will help you start developing daily habits to shed unwanted fat. It is important to realize that no matter what plan you follow, you need to be consistent and committed. Everyone’s body is different! You can use what someone else does as a guide to help you form habits and begin. But, as you learn and grow in your journey don’t be afraid to make your own path. Try what works for you, test out some new ratios. Try eating smaller meals throughout the day, or larger meals without a snack. Do what works with your lifestyle and adjust.
You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars every month to lose weight. However, you do need to utilize the resources that you have and be committed and consistent. MyFitnessPal has worked for me because it’s free, it’s flexible and I can sustain it long term without feeling like I am dieting. It has simply become a daily habit and part of my routine. I am no longer counting down 19 more days until I am done and can see how much weight I have lost! Now, I am moving forward with life and making daily progress towards goals. Once I hit a goal, guess what? I can make new goals! Don’t limit yourself with your mindset.
Last, Find someone and Ask For Help
It’s okay if you don’t know anyone personally that can help you. If you are confused or stuck, follow some people on Instagram. I have gained so much information by watching people that know what they are doing. People that are tracking their food, eating healthy foods. People that are working out at home, exploring new equipment in the gym. Whatever you want help with, I promise you can find someone on there who can help you.
Please, please, if you have questions on calculating your macros or figuring out the app or any problems in general, leave a comment or email me. firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love to help you out with any struggles you are having. Because I promise you I have probably had a similar problem. I am NOT a nutritionist. I am NOT a certified trainer. But, I can help you find a starting point and make adjustments to find what works because that is how I learned it. Don’t be afraid to find help and get started, but don’t be afraid of starting. Just go do the thing.