At Combined Insurance, we have invited our whole team to participate in a healthy new year challenge: “Team up to Slim Down”. With some great prizes on the table, Supplementally Speaking spoke to Lia Templeman,a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer at LifeStart Fitness, to get some basic, healthy weight loss tips that anyone can follow. Good luck to everyone who is participating!
Determine how much weight you need to lose. Work with a certified trainer to determine how much weight you really need to lose. It can be helpful to measure your percent body fat for a more accurate understanding of what is making up your body mass. Body mass is made up of two components: body fat and lean muscle. Lean muscle includes muscle mass as well as bones and bodily fluid. Muscle mass is the size of your muscles. Some people may be more interested in building muscle and endurance than losing body fat.
Weigh yourself correctly. The best way to make sure you are weighing yourself correctly is to stay consistent in your weight-check routine. Always use the same scale, and always weigh yourself at the same time of day. You may be tempted to weigh in every day, but this could lead to too much focus on the scale. Instead, aim to weigh yourself once or twice each week, and keep it up even after you’ve reached your goal. Maintaining weight-loss can be even more difficult than losing the weight. Keeping on top of your weight can be a powerful motivator for keeping the pounds off.
Increase your activity. Take an honest look at how much exercise you are currently getting. If it’s not 30-minutes a day or more, consider adding time to your workout routine. If your exercise only consists of taking the stairs or walking to and from the train (which isn’t bad, it’s a great start!) then add one day of more formal exercise the first week and continue to add on subsequent weeks. If you’re already working out 3-4 times a week, add time to your workouts, or add another day. Whatever you’re doing now is great! Don’t stop, just add additional time in the workout room to achieve even more weight loss.
Along those same lines...move more. All the little extra things you do-or choose not to do-each week add up. Housework, walking the dog, yard work, taking the stairs over the elevator, parking a little further away-all these little extras make a big difference. Take stock of the physical tasks you pay someone else do for you, like cleaning your house or mowing your lawn, and ask yourself if you could do it yourself. You’ll save money and burn lots of extra calories weekly.
Be smart about your diet. In her experience, Lia has noticed that different diets work differently for different people. Thinking about lowering your carb intake because it worked for your friend? Go ahead and try it, but don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work for you. Because of people’s different genetic makeups and backgrounds, it’s important to experiment with different diets to see what works well for you. Some diets Lia has helped her clients with include the keto diet, a low carb diet, clean eating diets, and intermittent fasting diets. The key is to find a diet you can live with and stick to, otherwise your will power will only take you so far before you give up.
Keep track of your calories. Lia has seen a higher rate of success for her clients who keep close track of their calories consumed. There are several Apps available to make it easy to track. According to Forbes Health, the top calorie counting apps for 2022 include:
· Calorie Counter by MyNetDiary. There is a free option or a premium option for $8.99 a month
· Healthi. There is a free basic option or a pro-option for $29.99 a year.
· Lose It! Calorie Counter. There is a free basic option or $39.99 a year for premium.
· Carb Manager: Keto Diet App. There is a free basic option or $8.49 a month for premium.
· MyPlate Calorie Counter. There is a free basic option or $9.99 a month for gold.
Buy a food scale. A food scale will help you monitor and record your calories more accurately. You don’t need anything fancy. You’ll find basic scales at almost any store that sells kitchen appliances. A food scale can help confirm that you are not eating more calories than you think you are. If you are using a calorie tracking app, weighing food portions will easily let you track your calorie intake1.
Wear a step counter. A step counter, like a Fitbit or Apple watch, can be extremely motivating because it keeps track of the calories you burn throughout the day. You can see how all the little extra movements you make throughout the day (like taking the stairs or mopping your own floor) add up.
Get enough sleep. Research shows that not getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night correlates with weight gain. Some theories are that a sleepy brain craves calorie-dense foods. Plus, when someone is fatigued often the last thing they want to do is exercise. Over time, this can wreak havoc on a weight loss routine2.
Supplementally Speaking thanks Lia for sharing her expertise and wishes all those who are striving for a healthier, lighter 2022 much success!
These opinions and advice are for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for visiting your doctor.
1- Not losing weight? try weighing your food for a Week. (2018, May 31). Retrieved January 05, 2022, from https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/want-lose-weight-weigh-your-food-week-ncna772476
2- Katherine Zeratsky, R. (2020, April 02). Why skipping sleep leads to weight gain. Retrieved January 05, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sleep-and-weight-gain/faq-20058198