Noticing a trend here???
There is only one way to lose weight: caloric deficit
Or you could chop off a limb?
It is a common misconception that you must exercise to lose weight. This is not true. To lose fat, you just need to eat less calories than you burn each day. Now, this can be made easier by exercising, as it will help you get into a caloric deficit, however your first priority should be to educate yourself on how to achieve sustainable and healthy weight loss.
The benefits of exercise are endless. It is vital for human health. However, all too often, I see exercise used as a form of punishment and this leads to an unhealthy relationship with both food and exercise. Whatever your desired mode of exercise, it should be there for enjoyment and pleasure. Exercise is a privilege that not everyone has, therefore it should not be used as a punishment because you ate something "bad". Which leads me on to my next point...
We need to stop this "good food" and "bad food" discussion. Foods are just molecules, some of which are a little more nourishing than others. The word "bad" is associated with guilt. Guilt then makes us feel worse, which turns on the reward-seeking area of our brain and we go searching for those things that we know will immediately make us feel better like sugar, and thus initiates the vicious cycle. You should be able to enjoy some of your favourite foods, including sugar, without feeling guilty about it. You can achieve this by allowing for some flexibility in your diet. Find foods that are going to be a good fit to your plan and allow some wiggle room within your overall caloric target. You will be far more likely to adhere to your plan if some of your favourite foods are in there. Getting rid of the good and bad labels is a great start to improving your relationship with food.
Now, let's talk calories. A really simple analogy to make calories more understandable is to think of them like money. You have a certain amount to spend each day, which can be split up daily, weekly or monthly. So, let's use the example of Person A and Person B. Both earn €36,500 expendable income a year, so they have €100 to spend each day.
Person A goes about their day, spending as they wish, having a great time! They don't bother checking how much things cost, it's too much hassle and they don't have time. Then they start getting some warning notifications on their banking app. "you have overspent by €10 today"
Person A doesn't give a sh*t though, 'cos YOLO, and continues on like this day after day, week after week.
Person B has a good relationship with money. They've educated themselves on budgets and spending. Person B knows there's a party coming up this weekend, so they save up €10 each day Monday to Friday. It wasn't too difficult, just behaved like an adult and made good choices. Now they have a nice little sum saved up for the party on Saturday. Saturday comes around and they spend the €50 they saved having a great time buying all sorts of stuff!
Total spend for the week:
Person A - €170
Person B - €100
Now, they both continue like this for the rest of the year. Total spend now is:
Person A - €62,050
Person B - €36,500
Person A is now in the hole for over €25k, and they're starting to panic about how they're going to pay for it. They're gonna have to put in some serious overtime for a whole year to try make the extra cash.
Calories are pretty much the same thing.
Imagine every €1 = 20kcals
You have 2,000 calories to spend each day, but you can save some up if you know you're going to need them for another day. You can also earn a few more by exercising. Handy, isn't it? You're not limited either, any form of exercise is fine. Enjoy lifting weights? Go for it. Prefer going for a run? Work away.
But, you don't have to. Sure, you will feel a lot better in body and mind if you exercise. As I said, it's a privilege. Exercising is amazing for your health. However, if you're quite overweight you must understand the basic concepts of calories and weight-loss to take control of your nutrition. There is no point starving yourself and punishing your body with burpees in your front room. Go for a relaxing walk, increase your NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis), take control of your nutrition. Then, once you have developed a healthy relationship with food, start to introduce exercise as a reward, not a punishment. This will lead you on the road to long term, sustainable health.
Get educated about your spending, check the prices, look after your budget so you can happily relax on the couch and lose weight while watching Netflix. I post a lot of information over on my Instagram page, follow me there where I go more in depth on a lot of the topics discussed above.
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