Many people are concerned about their weight and want to lose weight quickly here and there (we often talk about belly in men and buttocks in women). If we are far from being the country with the highest obesity rate (last I heard it wasn’t even the United States, but American Samoa, followed by the Republic of Nauru and the Cook Islands ), France still has one in two overweight people according to recent studies.
The situation is serious!
Being overweight does not mean obesity, so we can take a sigh of relief, but still! Being overweight is not necessarily benign and it can have consequences on our physical state of health (risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.) AND mental.
But today we are not here to talk about risks, today we are here to talk about action!
Today is the time for your new attempt at weight loss, the good one.
In 2018, nearly one in twelve adults was obese on our planet according to the WHO. Obesity is recognized as a disease that accounts for more than 600 million “cases” around the world!
This guide will become your reference if:
- You want to lose weight without hating life
- You are ready to lose weight sustainably and put in the effort
- You have already
faileddieted in the past or being on a diet right now.
WHY DO DIETS NOT WORK?
One of the biggest resolutions every year is to lose weight (and quit smoking).
I would like to tell you that you are all going to be successful with your weight loss, but that would be a lie, in a study of 213 volunteers who sought to lose weight, 23% stopped their diet after a week, 45% after one month, 71% after two years!
The success rate is therefore relatively low, and we will try to understand why diets are most of the time doomed to failure.
THE PROBLEM OF DIETS
They come back every summer, I’m not talking about the Magic System, but the fad diets!
From the carnivorous diet to the vegetarian diet, passing by the Paleo, the ketogenic diet, the fasting or the cabbage soup diet (never do that), they all have one thing in common: they work … in the short term at least.
And for good reason, they are all based on the number one rule of weight loss: calorie restriction. Each will restrict calories in a specific way.
For example, the Keto diet will remove carbohydrates from the equation, the vegetarian diet will remove all sources of animal protein, intermittent fasting will make you skip meals, etc.
Problem: Almost all diets are doomed to fail in the long run, because temporary changes produce equally temporary results.
A 2014 meta-analysis analyzed 48 studies of 10 popular diets to conclude that the differences in outcome were small between these diets.
The researchers explained this because each individual responds differently to different diets before concluding that ” the ideal diet would be the one that is best respected by individuals so that they can follow the diet for as long as possible “.
In other words, many are looking for “the best diet” when it comes to weight loss, but the truth is, there is no “best diet” except the one that you are able to hold in the (very) long term.
THE PROBLEM OF RESTRICTIVE DIETS
While there is no better diet on paper, there are definitely some of the worst: restrictive diets.
You may have been there before, you tried a diet in your corner, managed to lose weight (rather quickly even), then stagnated, causing frustration and anger, you regained your weight (and sometimes even more), tried a diet again, but everything seemed twice as difficult …
Because in the short term all strategies work more or less, but in the long term studies show that this is where it fails
When you are in a very (too) restrictive diet like a ” Like ” (1200Kcal / day), you tend to count the days that separate you from the end of the diet, to finally be able to resume a “normal” rhythm.
This brings us to the first key to sustainable weight loss: a good diet is a diet that you will be able to stick to for a lifetime, without frustration and with pleasure.
This is why one should never talk about “going on/on a diet” (as this usually involves a start and end date) but about changing one’s eating habits for a lifetime.
In a restrictive diet, we will drastically cut calories and lose a whole bunch of pounds relatively quickly. The longer we stay in this type of diet, the more we will undergo adaptations such as:
- muscle loss
- an intense feeling of hunger
- potential hormonal changes
The ultimate consequence, your calorie maintenance will drop, which means that you are going to have to put in more and more effort to lose weight, as you approach your goal, you are going to be more and more hungry and less and less. energy…
However, you will have to reduce your calories again and again, to a point that is no longer manageable, which will lead to frustration.
Some will then be tempted to simply maintain the weight by sticking to their old caloric maintenance rate (the one before the diet), but the pattern, it is no longer the same since it has dropped in the meantime …
This will therefore lead to a regain of the lost weight, mainly in the form of fat mass (the body preferring to regain fat after weight loss). The lost muscles will not be recovered …
In the end, you will have lost lean muscle mass, gained more weight than before the diet (the famous yoyo effect), in addition to some adaptations in the process such as:
- always be hungry
- to be in a certain lethargy
- have a slightly reduced metabolism
So you’re back to where you started, with poorer body composition (less muscle and more fat, you’re hungry all the time from losing lean mass, and you’re tired on top of being frustrated).
At this point, the reflex of most people is to redo the diet to get rid of the fat they have collected.
But this time it’s even more difficult, why? Because you start with more fat, more fatigue and more hunger from the start of your diet … guaranteed failure twice.
THE 3 PILLARS OF SUSTAINABLE WEIGHT LOSS
We are not going to talk about diet, but about body recomposition, because in the end, what we want is to lose fat while gaining lean muscle mass, right?
And for that there are 3 fundamental pillars:
- you must enter a calorie deficit to lose fat
- you must maintain a substantial protein intake to avoid as much muscle loss as possible 3.you
must favor resistance training to develop your muscle mass
1. EAT FEWER CALORIES THAN YOU BURN
On paper, nothing could be simpler or logical. If you want to lose weight, you need to have fewer calories in than out. If you want to gain weight, it’s the other way around.
Basic, our body obeys the laws of thermodynamics.
- A 34-year-old man, 1.80 m tall and weighing 90 kg burns an average of 2,300 calories per day “just by living”.
- A 40-year-old woman, 5 feet tall and weighing 65 kg, burns an average of 1350 calories per day “just by living”.
Every day, the body needs a certain number of calories to carry out its daily and vital functions: to make the heartbeat, to function the brain, to move the body, etc.
This is called our total daily energy expenditure. Gold :
- When you eat more calories than you burn, your body tends to store those extra calories as fat (weight gain).
- When you burn more calories than you consume, your body will tap into fat stores for energy (weight loss).
Clearly, you have to eat less / move more: the ad was right on this point!
Mathematically the problem is very simple, but unfortunately we humans are really, really bad at doing math equating our calories.
There is in fact an unfortunate tendency to;
- Underestimate the amount of food we eat.
- Overestimate the amount of fat we burn.
” Oh, I walked well for 20 minutes coming home from work, I can easily afford to go to the bakery to have my eclair at the favourite café… “
Hmm… calories burned, less than a hundred, calories ingested with this delicious reward dessert, more than 200… see me the problem?
Ineluctably, the traditional accusation ” I may make efforts but I have a metabolism/genetics (of your choice) of m *** e ” will inevitably follow.
> No, it’s just that you eat too much and don’t move enough, period.
Be careful because fitness trackers and cardio machines aren’t much better at estimating calories burned, they almost always overestimate by at least 20%. Don’t take their directions at face value!
How to reduce your number of calories, in concrete terms?
First, you need to avoid resorting to an overly aggressive calorie deficit.
Research has shown that a moderate deficit allows you to lose about 0.7% of your body weight per week.
This rate is ideal for maximizing fat loss while minimizing metabolic adaptation and muscle loss.
For most people, this roughly equates to a calorie deficit of 15-25% or less. Monitor changes in your body weight over the weeks and adjust accordingly.
Increase the periods of youth between meals (or before the first meal of the day)
Here is a strategy that may be easy for some to implement in order to reduce the total number of calories over the day.
I mean in some because fasting won’t work for everyone, some just can’t skip breakfast without being totally hungry so they might compensate later in the day and end up eating eventually. more.
It is, therefore, a strategy to be tested, but the fact remains that scientific data tend to show that if we reduce the period in which we allow ourselves to eat, even if only by a few hours, it can cause a calorie deficit (even in the absence of a proper diet).
According to this 2018 study carried out on 23 obese people, a food limited in time (window of 8 hours) without diet and without counting makes it possible to decrease the total calories and to cause weight loss (here on average 6% of body weight lost in 12 weeks).
It may not seem like a lot, but given that the subjects were not tracking their calories and were not on a specific diet (no particular restriction outside the 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. food intake window), it may be. a solid strategy, especially when combined with a good weight loss strategy.
Eliminate all sources of liquid calories
Good news if you consume a lot of sugary drinks, you will be able to lose weight quickly. Bad news, you’re going to have to say goodbye to Starbucks sodas and other lattes.
A study indeed indicates that it is much easier to enter into overconsumption of liquid calories than solid ones, which seems quite logical.
So if you are looking to limit your daily calorie intake, limit your intake of liquid calories, especially if you are not tracking your macros!
Bye-bye the cream in the coffee (possibly opt for almond milk), no more sugar in the tea, no more sodas, and above all: adios alcohol (the worst enemy of your diet)!
Eat less outside
Rather practical the pandemic for that, although the restaurants remain open for delivery!
Eating outside is the guarantee of consuming more calories than necessary (some restaurant portions are gargantuan and not suitable for the individual) and especially to make unreasonable choices.
This is all the more true since, as we said above, the human being is a hassle when it comes to estimating the number of calories contained in a dish (the more the dish will tend to be. calories, the more people will underestimate this number).
This well-known bias, therefore, leads us to think that we eat fewer calories than it really is ( proven here in particular ).
That doesn’t mean you have to quit all social and dining, but maybe just cut back on that number of outings (and learn how to make better card choices), which could have a significant impact on the total count. of weekly calories.
One of the best ways is to cook en masse on Sundays (batch cooking) to have meals ready for the week at work, so you don’t succumb to the call of the local sandwich shop.
If you really have to go to a restaurant, check the menu online before you go and decide BEFORE you go what you’re going to order. Once there, if the portions are too big, ask to take away half, you will have your evening meal.
Eat distraction-free and consciously
Any help is great in weight loss, and eating slowly without distraction could weigh in the final balance.
When you eat while watching a screen, you can quickly become distracted and overwhelm your satiety, the same is true when you eat too quickly.
It’s proven, we eat more when we do something else at the same time.
The simple technique of putting the fork down with each bite and chewing more can be a big help not only to better enjoy your food but also to swallow less (while pre-activating your digestion).
Reduce snacking which is “just” a (bad) habit
I invite you to read our file on snacking in which we trace the origins of the latter, which appeared relatively recently (so ask your grandparents if they nibbled between meals).
Snacking can be due to different factors:
- you are bored to death at work
- you are not hungry but the call for sugar is too strong
- your last meal (this slimming salad for example) did not allow you to reach satiety at all
- you simply have either and misinterpret the signals emitted by your brain
First, try to keep yourself well hydrated throughout the day, then make sure to focus on proteins and vegetables during your meals (as we will see later). If your tummy continues to growl, opt for a healthy snack that is not too sweet.
Track your calories
As we have said, humans can be very bad (or very bad faith) when it comes to estimating the number of calories ingested.
The solution is then quite found: use an application to record everything that passes through your mouth: liquid and solid. You know these applications perfectly, they are called MyFitnessPal, Yazio or even chronometer.
You can take the test by downloading one of these apps and start tracking all of your calories, if only over a month, then compare with your estimates … I’m sure you’ll notice a definite variance of 20 to 40. %.
Once you have your average calorie count, you can cut to achieve the famous -0.7% weekly body weight, a sign of sustained weight loss. For most people this is a -20% calorie deficit.
2. FOCUS ON THE RIGHT KIND OF FOOD
The goal here is to make better plates, colorful dishes that are high in fiber and protein to keep us full throughout the day without snacking.
Priority on proteins
Maybe you see protein as a truckload of bodybuilders on a quest for apparent veins? Their role, however, goes far beyond ensuring muscle synthesis.
They are also responsible for a lot of other bodily functions but most of all, they are deliciously nutritious and allow you to achieve satiety. In the context of weight loss, proteins also help to restrict the loss of muscle mass (according to a 2020 study , there would be a correlation between loss of muscle mass and increased appetite, not terrible for a loss of weight).
So put the emphasis on proteins when it comes time to compose your menus, whether they are of animal and / or vegetable origin (if you do not eat meat).
To play it simple, we will get a portion of protein at each meal for women (two for men), which is roughly equivalent to the size and thickness of your palm.
If you want to go more precisely, we say that the protein intake for an average individual is around 1g per kilogram of body weight per day.
So a 60kg person should consume 60g of protein per day.
The contributions vary of course according to the level of sedentary lifestyle of the person. If you are doing resistance training (which is strongly recommended for weight loss as we will see below), then you should aim for 1.5g-2g per kilogram of body weight.
Eating your vegetables is essential, mom was right from the start
Vegetables can really be a game changer when it comes to losing weight. They are the basis of a healthy diet: rich in nutrients and low in calories.
In other words, you can eat a lot of it without risking overconsumption of calories (for example a pound of broccoli contains around 200 calories).
To play it simple, always try to fill half of your plate with vegetables, or about two portions, one portion being about the size of your closed fist.
Always start by imagining your plates with vegetables and proteins, the latter must represent 3/4 of the dish. Take up the remaining space with good fats and carbohydrates, which you can alternate.
It is indeed often the combination of carbohydrates and lipids that gives food its high hedonic value. We are talking about palatability , this barbaric term simply means that palatable food is pleasant to the palate, and that we will therefore tend to overconsume.
A practical solution may therefore be to separate carbohydrates and fats to make sure you are not overeating. For example :
- Meal 1: protein, vegetables and carbohydrates (with minimal fat)
- Meal 2: good quality protein, vegetables and fat (with minimal carbohydrates)
There is nothing magic in this distribution, but it has the merit of restricting the number of calories ingested.Bottom Line: In your quest to lose weight, you should focus on foods that contain fewer calories while still making us feel fuller. These foods should also give you pleasure.
3. ADD SPORT TO THE EQUATION
I pick up the copies, the answer was “ yes but ”!
Of course yes, you can lose weight without doing any sport … big smile on your faces, it’s Ola in the stadium, I see you from here celebrating, screaming, stripping yourself… STOP!
You can lose weight without playing sports But I still recommend that you do not ignore physical exercise.
To give up on movement is to deprive yourself of too many things, not just more calories burned, but reduced risk of injury, a stronger, more functional, more flexible body, a better mood, better sleep , a brain that works better and so on.
“Okay, but what sport to lose weight? “
Any physical exercise is good to take as part of weight loss, but there are 3 major forms that will particularly give you a boost:
- cardio in all its forms (any movement that will make your heart pump).
- interval training: HIIT, interval training, anything that provides variable frequency training.
- resistance training
Cardio, the best way to move your butt so far
Cardio strengthens the most important of our muscles: the heart!
So weight loss or not, you should never draw a line over it, even if it is hard or you are out of breath (spoiler alert: that’s the point).
Also, when you hit yourself with a 30-minute high-intensity cardio session, I assure you that you won’t want to mess it up with junk food at all!
It makes our hearts healthier, AND it can remind us that we do things differently now, and that we need to eat better so as not to waste our efforts!
Don’t like to run, swim, walk or cycle? There are plenty of other ways to benefit from a cardio session! Playing with your children, playing a fun sport (squash, tennis, table tennis, basketball, etc.), dancing, cleaning, gardening, etc.
Hiit (interval training)
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has many benefits, it burns a lot of calories in a very short time, the sessions go by faster and are less monotonous.
Best of all, you continue to burn post-workout calories thanks to what is called the after burn effect!
It is a solution of choice for all those who, I quote, “do not have time to train”: 20 minutes of HIIT> 20 minutes of jogging.
In the best of all possible worlds, do cardio AND HIIT, to vary your workouts and get what both have to offer. These two activities in addition to a calorie restriction guarantee weight loss, it’s 100%!
When you are in a calorie deficit in the hope of losing weight, you will certainly be drawing on fat stores, but you may also be tapping your muscles (hence the importance of focusing on protein as we do. saw it previously).
You read that right, your body could tap into both fat AND muscle stores for energy.
“Ah no, but I didn’t sign up for that! ”
Obviously, this is not what we want, we want to get our body to use ONLY its fat reserves and to keep as much lean muscle mass as possible.
This is why we must go through the box bodybuilding, or resistance training, although this is not the first sport that comes to mind when we talk about fat loss.
And yet, put it right in your head: bodybuilding is arguably the best activity in terms of weight management.
This is even more true when it is combined with cardio and a calorie restriction strategy. If you apply this winning combo, 100% guaranteed weight loss awaits you.
When you work your muscles, you cause micro tears in the fibers, before they build up stronger over the next 24 to 48 hours.
Your body does this by diverting as many calories as possible to “rebuild muscle” (rather than storing them as fat)!
- Building muscle is an activity that burns a lot of calories!
- Your metabolism is invigorated during this time, burning more calories than normal.
- There are far fewer calories available to “Store as Fat”.
- You will become stronger and keep your muscle mass (and even develop it)
- You are going to burn off the fat that you are trying to get rid of.
- You will naturally burn more calories while at rest.
The right reflex: finish strong at each training! I particularly like the rower to finish a training session strong. Simply set a distance to cover (1km for example) as quickly as possible for a little calorie boost in not even 5 minutes. You can also start any session with 5 minutes of rowing to warm up the body. Likewise, try to take the bike to and from the gym. Put together, the caloric expenditure becomes interesting.
How to start bodybuilding?
Short answer: quickly!
I am well aware that as a pandemic and with the restrictions in the gyms that this implies, this is not easy.
But you still have the option of going for home and / or bodyweight training. Bodyweight movements (what can be called a street workout) are ideal for acquiring the right basics.
Whatever format you choose, aim for 3 resistance training sessions per week for effective weight loss.
Leave 24 to 48 hours of ACTIVE recovery between each workout. Recovering doesn’t mean doing nothing, so use these days to do cardio (if only to walk), mobility exercises or interval training.
Most important: be active!
Maybe you hate running, cardio, or lifting weights. I can understand that, but don’t close the door on physical activity, you just have too much to lose.
Find something you like and suit you to increase your effective active time. Take the stairs, get up and go for a walk frequently (not in the fridge, eh), any micro movement that allows you to move more is good to take.
The easiest way to get started right away is to walk! Walking does not require any special skills or specific equipment (apart from good, comfortable shoes). Take the habit of walking every day and try to increase your distance and your pace.
Buy yourself a tracker or pedometer to reward yourself for a good month spent walking. And above all, remember that these tools are not perfectly precise, do not take the number of steps or calories burned indicated at face value. Just use that data as a benchmark to get more done.
You don’t have to do any type of exercise you don’t like – experiment! Walking, hiking, dancing, Greco-Roman wrestling, swimming, circus art, playing outside with the children, gardening, rock climbing, rowing, paddle boarding… the possibilities are endless.The right reflex: sometimes we arrive at the end of the day without having taken our fixed number of steps, it is late we are tired and it is dark, so we postpone. By segmenting your efforts, you make sure this doesn’t happen. The easiest habit is to go out for a walk 10 minutes after each meal / snack. Make it automatic.
MISTAKES NOT TO MAKE
FOCUSING TOO MUCH ON THE DETAILS
Do you know Pareto’s law? Well, try to put your focus in the right place.
Here are some examples of “details” in a pea waste:
- replace all the foods on your shopping list with organic
- focuses all its efforts on developing meals with a low glycemic index
- invest your money in food supplements and other appetite suppressant pills
You see what I mean ? All of this is putting the cart before the horse.
Of course eating organic is better, but is that what will make you lose weight? Will boycotting high glycemic index foods make all the difference? Unless you have diabetes, no, you don’t have to look too closely at this data, as long as you focus on preparing healthy meals.
The same goes for the famous 6 meals a day, supposed to help the metabolism, whereas we now know that it is a myth, especially at a time when the reverse is completely in fashion with the young (the benefits of which could simply come from the fact of a daily calorie restriction).
I’m not even talking about appetite suppressant pills or other bullshit fat burners … when it comes to weight loss, they aren’t even the tip of the iceberg.
The message, focus on the basics of nutrition, the ones that account for 90% of your weight loss success.
THINK ALL BLACK OR ALL WHITE
This comes from the media which has constantly pointed the finger at the culprits for years: ” fat is absolute evil!” Oh no in fact it’s carbohydrates, fat is ok! Oh no, carbohydrates, on the other hand, sugar is the enemy! … “
The truth is a little more nuanced, nothing is all black or all white, everything can be bad! Too much carbohydrate, fat, and sugar can be harmful if it causes excessive weight gain or overrides other nutrients.
You have to look at your diet as a whole. Which comes down to what we said about restrictive diets, rather than taking part and banning a set of foods, it is better to focus on an inclusive diet that emphasizes the foods to be preferred. .
Good sources of protein, focus on vegetables with colorful plates. Oily fish from time to time, fruit and a diet composed of 95% unprocessed products.
It’s simple, isn’t it? But undoubtedly less salesman than to point the finger at a culprit of obesity.
TRANSFORM CHEATMEALS INTO CHEATDAYS
It’s okay to treat yourself and eat your favorite meal 5% of the time. But never turn a cheat meal into a cheat day!
Never two in a row!
If you ever eat a meal that is less healthy than your diet, just get the next one to get you back on track.
A bad meal doesn’t ruin a whole day, let alone a whole diet. You can even add a workout to make up for it a bit, if ever.
Finally, do not take everything you read for divine word! And remember, just because it’s on Netflix doesn’t mean it’s either true or unbiased.
THE BAD WORD ABOUT HUNGER
Losing weight is an adventure, a journey that can last a long time and you should see it as an adjustment in your lifestyle, not a temporary change in diet.
After all, we want lasting changes and lasting weight loss for a better quality of life, right?
So you should never look at the amount of weight lost after the first month, but rather the change in your mirror after a year, and especially how you are feeling.
You understand that losing weight fast is not about, that being said, these steps should in most cases bring quick results:
- learn to prepare healthy and well-balanced dishes.
- reduce your snacking, alcohol and liquid calories.
- learn to love vegetables and focus on good sources of protein.
- familiarize yourself with resistance training, at a minimum of 3 days a week, by mastering the movements with a coach.
- increase your active time by walking more.
- learn to cook for the week (batch cooking) so as not to be caught off guard.
- surround yourself with people who push us to the top and lead healthy lives, join a local walking / running club etc.
If you can implement a single change from the above list and stick with it, it’s already a win, better than trying ten things at once and giving up after a month.
In weight loss making too many changes at the same time is a sure way not to lose weight.
“Step by step baby”, so choose 2 small changes from the list at most and work your way up slowly.
Tattoo it on your forehead. Hire someone to write it in the sky above you every day or to remind you every morning when you wake up … in short, do everything in your power to make you realize that changing your eating habits will be the fastest and most effective path to weight loss .