The best way to make a Weight Loss Challenge fair is to first learn how people can cheat. This page highlights sneaky stuff to know that can give you the challenge advantage!
How to Cheat (legally) on your Weight Loss Challenge
1. Join a supportive group. Try to eliminate the negative people if you can. Many people start out with very little support. If you can gather the help of others you will do better than those who don’t.
2. Exercise everyday doing something you enjoy. A lot of people will throw themselves at the gym not knowing how to exercise. Take the time to plan and hire someone to show you around. Finding a few exercises you like will increase the chances of sticking with it.
3. Maintain a “healthy” caloric deficit. Calorie consumption is figured out by multiplying 10 to 12 by your desired weight. For example is you want to weigh 135lbs you should be eating a healthy diet in the range of 1350 – 1620 calories. Depending on your daily fitness activities too. IMPORTANT: It is recommended that you cut back on your calorie consumption by a little as 100 cal per week.
Other people will often cut their calories by drastic amounts. They might show a fast weight loss in the beginning but soon they will be in a plateau rut. This is when your careful calculations will pay off. Slow and steady wins the Weight Loss Challenge Race.
4. Change only one bad habit for one good habit every month. Most people try to take on too much new stuff. It’s exhausting and nearly impossible to do. One thing at a time. Like replace your fried chicken for baked. Or replace your 30 min drive to work with a 30 minute bus ride and 15 min walk. While on the bus you can be updating your weight loss journal, listening to motivational tapes, and doing your part to save the planet.
5. Optimize your daily protein intake. Optimum protein intake should be between 0.8g to 1g of lean body weight.
Lean Body Mass = Body Weight – (Body Weight x Body Fat %)
Women especially often don’t get enough protein in their diets. Protein can help you from feeling hungry. Learn about protein and improve your chances of winning.
6. Pay attention to where you are now. Know your target and know where you are starting from. Too many people approach weight loss willy-nilly. They have no plan because they don’t take the time to really look at where they are starting from.
Before you even jump into a diet or new exercise regime you need to know what you are doing now. Take one week and write everything down. What you eat, how much, what you do for exercise, sleep and everything. Once you have that written down you then have an honest idea of what you are up against.
Awareness is the number one weight loss tool!
7. Fats are good when they are good fats. Essential fatty acids are needed daily. EFA’s 20 – 30% of your daily calories come from healthy fats.
Take the time to learn what a healthy fat is. What are your choices are and how to add them to your diet while you cut out the bad fats.
8. Daily healthy reminders. Be assured that if you follow a healthy regime you WILL reach your goals. Sometimes you need to put in a few extra minutes in the mornings to review your day before it starts and to reaffirm your willingness to continue your path to good health.
9. Low carbs have a place BUT… Carbohydrates are your friend. For proper body and brain function about 40% of daily caloric intake should come from carbs.
Carbs have an unfair bad rap. Explore the world of healthy carbs and enjoy eating again.
10. Failure doesn’t exist. Failure isn’t failure unless you quit. Failure is just feedback.
No one is born knowing everything and rarely can a person do something new perfectly. Learning how to be fit and healthy takes time and effort. Falling off a diet or new fitness regime isn’t failing. You can always try again tomorrow. Or right now!
11. Eat your vegetables. Have at least a cup of fruit or vegetables with every meal (including your snacks).
Green and orange vegetables are excellent. Choose colours and variety. Learn about your foods. Get a good book on foods and what they offer and keep it in your kitchen.
12. Smaller meals more frequently. Try to break your meals up over the day. 3 small meals and 2-3 small snacks will help boost metabolism and digestive health.
This simple little piece of advice is ignored by many. It seems like too much to eat. That is because most people don’t take the time to learn what a “meal” or a “snack” really is.
13. Progression not perfection. You don’t need to do it all at once. Just like making only one food swap at a time, the same goes for habits and exercise. Slow and steady. If you have been a non-exerciser for a long time the first step is finding 30 minutes. Add to this over time.
Pick an easy and familiar exercise to do in those 30 minutes. Even just walking is better than nothing.
Your competitors will be trying to slide in an hour of unfamiliar exercise and most will quit within the month because it is too much “new”.
14. Make better food choices first. Jumping directly from a poor food choices into a calorie restricted diet will fail – just about every time. Just choosing healthier foods will guarantee weight loss and feeling healthier.
15. Education. Once you are eating good foods, then learn about the calories and proper portions.
Do you know what a “portion” really is? Is it the same for you as it is for someone else?
16. Losing 0.5% to 2% a week is healthy. But weight loss is not accurately reflected in your scales window. Usually fat is the thing that people want to get rid of and scales will measure mass. This means you can actually gain muscle weight when you have lost fat.
Don’t get married to the scales. Over a period of time is when scales will be more accurate, but day to day scales can lie!
17. Bust up a weight gain or plateau. Weight gain or plateau can simply be caused by water retention, muscle gain, inaccurate scales, and many other things. Don’t worry about losing every week. Just focus on healthy activities first.
If you are doing everything right and have hit a plateau, here is simple plateau buster to try.
18. Plan your cheat meals. Seriously! Plan them. Most people will choose a “cheat day” then spend the day binging. This is extremely hurtful for the dieter. Not only can you consume enough calories in a day to thwart the entire week of dieting, but it can also break your will.
Pick up a diet book on healthy comfort foods and measure out the calories in pre-planned meals and treats.
19. Water not pop. No soda of any kind. If you find water isn’t palatable then add a bit of juice to it. Just to flavour it up a bit. Cranberry, orange, cucumber, etc.
Water is an absolute necessity for burning fat.
20. Awareness is the secret to everything. You must know what is in your food. Calories, chemicals, nutrients etc. Every meal and snack needs to be brought out into the light. One of the best ways is to journal everything. Keeping a journal is the number one way to assure your will win!
21. Stretch. Strength training and exercise will work the muscles. They need to be kept flexible so they can heal after a workout. Stretching helps to feel better and get you ready for the next workout.
22. Rest. Rest to heal, be motivated, and feel ready to take on the world. Most people will feel tired after a few days of new exercise. Be patient and kind to your body.