10 steps to a safe and effective weight loss

Maintaining a healthy weight is the goal of many people.  For any weight loss goal to be effective, it has to be a long term goal.   It is not about fad diet, juice fast, vegetable cleanse, detox or starvation. It is all about making healthy lifestyle choices and sticking to them.

Go through the simple steps listed below and start your weight loss journey on the right information

  • Eat less and burn more calories.

Empty white plate and small chalice on wooden background

This is a simple, safe and healthy strategy. When you eat a meal and sit down all day, the output is not much and will translate to weight gain. Aim to burn more calories than you take in by increasing you activity level and reducing the quantity of calorie you consume in a day. One way to start is to change your plate size. Use the smaller version of your plate. A smaller plate will take a smaller amount of food and make you eat less.

You can also take one apple, a slice of water melon or a glass of water just before eating. This will take the edge of your hunger and make you eat less.

  • Do not diet, eat right

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Most diets, give short term weight loss. The moment you get off the diet wagon, the gains disappear. According to Jon Gabriel “Diets all follow a similar pattern.  By eliminating or severely restricting items from your diet, your body will, for a time, lose weight. You may lose weight quickly at first, but then the rate at which you lose weight will start to slow. Eventually you stop to lose weight altogether”

Several studies have also shown that teenagers who diet are three times more likely to be fat in five years’ time.

Instead of going on the latest diet, focus on giving your body nourishing and more live food. Sneak in vegetables and fruits in every meal. If you like Pasta, you do not have to deny yourself pasta. You can cook 2 handfuls and mix it with vegetable stir-fry. You still eat the pasta but the stir fry makes you eat less of processed carbohydrate which is what your body does not need. There is a healthy recipe for every food.

  • Do not skip meals

“I do not eat but I keep gaining weight. Right now the only food in my stomach is the coffee I drank before leaving the house in the morning. I can’t wait to get back home so I can eat”.

Skipping meals makes you ravenous.  You are more likely to make unhealthy food choices when you skip meals. This is because all you can think about is to put something into your mouth as long as it’s edible. Hunger has only one solution – food – healthy or unhealthy. This will sabotage your goals. Even when you are able to exert a little self-control and get home, you will end up eating for 2 – the meal you skipped and the ‘’real time’’ meal. There is really no point in skipping meals if you are going to eat to make up for it later.

Eat 3 small meals and 2 snacks

Breakfast Mid – morning lunch evening Dinner
Quaker oats with skimmed milk and banana. Apple with nut butter. Rice with chicken or fish  tomato sauce. Mixed nuts with Yogurt. Ukpaka, fish and vegetable.
  • Give yourself a reasonable deadline for your weight loss goal

Set a realistic weight loss deadline and stick to it. According to Parkinson’s Law ‘’Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”

If you give yourself 1 month to lose 1kg it will take you 1 month to lose 1kg

If you give yourself 1 week to lose 1kg it will take you 1 week to lose 1kg.

You can lose 1kg in 1 month and you can also lose 1kg in I week.  It depends on the goal you set for yourself and how committed you are in achieving it

Most health and fitness experts agree that losing 1kg in 1 week is safe and healthy. When you give yourself 1 month to lose 1kg, your brain will process it as something that does not need immediate attention. Because of that, you may start the weight loss journey and forget it after a few days. You may end up gaining weight instead of losing it.

  • Be specific in your goal

This is not the time to be vague about what you want. Do not say I will start eating right. Say what you want to start eating and what you want to stop eating.

Say – I will cut down on packaged fruit juice and eat more live fruits

Do not say I want to lose weight, Say how many kg you want to lose

Say – I will lose 10 kg

I have discovered that clients who told me on their first visit to the gym what they wanted and went into specifics are more engaged with their weight loss program. They are consistent and are more likely to hold on till they achieve their goal

If you are not specific, you may not achieve anything. Imagine if you were asked to come to work, but no specifics about time was given to you. You will stroll into your office by 2 o’clock in the afternoon and accomplish nothing for the day.

So how many kg do you want to lose and what do you want to start eating now for a healthier and sleeker you? Write it down and paste it on the wall of your kitchen or where you will see it more than 5 times in a day. Keeping it in front of the fridge is a good idea. It will stare right back at you when you take out something unhealthy to eat. That stare might be enough to encourage you to put it back in the fridge.

  • Be expectant

Your expectations matters. You have to believe that your goal is achievable. When you see losing 1kg every week as something you cannot do, you will not do it. You have to believe in yourself. That is what keeps you going when you feel like giving up. Write your reason for starting your weight loss journey and what you want to achieve. Download the Bellisima food and workout diary. Use it to record your progress. This will help you to stay on track.

Anytime you notice that things are not moving the way you expect, consult your diary. If you have been keeping a record of your weight loss journey, you will notice exactly when the change started, what you did or what you stopped doing. It will be easy for you to discover your mistake and take the right step to correct it. Studies have shown that people who keep record are more likely to succeed in their goals than those who do not write them down. Keeping a diary reminds you of your expectation and helps you to achieve it.

  • Look back 

2da87098d37a36099b18c628fdb96cd0As you go on your journey towards a safe and healthy weight loss, a time will come when you might want to quit. You may give excuses so you won’t go to the gym, you may discard your healthy foods.

According to Sarah “I felt that I have been struggling with my weight for a long time.  I gave up and started eating anything I wanted. It was a fight between me and my body. My body won and I gained a ton of weight. One day as i was sorting out my wardrobe I saw the clothes I bought when I lost weight.  They were beautiful clothes. I remembered how I felt when I wore them, the confidence and joy that all is well. Right there I made a commitment to my body not to abandon it to its own devices. Today, my body and I are best friends. I am at a healthy weight that is ok for me now”

When you heat a plateau and you feel like giving up, keep going. It will pass.

Every time that you are tempted to quit on your weight loss goal ( there will be loads of time), look at the progress you have made, and if that is not enough motivation, think of the money you have spent in gym registration and resolve to go on.

  • Help someone

helping-hand-3You stay on your feet when you help someone to get up. Look around you; it’s likely you will find someone that really needs to work out. Talk to the person. Encourage her to start working out. Make a promise that you will help her stay focused. Your reason for getting her out may be selfish, but you know what, when someone is depending on you for help, you will step up in your role as “workout motivator”. Without you, that person will not achieve their health goal. That is responsibility. Most people I know will step up and I know you will. And everyone wins because you will also be helping yourself to lose weight.

  • Above all exercise
IMG_20141009_175117
Group exercise

Experts agree that exercise is critical to good health.  According to a report from the Global Burden of Disease project, physical inactivity is “among the most important risk factors threatening global health”. For you to lose weight you have to include physical exercise in your daily to do list.

  • Get up, dust yourself off and keep going

There may be times that you actually get off the track. It happens. When you are ready, get back on and keep going. Everyone gets discouraged once in a short while. The important thing is to eventually get up, dust yourself off and keep going. It does not matter how many times you fall, what will matter is this – Did you get up or are you still down?

Give your body time. You will lose weight. You should also be aware that some of the ultra slim ladies on the packs of weight loss pills are sports models. The pills promise instant but unsustainable weight loss with pictures of sports models that has never had weight issues.

You have a unique body. It is working for you and not against you. Feed it right, work out and give up those unhealthy lifestyle choices that may be sabotaging your health and you weight loss goals. Check out our healthy food recipes and healthy meal plan. Download our food and activity diary to help you track your progress. You are ready to make that change.

I am here to help you in your weight loss journey. Leave your questions and comments below, and i’ll get back to you.

Author: Nkeoma DND Agu

Nkeoma DND Agu is a certified personal, group, and corporate fitness trainer. She is also a certified fitness and nutrition coach. She has been in the fitness industry for more than 10 years. She holds certification with one of the highest certifying bodies in fitness and wellness in USA, National Exercise and Strength Training Association (NESTA) She is the Director of Bellisima Fitness And Health Studio Ltd. She helps individuals and corporate bodies in Nigeria and all over the world to achieve personal and company fitness and health goals.

18 thoughts

  1. I love this write up especially the menu. I will come to the gym for my personal menu. I want to lose 8kg!!. And I hope to do it in 8 weeks with the help of my coach. See you in the gym.

    Liked by 1 person

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