I got bloody fed up of always trying to lose weight. I used to lose 12-15kg for a bodybuilding show, restrict myself to a meal plan for 12 weeks and then blow out afterwards putting it all back on (plus some). I would gain weight, feel uncomfortable and use another show as an excuse to 'get ripped' and continue the vicious cycle. In November 2015, I said enough's enough, and I decided to lose weight, forever. In this article I'm going to share with you exactly how I did it, and how you can too. Here's how to lose weight forever in 5 simple steps (seriously).
Why I Left The Fitness Industry (Sort Of)
Okay, I'm still a personal trainer, but I use a more holistic approach to health, as opposed to fitness. You see, the fitness industry is all about tight abs, outrageous fitness levels and Crossfit. Which is cool, there's nothing wrong with that, but to the majority of the population, it just ain't realistic and frankly, it's quite intimidating. There's too many "it's my way or the highway" people in the fitness industry and I believe as a whole, we've lost sight of the bigger picture.
This article is all about that bigger picture, and how to lose weight for the last time. What do I mean by the last time? I mean no more yo-yo dieting, no more restrictive diets, no more binge eating and no more temporary fixes. You truly do lose weight for the last time because you're not rebounding after running out of your latest order of diet pills.
The Beginning Of My Binge..
To those who don't know me, I use to compete in bodybuilding. In fact, I've stepped on stage on five separate occasions placing 1st and 3rd (twice). In that 'fitness industry', the expectation is to have abs all the time, be sexy and promote supplements like there's no tomorrow. It caused me to develop an unrealistic look on life that led me to binge eating and body dysmorphia. When I was dieting for a show, I was never lean enough and the smallest piece of chocolate was forbidden like it was a drug (except for my Saturday night cheat night of course).
Ah yes, the cheat night, I would indulge like I hadn't eaten for a week consuming in excess of 5,000 calories in one sitting. Sounds ridiculous right? There's no wonder I put so much weight on. There was no life balance, it was 'all or nothing' and by this point I had forgotten what it felt like to not feel guilty after eating something that wasn't on my meal plan.
In November 2015, that all changed and I decided to quit bodybuilding (for now) to improve my mindset, habits and relationship with food. Don't get me wrong, I love lifting and I love what bodybuilding taught me, but that industry just ain't for me. Now, I eat more 'junk' food than ever (just not in one hit), I actually drink alcohol (omg), and I'm the leanest and healthiest I've ever been outside of competing #winning.
How, you ask? Well, let's just say I'm surrounded by some amazing people. I encourage all my clients to surround themselves with people just like them because success cannot be achieved alone. In fact, I created a Facebook group for exactly that. Click here to join that awesome Facebook group.
Anyway, on to the main event. Here's how to take control of yourself, fulfil your desires and lose weight for the last time.
How To Lose Weight Forever In 5 Simple Steps (Seriously)
To truly lose weight for the last time, you must understand some key factors of weight loss. Consider these:
I'm going to break down each one into a simple step by step process.
Step #1 - Understand Energy Balance (Calories In vs Calories Out)
You might have heard or read these phrases before...
"Calories don't matter"
"Just eat clean"
"Eat less, move more"
"Just eat unprocessed food"
"No carbs after 6pm"
"If you eat clean, calories don't matter"
Okay, here's the simple bottom line - calories matter and fat loss depends on being in a calorie deficit, regardless of what method you use . In other words, it doesn't matter if you eat Paleo, Vegan, Ketogenic or IIFYM because at the end of the day, if you're not in a calorie deficit you will not lose weight. This is the law of thermodynamics. You cannot avoid this.
That's right, if you're not burning more calories than you consume on a daily basis (over a period of time), weight loss will not happen. Once you truly wrap your head around this, you'll understand it matters more the amount you eat, rather than what you eat. Period.
I can hear the voices already. "I know this already Aidan".
Want the hard truth? If you know it, and you're not applying it, you really dont know it at all.
"To know and not to do is really not to know" - Stephen Covey
Once you fully understand energy balance (calories in vs out) you can take control of your body and see the bigger picture. For example, because you understand that the body deals with sugar (in it's simplest form), the same way whether it's from chocolate or bananas, there's no guilt associated with food. You're concerned less by WHAT you eat, and focussed more on the AMOUNT you eat.
Now, before the clean eaters rip my head off, I'm not saying quality of food doesn't matter, because it absolutely does, I'm saying when it comes to losing weight, calories matter more. Here's a picture to show you what I mean:
Eric Helms created this nutrition pyramid which shows the order of importance when it comes to nutrition. Here's that order:
Yes, supplements are the last thing you should be looking at. In my opinion, long term weight loss cannot be achieved if you skip a step. You can't focus on micronutrition without focusing on macronutrients and you can't focus on macronutrients without first focusing on calories. If you skip a step, you might get results at first, but eventually you'll come to a halt and look for the next quick fix or diet.
The point is, losing weight forever requires you to truly understand energy balance and calories in versus calories out. Ignore this, and your journey will be more awkward than The Oscars reading out the wrong winner. This kind of leads us to our next step.
Step #2 - Understand You Don’t Need A Magic Pill, Detox Or Quick Fix
Stop looking for one.
Long term change is god damn hard. It's a long road, it hurts and it's painful. Change is never easy but then again, neither is being overweight. It's painful struggling to walk up the stairs every day. It sucks when you feel your gut bulging over the top of your belt, leaving a big red line across your stomach when you look in the mirror. It hurts to have your kids look at you with sad , disappointed eyes when you can't keep up with them.
Let me ask you something. What's more painful - the doctor diagnosing you with type 2 diabetes or you making some small sustainable changes to your lifestyle? I don't know about you, but I'm going with the latter. Yeah, change is hard, but not changing leads a life of pain and suffering.
When you start another diet or do another detox, you're treating the symptoms (feeling uncomfortable in your clothes) and ignoring the cause (poor nutritional habits). You'll probably get a result, but there's an underlying reason why you got there in the first place. Put it this way:
"if you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got".
I realised that I kept looking for another way to lose weight. I'd google the latest supplement, the latest workout and the latest diet. I accepted it was up to me if I wanted to see long term change and the only way to get it was to do the hard yards. The lightbulb had gone off, I didn't need to start another diet to lose weight, I needed to change myself from the inside.
Once you understand that you don't need a magic pill, another detox or quick fix, you'll instantly take ownership of your body and progress toward long term change.
Step #3 - Find Your Balance
A HUGE factor in losing weight for the last time is to find your balance. I don't mean balance as in get better at standing on one leg, I mean find a good balance between eating, exercising, lifestyle and family.
Quite often a lot of weight loss plans require huge sacrifices and unrealistic expectations. Oh yeah, and they won't advertise that. For example, let's say you've got a family of 2 kids, work 9-5 and all you're doing for exercise is walking. Do you really think downloading a 5 x day per week workout plan with a detox program is going to work for you long term? Un-bloody likely.
The key to long term weight loss is to find your balance. Set yourself realistic expectations and match your goal with your behaviours. For example, you don't HAVE to get absolutely shredded. There's no reason why you can't simply drop a bit of weight, exercise a couple of times a week to feel healthier overall. There's NOTHING wrong with that kind of goal. This would require minimal sacrifices and allow you to have a life with your family. You wouldn't have to completely cut out food groups or miss quality family time with the kids.
The point is, you don't need to go to the extremes just to lose weight. You can have a healthy balance. Here's how to find your balance:
That's exactly the same step by step process I use on myself (and with my clients). Once the ball is in motion, you can tweak and adjust to your desires.
Remember this - one bad day won't make you fat just like one good day won't make you skinny. It's the overall balance that counts.
Think of it like a slingshot. The more tension (extreme dieting) you pull in one direction, it'll eventually be propelled back the other way (weight gain). So, find your balance, and you'll lose weight forever.
Step #4 - Learn Portion Sizes
I'm a huge fan of using kitchen scales to weigh food. Woah, don't roll those eyes, I didn't say forever.
Weighing your food (for a period of time), helps you become educated on portion size. The long term benefit is you'll be able to eyeball foods to get an idea of certain amounts. How cool is that? Next time you're cooking dinner you'll have complete control and soon people will be asking you for guesstimates. You'll be a portion size ninja!
Anyway, let's say you don't want to use kitchen scales, there's still a tool you can use. I wrote an article about it here where you can download a 'portion size' guide from Precision Nutrition. Click here to read that article (will open in new browser).
The best thing about learning portion sizes (and also the most painful), is you get to see how much you're over consuming your calories. The funny thing is, if we actually stuck to the serving sizes we see on packets, we (as a society) wouldn't actually be so overweight.
Seriously, the serving size for a big block of Cadbury's chocolate is 4 x squares. If you had only 4 x squares a day, instead of 2 x whole rows, (or the whole block in my case), you'd actually remain in great shape all year round (providing you ticked all the other boxes). And that my friend, is one way to find your balance.
I hear what you're thinking though, one does not simply stop at a serving size and hey. I agree with you. My Saturday night used to consist of eating a whole bag of Allen's lollies, a whole block of Cadbury's chocolate and a full packet of double choc chip cookies. The thing is, there's a little thing called self discipline and again, balance. When you have a little bit every day, you don't feel like gorging yourself on it. The more you deprive yourself of something, the more you want it correct?
Anyway the point is, learn your portion sizes so you can absolutely nail your daily calorie intake. MyFitnessPal is an effective tool I use to track calories. This is optional, but an amazing tool to have.
Step #5 - Change Your Mindset & Understand It Takes Time
This thing called weight loss and healthy living is a marathon, not a sprint. Anything that promises quick results, is not sustainable and will fail to provide you with happiness. You want to lose weight because you know you feel happy at a certain weight/size right? How happy would you be if you could remain that weight all year round? Believe me when I tell you it can absolutely be achieved.
But it takes time.
I can't promise that changing your habits will breed results overnight but what I can promise is that when you do lose that weight, it's gone forever. How do I know this? Because I've done it and I help people all over the world do it every single day.
When you change what happens on the inside (your mindset), you change what happens on the outside.
"Whether you think you can, or You think you can't, you're right" - Henry Ford
If you keep telling yourself you can't lose weight, guess what's going to happen? That weight ain't going anywhere. On the flip side, when your thoughts have shifted to things like:
"I can lose weight"
"I am losing weight"
"I enjoy exercise"
"I love eating healthy"
"Eating healthy makes me feel good"
"I love chocolate but I eat it in moderation"
Guess what happens now? That's right, all of a sudden that inner voice starts working in your favour and you feel great. When you get to this stage, you're living a healthy lifestyle and you'll remain at your goal weight year round.
The catch? It takes TIME to get to this stage and it's never easy HOWEVER, it's certainly possible and you will get there eventually if you persevere.
Step #6 (BONUS) - Take My FREE Weight Loss Course
I love surprises. I also love over delivering. The bonus 6th step is to take my free weight loss course.
It has everything you need to lose weight including:
Click here to get UNLIMITED access to the course, absolutely free.
It's time to start losing weight forever using the 5 simple steps I outlined above. If you're not convinced on the free weight loss course, or you're not ready to lose weight on your own (I wasn't and i'll always have a coach), contact me here and book in for a free, no hard sale, 15 minute consultation. We'll discuss where you're currently at, why and what needs to happen moving forward to get to where you want to go. If you think I'm the right man for the job, we'll look at a plan ongoing.
Click here to book in for a 15 minute FREE consultation
Click here to begin your FREE weight loss course
Click here to join my private Facebook group Healthy Living With D'Arcy Online Coaching
Written by Aidan D'Arcy - Personal Trainer Frenchs Forest
1 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18025815?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum