I don’t know about you, but I remember reading countless articles on things like “how to lose weight”, “why am I not losing weight”, “how to eat healthy” or my personal favorite “how to lose weight fast”. I would read these articles and think yeah I drink water, yeah I sleep, yeah I eat breakfast, yeah I traded weightlifting for excessive cardio…. but here is the thing while I was doing those things, most of these lists were so vague that really, let’s face it – the entire world eats sleeps and moves on a daily basis!
I want to share with you 3 things that are not secrets to any of these buzz word “lose weight fast” lists that you will find online, but I want to share the secrets in the details with you so that you can see if you are actually doing these things, and if you aren’t doing them properly I will show you how to better implement them into your life to start seeing weight loss results.
Let’s dive right in!
1 – Drink More Water
Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate! I am sure unless this is the first weight loss blog post you have ever read you have seen the importance of hydration (drinking water) and weight loss. We have been told to drink 8 glasses of water a day, and I know in my kitchen I have some glasses that are about 4 ounces of water, and I have some glasses that are 24 ounces of water, so saying “8 glasses” does not really answer exactly how much is needed for effective weight loss.
What I recommend for proper hydration and from my personal weight loss experience the right amount of water completely depends on your current body weight – NOT the 8 glasses of whatever size for everyone method. Now you are probably wondering how do I calculate the water I need then? Here is how to calculate your water intake: take your current weight in pounds (multiply by 2.2 from kg to convert) and divide that in half and then add 32 oz to that. For example, if you are 200 lbs, this would mean you need 100oz for your weight + 32oz = 132 oz per day. This may seem like a lot of water to you, especially since a typical bottle is 16 or 24 ounces! The first thing I did was make sure I had a refillable water bottle with me at all times so I could fill it up on the go and not waste money on a ton of plastic bottles, also I knew the exact size of my bottle, so I am able to just know how many I need a day and fill it that many times and track it on Fitbit – super easy! Here is the thing, if you start out with half your weight and get used to that first, then add your extra 32 that is a great way to start! When you first up your water intake you might feel the need to use the bathroom more frequently and I promise this is only temporary, your body will adjust in a couple of days and you will be back to your usual bathroom habits despite your increased water consumption. You might also be thinking “won’t I gain more water weight this way?” The answer is NO! Your body will actually flush out the water you are retaining more efficiently once you up your water intake, also your skin will be more hydrated and you will feel more satisfied between meals! It is what I would call a win – win – win!
2 – Monitor Your Sleep Habits
Everyone knows that we are supposed to get 8 hours of sleep right? The thing of it is, a lot of times just because we are in bed for 8 hours or sometimes more does not mean that we are getting 8 hours of sleep. Your body repairs and restores while you are sleeping, you also are continually burning calories while you are asleep, so getting broken sleep or not enough can cause the obvious tiredness, but it can also cause more muscle fatigue if you are working out and not giving your body this time to repair. It can also cause you to retain more water, and after a lousy night of sleep, you will almost always find that when you hop on the scale the next morning your weight will be higher than after a night of restful sleep.
Now – how do we know how many hours of sleep we are actually getting vs how long we are in bed? Wearing a smartwatch that tracks your sleep has been a game changer for me, especially since I could not figure out why I would go to bed at 11pm and wake up at 8am when my alarm went off and still be tired! I was not getting the 9 hours of sleep I thought… according to my sleep calculation on my Fitbit app – I was usually getting 5.5-6.5 hours a night! No wonder I was sore during my workouts and feeling run down! Sleep quality is just as important as sleep quantity, so if you can track your sleep you will get a lot of insight into how much sleep you are getting. If you do not have a way to track your sleep try to get into a peaceful bedtime routine. What I mean by this is have a certain time you begin to wind down and relax before heading to bed. Read a book, take a hot bath, do some restorative yoga or meditation and let your mind and body relax so that you can get a more restful sleep and make the most of those hours you will be in bed. At the very least – make sure you are in bed for 8 hours a night to start, or more if you take a while to fall asleep.
3 – Know How Much You Are Consuming
Track your calories, another weight loss tip that you have most likely heard in the past. The thing about weight loss, as much as I hate to be the barrier of bad news DOES come down to calories in vs calories out. While water intake, sleep, and working out can all HELP with weight loss, you are not going to see the scale move in the direction you want it to if you are eating more than you burn in a day. Now many people think if it does come down to this then the less I EAT and the more I BURN means the more weight I will lose super fast right? Again with the bad news – it doesn’t work like that either… the key to calories and weight loss is finding the right balance. My Fitness Pal is a great way to track your food, but knowing portion sizes first is key to using it effectively. If you do not know the volume of the food you are eating, you really do not know how many calories you are eating. It is SO easy to end up eating 400 calories worth of nuts or nut butter without even realizing it without weighing or measuring what you are eating.
While it can be a pain to track every single thing you eat, I recommend at least writing it down to start or using My Fitness Pal to get an idea of what you are consuming. Also if you are serious about seeing results invest in a food scale. I use this one. Another thing that really helped me was measuring my oil out, oil is a very high-calorie food because it is high in fat learn more about macronutrients from this previous How To Read Food Labels blog post.
I hope these three not so secret weight loss tips help you along your journey! I would love to hear how you are implementing them in the comments!
Until next time, stay well and be kind.