“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong!” (H L Mencken),
This thought-provoking proclamation lends a lot of weight to the multifaceted problems that can confound your attempts to shift some fat from your unwanted wobbly bits.
On the surface, weight loss is easy: you eat less and move more, (have you every noticed it’s only smug, thin people that claim this?) but dig a little deeper and the cracks in this overused sound-bite start to appear. Why, when it’s so intuitive, is it not that straight forward?
Well the answer is that it begs further, obvious questions. Such as: just how much less food is required to be less? And when you’ve worked that one out, how much more movement is necessary to qualify as more? And finally, how do you precisely determine your place in these vague and unquantifiable limitations.
For example, not putting sugar in your morning cuppa and talking the stairs instead of the lift at work falls nicely into the ‘less and more’ classification, but then so does living off nothing but salads and running ten miles every day!
Like most diet plans that appear extremely simple at first glance when mapping out life’s seemingly obvious weight-loss pathways, they actually turn out to be fraught with dangerous detours that drag the unwary dieting traveller down blind alleys and dead-ends. They often lead to the biggest problem of all: the dreaded weight-loss-plateau, where, despite your best ‘eat less/move more efforts’, everything just grinds to a halt.
So what’s the answer, just how do you decide your own ‘eat less/move more’ parameters in order to achieve your very own goals of slimdom? As you’ve possibly gathered by now, there are no ‘one-size-fits-all’ simple solutions on offer and due to the complexity of your very own, individual metabolism an amount of trial and error is involved, particularly at the outset. However, to avoid the ‘ best guess scenario’ and avoid not ending up down your personal dead end street, you must have a plan.
To get started, you must take your weight and measurements: chest, waist, hips, arms etc. (and body fat levels if possible) . Then, an absolute must is to calculate how many calories you consume daily and for this you’ll need to create a food diary of what you currently eat and drink – and we mean absolutely everything that has passed your lips in the previous few days or week. if you don’t do this, you’ll simply have no idea about how much you’re eating and drinking and therefore have no frame of reference for the ‘eat less’ part. There are plenty of apps and online tools to help with this but reading food labels and writing things down – whilst a bit of a faff – creates both a better understanding and a deeper relationship with your food than simply ‘clicking a tickbox’ on a phone or tablet.
Another vital weapon in your fat-loss armoury is a tape measure and you’ll likely want some bathroom scales, preferably ones that measure your body fat levels.
‘Moving more’ covers both activity and specific exercise. To increase your activity levels, simply spend as much time as possible on your feet and walk wherever and whenever you can, preferably as fast as you can.
Exercise-wise, there’s too many options to list but there are two simple things to consider:
- The harder you breathe, the more calories you burn (lung conditions not withstanding)
- There is no best fat burning exercise; just pick something you enjoy doing – you’ll likely do it harder, longer and more often than something that you hate
Eating less and moving more is, of course, a vital aspect of every diet plan but to maximise it you must have a fixed starting point otherwise it’s nothing more than a best guess diet plan.
So is the answer to every complex problem clear, simple and wrong? Not if you plan it and monitor it properly – it can be clear, simple and right!
If you’d like to have a chat with us about how to design your personalised eat less/more plan, we offer a range of services from nutritious low-calorie meal plans and training programmes through to a complete lifestyle overhaul. Our years and years of experience enable us to simply and quickly determine an eat less/move more regime that fits both you and your lifestyle, minimising all of the trial and error that may otherwise ensue. We’ll provide all of the dietary and training help and support that you’ll need in order to avoid all the potholes, pitfalls and stumbling blocks that may impede your progress and get you in shape faster than you believe is possible.
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