Most of the time, when we say we want to lose weight, what we really mean is that we want to look fit. A lot of us initially seek to lose weight for vanity purposes and that’s fine: it’s not a crime to want that Instagram-perfect bikini bod. We’ve all been there.
However, the surest way to look like you’re progressing with your #fitnessgoals is to actually do the work. That requires focus and motivation, and looking lean just for the sake of it won’t always cut it. So, what do you do? Shift your focus from shedding pounds to becoming strong, that’s what. Remember: skinny doesn’t automatically mean healthy. If you want to get fit, you can’t forget it!
WHAT DOES “HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS” LOOK LIKE?
A proper weight loss plan doesn’t focus on reaching a certain number on the scale. If it’s primarily a numbers game for you, you might find yourself indulging in unhealthy methods (e.g. crash dieting) that would give you quick but temporary results. (That is, you’re just going to gain it all back!)
The real goal should be to boost your metabolism. A higher metabolic rate increases the number of calories you burn, making it easier to lose weight and get strong.
To raise your rate, you have to decrease the amount of fat in your body, retain or increase muscle mass, and experiment with caloric intakes to see what works for you.
Now, every weight loss journey is a marathon, not a race. Losing weight healthily and with fitness at the crux will always involve the three main components of any fitness plan: diet, exercise, and sleep.
WHERE DO YOU START YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
First, determine your basal metabolic rate (BMR). There are gyms with equipment that can figure this out for you, but if you don’t have access to that, you can also compute it using the Harris Benedict Equation. Determining your BMR will help you figure out how many calories you need on a daily basis to cut your weight.
Once you’ve got that down, design a weight loss plan that’s specific to you. After all, no one knows your body and your pace better than you do.
Here’s something we whipped up to get you started!
HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS 101: DIET, EXERCISE, SLEEP
Take charge of what you eat. Weight loss mostly happens in the kitchen, so prepare your own meals. This gives you control over portions and ingredients, so you know exactly what goes into your body. It also means you can design your meal plan to cater to your tastes, making it easier for you to stick to it.
Center your meals on high fiber and protein. High-fiber food (e.g. veggies, fruits, whole grains) take longer to digest, so you feel full for much longer. This is great for weight loss because you become less likely to crave for anything in between meals. Protein-rich foods (e.g. chicken, spinach, hemp seeds), on the other hand, complement this by reducing muscle loss, which is a common side effect of dieting.
TRY: Green Silo Organic Quinoa (2kg), P1,200, Fresh Start Organics Red Rice (2kg), P331, Founding Farmers Mixed Unsalted Veggie Crisps, P180, Manila Superfoods Almonds (250g), P295
Replace your coffee staple with green coffee. If you’re the type who barely feels human until you’ve had your morning cup, consider going green. Green coffee is rich in chlorogenic acid, which helps increase metabolism and reduce the absorption of carbs in the digestive tract.
TRY: Ultra Green Coffee, P500, The Green Tummy Green Coffee (100g), now on sale P126 (limited time only), Roarganics Green Coffee Extract (1kg), P3,600
Eat early. Whether you wake up at 5AM or 9AM, consuming the bulk of your daily calories during breakfast or lunch can help you lose weight. You’re less likely to feel hungry during the day when you have a full and satisfying breakfast, and you have more time to burn off the calories.
Switch to healthy snacks. When you’re stuck in energy-draining traffic, snacking becomes difficult to resist and the nearby fast food drive-thru becomes 10x more tempting. Keep something like a healthy brownie, a health bar, or veggie crisps near you at all times and munch on those instead!
TRY: Snack Box Roasted Cacao Nibs With Chia and Flaxseeds Brownie Crunch, now on sale at P75 (limited time only), Take Root Kale Chips Sour Kream & Chive Flavor, now on sale at P198, Lara Bar Organic Coconut, Kale & Cacao (45g), P125
Drink lots of cold water and cut all sugary beverages. Drinking water not only helps you feel more full, it can also temporarily speed up your metabolism. Drinking 0.5L of water increases your resting metabolism by 10-30% for an hour! (But don’t take it from us, take it from science journals.)
TRY: Cocoon Bottles Insulated Water Bottle (500ml), P1,200, Fifty Fifty Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Bottle (24oz/700ml), P2,195, Eco Vessel Triple Insulated The Boulder (20oz / 600ml), P1,795
Control emotional eating. It’s easy to slip back into bad diet habits when you’re stressed, bored, or low on energy. Food isn’t just about sustenance, after all; it’s a highly effective mood-booster, too. But there are alternative options you can go for that doesn’t involve guilty binge-eating. Consider meditating, listening to music, or taking a 10-minute sanity walk to snap you out of that snack-y mood.
Do high-intensity workouts. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involves 30 minutes of quick and intense bursts of activity. Studies have shown HIIT to be the most effective at increasing your metabolic rate, helping you lose fat even after your workout ends. It’s a challenging workout: you will be breathless, panting, and sweating bullets. It’s certainly not a look you’ll want to capture on camera, but that’s fine. Get in there; get ugly. The results will be stunning!
TRY: Harbinger Power Speed Rope, P899
Do resistance training. To complement the calorie-burning HIIT, lift weights. Lifting weights helps you maintain or increase your muscle mass. Retaining muscle, which is more metabolically active than fat, will help you increase your metabolism over time instead of causing it to drop.
Not having enough sleep stimulates your appetite. Sleeplessness also triggers your stress hormones, sending signals to your body to conserve energy when you’re awake, negatively affects the way you process sugar. Translation: sleeplessness makes you feel hungrier and tells your body to store even more fat. That’s definitely not something you want when you’re looking to lose weight. So, sleep. Get those hours of beauty rest in. You deserve it.
TRY: Herbs of the Earth Melatonin + Sleep Faster, P1,000, Doterra Lavender Touch, P1,090, Good Night Drink, P85
Like we said, these are just guideposts. At the end of the day, discipline is key, and the one gunning for the goal is you—and girl, you’ve got this!
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