Updated: Jul 19
Time and time again I remind my clients not to live and die by the scale.
The number on the scale is just one of many numbers, and alone it doesn’t always reflect the most accurate picture of fat loss or your efforts. There are a variety of factors that influence fat loss - stress, time of the month, hormone levels, water retention, medications, constipation, elevated sodium levels and more.
Rather than torturing yourself with a daily weigh ins, start to see the total picture and when you know where you started, it's much easier to see real progress and know what is and isn't serving you so you can put energy into those things that are truly paying you back.
4 tips to help you achieve and maintain weight loss:
Tip #1: Know Your Numbers
When working with a client toward their health & fitness goals I begin by conducting a basic health & fitness assessment. This initial assessment includes basic information such as the individual's current weight, waist and hip measurements (and in some cases measurements of upper arms and thighs), cardio, strength, and flexibility stats and discussing their fitness routine and dietary habits. This offers a well rounded picture of their current health and fitness, enabling us see just where the most meaningful changes can be made. After several weeks of working together we can reassess, which allows us to see real measurable progress. By utilizing a variety of measurement tools the individual is able to track not only general weight loss, but fat lost and lean muscle gained as well as other health and fitness improvements.
Tip #2: Balanced Nutrition
A well-balanced diet has the ability to empower your daily activities while supporting a healthy waistline. What you put in your body can boost energy, promote healthy brain function, replenish essential vitamins and minerals, and reduce your risk of disease.
Believe it or not even small dietary changes can make a big positive impact. A great place to start is by replacing processed foods with whole and nutrient dense ones. This one step alone with have you boosting your vitamins and minerals and reducing empty calories. And you'll feel more satiated and satisfied doing it.
A healthy plate comprised of healthy fats such as avocados, fish and nuts, lean proteins like turkey, chicken breast and beans, whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and barley, along with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables will do wonders for your body - inside and out!
Tip #3: Engage in Regular Exercise
My clients often ask,“how much exercise do I need?” The American Heart Association recommends that adults engage in 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise at least 5 days a week and 25 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise. Your fitness program should include a mix of moderate and vigorous intensity exercise to reap optimal benefits. Cardiorespiratory activity and strength building exercise will support healthy overall balance, coordination and flexibility, an important part of feeling, moving and living well as you age. Aim to get meaningful movement in at least three days a week.
Physical Activity Guidelines:
3 to 5 days a week of cardiorespiratory activity (in a range of intensities) such as walking, biking, hiking, running, swimming, dancing
2 to 3 days a week of strength training activities such as resistance training, weight training, body weight exercises,
5 days a week of flexibility, balance and coordination activities such as yoga, pilates, static and dynamic stretching activities
Tip #4: Fat Loss vs. Weight Loss
Remember, fat loss and weight loss are not the same thing. As folks implement fitness and healthy eating into their routine they often find weight will fluctuate in ways that can be confusing, such as seeing the number on the scale hold steady or even slightly increasing, yet they may have simultaneously dropped a jean size. What’s happening? The body is adapting to the healthy changes that have been introduced, such as relying on nutrient dense foods and engaging in regular physical activity, which not only supports the body's ability to perform effectively and efficiently, but also it's ability to improve body composition in a healthy way! With a consistent health and fitness routine in place, results will continue to follow.
Bottom line: there are many components of a well balanced health & fitness program. The key to a creating and sustaining a successful one is to rely on a variety of measures that will enable you to monitor progression, support your ability to stay on track, and offer the inspiration and motivation that will keep you coming back for more! A well balanced approach to your goals should emphasize both nutrition and regular physical activity in order to gain the most mind, body and spirit benefit - setting you up for long term success!
Are you a busy man or woman who's ready to feel strong, live healthy, and get fit? Discover how to take small steps to get healthy & fit without cutting out the foods you love or spending countless hours on cardio. Come join me inside my online Facebook Community - The Healthy Habits Club. It's where busy folks go for tips, tools and support they need to eat healthy, move daily, and feel good for life!