Hang out with like minded fit and fabulous friends like Kristy and Jac! Me (middle), looking pretty good if I don’t say so myself

This is what I know about weight loss. Read on for my no.1 tip ( I guarantee it’s not what you think!)

1  – You want FAT loss, not weight loss

2. Rapid weight loss is fluid and muscle, not fat. Rapid weight loss sounds promising, but its a false prophecy.

3. Weighing yourself on a scale is probably the worst way to measure progress. Take your waist circumference instead. It’s much kinder. (read point 15 for why the scale can be so unforgiving)

4. Your body doesn’t want you to lose weight, fat loss may be seen as a threat to future survival, especially if you try to lose weight too fast. Read more here

5. You did not get fat overnight, nor will you lose weight overnight. Success is the sum of many small changes

6. Every step that contributed to your weight gain needs to be reversed to slowly but surely lose weight. For example if you know you drink too much, start drinking less. If you eat chocolate every night, stop eating chocolate every night. If you exercise then justify pizza, stop kidding yourself!

7. To successfully lose fat you need to create a 10-15% calorie deficit most days. You can do this by eating 200-300 calories less than your TDEE per day, or doing 200-300 calories of exercise each day, or a combination. If you do both, then none the next day you will come out square. Net weight loss = zero!

What is TDEE? TDEE stands for total daily energy expenditure. This is how much energy you need to conduct your normal daily activity. IF you consume more calories than this you will gain weight. If you consume less you will lose weight.  There are many calculators on line. find one here. Important Tip: To find your baseline (true) TDEE  I suggest entering your activity as “light” or “sedentary” and your goal as “Maintenance”. That’s how many calories you need on a non active day (desk job). From there reduce by 200-300 calories to find your goal. NB: unless you exercise 7 days a week, don’t enter any activity, your results will be skewed.(because if you only exercise 3 days a week, it is only accurate for three days. Averaging doesn’t work.  If you have a physical job that’s different.

8. Doing more than this will trigger a stress response in your body, which depending on your stress levels already will be counter-productive as stress makes you gain weight and stops you losing weight. Read more here

9. When you stop your “diet”, don’t go back to your old ways, or your weight will go back to your old weight! Calculate a new TDEE and eat for maintenance

10. Stress is not just emotional, it comes from high blood sugar, inflammation, lack of sleep, toxicity – all these things raise cortisol, so you have elevated blood sugar even when you haven’t eaten any sugar or carbs. This will halt your weight loss. Frustrating YES!

11. Which is the best diet? From low Carb to low fat, Paleo to Keto to Atkins, to any diet you choose, any will work as long as you can stick to it for at least 12 weeks to create a real metabolic change. If it is too restrictive for you it is NOT going to work. You WILL fall off the wagon, and YOU WILL gain all the weight back. Yo-yo dieting anyone?

What can you cut out of your diet that you are not going to miss too much?

  • Glass of wine 123 cal
  • Extra Cappuchino (mug full fat milk, no sugar) 115 calories
  • Chocolate (Cadbury 8 squares) 200 calories
  • 2 Sweet biscuits – chocolate 191 calories
  • 2 Sweet biscuits – plain 72 calaories
  • Soft drink (Coke) – 140 calories (9 teaspoons of sugar – would you put that in your tea or would that be gross?)
  • Orange Juice 112 cals

You can use a calorie tracker to keep track of this. find one here

If you eat a healthy wholefoods diet and you don’t eat these things, then I suggest increasing protein and reducing the portion size of your carbs, even the “healthy” carbs. Don’t be fooled. Honey is still sugar and all those dates in wholefoods recipes are sugar too.

12.The same goes for exercise, choose an exercise that elevates your heart rate (you should still be able to talk), and one that you love. If you don’t love it, you won’t do it. Walking fast does the trick (but note below, you will have to walk for at least an hour)

How to burn 200 calories from exercise (based on myself – average woman)

You can calculate how many calories you burn from particular exercises here

  • Running (6m/km pace) 21 minutes
  • Walking 55mins
  • Skipping  21 minutes
  • Swimming (as in laps at light-moderate pace) 30 minutes
  • exercise Bike Moderate intensity 30 minutes
  • Gym circuit (trying not cruising) 23 minutes
  • Dancing (modern) 45 minutes
  • Yoga 85 minutes
  • Cleaning the house 70 minutes
  • Gardening 53 minutes

13. Don’t skip meals, eat every 4-5 hours. Don’t create a stress physiology

14. Eat protein at every meal. 100gms protein per day is a good rule of thumb (average woman). eg.

Protein grams:  Breakfast 25gms, Lunch 25gms, Dinner 40gms, snack 10gms

15. For women, don’t weigh yourself and compare it to a week ago. Thanks to your menstrual cycle your physiology changes 4 times over the course of a month and is different each week of your cycle. You should compare week 1 with week 1, week 2 with week 2 etc. Otherwise you are doomed to see a less that pleasing result on the scales even though you’ve done nothing wrong. It’s just hormone flux. (One reason why men have it much easier! Other reasons are higher muscle mass and higher testosterone)

Fact: You are more insulin resistant in the second half of your cycle than the first half, so weight loss is easier in the first half and harder in the second half. Your appetite also increases in the second half. so may hay while the sun shines in the first half, and have good awareness around what you are eating in the second half so as not to go backwards. Some would even suggest to try to lose weight in the first two weeks and maintain in the second two weeks. If you can do that you will be successful long term. Any lose in the second two weeks is a bonus!

16 . Get off sugar. Sugar makes you store fluid and attracts fat to your upper body. If you have stomach rolls or back fat get off the sugar for a few weeks (or forever), and you will see this flabbiness subside. It takes 4 days of zero sugar to stop craving it. FACT: If it tastes sweet it has sugar, even fruit. This is going to be much harder if your period is due. Ps: you can add whole fruit back as soon as you feel like sugar cravings are under control.

17. One bad meal or slip-up does not a diet break. Get back on track at the next meal. Stuff-ups are a learning opportunity, just don’t keep repeating your mistakes! Being good at losing weight takes practice, know one gets it right all the time.

18. Get enough sleep! I’m a huge believer in regular bedtimes and wake times. I also believe you need 8 hours every night. If you think you are getting by on 6, you are sadly mistaken. Science has shown less than 7% of people can truly thrive on less than 6 hours. Do you really think you are one of the 7 percent?

19. You only liberate fat from from stores when in a fasted state, ie. when asleep (see point 18), or between meals provided there is a 4-5 hour gap (as it takes 2-3 hours to digest that meal on average). So snacking is not helpful. If you must snack or your next meal is more than 5-6 hours away make the snack high protein.

20. Drink plenty of water. 6-8 cups or thereabouts. Start the day with a glass to re-set your thirst mechanism for a normal thirst response. All metabolic processes need water to work. Not enough water slows your metabolism.

21. Your metabolism also needs micronutrients, vitamins and minerals in other words. A deficiency in any nutrient but especially B vitamins, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin C and vitamin D will cause a slowdown. The best place to get these are fruit and vegetables and all natural foods. I can assess your nutritional status and identify your deficiencies here.

22. Have a plan and get organised. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.  You have to be organised (have the right food on hand) to be able to make good choices.

23. Don’t give up too soon. Give it at least 4 weeks before you decide it is not working. Weight loss does not occur in a straight line. As long as you are down over the month (see point 15) you are succeeding.

If you have low energy, high stress load, an illness or medical diagnosis of some kind you probably need more tailored advice in order to overcome metabolic deficiencies and hormone imbalance which may frustrate your efforts.

It’s not easy, or no-one would be overweight.

Nor is it rocket science – don’t over think it.

Be honest with yourself. If you cheat you are cheating yourself

                  Be consistent- Success is making a series of good choices day to day. That’s right, you choose to be fat or thin


…..and My number 1 tip! drum roll please……. 

24. Write down everything you eat BEFORE you eat it! (journal/keep a food diary) Do you still want to eat that cake?

So there you go! I will be adding to this list as I learn. Please feel free to comment or debate below.