3 Must Have Tools To Lose Weight
You know that feeling when summer is around the corner or you have a wedding coming up. That feeling of "I need to drop 10 pounds ASAP". We’ve all been there before.
With there being so many ways to lose weight which works the best?
Detox teas, 30 day cleanses, diet pills, fat burners, juicing… The list goes on with the options you have.
All of the above are horrible. Not only are they quick fixes but they are all temporary. What happens when you stop taking the diet pills or end the cleanse?
You gain all the weight back and sometimes even more.
These kinds of fad diets and gimmicks appeal to so many because of their easy quick nature. Who doesn’t want to lose 20 pounds in 7 days?
There is no one diet that fits all. The best diet is the one that is customized to you and your body! These tools can be applied to any diet and when it comes to losing weight the kitchen is where it starts.
Anything really worth having takes time and hard work. Easy never lasts. The slower you lose the weight the easier it is to keep it off. This is because your body can adapt to your new weight.
When you eat a very low-calorie diet (juice cleanse, detox teas, etc) your body is like an empty sponge. You lose a lot of water weight.
About 70% of the water in your body is stored in your muscles and organs and 30% is stored under your skin. The moment you cut your calories and carbs you lose a ton of water weight and that is why you see that big drop the first week. Sometimes up to 10 pounds!
The second you reintroduce carbs and more food you will gain it all back fast!
The harder you deprived yourself the more your body will want to correct itself. Meaning it will be really hard to stop eating and that’s a recipe for gaining more weight than when you started.
Not all weight loss is equal
We want fat loss. If we had 4 pounds of hair and cut 2 pounds off technically that’s weight loss but it’s not going to change the way we look. In order for us to get lean, toned, and fit we need to lose fat and keep the muscle.
So how do we lose weight the right way?
Assuming you are already working out in the gym, lifting weights and doing cardio then nutrition is what it comes down to when losing weight. If you’re not familiar with what you should be doing in the gym then read here first.
A good speed to lose weight is about 1 pound per week.
If you have over 20 pounds of fat to lose then 2 pounds is doable to start and if you have less than 10 pounds to lose then ½ to 1 pound per week is ideal.
The slower we lose the weight the more comfortable, sustainable, and enjoyable your journey will be. This also ensures your body can adapt and when you reach your goal weight you won’t gain it all back!
Slow and steady wins the race
Just think how nice it would be if you lost the weight for good! It may take a little longer than in the past but you’ll never have to do it again. No more last minute crash diets, no more stress prior to vacations or weddings. Why not do it right for once and never have to do it again?
Now that we know the goal speed of our weight loss, which way is best to track it?
There are many ways to track fat loss. Scales, measuring tapes, body fat calipers, hydrostatic dunk tanks, Bod Pod, DEXA scans and more.
1. Bathroom Scale
Now I know many hate the scale and I don’t blame you.
When you want to be a certain weight and the number goes the opposite way it is enough to throw the scale out of the window!
You’ve probably read or heard it before but the number on the scale doesn’t define you.
The scale should only be used to track progress
If you love the way you look, are healthy and happy with your fitness plan then there is no need to step on the scale! However when you want to make a change and either lose weight or even gain weight then the scale is going to let you know if you are making the right changes.
Which is worse? Setting a goal to lose 20 pounds in 20 weeks and not weighing yourself until the end to then realize you didn’t lose a single pound?
Weighing yourself frequently and seeing your weight loss is stalled in the first 2 weeks and making the necessary changes to lose the 20 pounds by your goal date?
When you step on the scale and it’s not doing what you want it’s typically because something in your training program is off. Eating too much or not enough. Doing too much or not enough cardio. Lifting too much or not enough. Not Sleeping enough.
You get the idea but I won’t go into detail on how to adjust those variables for consistent weight loss in this post.
I recommend either a simple digital bathroom scale or a smart scale that you can find on amazon here.
So now we have a goal speed and a measuring tool for our weight. What’s next?
2. Measuring Tape
Just a simple measuring tape will get the job done. If we have over 10 to 15 pounds to lose in the beginning the scale might start to drop but we don’t see anything. This can come from losing body fat from areas we don’t typically look at. If you lost fat from the back of your legs or your back it wouldn’t be easy to tell.
If you are beginning to lift weights you may have a hyper response and gain some muscle while losing fat. This can cause the scale to stay the same. With the measuring tape it will show you where you are losing fat. If you measure your waist at 29 inches to start and two weeks later your waist is 27.5 and the scale is the same that is great progress!
When you notice your clothes getting looser this is a sign you are losing body fat. Conversely many clients will tell me they think they are gaining size in their legs when their pants feel tighter. When this happens it is time to remeasure to be objective. A lot of times when the legs are feeling tight from lifting weights it gives the impression the legs are growing.
Keeping consistent measurements allows for accountability and to truly see how the weight lose or gain is progressing. I recommend to measure every 2 weeks on Friday morning. The sites for measuring are as follows.
Chest (Across Nipple Line Or Broadest Part)
Waist (Across Bellybutton)
Hips (Broadest Part Of Butt)
Right Thigh (Broadest Part)
Left Thigh (Broadest Part)
Right Upper Arm (Broadest Part)
Left Upper Arm (Broadest Part)
Now this combined with the scale we have a great way to track weight loss. We know if we are on our way to getting toned or if we need to adjust our program to reach our goals. Keeping it objective lowers our stress that can come from wanting to lose weight or get toned.
3. Progress Photos
Progress photos are the third tool that help us see the progress we are making. When we see ourselves in the mirror on a daily basis it can be hard to see the change. The number on the scale can drop and we can lose inches but sometimes we feel like we don’t look any different.
With progress photos we can see the change that happens. I recommend weighing yourself and doing circumference measurements every 2 weeks while taking progress photos every 4 weeks. So every other time you take measurements it’s all three.
There is a little art to taking the progress photos. Similar to circumference and weighing we want accuracy. Ideally we want to measure the same area each time and weighing ourselves first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
With photos it is the same. We want consistency. First thing in the morning with consistent lighting. I recommend doing them in a room with good lighting from an artificial source. Wear a bikini so you can see your body. We want 4 angles each time we do them, front, side, back and one pose.
I recommend posing to help show off your body. Similar to how fitness models pose on social media. Most fitness models never show front, side or back, they are always posing and showing their best angle. This can help when we compare ours to our idols or someone that inspires us. As much as I don’t recommend doing that, it happens.
Looking at just your front, side and back and comparing that to your favorite fitness personality where they have perfect lighting, angle and pose. It’s not a fair comparison so having the pose evens the playing field.
A tip to do these photos is to film yourself and hold each pose for a couple seconds while being as still as possible. Try to use the same angle each time and distance to keep everything consistent. After doing all 4 poses screen shot each pose from the video. Add the photos to an album and each month you can see your body transform!
So with these 3 tools to track weight lose what is a good time frame for reaching the body you want?
This is a very broad question because it depends on where you’re starting. If you have 10 pounds to lose or 40 pounds. Ranging from 0 to 10 pounds of muscle to gain. But not to leave it completely open I recommend at least 1 year.
With 1 year you can form the habits needed to maintain the body you want. Make substantial progress and truly learn how your body works. You will probably look great long before a year but just because you reached the first finish line doesn’t mean the journey is over.
We want our everyday habits to match the body we want. What we choose to eat and what we choose to do should be habit to stay toned. This can take up to a year to establish. Just like losing body fat habits are formed slowly and in small amounts. If you never go to the gym going 6 days a week is unrealistic to start with.
At LeLuxFit we create customized programs to get you toned, fit and sexy. We use a behavioral approach to teach you how to get the body of your dreams and keep it! Over the course of a year you will completely transform your body and your mind. From improving your strength, lowering your body fat percentage, learning how to eat to reach your goals no matter where you are, drinking without it sacrificing your goals. LeLuxFit does it all.