With the overwhelming amount of information out there in regards to weight loss it can be very confusing. Today we’re going to outline 10 effective steps you can follow for an effective weight loss strategy.  Many individuals in Leawood, Overland Park, and Greater Kansas City as well as the entire nation have struggled with weight loss and we are going to try and solve at least part of the puzzle. Here’s 10 steps you can follow to help with weight control:

#1 Nutritional Journaling – While not always a popular recommendation – it works! Without having a solid grasp of how many calories were eating – weight control can be nearly impossible. When journaling make sure to enter your selections at the time their consumed or just prior as this is the most accurate way to journal. There are dozens of apps that record calories with the most popular being myfitnesspal.

#2 Decreasing/Limiting Sugar – Many of us have a sweet tooth, however physiologically eating a high sugar diet increases insulin which helps shuttle calories into the fat cells. In addition a high sugar diet contributes to eating more calories throughout the day because of severe swings in blood sugar. While there are different recommendations as to how much sugar we should consume – the fewer the better and trying for less than 50 grams a day is a good place to start.

#3 Eating a higher protein diet (especially for those who struggle with weight) – We’re not saying Atkins here, but many studies have shown that eating a higher protein diet can be an effective component of weight loss. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition protein is more metabolically active than other food sources. While there are different individuals debating exactly how much protein – it appears a fairly balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats is an effective part of a weight loss strategy. This ratio would change for individuals who don’t desire weight loss and/or are very active (especially an increase in carbohydrates).

#4 Drink Plenty of Water – First the act of consuming water increases metabolism – an article in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that drinking plenty of water can burn an extra 5 pounds a year. In addition to increasing metabolism sometimes individuals confuse thirst with hunger and eat more – if you’re not sure if it is true hunger try drinking a large glass of water and see how you feel after a few minutes. Under normal circumstances drinking half your body weight in ounces will be enough to ensure your drinking enough H2O.

#5 Eat Plenty of Fiber – Eating adequate amounts of fiber helps stabilize blood sugar/makes you feel fuller for longer, and partially blocks excess fat/calories. Minimum requirements are 25 grams for women and 35 grams for men. Some experts recommend even more especially if weight loss is a priority. Fiber can be found in fruits, vegetables, some grains, and fiber supplements.

#6 Have a Plan – The old adage “failing to plan is planning to fail” is true when it comes to weight loss. It is nearly impossible to be on the go and make wise choices. When were in a hurry and hungry we’re more likely to grab a less healthy choice.  For those with a busy lifestyle having protein bars and shakes at the ready can go a long way to making sure the scale moves in the right direction.

#7 High Intensity Interval Training – This type of training increases the calories expended after exercise, stimulates muscle development, and triggers thermogenesis. Low intensity cardiovascular exercise does little to burn calories after the workout and will not aid in building muscle (in fact in some circumstances causes muscle loss).

#8 Build Muscle – The more muscle you have – the more calories you burn! Engaging in resistance training is the most effective way to build muscle and should be an integral part of your weight loss strategy. For every pound of muscle you build your metabolism increases from 30-50 calories a day.

#9 Chill out – Stress doesn’t do a body good and causes the body to increase hormones like cortisol. Stress hormones like cortisol can cause the body to increase fat, especially around the midsection.

#10 Supplements – While not a magic bullet – supplements can help, especially if following all of these other strategies. Supplements like green tea, ephedrine, fucoxanthin, and lipase inhibitors can play a role in further facilitating fat loss.

While these steps are effective tools in the weight loss fight – realize that occasionally there are metabolic issues taking place that can hinder the body’s ability to lose fat. Check out our previous blogs on: “Having Difficulty Losing Weight – It Might Be Your Thyroid”, “Are Food Allergies Making You Fat”, and “Hormone Check” if your following all these steps and the scale isn’t budging.

Glen Carrigan is co-owner and operator of Freedom 4 Life Fitness with his wife Yvette. Glen & Yvette are dedicated and experienced personal trainers providing residents of Leawood, Overland Park KS, and greater Kansas City with an outstanding fitness experience.