Weight loss goals are the most common goals that our clients have. Alongside improving balance, gaining strength, and feeling confident and strong in their body, weight loss goals are a great way to get you moving and improving your nutrition. Most people typically want to lose 10lbs to kick-start a larger weight loss goal.
We’ve all heard the adverts that claim you can lose 30lbs in a month, or get ripped abs in 2 weeks. These ads are exciting and attractive, but pretty unrealistic. If you’re too aggressive with your weight loss, statistics show that the weight will return and bring a few extra lbs with it. To lose 10lbs in 5 weeks is a healthy, and realistic weight loss goal.
As personal trainers, we are given a formula for how clients can lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way. This article will share that formula with you to help you lose 10lbs in 5 weeks.
Start by getting to know yourself
This step is critical. If you don’t know where you’re starting from, how do you know where you need to go, or what needs to be changed? If you lose 10lbs, what will that look like for you specifically? We are all about the personalized approach to fitness, and this process will help you achieve weight loss that is specific to you and your body.
Getting to know yourself goes beyond simply weighing yourself. In order to begin the weight loss process, you need to track your lifestyle for at least a week. We recommend putting everything you normally eat into a tracker like Lose It. Then you’ll want to turn on the pedometer on your phone and start tracking your physical activity.
This step will help us with the math in the next step.
Calculate your CURRENT energy needs
After recording your data and getting a general sense of your daily activity, and your average calorie intake, it is time to do a little math.
It takes 3500 Calories to lose 1lb. So if you want to lose 10lbs in 5 weeks, which is a healthy amount of weight loss, then you’ll need to be burning an additional 7000 Calories every week.
There are a few ways to approach this:
- Take your current average calorie intake, and cut that back by 1000 Calories per day (difficult)
- Take your current average calorie intake and cut it back by 500 Calories per day, and commit to burning 500 Calories via exercise. (Somewhat difficult)
See how both of them are difficult? It’s like the old saying goes “if it were easy everyone would be doing it.” The body likes to hold onto weight because that additional weight acts as an energy storage system. If we were ever to go into a time where there was less food available, our bodies would have the stored energy to get us through the time of less food.
Create your plan of action
Okay, so you know how many calories you need to be consuming every day, and have set yourself a daily Calorie-burn goal – now what?
It’s time to get specific about how you’ll achieve both of those.
Cutting back calories can be tough and can leave us feeling restricted. Feeling restricted leads to a rebellious mindset. It’s like when someone tells you can’t have something, or can’t do something, for some reason you always want that thing.
So in order to be successful, you need to create a nutrition plan for yourself that doesn’t leave you feeling restricted, but also adheres to your calorie goal. How do you do that? This answer may surprise you:
Eat a whole-food, nutrient-dense, colourful diet.
These are the foods our bodies evolved with. Our body knows how to use these foods for energy, the immune system, repairing tissues, and healthy bowel movements. If you feed the body what it needs, then it will always feel satisfied.
If you feed the body quick, corner-cutting foods, your body will always be asking for more food (read: cravings). Some quick tips to help you feel satiated after every meal:
- Make sure there is something green at every meal
- Always have some form of protein on your plate
- Stay hydrated to avoid dehydration, fatigue, and cravings
- Focus on healthy fats like avocados, nuts and seeds, and good quality oils like olive oil and butter.
Consistency is really key. Consistent effort over the 5 weeks will help you build helpful habits. Over time the way you’re eating and the time you take to exercise will start to feel like part of your regular routine.
The workouts won’t feel like a chore. You’ll get excited to go to the grocery store and try new fruits, veggies, and protein sources. You’ll also start to feel the results of your weight loss. All of these will be signs that your efforts are working and that this will be a sustainable lifestyle for you.
Work on your mindset
This bonus step is very important for those of you who want to maintain the weight loss after the 5 weeks are over. Throughout the journey take time to check in with yourself. What triggers stress and then stress eating? What are some activities that feel effortless and fun for you? If you do not lose the weight in the 5 weeks, how will you prepare yourself to continue on without feeling defeated?
Our minds are incredibly powerful. It can be our greatest tool for success – or an inescapable source of pain. The more you check in on yourself, and remind yourself why you’re working towards weight loss, the better equipped you’ll be to maintain the weight loss. Try daily mantras, morning/evening affirmations, or simply working on making sure that voice inside your head is an encouraging one, and not a doubtful one.
So that’s all it takes! Get to know yourself and where you are right now. Adjust your energy intake and expenditure by 1000 Calories/day. Create your detailed nutrition and exercise plan (we can help with that). Stay consistent and work hard. Finally – make sure your mindset is supportive of your goals.