I used these weight loss tips to lose 40lbs of fat while building muscle. Each of these strategies has been rigorously tested. I spent years researching and testing these strategies and only included the best.
Let’s jump in to find out how to lose weight and keep it off!
- Mental game: Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
- Nutrition Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
- Exercise Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
- Track your progress – Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
- Self-care: Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
- Get Accountable: Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
- Goal Setting: Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
- Master the Mental Game: Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
- Other Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
Mental game: Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
1. Master your mental game. All the best strategies in the world won’t work unless you get your mindset right. Let’s start with that!
By confronting these reasons, you can plan ahead so that you will win in those moments of weakness. View your list of ‘why nots’ as a personal challenge to overcome these weak points.
4. Make it easy to get health-wise . Put your list of ‘why’s’ and ‘why nots’ in a table. Keep this list on your phone so you can easily review it and update it. Better yet, print of this list and use Google Docs so you can review it from any device whenever you have downtime, need motivation, or feel lazy, guilty, shameful, or unmotivated.
Below is an example of putting this strategy to work:
Nutrition Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
6. Nutrition accounts for 80% or more of weight loss. Unless you’re planning on hiking or working out for 6-12 hours a day (like when I lost 60lbs walking from Canada to Mexico while eating mostly junk food) you will need to decide upon and stick to a nutrition plan.
After reviewing the data of multiple randomized controlled trials, Drs. Curioni and Lourenco (2005) found that:
- people who focused on weight loss through diet and exercise lost about 29lbs while
- those who only focused on diet were still able to lose approximately 22lbs.
It makes sense that diet is essential when you consider that most people could consume 2000 calories in a 20-minute binge and it would take many sweaty hours of hard work to exercise those calories off.
When I weighed an obese 257 lbs, I can say with confidence that I binged weekly and my 60-minutes of walking per day and three 1-hour weekly weight training sessions didn’t stand a chance. Despite my active lifestyle, I was putting on weight each week.
Macronutrients and Nutrition Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
9. Hit your daily protein goal. Dr. Breen et al. (2005) and other researchers found that participants who consumed 15-30% of calories from protein lost nearly 11lbs in 12 weeks. Better yet, by consuming more protein, the subjects reported feeling hungry less, and ‘full’ more often. Protein slows the digestion of carbs which helps keep our appetites in check.
10. Determine the amount of protein for you and your body. Proteins contain 4 calories per gram. If you are strength training, the National Academy of Sports Medicine recommends consuming 0.7-0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight based on the research of Karpinski and Rosenbloom, (2017). By eating enough protein you may find that you not only burn fat, but you also build muscle and strength. Don’t miss the tips on tracking your gains below.
11. Don’t skip the carbs. If you plan on training hard, Dr. Burke et al. (2006) emphasizes the important role of carbohydrates for optimal performance and for improved recovery. Similarly, Dr. Antonio et al. (2018) highlights the importance of carbohydrates for replenishing lost muscle and liver glycogen. By consuming carbs, you will maintain the energy needed to workout hard and consistently. Neglecting carbs can leave you feeling exhausted and stalled in the gym.
12. Don’t neglect healthy fats. Not only do fats support cell function, they also help protect our organs and help our bodies absorb essential vitamins and nutrients. This is important in order to stay healthy and energized throughout your journey.
13. Track your calories and protein, carbs, and fats using an app like MyFitnessPal. This will be far easier, faster, and more convenient if you…
14. Keep it simple. Eating variations of the same nutrient-dense and delicious meals not only keeps you satisfied but also eliminates the need to recount every calorie. For example, at least 5 days a week, I eat a variation of what I call turkey salad. I cook 1-2 lbs of ground turkey, onions, peppers, ginger, garlic, chilli flakes, (and sometimes okra).
I place the turkey on a generous serving of lettuce or spinach. I might switch up the spices, but it remains a delicious, nutrient-dense, lean, and high protein meal. This meal makes it easy to hit my calorie and protein goals. Knowing how many calories and grams of protein this meal has also eliminates the need to recount the calories and grams of protein every time. Whatever meals you choose, record the nutrient and calorie information to save the hassle of having to do the math for every meal or snack.
“From those same studies it was found that an increase of 14 grams of fiber a day was associated with an average weight loss of 1.9 kg (4.2 lb) over 3.8 months. These analyses highlight the importance of fiber-rich foods, such as fruit and vegetables, in weight regulation.” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention,2012, p. 3)
27. Keep fresh vegetables in sight and within reach. Don’t do like the grocery stores do and hide the healthy stuff in the furthest, hardest to reach corners. Keep fresh vegetables on the counter and in plain-sight in the fridge. Make it as easy and as convenient as possible to enjoy veggies.
28. Keep frozen vegetables on hand. Sometimes you will run out of fresh vegetables and keeping some frozen vegetables on hand makes it much easier to get those low-calorie-density, nutritious essentials. This is key in those moments when you simply can’t or can’t bare to leave your cozy home to go to a grocery store.
29. Don’t feel the need to eat vegetables with every snack. Many overly-obsessive health gurus say you have to have vegetables with every snack. No thanks! A delicious Oreo cone with a side of broccoli just won’t work for me. Being too rigid can cause many peoples’ inner rebel to flare up and go overboard on unplanned calories.
30. Use food labels and food scales to track your calories. Studies have shown that people tend to under-estimate how many calories they consume in a day. Know how many calories you are consuming. This daunting task is super easy if you keep it simple. Many people who get the leanest, tend to eat variations of the same meals with the same amounts. Don’t forget that many cooked meats and other foods have less water-weight and thus more calories than the same weight of uncooked food.
31. Don’t forget to include sneaky calories in certain sauces and especially oils. Fats have 9 calories per gram unlike carbs and proteins which only have 4 calories per gram. Oils are pure fat and many sauces tend to be packed with sugar.
32. Find an arsenal of delicious, low-calorie spices and sauces. My go to sauces are Sriracha, powdered garlic, onion powder, powdered ginger, chili flakes. Ranch powder is also a low calorie alternative to ranch dressing and combined with Frank’s hot sauce can make some mean buffalo bites.
33. Keep your lunch under 500 calories. I have found by making it to supper with 75% of my calorie budget yet to be delighted upon, I can eat lavishly and enjoy the heck out of my evenings without experiencing the slightest bit hungry or restricted.
34. Plan ahead for restaurants. Sometimes you might want to spend a little more to get a simple steak, carb, and vegetables. I have found that many restaurants offer a simple, delicious protein, carb, and vegetable combination.
Exercise Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
42. Include strength-training:
Strength training will help build up muscles which will speed up your metabolism (Campbell et al. 1994;,Bailey et al., 2009).
- Resistance training sessions also require energy and you will burn additional calories (Harvard Health, 2021)
- Better yet, research has found people continue to burn even more calories after strength-training sessions (Mcbride et al., 2002)
- Including resistance training makes it more likely that you will burn fat while maintaining muscle (Byrne et al., 2007)
- If you overeat, your weight training will help your body mobilize the calories to build muscle as opposed to storing fat (Espinar et al., 2008).
Walking has been found to come with the following research-backed benefits:
- Improve sleep quality for a wide range of people (Boros et al., 2021)
- Lead to healthy fat loss and weight management (Espinar et al, 2008;Hanson et al., 2015)
- Reduce blood pressure (Abraham et al., 2008; Hanson, 2015), and
- Lower stress levels and improve psychological health (Bang et al., 2017).
Watch documentaries that inspire healthy living. That Sugar Film made me think twice about eating processed, sugary foods.
46. Do 2-3 high intensity interval training session per week during down-time. Drs. Vollaard and Metcalfe (2017) found that “interval training protocols with fewer (two to three) and shorter (10–20 second) sprints are as good as or better than [longer, more grueling sessions] at improving important health markers”. You could bust one of these HIIT sessions out in the time another person takes to have a smoke
Track your progress – Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
47. Weigh yourself every day. Dr. Askew et al. (2015) found that participants who weighed themselves daily lost more weight and sustained the healthy behaviors needed to keep the weight off. Over 6 months, the people who weighed themselves daily lost a whopping 6.1 kg or 13.4 lbs compared to the people who did not weigh-in daily.
Self-care: Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
52. Schedule relaxing time and make sure it actually is relaxing. Stress-eating and emotional-eating can be a real challenge for many people. Plan ahead by brainstorming a list of all the things you truly enjoy and make time for those by putting them in your schedule.
Self-care and Benefits: Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
The next five points are meant for people who receive employee health benefits and/or are able to afford regular massages, dental visits, etc. If you can’t yet afford these or don’t yet have access, this section might not yet apply to you.
If your employer provides benefits, use them! If you are fortunate enough to have a job that provides health and dental benefits, treat yourself! Find out how much you are covered for and research to find the best providers. Ask around and Google to find the best spots for counseling, massages, chiropractor, physiotherapy, dental work, and anything else your benefits provide. These are called benefits for a reason – make the most of them!
James Clear, habit-expert and best-selling author of Atomic Habits explains, each of our actions cast a vote for the type of person and identity we hold. By scheduling these self-care, healthy activities you will cast votes that you are the type of person who is healthy and proactive.
59. Visit a physiotherapist. My physiotherapist assessed my overhead squat form and found a major flaw. Even though I had been working out for years, I was unaware of this error and no one I had worked out with caught it. Now, I regularly ask my physiotherapist for form checks and advice on many of my key lifts and for suggestions for exercises I should add or remove from my workout routine.
60. See a counselor. I suggest asking around and searching reviews so that you find a great fit. Find a counselor that you jive with.. This has been an absolute game-changer for me in terms of creating healthy ways to decompress so that I no longer rely on food or drink to deal with stress. Many superheroes have a confidante or coach – you might enjoy having one too!
61. See a chiropractor. If for nothing else, I suggest you go there and ask for help and inspiration to improve your posture. Look at fit, healthy people you see around you and those in movies and tv. So many have great posture. By focusing on improving your posture, you not only feel better, but start to develop the identity of someone who is healthy, fit, and mindful.
62. Schedule time to book however many massages your benefits will provide. Space them out accordingly, but do it. By consistently scheduling self-care activities like massages, you reinforce the message that you and your body are worth taking care of. You may even be motivated to exercise and eat better while you are at it.
63. Go to the dentist. If you have put this off, schedule your next visit now and don’t leave the dental office without your next one booked. If you have ever avoided the dentist, you know it gently gnaws at you and gets worse with each passing day. Healthy people take care of their teeth and gums. Get there!
Get Accountable: Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
64. Use video meets for added accountability for your workouts. You could do this with a friend, or easier yet – try focus Focusmate. Simply schedule a time and you will be paired with a partner you have never met. At the start of your session, you tell your partner your workout plan and get it done. At the end, you check in and tell them what you accomplished. It’s like a mini-celebration for making it happen. Bonus points if you leave the camera on so your partner knows you weren’t slacking! At the time I’m writing this, the free plan allows for 3 sessions per week.
65. Get an accountability buddy or buddies. Especially when starting your new habits, it is important to be extra diligent with making it happen each day. I recommend finding an ambitious friend or friends who you deeply respect. Start a WhatsApp or texting group with them. I recommend taking these actions each day to help you stay consistent…
66. Share a photo of your sweaty self after workouts with your accountability team. Make sure to tell your team or partner to expect this photo the day before.
67. Post a screenshot of your MyFitnessPal App each day. Show your accounta-billa-buddies you hit your protein and calorie goal today. I recommend doing this right before bed so you can’t sneak any snacks in after.
Goal Setting: Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
76. Set stretch goals. In his book, Smarter, Faster, Better, Charles Duhigg details many examples of organizations, teams, and individuals who used extremely ambitious goals to stretch their imaginations and zeal for their daily SMART Goals. Set goals so big you don’t know how you will achieve them. Then make them happen with daily actions by making sure you also…
77. Set daily SMART goals. Your SMART goals are the daily actions that will take you to your stretch goals. Use the following questions (from this article) to guide you:
- Is this a clear, specific next step I can take today to move me closer to my big fitness goals?
- How will I measure this goal so I know when I have hit it and how far I have to go?
- Is the accomplishment of this task attainable and based on my discipline, effort, application of effective strategies, and/or willingness to get the help I need?
- Is this goal realistic or do I need to prepare for obstacles that could come up today?
- What is the specific time that you will start and complete this task?
78. Use passion-infused language when describing your stretch goals. For example, instead of saying “I want to drop 30lbs of fat” you might say I have an awe-inspiring physique – I can do 8 weighted pull-ups with 100 pounds fastened to me and 10 pistol squats with a 50lb dumbbell in each hand.
79. Protect your stretch goals by keeping them to yourself. One of my coaches encouraged me to write my passion-infused goals on a piece of paper, put the paper in a frame, and lock it in a safe so that it is for my eyes only. While it may seem extreme, the point is, you want to protect your goals and your ambitions from the potentially diminishing critiques of well-meaning friends and family members.
80. Track and celebrate each day you hit your calorie goal month-by-month. This serves as a visible reminder and identity-reinforcement for the healthy person you are. Looking at this record of successes will help you make this a life-long habit.
81. Track and celebrate each day you workout. As you look at this track remember some of the times that you worked out even when you didn’t feel like it. Smile, and give yourself an air-five in the mirror.
Master the Mental Game: Weight loss tips – How to lose weight
82. Allow yourself to aggressively pursue your ambitious fitness and other goals. Many people will not share the same enthusiasm as you. You may literally need to be your own cheerleader. Matt Furey, author of the Theatre of the Mind, encourages his readers to recite the following affirmations with enthusiasm as they go about their work:
- I want to [enthusiastically insert your fitness goal]!
- I will [enthusiastically insert your fitness goal]!
- I’m going to [enthusiastically insert your fitness goal]!
- I can [enthusiastically insert your fitness goal]!
Try these out and watch your motivation and resolve towards your goals steadily rise
83. Make a list of all the times you have been victorious. Review and continue adding to this list of accomplishments (big and small) whenever you experience self-doubt, guilt, or criticism. So much shame has been related to body image and eating that it can really derail us when we feel these strong emotions. Keep this list available to review any time you need a pick-me-up or a reminder of your true power and that “you’ve got this!” Reviewing and experiencing the positive emotions of your past wins will help you develop a healthy, capable self-image backed by the convictions that you can crush your fitness goals.
84. If you ever binge or miss a workout, read your list of past wins. The guilt and shame that comes after we drop the ball can send us back further than where we started. In fact, I have lost and regained 50lbs or more on many occasions. If you miss a step, plan ahead and be ready so you can instantly reaffirm your inner and mental strength by reading your list of past wins and obliterating those feelings of guilt and shame with a flood of positive emotions.
85. Assess what is working and discard what is not. You are a unique being with your own mental, emotional, and physical needs. As such it is important to track your own progress. Treat this goal like you are a scientist on a mission to create your dream body.
86. Write a script for your perfect day with your fitness goals achieved 3 years from now. For example, “I wake up, check my phone and see it’s 9:30 am on a sunny Saturday morning. I almost forgot that I’m on vacation. I get up to go to the washroom and can’t help but check myself out. I smile knowing that I reached my goal of (insert detailed descriptions). I step on the scale and see my weight is… I measure around my navel and see it is x inches…As I shower, I think about how far I have come and how much I am enjoying my life…”
Other Weight Loss Tips – How To Lose Weight
93. Plan for active vacations. If you are the adventurous type, this can be an affordable way to travel and see new places. For instance, you might travel mostly by foot or bicycle while checking out a new place. Plan your time around activities you love. For example, you might make your primary vacation-activities snowboarding, skiing, surfing, hiking, cycle touring, snowshoeing, swimming, snorkelling, or any other activity that you enjoy. If you’re feeling extreme you might even walk some or all of the Camino Del Santiago or a trail such as the Pacific Crest Trail or Continental Divide Trail.
94. Schedule life-giving weekends that make everything else seem even more incredible. By feeling positive, filled up and re-energized we are much more likely to stick to our goals. Celebrate your new fitness adventure and life with the things and people you love. Every 6-8 weeks, my best buddies and I head out to a cabin to play guitar, walk around, and laugh constantly. I feel like a new person after each trip.
95. Play the long-game. While you will check the scale and track other important areas mentioned above, keep Bill Gates message in mind: “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.” By being too attached to immediate results, we can become discouraged. Slow and steady definitely wins the fat loss race. Give yourself an appropriate amount of time to lock in the right habits and follow the above nutrition tips to make sure you maintain a healthy, fat-burning metabolism
96. Read or listen to books that are about healthy living or that are written by healthy people. Research has shown that people tend to get healthier by simply spending time each week learning about nutrition. Audiobooks and podcast make this easier than ever. As I mentioned before, I love to listen to inspiring books while cleaning my house and on my walk to and from work.
97. Watch less t.v. or watch just as much, but do it while walking on a treadmill or when riding an exercise bike. James Clear calls this temptation bundling. Research has proven this works. If you want to ‘nerd out’ on a peer-reviewed study, check out the article: “Teaching temptation bundling to boost exercise: A field experiment.”
98. Make time for the people who leave you feeling invigorated. Remember to create time for the people who inspire and re-energize you. As much as possible, you might also want to limit time with naysayers and ‘energy vampires’ who tend to erode your confidence or zest to crush your goals.
99. Make time for the hobbies that make you feel alive. Even if it’s not an active hobby, as we’ve talked about it is important to feel good in order to keep the energy and momentum moving forward with our weight loss journeys. Fun and life-giving hobbies can also help make us more resilient and less reliant on excess food or drink to feel better.
100. Vegans and vegetarians – make sure you are getting enough protein and essential amino acids. I won’t go into this in depth here, but Healthline has an article called, 13 Nearly Complete Protein Sources for Vegetarians and Vegans that is worth checking out if you are vegan or vegetarian.
101. Start Small With One Or Two Habits Such As:
- Determine, measure, and hit your calorie goal each day
- Consume a set amount of protein each day
- Strength training 2-3 times per week.
- Walking x number of steps each day
- Hitting your weekly and monthly calorie goals
- Using one of the mindset habits listed above
- Checking in with your accountability partner
- Drinking a certain amount of water each day
- Measuring your belly at the navel 1x per week
- Stepping on the scale each morning before eating or drinking anything
- Making 1-3 HIIT sessions happen each week
102. Make a habit plan and get started today! Refer to tip #89. Bonus points for checking out the work of James Clear or Charles Duhigg which can help you become a habit expert.
103. Keep building momentum by adding additional habits that build on your previous wins. Check out this equipment-free workout plan you can do from the comfort of your own home. This is your’s free of charge – no email sign up required.