Trying to lose weight can feel overwhelming, we get it. The more weight you’re trying to lose, the more daunting it can feel. The good news is, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most important do’s and don’ts for losing weight, to help make your journey easier.
So, let’s dive in!
1. DO – Keep a food diary to track your daily food intake.
Good news! This is exactly what iTrackBites is!
If there’s one thing we all know from years spent trying to lead a healthy lifestyle (then falling off the healthy wagon and getting back on), it’s that it’s always easier getting back into the healthy swing of things when recording what we eat.
How many mental lists are you currently keeping in your brain? You probably have a mental list of what you need to get done today, a list for what you need to pick up at the store, a list for what you need to pack for the trip you’re going on, and now, you’re also going to add a mental “What I’ve eaten today” list.
I don’t think so.
If you want an easy way to keep track of what calories are coming in and what calories are going out, keep an actual list of what you’ve eaten that day and what physical activity you’ve done.
Keeping mental lists is going to burn you out. You’re going to forget everything you’ve eaten and you’re not going to be able to look back and see where things might be getting out of hand, especially in the event you’re not seeing the results you want to see.
Being able to track and then see your progress is invaluable. It’s why we created iTrackBites. We even created a notes section where you can record your thoughts and write down reminders! When you’re able to look at what you’ve eaten and what exercise you’ve done, you’re able to make tweaks here and there as you continue on your weight loss journey.
2. DON’T Starve Yourself
Deprivation diets don’t work. Starving yourself will trigger cravings and cravings easily turn into binging and self-loathing – neither of which are productive when you’re trying to improve your life and reach your weight loss goals.
Starving yourself can cause you to damage your metabolism, which will make it harder to keep weight off in the long run.
If you want to lose weight, you need to eat. This is the magic of the iTracksBites plans. We’ve organized everything based on your specific needs, to take the guesswork out of your weight loss journey. With our 6 personalized weight loss plans, you’ll be able to lose weight and eat.
3. DO – Drink Plenty of Water!
Stay hydrated!! Drinking water will help boost your metabolism, cleanse your body and suppress your appetite.Experts say you should drink half your body weight in ounces every day. For example – if you weigh 160 lbs, you should be drinking 80 ounces of water each day.
Want some great news? You can track your daily water intake in the Health Checks page of the iTrackBites app! This will make it easier than ever to keep tabs on how much water you’ve had to drink over the course of the day. Track your progress and make improvements when necessary!
FUN TIP – Go get a water bottle that makes you feel excited about your water consumption and get to drinking!
4. DON’T – Go overboard on the cardio
The reason you shouldn’t do too much cardio if you’re trying to lose weight, is because it will put your body in a catabolic state and cause you to burn muscle as well as fat. Losing muscle will cause your metabolism to slow down.
If you want to lose weight and gain the muscle strength and tone you’re looking for, you need to be doing some form of weight training along with your cardio.
The National Institute of Health recommends between 30-45 minutes of cardio 3-5x each week. For the best results, alternate between high and low intensity each day you workout.
Fitness can be fun! If you’re not motivated by the idea of heading to the gym and hopping on the elliptical, find group fitness classes to take or find a regular walking partner. Mix it up!
And don’t forget to track your cardio in the iTrackBites app for your Activity Earned BITES!
5. DO – Find a support group
Changing your lifestyle is difficult, especially if you’re surrounded by people who aren’t as keen to change their habits.
Find new friends!
This doesn’t mean you have to ditch all your old friends and family in order to lose weight, but you do need to have an outlet of like-minded peers who not only know what you’re going through, but can help support and encourage you.
You’ll have far more success with a support system behind you. If you haven’t yet, check out the iTrackBites Community page! We’ve created Groups for everything, from which iTrackBites plan you follow, to age groups, to lifestyles, to specific types of activity. We’ve got Groups for newbies and Groups for recommitment! We also have a diverse range of Groups created by our members. And, you have the ability to start your very own group if you want!
The iTrackBites Community page and these Groups are perfect for finding and sharing tips, ideas, recipes, motivation and support!
6. DON’T – Quit because of a “bad” day
We all have days when our diet was more reflective of a broke college student than the evolved, responsible adults we are. It’s normal and it’s okay!
One bad day, or even a bad week, doesn’t need to derail your entire weight loss journey.
In iTrackBites, we give you Daily BITES as well as Weekly BITES. Which means, if you have a bad day, you can adjust your bites BITES on another day to stay within your weekly allotted bites. All is not lost because of a bad day or two. Don’t get discouraged. Keep going!
If you feel like crap after a few bad days, think how much worse you’ll feel if you throw in the towel and fall back into your old habits for a few months or a year. So, rather than giving up, forgive yourself and get back to your healthy habits tomorrow.
7. DO – Meal Plan!
You’ll always do better and stay more consistent when you plan ahead. Winging your food intake every day will lend itself well to making crunch-time decisions about what you’re eating.
You and I both know it’s never a good idea to decide what you’re going to have for dinner when you’re already starving. Nobody wants to cook when they’re starving. They just want to eat.
Planning ahead will allow you to make healthy choices before you find yourself hangry and in desperate need of a snack or meal. Set yourself up for success by meal planning and prepping ahead of time. That way, when you’re hungry, you can simply head to the fridge and grab something healthy and delicious with little to no effort.
We’re working on a meal planning section of the iTrackBites app, but in the meantime, check out the recipe creation area to get inspiration for your next week of meal planning!
8. DON’T – Deprive yourself of indulgences
There’s a false belief in diet culture that you can’t eat the things you love. It’s a lie. Don’t believe it.
Changing your old habits doesn’t mean you’re never allowed to eat cake or pizza or whatever your indulgent food of choice may be. What it means, is using self-control when you decide to eat your favorite foods.
Rather than binge eating those more decadent foods, eat them in moderation. Maybe you indulge once a week, rather than every day. If you’re like me and you love sweets, allow yourself to enjoy them once or twice a week, rather than eating them every day.
When you do indulge, use self-control with your portion size! If you take yourself out for ice cream, get a small instead of a large. If you’re going to eat pizza, have a slice or two instead of the whole pie.
9. DO – Get enough sleep!
This cannot be emphasized enough. Sleep (or lack thereof) will directly impact your weight loss. Lack of sleep can actually make you gain weight!
“When you’re not responsive to insulin, fat cells are far less able to release fatty acids and lipids to produce energy, blood glucose remains higher, and any extra fats and sugars circulating in your blood cause you to pump out even more insulin. Eventually, all this excess insulin causes you to begin storing fat in all the wrong places, including tissues like your liver, leading to problems such as fatty liver and diabetes,” explains Ben Greenfield, the Get-Fit Guy
If you think you’re doing okay only getting 4-6 hours of sleep each night, you’re lying to yourself. You need adequate sleep, which means a minimum of 7 hours per night. Don’t let your poor sleeping habits hold you back from reaching your weight loss goals!
10. DON’T – Say you’re “on a diet”
Verbiage matters. The phrase “I’m on a diet” is indicative of something temporary. You’re not on a diet, you’re changing your lifestyle. You’re implementing new habits. A diet is restrictive. A lifestyle change is expansive.
A lifestyle change means you’re breaking out of hold habits and implementing new ones. You’re learning to cook differently. You’re learning self-control. You’re figuring out what portion size means and what it looks like. These aren’t temporary changes. These are things that are going to stick with you for the rest of your life.
Dieting is looking for immediate results. Lifestyle changes are about the long-game, and if you’re looking to lead a healthier lifestyle, you need to be focused on the long-term.
When someone asks what you’re doing differently, tell them with pride that you’ve been using iTrackBites to transform your life!
Ready to start losing weight today? Head to http://bit.ly/iTrackBites and download the best tracking app for your weight loss journey!