I’d been asked multiple times recently if I had lost weight and if so, how did I do it? So I figured I’d offer my two cents and give you the basic steps to my process.
Now first let my preface this list with three notes:
A. I must confess: I’m not in peak physical condition, nor will I ever reach that level; and I’m totally fine with that as I’m happy where I am now. Unless of course I’m required to be fit; like being cast in the Aquaman movie (No chance there).
B. I’m usually the first one to mock these kinds of lists, but since I’ve been approached numerous times, I’m here to reveal my “secrets…. secrets…”
C. Most of these items were things I had seen before on other lists when I was first looking to lose weight. There is ONE exception, one Jamie Gagnon original and I’ll get to that in a bit.
The more of these tips you integrate into your life, the better the chance you have at actually keeping the pounds off!
So without further ado…. My Personal Ten Tips for Losing Weight
1. Drink water and very little sugar-
This one’s fairly straightforward, but the less sugar you intake, the less your body has to process into unwanted carbohydrates. I drink mainly water, an occasional iced tea, and have limited my sugar and creams in my daily coffee. Every little bit helps (you’ll hear this recurring theme often in this list).
2. Eat hot food, peppers regularly (build a tolerance)-
Probably the least proven tip is one I wholeheartedly follow because… I like the heat. Studies show that heat in foods helps to increase the body’s metabolism.
3. Exercise muscle groups (each on a different day)-
By focusing on a group of muscles each day, it allows your body to recover without wearing you out. Also, nothing burns more fat than a muscle workout.
4. “The Jamie Gagnon Original” Increase your healthy food ratio- A great trick (and one that will take the most time) is to find healthy foods you like and eat more of those than chips, sweets, etc. For example if you are like me and love salty foods, switching out a high fat bag of chips for a small bag of pretzels gives you less fat and more minerals (albeit not much more).
I personally love vegetables, so I swap out a side snack for a sweet pepper or a bag of carrots. It fills you up and offers more than the empty calories of a candy bar.
5. Eat smaller portions over the day.
I used to eat three big meals and now eat 4 smaller meals and a few snacks in between. This gives your body a steady boost of energy keeping your metabolism consistent throughout the day without entering “hibernation mode.” Essentially this means your body stores energy because it doesn’t know when it will get more. So give it more!
6. Don’t eat at least two hours before bed.
I think this alone helped immensely with my heartburn and sleeping issues. By giving your body the time to digest, it is able to rest more fully, allowing your energy levels to remain high throughout the next day. Don’t start a day by “needing” lots of sugar to keep awake.
7. Eat slower.
One I still struggle with each and every day. By eating slower, your body will fill up faster, therefore needing less to eat. Patience is the key here, a little progress over lots of time. Slow and steady like the tortoise. Also, not my personal trick, but you can drink a glass of water before eating to slow your appetite down.
8. Make sure to get your vitamins.
Try to eat them naturally through food (the more the better) but if you can’t, get a multivitamin and eat it with food. Ones that can help your blood pressure and other functions like metabolism are magnesium, selenium, copper, iron and zinc.
9. Lots of cardio.
This is separate from the other exercises because this will build healthy immune and circulatory systems more than burning fat.
10. Be patient, you’ll see changes over time.
Trying to do a cleanse diet will only make it harder to stay healthy. It’s about lifestyle changes and not “diet” changes. So by eating more healthy foods and by drinking more water or by choosing to take the stairs one or two floors instead of the elevator; all of those small decisions will impact you greatly once you get used to them.
I’m not without issues still. I tend to eat less overall, but I occasionally still have large meals, and I still eat incredibly fast. Hey, nobody’s perfect. But I do believe that these aforementioned tricks (over time), can help you become healthier. You’ll begin to crave the healthy foods (with the bad foods), and if you should happen to skip the gym one day, you’ll miss it. The point is to keep at it and know that this fight is best won in the long game.
Best of luck,
This blog was originally posted on my MyIGN blog on January 20th, 2015. (Here, although it’s going to look exactly like what’s above…)
Follow the story of how I lost weight the hard way… through chemotherapy.