A few weeks ago I posted these pictures together on Instagram:
Starting in April last year, I steadily shed 50 pounds of excess bodyweight and lost eight inches off my waist while maintaining my strength. I typically don’t post much about myself on social media but I was proud of my progress, and I thought it might provide a little inspiration for anyone else going through the grueling weight loss process. To my surprise, I got a ton of messages with dozens of questions asking how I did it. Some folks around Kratos have also been asking about the process along with general questions about nutrition.
In light of all that interest and hunger for information, I’ve been thinking a lot about the best advice I can offer when it comes to weight loss, though these same points apply to maintaining a desirable bodyweight or even gaining weight. These five points when put together will guarantee success in achieving your weight goals. Even if you start with just one of these things at a time you’ll make progress. They’re neither complicated nor novel ideas. Just like the deadlift, they are both simple yet challenging and it doesn’t take talent to put these into practice and make substantial progress. All it takes is effort, consistency, and perseverance to make it happen.
- More protein. The biggest adjustment you can make to your diet that will help you no matter your goal is to eat more protein. Chances are you’re not eating enough protein, and that will inhibit your progress no matter your goal. Protein functions as the building blocks of lean tissue — namely muscle — in your body so you need to eat plenty of it in order to get stronger. If you’re looking to lose weight, keeping up your protein intake will prevent the loss of the precious muscle you’ve worked hard to build. And it doesn’t matter what your protein source is: red meat, poultry, tofu, eggs, fish, etc — all that matters is that you get enough of it.
- More fiber. Along with eating enough protein, aim to eat more fiber. Both protein and fiber provide the sensation of feeling full after eating. That helps prevent overeating in the short term and will satisfy your hunger for long periods of time. Just like protein, it’s likely you’re not eating fiber if you’re not consciously consuming vegetables and whole grains throughout the day.
- More single-ingredient/simple foods. Keeping your diet simple helps you make adjustments to stay on track for your goals. That’s why sticking to uncomplicated dishes of fresh meats, veggies, fruits, and grains tends to work better for weight loss and maintenance than primarily eating pre-packaged or prepared foods. The fewer the ingredients, the more accurately you can measure the amount of calories in that food. The simpler the ingredients, the more likely you’ll be able to get in an adequate amount of protein and other calories without more than you need.
- Planning and preparing meals. Maybe you’ve heard the cliché “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” and it holds true. Planning meals ahead of time, especially if you can prepare that meal yourself and have it ready to eat, makes an enormous difference in being able to stick to your goal. Preparing meals ahead of time prevents you from having to put daily thought and time into what to eat. And when you’re trying to lose weight, there will be times when you start to get hungry which lowers your inhibitions about what to eat which causes you to overeat or make an impulse decision for something that knocks you off track. So having meals or snacks ready ahead of time will keep you from having to think or make rash decisions about food.
- Have a goal. You’ll never get where you’re going if you don’t know where you’re going in the first place. Without a goal or without a set destination you’ll wonder and you won’t know where you’ll end up. Having a goal doesn’t automatically mean the journey will be smooth or you won’t have to make changes along the way, but it does mean you’ll have a target to point you in the right direction when you fall off course. And it’s not a matter of if you’ll veer off course at some point because everyone loses their path occasionally. You’re human and that’s part of the process! But having that goal will help you get back on track and refocus yourself so you can keep pushing forward.
With those tips in mind, I’m excited to announce our partnership with Avatar Nutrition. I used Avatar’s guidance through their easy to use food tracking platform to steadily cut weight without losing any of my strength or lean mass, and they helped me adhere to the principles outlined above. You can use Avatar to guide you on whatever bodyweight goal you might have, whether it’s losing, gaining, or maintaining your weight. A few Kratos members have already joined and have found it to be incredibly helpful. If you want to get started or want more details, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Avatar.”