How To Lose Weight In Four Weeks (+ Three Things You MUST NOT DO!)
You want to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way?
With this guide, you will be able to set realistic goals for weight loss and achieve them in a short amount of time.
You will also learn how to eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. And last but not least, you will be able to exercise regularly without feeling overwhelmed.
• Find the type of movement that works best for you
• Take rest days to allow your body to recover
• Get enough sleep for physical and mental health
• Stay positive and patient during weight loss journey
Winter may not seem like the best time to start a weight-loss journey, especially a few weeks out from Christmas, however, let's be honest:
There's never going to be a perfect time, you will (probably) never feel like it so you may as well just jump in!
Set realistic goals for weight loss
OK, so first up, let’s talk setting realistic goals; it is important that you set realistic and achievable weight loss goals for yourself. You want to be able to stay motivated and take baby steps toward your goal rather than becoming discouraged when it doesn't happen overnight.
Start with small, attainable targets such as drinking more water, eating regularly and moving more. Once those are more established, you can look at lowering your calorie intake.
Avoid Sugary/fizzy Drinks And Processed Foods
We can hear eyes rolling from here, HOWEVER, avoiding sugary (yes, we see you clutching your sugar-free can in the corner) fizzy drinks is one of the best things you can do for your health.
The reality is, even if you opt for the 'no-added-sugar' and 'sugar-free offerings on the market, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are healthier for you. In fact, many of them contain artificial sweeteners which can be just as harmful to our health, so put the diet-whatever down and step away from the table..!
Similarly, by reducing your intake of processed foods (including anything labelled fat- or sugar-free) and eating healthier and more nutrient-dense meals full of essential vitamins and minerals, you can make a big difference in your health and energy levels and it really is one of the better places to begin any health journey - as they say, you can't out-train a bad diet!
Plan Ahead, Eat Regular Meals And Avoid Snacking
One of the worst things you can do is to skip meals or have large gaps between eating. This results in your blood sugar levels dropping and when this happens, you’ll feel like something sugary or crunchy to eat – sound familiar?!
To avoid this feeling it is important to plan ahead and make sure that you are having regular meals throughout the day. Not only will this keep your blood sugar at a steady level, but you’ll be far less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks.
Planning ahead also ensures that you have the right food on hand when the hunger pangs hit and keeps you from having to grab something ‘on-the-go’ or ordering takeaways out of convenience.
No weight-loss journey is complete without exercise - even if it’s just going for a 10-minute walk every day.
Exercise does more than just aid weight loss: It can boost your mood, reduce stress and help you sleep better.
No matter what kind of exercise you do, consistency is essential! Start low and slow until you find the type of movement that works best for you - be it yoga, HIIT, dancing around your kitchen with the mop - just keep moving!
Take Rest Days
It is human nature to think that more is always more but, when it comes to exercise and rest, this isn't necessarily the case... Planning (and sticking to) rest days plays as vital a role as 'all exercise, all the time'.
It is important to allow your body to recover and recharge from physical activity - in the long run, it gives a much more balanced picture of progress and will help you to stay motivated.
Get Enough Sleep
OK, so this one might not be a top priority for everyone but, getting enough quality sleep really IS crucial for both physical and mental health.
Sleep gives your body the chance to rest, repair and prepare itself for a new day. When you don’t get enough sleep, it can lead to fatigue, cravings and an increased appetite - not great if you are trying to improve your health and fitness.
So, be sure to get plenty of rest - aim for at least 7-8 hours a night.
And last but by no means least...
Stay Positive And Be Patient
Although we might wish there was, there is no 'magic bullet' for weight loss... It will take time and dedication to see long-term progress in your health and fitness.
The best way to stay motivated is to celebrate the little wins - a decrease in waist size, a new personal workout record or being able to run for longer than you thought possible. Little wins lead to big results and, before you know it, you'll have reached your goal and life will never be the same...
Now, we did promise you to let you in on the three things that you absolutely MUST NOT DO if you don't want to end up feeling discouraged.
- Don't skip meals or crash-diet; don't get us wrong - there are ways of doing that (think 16:8 or intermittent fasting) that work very well because there is a supporting plan to back it up! Skipping meals regularly because you got up too late or left your lunch in the fridge at home, etc. is not the one. One of two things will happen - you'll inadvertently end up overdoing it at other mealtimes and wonder why you still feel sluggish after a few weeks OR it'll work really well... until your body gets fed up of being in starvation-mode and refuses to let any weight go, no matter how hard you try - just don't do it to yourself!
- Over or under-estimating how many calories you burn through when working out; it is a fact of life that machines need fuel to function - don't get too hung up on the number of calories you think you're burning - as we have already mentioned, aim to be consistent with your workouts and the results will come in their own time. As long as you make sure you have enough gas in the tank to get the job done - it's all you need...
- Don't give up on exercise; yeah, we said it - no matter how hard it seems and how close you are to giving up, we all have days where we don't feel like getting off the sofa but, if you can push through that feeling for just 10 minutes, your body (and mind) will thank you. Exercise is a great way of de-stressing and releasing those feel-good endorphins and you will absolutely feel better for it afterwards...
Fitness isn't a one-size-fits-all journey. Different types of movement work better for different people and it's okay to find what works best for you through trial and error.
Just make sure to rest, sleep well, and stay positive throughout the process - even when results seem slow in coming. Slow progress is still progress, so trust the process!
And if you need help finding what type of movement works best for you or staying on track during your fitness journey, don't hesitate to reach out to a certified personal trainer or other professional for guidance.