Losing Weight Made Simple
By wlr Staff
At Weight Loss Resources we believe it's evidence-based tactics, factual information and easy-to-use tools that simplify the process of losing weight.
There is little point in going on a highly restrictive diet that makes you feel deprived , or means you can't do the things you like to do.
You're very unlikely to last long enough to lose more than a few pounds, and very likely to put the weight back on again. Lots of us experience this yo-yo dieting, some to the extent that we feel we've been 'on a diet' for years!
As the saying goes: "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got".
Why not try a different approach?
There's no one size fits all when it comes to successful weight loss. The more you choose tactics that fit around your life, the simpler it will be, and the more successful you will be.
This means including the foods you love, and fitting what and when you eat around your life, not fitting your life around a diet.
For example, if you like pasta or enjoy a nice piece of fresh crusty bread, going low carb is going to feel like a punishment. If you're a sociable soul who likes to eat out or with family and friends, meal replacements will seriously cramp your style.
The good news is you don't have to make losing weight that hard to live with. Our guide: How to Make the Best Start on Your Weight Loss Journey, will help you get started on choosing the strategies that would work for you.
If you've gained weight slowly over the years, the chances are that identifying, and changing, some of your habits will be key to losing weight for the long term.
You'd be amazed at how many lost pounds a few simple changes can make. That's why one of the challenges we run permanently on wlr is the New Habits Challenge, which guides you on effective changes and helps you make them.
Tactics that Add Up
Here's some examples of how much you could expect to lose in 12 weeks if you adopted any one of these individual habits:
- Keeping a food diary - 12-24lbs
- Trimming portion sizes of high calorie foods - 6-12lbs
- Making yourself a healthy, calorie-counted snack box - 4-8lbs
- Drinking plenty of water - 1-3lbs
- Filling up on high fibre foods - 2-6lbs
- Recognising the difference between physical and emotional hunger - 6-12lbs
- Being more active - 3-10lbs
- Planning healthy work-day lunches3-10lbs
- Controlling your alcohol consumption
- Getting enough sleep - 1-2lbs
- Weighing yourself frequently and keeping a record - 2-6lbs
Unfortunately, you can't just add up all the tactics above and expect to lose 10lbs in a week. Some are close to, and even part of, others. The point is they are all well researched and proven to work.
There's good evidence that small, incremental improvements add up to more success. Think of the GB Olympic cycling team. Their amazingly successful strategy relies on individual tiny improvements, layered on top of those that have already been made.
How Long will it Take?
Of course, where you choose to start will at least partly depend on how quickly you want or need to lose weight.
If you want to do it at the fastest healthy and sustainable rate (like most of us!), then a calorie balanced food diary is key.
You can eat all the foods you like, but in portion sizes that are within a calorie allowance that will enable you to lose weight at around 1-2lbs a week. You can find out how many calories this means for you by taking a free trial of wlr and experimenting with different target rates of loss.
When you're thinking about how quickly you'd like to lose weight, it's really important to think about what you can stick to for the amount of time it's going to take.
To get this into perspective, think about times when you have tried to lose weight in the past. Were you able to keep going for long enough to reach your goal?
Remember it was the tortoise plodding along that won the race with the hare - who wore himself out before the finish line.
Have you, like millions of women (and increasingly men) tried to lose weight in the last year? How much did you lose?
It's worth considering that a fairly easy-going pace of a pound a week adds up to nearly four stone in a year. The lose a stone calculator will give you an idea of how long it would take for you to lose 1 stone based on your current height, weight and gender.
These weight graphs of wlr members will give you an idea of how long it takes to lose weight using this approach. Some are faster than others, many show a few bumps in the road, this is real life after all.
If any method of losing weight could be described as 'painless' - making and building on small changes is as close as it gets.
Better still, you're much more likely to develop healthy eating and lifestyle habits that you are happy with, and can therefore maintain.
You can use the tools in WLR to try different things and see how easy, or hard, they would be to stick to. Try it free for 24 hours.
References and Resources
Key Discoveries at Cornell Food and Brand Lab
Speed of weight loss at NHS Livewell
The problem of larger portions at University of Cambridge