At least once a week, I get a question like this, “what’s your thought on ___? (insert the latest weight loss fad or trend). People jump on the wagon of whatever is hot and trendy is that they want the easiest and fastest way to lose weight.
In this post, I want to show you how to end the yo-yo cycle.
Two Things You Must Focus On To Lose Weight And Keep It Off
The two things I’m about to share with you have been tested and proven. Research has established that they work. Millions of people all around the world have self-experimented with them and have found them to be the most straightforward ways to lose weight and keep it off.
Many weight loss fads and trends have come and gone, but these two have outlasted them all and will continue to outlive them because they’re the only things that work; the only things that won’t change.
The Two Things That Work And Won’t Change
- Basic Nutrition
- Regular Exercise
Nutrition and exercise are so basic that they’re often underrated. Sometimes, people ascribe their effects on weight loss to some magic pill and tea.
You didn’t lose that 10kg because you drank that special tea you bought on Instagram. You lost 10kg because you created a consistent calorie deficit over a period — you lost weight because your energy intake was lower than your energy expenditure!
Basic nutrition is the most underrated of the two. We’re so accustomed to jumping on the wagon of the latest and the hottest weight loss fads that we’ve forgotten that eating for weight loss is not complicated.
Some of us are so gullible that we follow every ridiculous diet program we find on the internet. We waste money, and sometimes endanger our health and destroy our metabolism, just because we want to complicate something that is so simple and basic.
Basic nutrition in five steps
- Eat vegetables, whole fruits, good starchy carbs, good fat, and protein.
- Avoid highly processed foods.
- Eliminate or drastically reduce your intake of added sugar.
- Eat real foods. If you can grow or kill it, it’s real food.
- Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re 80-90% full.
Practising basic nutrition will not only help you lose weight, but it will also keep you healthy.
I know there are folks out there telling you, “you don’t need to exercise to lose weight”, blah blah blah. Yes, you don’t need exercise to lose weight. There are one thousand and one things you can do to “lose weight”, but if your goal is to lose weight without having your skin hanging out of your flesh, you need to exercise!
You see the picture of that ” Body Goal” you have in your head? It won’t come by drinking lemon + turmeric water. Fads will come and go. And trends will change, but these two will remain.
Exercise is the king. Nutrition is the queen. Put them together, and you’ve got a kingdom.
When you see people jumping on the wagon of the next fad diet, you stick to the two things that work and won’t change. Even when it looks as if whatever plan they’re following is “working magic.”As you already know, losing weight is easy. What’s challenging is how to keep it off.
Yes, you may not lose 10kg in 10 days compared to the folks are doing that new diet program in town. That’s okay because what you’re doing is sustainable.
When they are falling off the wagon, you’ll still be going strong because you’ve chosen to the path of sustainability. That is how to lose weight and keep it off.
Food portion control especially when it has to do with the so called healthy food.
This is a real challenge for a lot of people, and it can be a hidden cause of weight gain. We know that eating healthy is not just about the quality of our food; it is also about the quantity of your food. If you have a particular food that you tend to overeat, I’ll advise that you make it a treat meal instead of something you eat several times a week. If you’re experiencing this with all healthy foods, you may want to dig deeper into what’s going on: 1. Are you eating too little? If you’re not eating enough, you’ll keep going back for more.
2. Are you eating while distracted? Eating while watching television or scrolling through Facebook can cause you to eat more.
Most importantly, are you gaining weight? If you’re not gaining weight, I don’t think you should worry too much about how much you’re eating. Sometimes, we get used to eating for weight loss that we forget how to eat for maintenance.
My challenge is resisting processed foods and exercising. I am too tired to exercise most days.
Resisting processed foods and finding time to exercise can be difficult, especially when one is just starting out. This is what I’ll advise: start with what is manageable. Don’t try to do too much too soon. Look at what will be your major needle mover and start there. For example, if you know cutting down on processed foods will make a significant impact, start there. You don’t have to cut out all your favourite processed foods at once. Choose one or two to begin with, and improve on that as you get better at it. This article here sheds more light on the topic: https://www.zonefitnessng.com/one-weight-loss-mistake-dieters-make/
Hi Esta, my challenge is sustaining the tempo. But I have found the balance. I find that I get burnt out if I do not take time to rest well. I find that if I rest two days in a week from exercises, my body recovers and I am pumped up for the next time I workout. I also find that eating clean 80/20 rule works for me.
So for me, rest is part of the program paired with good nutrition and consistent exercise for the win.
I’m glad you found how to keep your fitness tempo. Yes, you’re right, rest is an integral part of the program. We’ll burn out if we don’t take enough time to recover. Following the 80/20 rule works. Being complaint 80% of the time will take care of the remaining 20%.
Best advice ever. Other methods are not sustainable. Thank you Esta.
I’m glad you found it useful. Thanks for reading.
My challenge is in my nutrition.
I love to workout but sticking to healthy diet is my challenge.
I love bread, confectioneries,refined sugar in my tea, biscuit etc and this is causing my delay in achieving my goal weight
You’re not alone, Miriam. A lot of people have this challenge, but we all know that we cannot out-exercise a bad diet. Have you tried to figure out why you’re eating these processed foods? Do they serve as your comfort foods when you’re stressed, bored or angry? Do you eat them because you have them in the house?
Hello Esta…. My greatest challenge is exercising. I stick to the rules but find it very difficult to work out.
Hello, Awa. Start with an exercise plan that is easy for you. Something so comfortable you won’t even see it as a workout. For example, dance to 2-3 of your favourite songs 3-4 times a week. Take 5-minute walk break 2-3 times a day. Try this strategy for two weeks and let me know how it goes. Xx
Alright coach I will do dat n get back to u. Cheers
Best advice, Hmmmm, I don’t have much problem with food except bread and exercise. If I can do without bread and engage more with exercise I will be very happy. And I believe it all comes down to willpower and determination.
Me too, am so addicted to bread, I can forget about food all day but bread no. Is really killing me
Joy, see my response to Hafsat.
Thank you, Hafsat.
Since you know that bread is an issue, you can eliminate from your diet and only have it 1-2 times a month as a treat meal. As for exercise, start with what is ridiculously easy that your mind doesn’t even consider it as an exercise. One my favourite ways to do that is to dance to 2-3 of your favourite songs three times a week.
Hello Coach Esta,
There’s no doubt that Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand. Following these steps over the year’s with your guidance has worked perfectly for me. Maintaing my weight and keeping off additional weight have been a seamless process. It’s actually a lifestyle i’ll advice anyone to adopt.
Thank you, Ma.
As you rightly said, seeing things from a perspective of a lifestyle makes everything easier.
THIS IS MY BEST WORDS
“Nutrition and exercise are so basic that they’re often underrated. Sometimes, people ascribe their effects on weight loss to some magic pill and tea.”
THIS IS ME, AM TRIED OF MIGIC PILL.
THANKS ESTA, THIS IS NICE
Thanks for reading, Joy!
Irregular meals and mind less snacking. Self control is key… Thank you Esta.
Thanks for reading, Chinyere.
Yes, self-control is critical. I believe the more mindful we become, the sharper our self-control ability becomes.
True talk Coach. My major setback to this is lack of consistency. I will start and I am like a whirlwind enjoying an reaping result then a one day set back of illness or something and the will to resume where I stoped just flies away.
You’re right, Ma. Sometimes it’s hard to get one zeal’s back after a setback. I think what we can do in a situation like that is to ease back slowly. Don’t try to start at the level you were at before the setback; that may be too much for the body and mind to handle.
True talk. Now I just need to pray for the discipline to implement the exercise part 🙂
Thanks for reading, Vivian.
Start with an exercise plan that is easy for you. Something so comfortable you won’t even see it as a workout. For example, dance to 2-3 of your favourite songs 3-4 times a week. Take 5-minute walk break 2-3 times a day.
So true….Excercise and proper nutrition still remain the king and queen of the weightloss and fitness kingdom…we have to keep adjusting to keep our bodies in tune….
Thanks for your comment, Nnenna.
My problem is staying on track as i am always on a rollercoaster . i go up then down and up then down
You’re not alone, Adenike. Your comment reflects how so many people feel.
It’s a big challenge and can be very discouraging, especially for those who have been in the weight loss struggle for a long time. I think having a “this is a lifestyle” approach can make the process a bit easier. *Hugs*
Hello Esta, my biggest challenge has been sticking to my nutrition plan consistently. I am still working on it. Thanks for sharing. I enjoy reading your blogs.
Thanks for always reading my posts. Thank you 🙂
Yes, nutrition is the hardest part for a lot of people. This is what I’ll recommend that you do, follow the 80/20 rule. I believe if we can eat clean 80% of the time, that will take care of the remaining 20%.
You are so right Esta. I’ve tried many different diets and recorded some success in keeping the weighy off but ended up all flabby. Now I’m taking my exercises more seriously as i work on firming up the loose skin. Keeping my fingers crossed that very soon I too will be showing off a toned silhouette . Simultaneous exercise and diet is definitely the way to go.
Thank you, Chinny.
You’re right. Giving equal attention to both exercise and nutrition will bring the best results. Continue with your exercise program; you’ll have a great body to show for it soon.
Planning my diet especially on week days because of work and getting
Thanks for reading, Adekunbi.
Since you’re finding it challenging to plan your meal during weekdays, I’ll recommend that you bulk cook on weekends. That way, you don’t have to do much cooking during the weeks.
I thought lemon and tumeric water is good. I have bought a whole bunch of tumeric! 🙁
Yes, lemon and turmeric water is good because it has some health benefits. But it’s not a weight loss remedy.
Always inspiring! I’m always too tired to exercise….but will try out the dancing and 5 mins walk break exercise.
Thank you, Yetunde.
Yes, try dancing and walking. Something is better than nothing.
Exercise is my main challenge. Have really tried doing so. But have been able to eat clean to a level. Thank you for the write up.
Thanks for reading, Lolade.
I believe there’s always an exercise everyone can do. An exercise doesn’t have to be too challenging to be effective. Choose something so comfortable you won’t even see it as a workout. For example, dance to 2-3 of your favourite songs 3-4 times a week. Take 5-minute walk break 2-3 times a day.
I have a challenge with measuring my calorie intake as against calorie burnt to create a deficit. Plus i am a breastfeeding mum trying to loose body fat but I get very hungry easily.I try to eat healthy/ clean thou.
Congratulations on the birth of your baby! I trust both of you are doing well.
I’m not a fan of calorie counting because food is more than just calories. What I’ll suggest is this, focus on eating until you’re like 80% full. The human body in its wisdom can tell when we’ve had enough and if we learn to listen and obey, we’ll be fine.
Hello Esta, my greatest challenge is compliance. I believe in Basic Nutrition and exercise but when i miss out for a period of time, i find it very difficult to go back. The will to follow through is also a big deal but i feel self motivation will be of help.
Please don’t be discouraged by minor slips. Don’t allow them to stop you again. Life happens, and things don’t always go as planned. Your goal should be to prevent minor slips from becoming major falls. As they say, a stitch in time saves nine.
Look at it this way, if you don’t brush your teeth one morning, would you stop brushing your teeth altogether because you missed a day? Of course no! That thought wouldn’t cross your mind because teeth-cleaning is your lifestyle. It’s what you do.
Finally commenting, my number one challenge is maintaining healthy eating habits. I love working out but I tend to eat more than the required portions.
Thanks for your comment, Sarah.
Are you eating more than the required portions because you don’t feel full? If that is the case, my recommendation for you is to eat until you’re about 80%-90% full. Another thing to look out for is what you’re doing while eating. Are you eating when you’re eating or are you doing other activities like watching television, reading a book or chatting on the phone? Any of these activities can blunt your satiety signal.
When you are on the right path with diet and exercise and people are at work present you with cake and chocolates. Its difficult to decline most times especially if you have deprived yourself of these foods for a while.
Good point, Nkechi.
There’s nothing wrong with having the occasional cake and sweets. Nobody is going to wake up fat the next day because they ate a piece of cake the previous day. It becomes a problem when this happens several times a week.
I have severally tried exercise,but get double of the fat I lost , immediately I stopped.
I think you regained the weight because when you reduced your physical activity level, you continued to eat the way you were eating when you were exercising. If you had reduced your food intake at the same time you stopped exercising; you probably would have been able to maintain the weight.
Have I maintain my weight without falling back on old eating habits?
I also noticed I tend to eat too much after an IF. How can I curb that?
How can I *
Hello, Spicy. I answered the first question in the post. You have to keep doing what did to lose the weight in the first place. You may not do it at the same intensity, but you need to do it at least 70-80%
Re IF and overeating during the feeding window, maybe you should try a shorter fasting window. For example, if you’re doing 20/4 now, switch to 16/8. Sometimes, the brain wants to compensate for the long fasting period by making you overeat during the feeding window. One solution is to shorten the fasting window and lengthen the feeding window.