If you've ever tried to lose weight you know how overwhelming it can feel. You have a million different sources telling you to do a million different things. Your old personal trainer told you to do this... That fit lady at your new gym is telling you to do that...It's really confusing.
I've spent more than a decade learning about what it takes for people to lose weight, get strong, and improve their fitness and I want to cut through all of the fluff for you. You can narrow successful weight loss down to the 5 following elements...
1) Sleep- This is something that doesn't get talked about enough. You may feel like you have a lack of energy during the day, and while being overweight and sedentary definitely doesn't help... one of the main causes for your lethargy can be that you're sleep deprived. On top of this... when you don't get enough quality sleep, it throws your hormones out of balance and causes your cortisol to skyrocket. This in turn causes you to hold on to excess fat. Make sure you get your 8 hours EVERY day and try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day... even on weekends.
2) Nutrition - Ahhh the obvious one. Have you ever heard the saying "you can't outexercise a bad diet"? It's true. You'll be hard pressed to find anyone in great shape, who doesn't pay attention to what they're eating. And if we dig a little deeper, there is an element to nutrition that many people don't think about. Trying to eat the same thing as frequently as possible (as long as it's healthy). This way your body adapts to the fuel you give it and can learn to process it efficiently... you also already know the nutritional content of it so there is less room for error. The body is an amazing machine that will adapt to what you give it... so try to use that to your advantage.
3) Exercise - And we have the second most obvious piece of the puzzle. There's no way around it. If you want to lose weight and look good, exercise is a must. But the key is to find a type of exercise that you enjoy. There is no "wrong" way to work out. If you enjoy swimming... then swim. If you enjoy rock climbing... then rock climb. The key is to do it consistently, and that's why you have to enjoy it. If you don't enjoy it you won't stick to it. Sensing a theme here???
4) Stress Management - Every client I've ever worked with who has made an amazing transformation has something meditative that they do to help them relieve stress. Maybe it's praying... maybe it's meditating... maybe it's gardening... Whatever it is for you... find it and stick to it. We tend to forget that making a fitness transformation is just as much a mental game as it is a physical one so we need to make sure we have our mind right. If you are stressed out all the time, you won't have the mental capacity to focus on your health. And on top of that stress increases cortisol and you'll hold on to excess fat. Find that thing that relaxes you mentally and embrace it.
5) Mindset - And while we're on the topic of mentality... we have to bring up the importance of maintaining the right mindset. Everyone who has ever made a real fitness transformation has done so by figuring out how to keep themselves motivated. And the key to keeping yourself motivated is protecting your outlook on any given situation. If you've been working hard and the number on the scale doesn't change... don't think of it as a failure... think of it as an opportunity to figure out what works for you. You're one step closer to getting back on track because you know you need to change it up. Because a fitness journey is not linear. What helped you lose the first 20 pounds is not going to help you lose the next 20. You need to level up and adopt the growth mindset so that you can acquire the skills that WILL help you lose the next 20. Your mindset is arguably the most important variable to the fitness equation. It will center you and make sure the other 4 components stay on track. There is no easy way to change your mindset... it just takes grit. You have to be stronger than the voice in your head telling you to give up when times get tough. Once you do... the world is yours... and all the sexy toned arms and abs that come with it.
Hope This Helps