You’ve probably come to read this article because you’re at a crossroads; you want to lose weight, you sort-of know how, but you’re not quite where to start or what to do. We’re here to help. Starting a new journey is exciting. Starting a weight loss journey can be exciting, too, but it can also be intimidating and discouraging. Why you might ask? If you’re unfamiliar with losing weight, it can be hard. It requires a ton of dedication and commitment, new habits and change. The good news? You don’t have to completely change everything you do to achieve your desired results! Here are our 5 tips for starting a weight loss journey and how you can implement them into your own life, starting today.
Starting A Weight Loss Journey
Tip #1: Protein At Every Meal
Out of all the macronutrients (protein, carbs & fat), protein has the highest thermic effect (TEF) on your body. [R] This means the more protein you regularly consume, the more calories it takes your body to digest, absorb, and process the nutrients you just ate. Burn more calories, lose more weight, and if you fuel with more protein the chances of you maintaining and even building lean muscle are greater than if you didn’t. [R] [R]
TEF Rises By Macronutrient [R]
As you can see, protein demands a higher thermic effect (aka increase in metabolism) as compared to both carbs and fat. This is why you’ll often see the recommendation to eat or drink protein 1 hour prior to your workout - you’ll not only feel full and help prevent yourself from overeating, but you’ll boost your metabolism and burn more calories through your workout as compared to eating a meal high in carbohydrates and fats. [R]
When it comes to your weight loss journey, you ideally want to turn your body into a calorie and fat-burning machine, boosting metabolism and building lean muscle mass. Including protein (think 20-30g per serving) at every meal is a great way to boost your efforts and smooth the transition of starting your weight loss journey.
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SUMMARY: Eating 20-30g of protein at every meal can help boost metabolism, burn more calories during a workout, and increase overall weight loss.
Tip #2: Consistent Sleep
Raise your hand if your sleep sucks. You’re not alone, and chances are, your lack of sleep contributes to your weight gain (and lack of weight loss), a lot more than you may think. Lack of sleep has been proven in recent years to be one of the biggest contributing factors to the rise of obesity. [R] [R]
It’s also been reported that we sleep on average 6.8 hours as opposed to 9 hours just a century ago, with 30% of the population sleeping less than 6 hours per night. [R]
There’s a direct correlation between sleep, our hormones, and our metabolic processes in the body and without sleep, we throw these processes out of balance. [R] [R] When we don’t sleep, our blood sugar levels and increase, our insulin resistance increases, our testosterone production slows, and our hunger hormones (ghrelin & leptin) increase, disabling our body’s natural ability to tell when we’re too full or not hungry. [R] [R] This is why people who are sleep-deprived feel disconnected with their body’s natural signals, feel hungry and struggle to lose weight. [R] [R]
If you’re having trouble with sleep, another positive thing you can do is increase your intake of nutrients like zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. You can do this by eating more vegetables and taking a once-daily, ZMA supplement, like ZMT. Just two capsules of ZMT daily can provide you with these nutrients, in addition with essential natural testosterone boosting ingredients, Diindolylmethane (DIM), Fenugreek, Rhodiola Rosea, and Tongkat Ali, which supports increased strength, promotes a positive mindset, reduces stress, and helps maintain a healthy sex drive.
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SUMMARY: Lack of sleep can increase our blood sugar levels, insulin secretion, and reduce the effectiveness of hunger hormones leaving us grumpy, hungry, and overweight.
Tip #3: WHAT You Eat Is More Important Than WHEN You Eat
A common rule of thumb in the fitness and nutrition world is to “not eat later than 8pm” because it can go against your Circadian Rhythm, or in other words, go against the 24-hour cycle that tells your body what to do, like when to sleep, eat, and wake up. [R] The circadian rhythm theory argues that nighttime is for resting, not eating. [R] While some studies are in favor of this, like ones done with mice, not all studies are in favor of this when it comes to humans. [R]
While we don’t think to stop eating before 8 pm (or two hours before your bedtime) can hurt, we are also in favor of the theory that what you eat and how much of it is more important than when you eat. [R] [R]
The underlying trouble with eating at nighttime is that we tend to overeat or eat foods that provide us with quick energy (like simple carbs, white starch, and sugars) because we’re naturally tired by the end of the day. When you do this, then go straight to bed, you don’t set yourself up for the most ideal weight loss situation, and in fact, you promote weight gain. In short, when you stick to the same total calorie intake throughout the entire day, weight gain is decreased, weight loss is increased, and your metabolism stays in tune with your goals, as compared to making poor-decisions when eating at night.
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SUMMARY: If you know late-night you’re going to choose foods that you wouldn’t choose at 1 pm earlier that afternoon, then try to regulate the foods you eat throughout the day. Have dessert, but make sure it fits within your day’s nutrient goals.
Tip #4: Optimize Thermogenesis
By including caffeine, capsaicin and different types of teas, like green, white and oolong tea, you can stay hydrated and increase your body’s natural thermogenic process to burn more calories both at rest and during activity. [R] In regard to weight loss and weight loss efforts, including these in either liquid or pill form can lead to:
The process specifically affected by consuming caffeine and tea regularly when starting a weight loss journey is the regulation of lipolysis and the sympathetic innervation of white adipose tissue. [R] When you drink green tea, caffeine drinks (that don’t have sugar in them), oolong tea, or take a thermogenic weight loss supplement, together the functional ingredients have the potential to produce significant effects of metabolic targets such as satiety, thermogenesis, and fat oxidation. [R]
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SUMMARY: Taking a thermogenic supplement and/or drinking more caffeinated drinks, such as green tea or oolong, can boost your weight loss efforts.
Tip #5: Exercise & Lift Weights
All types of exercise work here, but if you’re looking to get the most out of your effort, there are a couple things we recommend when it comes to getting more exercise.
30 Minutes of Exercise - Walking
Initially, when starting your weight loss journey, if you don’t exercise at all then we recommend starting with walking at a consistent, brisk pace, for 30 minutes a day. This is something just about everyone can do at home and at work.
For those starting a weight loss journey, but already walk or exercise 4-5 times a week, we recommend incorporating HIIT (high-intensity interval training) into your normal routine. A good example of a HIIT workout is anything that involves lightweight and cardiovascular movements, like jumping jacks, running, jump rope, burpees, and other short burst intervals combined with movements like squats, plyometrics, push/pullups, kettlebell swings, and dumbbell movements. Ideally, you want to see your heart rate in the 70-80% maximum heart rate range (still able to have a decent conversation breathing rate). You can calculate this by subtracting your age from 220.
Lifting Weights - Resistance Training
Lastly, if you’ve got the more cardio-focused movements regularly scheduled into your routine and are looking to really boost your weight loss efforts, then it’s time to add in some heavyweight. [R] As we covered earlier, muscle is more metabolically active than fat, and building more muscle can increase your metabolism. [R] Not only does it help you build lean muscle mass, but lifting weights will help you burn more calories at rest. [R]
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SUMMARY: All forms of exercise help when starting a weight loss journey, some more than others depending on where you’re at in your journey.
The Bottom Line
Starting a weight loss journey is hard, but it’s not impossible. By implementing the 5 tips above today, you’ll be well on your way in no time! Increase your metabolism by eating more protein, catching more zzz’s, optimizing the way your body burns calories and exercising. Having a high metabolism can help you lose weight and keep it off for good while boosting energy levels and living each day at your highest human potential.
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