Embarking on a weight loss journey can be a daunting task, especially with the multitude of information and strategies available. It's easy to get lost in a sea of fad diets, trendy workout routines, and conflicting advice.
However, understanding the hierarchy of what truly matters can provide much-needed clarity and direction.
In this blog, I'll delve into the fundamental factors that play a pivotal role in achieving sustainable and effective weight loss. By prioritising these key elements, you can establish a solid foundation for your journey towards a healthier, happier you.
Let's explore the critical components that make up the bedrock of successful weight loss.
Below shows my view on the hierarchy of weight loss. Going from bottom to top in order of importance. Some are subjective and some will differ between person to person but the foundation and bottom layer are fundamental, in fact if you have these two nailed you will lose weight but having the rest in place will make it much easier and make it more sustainable.
Let's go through each in turn.
Foundation: Mindset. This is an extremely broad topic but fundamentally important. By Mindset I mean the motivation, will power, the ability to break and create new habits and accountability. embark on the changes that are needed to lose weight. This is often the place where external factors can help you.
Calories IN & out. So this is referring to the fundamental law (or fact) that you must burn more calories than you eat i.e. Calories out must be great than calories in. I've intentionally capitalised 'in' as typically this is more important to get right than out, as the majority of your calories out are from everyday living plus exercise but unless you do a lot of exercise, it is very easy to over-eat and negate the calories burnt. Exercise is important though and hence is still included here.
Hydration. Hydration is vital, as we make changes to our diet and activity, the need to stay well hydrated increases in importance. It’s also great to help minimise cravings as often when we feel hungry its our body calling for water rather than food.
Sleep. I've debated some of the order of importance from now on, but I've gone with sleep in 4th position, it really helps you hormonally and mentally to make the right decisions.
Stress. Again another huge topic and one I debated the order, I include emotional eating.
Protein. Although in position 6, don’t be fooled to thinking it doesn’t matter, it’s vital.
Nutrients: A broad topic again, trying to reduce processed food as much as possible and getting a good range of on macro and micro nutrients will help you on your quest to lose weight. The easiest ways to think of these are:
Was it made in a factory, and hence likely to have manufactured ingredients in it?
Are you having a balance and varied diet?
Quality of food. If you do everything well up to this point you will definitely lose weight, so this is the cherry on the top (had to get a cake reference in a weight loss blog 🤣). Increasing the quality of the food will help with getting more nutrient dense food. It will also taste better so you’ll enjoy it more.
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