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  • Ciaran O’Connell

5 OF THE EASIEST WAYS TO START LOSING WEIGHT

Updated: Aug 21, 2019



Let’s start with the obvious…

In its simplest form, the best way to lose weight is to eat less and do more. Today’s article done, thanks.

Just kidding.


Genuinely though, that is the only real way to lose weight. But the reason for writing this article is not to just tell you that, but to give you my top 5 tips and tricks to help you achieve a calorie deficit (less calories in than out), and therefore weight loss.


1. Park further away from the places you’re going to

The idea behind this is to increase the amount of NEAT you do each day. NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). I will write another article fully explaining NEAT, but for now think of the 10,000 step principle. The idea behind this is to increase our steps each day right? Usually those steps are in our day to day life. Think about it, increasing our steps is increasing the amount our body is moving, thus using calories without us even thinking about the daunting prospect of heading to the gym. Increasing NEAT whilst lowering your calorie intake will result in weight loss.


2. Don’t go with the ‘value for money’

I love a bargain as much as the next person. I’m my mothers son, and boy does she love a bargain (she once bought a birthday cake down from £12 to £2… it was nobody’s birthday at the time). Just because something seemingly gives you a better ‘deal’ for your hard earned money, doesn’t mean you should act on it. In a review on portion control by Ingrid Steenhuis and Maartje Poelman, they determined that value for money can act as a mechanism for consuming larger portion sizes than needed. If you want a chocolate bar then have one. Just don’t pay the extra 10p for the bigger bar to get 20kg more because it’s a ‘good deal’. Not falling in to the value for money trap saves your waist line and your wallet.


3. Don’t eat in front of a screen

When we have a stimulus like the TV in front of us whilst eating, our brains aren’t focussed on the amount we’re eating and we tend to over indulge. In a study by Braude, L & Stevenson, RJ, they found that TV viewing increased food intake (even more when the show was familiar). This is partly due to the TV reducing our sensitivity to cues we would usually have in a meal telling us we are full. Eating whilst doing something like watching TV, playing video games, or listening to the radio is known as ‘mindless eating’. When we focus on what we’re eating our brain and stomach are connected and don’t get interference from the drama of love island or corrie.


4. Set a challenge with a friend

We are hard wired to be competitive. It’s in our DNA. Anyone who says they aren’t is a liar, sorry but it’s true. Wether it’s a fitness challenge or a weight loss challenge, it doesn’t matter. Either one is likely to make you lose weight. If it’s a fitness challenge, you’ll have the financial commitment of not wanting to waste your money, nor letting your friend down. Subsequently, you’ll be wanting to either beat your friend in the challenge or keep up with them. You’ll end up working hard to be fitter than you already are, most likely resulting in using more calories and eating better. On the flip side, I’m sure you’ve set weight loss challenges before (who hasn’t), but this time be sure to make it competitive enough for you to continue through. Put some money on it with your friend or a prize of some sort. A couple of my friends currently have £50 each on who will lose the most amount of weight in 5 weeks - they’re nailing it so far!


5. Make a shopping list

I know. You’re probably thinking ‘what a waste of a tip, who is this guy’, but seriously it can make all the difference. If you plan the meals you want to have in the week (not religiously, don’t be that person… have a life!), then you’re less likely to buy the rubbish you don’t actually need when in the supermarket. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve gone to get all the food I need based on a list in my head, only to come out with that plus a pack of double stuff Oreos, bottle of Coke, Ben & Jerry’s, a Dairy Milk bar and a packet of Sensations. If you don’t buy the bad stuff, you won’t have it in your house to eat. Simple right? And this should go without saying but… DON’T GO SHOPPING HUNGRY!!!


I hope you’re able to use these tips effectively and it eases you in to losing weight. Losing weight can seem more daunting than it actually is. Keep making small changes, slowly increasing the amount you do day to day and changing little habits. Before you know it the weight will be going so fast I’ll be telling you to eat more!

It’s your journey, #MakeItCount.


Ciaran

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©2019 by Ciaran O'Connell.

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