The Magic Formula to Losing Weight? No longer bank on easy wins

Don’t we all want to look fit and slim! You may one of the lucky few who burn calories as fast as you consume them. Others have to “pay” for their weaknesses, and mine is chocolate. Someone out there – is there an easy magic formula for losing weight?
More seriously, I am also a real foodie with a tendency to….over-eat. I have tried numerous magic formula that one finds by the dozens online, eg. 10 easy tips4 quick & easy steps…to achieving your dream body shape. I come to conclude that “fast and easy“ draconian diets are not a long term solution. Either way, you always lose in the constant yo-yo between indulgence and then guilt or regret (oooh, I wish I hadn’t gone for that fondant au chocolat).
Let me share my experience on the more sustainable route I have taken so far. It started a few weeks ago in the shape (excuse the pun) of a Tone-Up personal trainer, Solveig. She brings the professional voice to this post. First, I was taught the do’s and don’ts. I will let Solveig tell you more about it.

I met with Romina a few weeks ago and she asked me how she could improve her diet. After understanding her actual diet, this is what I recommended her:

1. Do not diet: eat a wide range of natural nutrients
Over the years, I have noticed that dieting is not the option to a healthy lifestyle. It is sometimes too drastic and very often unhealthy. The usual outcome to dieting is gaining weight. That is why it is important to simply eat a wide range of healthy and natural nutrients. Those nutrients are: carbohydrates, proteins, veggies, fruits and dairy products. It is important to include those nutrients daily but at the right time and in the right proportions.
2. Eat often/Do not skip meals
A very common mistake that people do is that they skip meals and do not eat often enough. Indeed, it is a lot more efficient to eat 4-6 small meals a day than to eat only at lunchtime and dinnertime. When you skip meals, your body goes into starvation mode. It basically thinks that you will never eat again and will therefore stock fat. So by skipping meals you will never lose weight but gain in fat. By eating small meals frequently your metabolism will always be active and therefore will always be burning what you eat. Moreover by eating frequently you will never starve when going to a meal. Starving when going to a meal is a problem because you will eat way too much. It is important to eat exactly the quantity you need so that your body will burn it easily.

3. Eat the right nutrients at the right time
It is important to eat certain nutrients at the right time and in the right quantities. When you want to lose weight for instance or get leaner, carbohydrates should not be consumed at dinner time. Carbohydrates provide you with energy and therefore should be consumed throughout the day when you need energy.

4. Eat 5 veggies a day and 2 fruits a day
Veggies and fruits are fundamental to a healthy lifestyle. They are full with vitamins and minerals, which are extremely important for your overall health.

5. Drink 2 to 3 liters of water a day

It is important to drink enough fluids throughout the day. By fluids I means water and stay away from soft drinks, which are full of sugar.

So how did this new “lifestyle” feel? Believe it or not, in the first week I actually had to force myself to eat 4-6 times a day. As I was often on the move, I couldn’t settle to a routine. Instead, I had to plan and remind myself to take my snacks. Adapting quantities was, and still is difficult. Like many, I am used to eating three big meals a day. How to reduce each serving to a moderately small portion? And lastly, in a huge test of mind over matter, I had to control my cravings. Fortunately, I don’t yearn for burgers, fries or fast junk food. I rather like healthy food particularly dark chocolate, nuts, dried fruits and cheese. Unfortunately, these healthy foods are also calorie-packed. So I have to limit myself to a piece at a specific time. This perhaps was the toughest part, as I would crave for them after meals, It is a slippery slope that you can’t stop yourself once you start.
You can sense that my first week has not been exactly a walk in the park. In my next post, I will share a detailed food diary (including what and how I cook) in the context of my activities, and how I continue to handle this new way of eating.

Do you like to know more about nutritional or sport coaching? Don’t hesitate to contact me or Solveig and her Tone-Up team! If you are based in Lausanne, she will gladly meet you. Or, you can connect with her via email or messaging.

In Partnership with

Editing & phone pictures by me