There are a few "simple rules" you can adopt to speed up your efforts in dropping weight.
I came across this Popsugar article that prompted me to think about what my 7 habits would be when recommending ideas to a client; Cut sugars, lift more weight, think about HIIT training and check in on your protein all came to mind.
Here are my comments against Popsugar's. See how we match up and figure out where you can make improvements! You can do it :)
#1: She recommended strength training as my number one priority followed by cardio. I strength trained two to three times a week and did cardio two times a week (usually on the StairMaster). I absolutely agree here. So many of my clients get comfortable with cardio; going on long runs, hitting the elliptical for hours etc. It's not the type of stress your body requires to see a shift in muscle composition. Grab those weights girlfriend. Lift things!
#2: My trainer encouraged me to increase the weight I lifted almost every week, even just a smidge, like two pounds. Sure. Yes keeping yourself challenged is the goal, however I think nailing down your form with a weight you can manage comfortably for 12-15 reps is more important. So many clients and people I see at the gym start out with poor form. Engaging properly and feeling how the exercise works for you is essential.
#3: Working out is only part of the equation. Diet is even more important, my trainer told me. I had to break my sugar addiction. Full on yes 100%. Sugar is the devil enemy. It stores more often than not. Think about where it's coming from in your diet. Manage fruit intake to two servings a day, ditch the sugary alcholic drinks, ease up on the flavored yogurt and out with the "protein" and "wellness" bars which are essentially candy. Eat veggies. End of story.
#4: If unchecked, I will eat over 50 percent of my calories in carbs. But that wasn't really working out for me. Though challenging, I reframed my meals so they consisted of mostly protein and healthy fats. Yeah totally. When I have my new clients start logging their food, almost every-time they come in at least 25g under their recommended protein macro. The second - and I mean the second - they start eating an increased amount of quality proteins, they tell me they see results. Healthy fats are indeed essential in the breakdown of nutrients so be sure you're using EVOO, having avocados and nuts in moderation.
#5: Though I am not 100 percent dry, I always seem to regret drinking the next day, so I've cut way back and reserve drinking for special occasions. Yeah alcohol can lead to a lot more than just empty calories - it can set you back in your recovery, it can influence you to eat mindlessly and poorly, and it can really deplete your nutrient levels. Stick to wine and limit to 2-3 glasses max, 1-2 nights a week. You'll thank yourself in the end and so will your bank account.
#6: I lost 10 pounds just by scheduling my carbs around my workouts," my friend told me. Inspired by that, I wanted to follow suit, and my trainer supported that mentality. Yes I can agree with this. Although avoiding carbs isn't the answer to weight loss and is a very annoying myth that I debunk every other week. Eat according to your lifestyle and level of output (your exertions i.e. walking miles a day vs. sitting) You need quality carbs to function as it's an energy source. You need energy in and around your workouts so definitely think about how this can work for you.
#7: Six out of seven days, I'd have an A+ diet, while the seventh day, I might indulge in a slice of pizza or an IPA. I found letting loose (just a bit) and having a cheat day helped me stay on track and feel balanced. YES. This is what we call self-control and moderation. That is a learned behavior that happens over time. Do not expect this to happen overnight if you tend to struggle with obsessive behaviors. It's 100% the goal - to be able to go anywhere to pick and choose the healthier option. But we are human. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I'm never going to eat a piece of cake again in my life because I'd by lying. But I'm also not going to be eating that on a monthly basis. I like wine so I'm going to drink it, and I also like chips and salsa so I'm going to eat it. Will I eat an entire bag? No. Will I eat and drink this stuff every day or even week? No. Moderation. It works. It's real life.