It's the question that's asked a lot. How to Lose Weight. You see, there's a million different ways to do it, however when you look a little deeper, so much of the advice out there is conflicting. It's not surprising most people are left feeling a little frustrated and not knowing which is the best method for them.
I've been in the fitness industry for the best part of a decade, helping hundreds of people lose weight, and transform their bodes & ultimately lives. Losing weight isn't rocket science, anyone can do it. So why do so many find it so hard? It could be the sheer amount of advice out there, or simply not having enough of the right advice for you.
What I've done here is simplify the best 124 tips, trick and hacks which I have used with my clients over the years. I give the same advice to my celeb clients, and to the full time mothers I work with, it's all really useful information which you can use today.
Commit to a few of these tips each week, and let's get you in the best shape of your life.
We've broken down the categories for you, to make it even easier.
FITNESS & MOVEMENT
1. Just Move - It doesn’t matter whether it’s going to the gym or walking to work, make it part of your life to exercise every day. Exercising not only releases ‘feel good’ hormones, but also triggers loads of other healthy actions for the whole day. The more you do, the more you want to do.
2. Mix it Up - One of the biggest reasons people fall off the wagon, or give up exercise is boredom. Mix up your workout programme as much as you can, and keep it fresh. There are some amazing multi use apps out now, where you can pay a monthly fee and have access to hundreds of classes in your area.
We personally love Class Pass, Move GB, Pay as you gym and Fitssi.
3. Get outdoors - you can increase your results dramatically by switching your workouts to the great outdoors. With so much of our lives indoors, fresh air fitness is a welcome change which has a big impact on your weight loss.
If you’re based in London, you can sign up for a free trial at Swift Fitness Boot Camp. With over 200 sessions a month, there’s plenty of choice.
Book you're free boot camp trial here.
4. Join a Free Run Club - If you’re into your running, there are hundreds of organised group runs, races and events all over the world. Sign up, and get something to work towards with like minded people. Check out Park Run, Sweatshop or ask at your local running store.
5. Workout for free with Sweaty Betty - Sweaty Betty is a female clothing brand, there clothes are amazing! They have created a very cool service where they’re members can get fit for free. Everything from yoga, run clubs, to boot camps, each store has it’s own unique offering. Find out more at your local Sweaty Betty store.
6. Get a buddy - Combine socialising with working out. Working out with a mate is more fun, and you’re likely to push each other more throughout each workout. Try the app Meet Up, which has groups for everything from Knitting to Kick Boxing. Helping you to link you up with like minded people when you’re friends are too busy.
7. Little and often - Life’s too short for spending hours in the gym every day. You can get an effective full body workout in as little as 15 minutes, it’s all about your intensity and pushing yourself hard. Try this AMRAP workout below, record how many you achieve and beat it next time
8. Incorporate Fitness into daily life - Take a look at what you do on a daily basis, and ask yourself how you can turn it into a fitness challenge. We’re talking walking the stairs instead of taking the lift. Getting off a stop earlier and walking to work. cycling to the shops to get your evening meal. Create some new daily habits that take you closer to where you want to be.
9. Get a standing desk - Standing desks have been proven to help you lose weight. Plus you’ll improve your posture, take stress away from your neck and shoulders, and be more likely to walk around a bit more.
Check out Office Fitness for some inspiration
10. Take up Yoga - This all over body workout can be done anywhere, and seriously de-stresses you. The benefits are huge, with improved posture, better digestion and an overall sense of well being. Try to get your workplace to start a class as part of an employee wellness programme.
If you’re in London, Swift Fitness has a team of amazing yoga instructors who can help. Click here to find out more.
11. Don’t be afraid of Weights - A lot of women are scared of lifting weights, with visions of becoming bulky and muscular. The reality is that lifting weights at the right rep ranges (15-25) can really improve overall toning, and lowing body fat at the same time.
12. Put the Kettle on - Calm down, we’re talking kettlebells. The Kettlebell has been around for years, but has become hugely popular this last few years. It works virtually every muscle in your body, burns fat, and improves flexibility. If you like working out from home, this is for you!
Check out this 10 minute workout by Body By Amy.
13. Work for 25, Move for 5 - Set a timer, and every 25 minutes, move around, stretch, just get away from your desk.
14. Do what you Enjoy - If you hate running, don’t run. Do the things that you enjoy, take up rowing, zumba, forest walking, anything that makes you smile when you do it. Fitness can be fun, it’s up to you.
15. Challenge Yourself - Do something that excites you and gives you enough motivation to get out of bed and workout. Climb a mountain, trek a country you’ve never been to before, the choice is yours.
Check out Maximum Adventure who run multiple challenges, the 3 peaks being one of them.
16. Do it for Charity - Enter a race, choose a charity and do something good in the process. This will spur you on even further, and will give you something else to focus on through your weight loss journey.
We've done some great work with the Starfish Greathearts Charity, you can check them out here.
17. Include interval training - Interval training is widely known for being best for fat loss. Instead of running at a steady pace on the treadmill for 20 minutes, do 1 minute as fast as you can, then recover for 1 minute, then repeat for 20 minutes.
18. Workout first thing in the morning - Ideally on an empty stomach as well if you can. You’ll kick start your metabolism, you’ll work into your body far stores & will trigger your entire day to be healthy.
19. Get a routine and stick to it - Once you’ve decided what you want to do, plan it out, and then commit 100% to it.
20. Don’t Play Around with your Programme - When you’re cooking a bit of fish, the more you prod at it, the more likely it is to fall apart of not come out the way you’d hoped. It’s same with your programme, sure you can tweak it, but don’t prod at it too much.
21. Don’t skip Leg day - Training your legs is one of the quickest ways to get in shape due to the number and size of the muscles that are targeted. The more muslces that are working, the more calories you’re burning, and the stronger you will become.
22. It’s all in the Core - Focus on your core muscles every time you train. Contract your pelvic floor muscles, and hold your belly button in. By doing this you brace the muscles around your spine which results in that flat stomach that most people aspire to.
23. Book it in your diary - Don’t let your workout sessions get taken over by late meetings or social engagements. Book it in your diary, set a few reminders, and block your time out. It’s important.
24. Focus Train - Keep this in mind when designing your programme. If you want good abs, you have to do abdominal exercises most days. If you want to run a marathon in under 4 hours, you have to have a running programme to suit.
Run keeper has loads of free ready made programmes for runners. Check the out right here.
25. Don’t blindly follow other people’s programmes - First make sure it’s right for you, in terms of timings, motivation, and the desired outcome. In other words, make sure it fits with what you want to achieve.
26. Get your workplace involved - speak to your HR department and encourage them to start an employee wellness programme. More and more companies are starting to see the benefits of having a fit and healthy team. This could be a weekly boot camp, or yoga session. Less sick days, higher morale, and a big recruitment selling point.
Speak to Swift about your company wellness programme ideas.
27. Create a plan for when you’re travelling - Life’s busy, you have to have a plan B. Pack your trainers, and a skipping rope and design a simple workout to do when you’re away. When choosing your hotel, pick one with a gym. Do whatever it takes to make if easier for you.
28. Keep your programme simple - Don’t get bogged down in the detail. Get something ready, and then tweak and improve as you go.
29. Family exercise - Get your family out at the weekend, bike rides, forest walks, you can get your entire family healthy together. Choose a venue where you can do something as well, big complexes often have multiple activities under the same roof, so your child could be having tennis lessons, while you swim.
30. Techno Fit - Use an app, or fitness tracker to spur you on each day and achieve your targets. Apps like the fit bit track how many steps you take, and give you notifications when you achieve your target. It even gives you a nudge when you have been sitting still for too long.
Find out more about Fit Bit here.
31. Keep a Record - Log your scores, results, weights & reps. It helps to know where you were when you started. You can also create competition with yourself by beating your previous results.
32. Walk before you can run - It’s hugely important to do something you can maintain. By all means challenge yourself, but don’t do too much at once. Build up each week, and improve as your programme evolves.
33. Push the boundaries - Each week try to run for a few minutes longer, lift a heavier weight, do a few more reps. Just keep pushing yourself, and see what you can improve upon every week.
34. Redesign your Living Room - Get an exercise bike or treadmill in your living room, so you can workout in the evenings when you catch up on the latest netflix show. You can create little games with yourself, that when an advert that comes on, you have to sprint for 10 seconds. (Yes, this is the sort of fun us personal trainers have)
35. Hold your Stomach - By holding your stomach throughout the day, you’re improving those all important core muscles we talked about earlier. To start off with, Time yourself, or do it for the duration of certain tasks. Every time you do the dishes, or cook a meal, hold your stomach muscles. This promotes a better posture, and stronger core muscles. Do it enough, and eventually it will happen naturally.
36. Get a Blueprint - Everything you need to know about working out is out there already written and planned out. Don’t reinvent the wheel, copy what’s already been designed and then tweak it to suit you.
37. Get an idol - Find someone who has done what you want to achieve, and then learn from them. They have been through the same issues, mistakes and barriers as you. Save yourself some time and jump to the solutions.
38. Get a dog, or borrow one - Call us barking mad, but having a dog forces you to get out and walk. A dog is always up for walking, and is often better company than most people.
There's an amazing company called Borrow my Doggy who could be perfect for you.
Food and Nutrition
1. Plan the next 7 Days - Get a sheet of paper, list each day, and map out what you’re planning on eating for each meal. The first time you do it, it will take longer than normal, however each week thereafter, you will just be tweaking the plan as you need to.
2. Order your food online - It’s always cheaper, and much less distraction and temptation.
3. Eat more protein - Protein is the building blocks for your lean muscle. Other benefits are reduced hunger, more energy, and much less bloating.
4. Eat fresh - There’s so many amazing foods out there, choose as fresher food as you can each day. Go crazy on fruit and veggies, and watch your weight loss sky rocket.
5. Be an occasional Veggie - Veggie meals are very good for us. They can often be cheaper, plus your body can digest vegetables more easily than meat in most cases, which will give you more energy.
6. Get a new recipe book - Get inspired by cooking again, whether it’s online, or a new recipe book, focus on learning some new dishes which get you excited about healthy food.
7. Learn about your Diet - If you’re not sure about something, learn it. It’s your body, you have to take control, and have the knowledge to make the right choices. Don’t follow all the fad diets out there, learn about foods, and apply it every day.
8. Test for allergies - a very large percentage of people across the world are allergic to wheat, gluten, alcohol, and dairy. Unfortunately so many of these foods are part of how we’re brought up. If you suspect you may be allergic, get a test, and find out, it could make a huge difference to all areas of your life.
9. Little and often - Rather than have 3 big meals per day, break it up and have 5-6 smaller meals instead. You will have more energy, a higher metabolism and less hunger throughout the day.
10. Put your fork down - Put your cutlery down in between each mouth full , and take a break. Enjoy the food in your mouth, and make a conscious decision about whether you want to pick your cutlery back up again.
11. Portion Plate - If you’re unsure on how to serve your food on your plate, this is the thing for you. The portion plate has outline markers for your complex carbs, proteins, and veg, meaning each meal is balanced.
You can get your portion plate right here: http://www.thehealthyportionplate.com/
12. Love Water - First thing in the morning, have a water with a squeeze of lemon. It will hydrate you and kick start your metabolism. Reduce your tea and replace with water throughout the day, you will notice an increase in energy, better skin, and also reduces hunger throughout the day.
13. Cut alcohol - It’s a poison, and if you’re serious about losing weight quickly, then it’s advisable to cut alcohol all together. You can re-introduce it later, but for now, it will have a big impact.
14. Choose your alcohol wisely - If you do drink, choose the best drinks. Try a gin and slim line tonic, instead of a calorie filled glass of wine. Even better try an alcohol free drink.
15. Every little Counts - All the little things throughout your day adds up. The teas, milky coffees, the extra sugar, sauces, bites of your children's meals, it all adds up and can make a big difference. Be conscious of the extras throughout the day.
16. Choose Low GI Foods - Low GI is all about how quickly your body turns that food into energy and the impact that food has on your blood sugar levels. When you’re trying to lose weight, you want your blood sugar to be level. High sugary items causes a spike to your blood sugar, which is why we advise to avoid any white products like rice & pasta.
17. Simple swaps - Swap your white products for wholegrain and brown foods instead, or even better, swap with vegetables. Swap your fizzy drinks for sparkling water with lime. Swap your milky coffees for americano's or herbal teas. Whatever you enjoy eating (even cake), there will be a healthy alternative.
18. Avoid Processed Foods - Processed foods are the worst things to consume if you’re trying to lose weight. So ditch the crisps, chips, chocolate, cakes, anything than has been refined and messed around with. Eat as natural as you can.
19. Go Dairy free - Try going dairy free, and see the difference. Swap your milk for almond milk, and you will hardly notice the difference. Dairy has been linked to cancer, heart diseases, and an array of skin conditions.
20. Cut your caffeine - Swap it for naturally caffeine free herbal teas, and water. You don’t have to give it up all together, just cut back a bit, and watch your energy levels increase.
21. The leftover plan - Design some amazingly healthy evening meals, cook double & have this for lunch the next day. Not only do you get a very tasty lunch, you also don’t have to plan a separate lunch. Giving you free time to enjoy your lunch break.
22. Prepare for when you’re not at home - You’re not always going to be at home, or at work where you have all your healthy food in place. Get prepared for when you’re out so you don’t slip up. Places like pret, and M&S have great healthy options, but also loads of really unhealthy versions, plan ahead and be ready.
23. Look at menu’s ahead of time - If you’re going out with some friends, get ahead of the game and look at the menu before so you can choose the best option without feeling pressured by your peer group.
24. Get a diet buddy - Find someone who wants to do the same as you, and then support each other through each phase. This could be a work mate, or even your partner, just make sure you’re both committed to helping each other.
25. Join a slimming group - Slimming groups can be the key to success. You will learn a few new things, and be supported by like minded people. The fear of being weight in front of everyone is also a very good motivator. Slimming world, Premier Diet Club, and Weight watchers are the most popular, and it’s not hard to see why.
26. Get an app to track your calories - Myfitnesspal is an advanced app that you use to track your calories and exercises each day. It has a scanner as well so you can scan your foods straight into it. We love myfitnesspal, give it a try. Did we mention it’s also free?
Register for free here, and check out the video below.
27. Try carb free pasta - Yes, you read that right, carb free pasta exists. As does carb free noodles and rice. Check out Myprotein, and could up your favourite meals with none of the carb calories!
28. Snack on healthy foods - As part of our little and often approach snacking plays a big part. Too often, diets are all about banning foods, so all you think about it food. With this approach, you can have tasty snacks throughout the day, keeping you full, energized and focused. Check out Graze, the best snacking company around and get your free box.
29. Reinvent how you cook - If your your meals taste amazing, and they’re healthy, you will be more likely to stick to that plan long term. If you need a little helping hand in the kitchen we have 2 companies who can help. Simply Cook & Hello Fresh. Simply cook is a new concept recipe kit, which you add to your basic ingredients. Great value, and extremely tasty. Hello Fresh delivers entire meals, ready for you to put together in your own home. They are both brilliant, affordable, and of course, extremely tasty.
Check out Hello Fresh Here and Simply Cook here
30. Keep it simple - Don’t overcomplicate your diet plan, if you have to think too much you may be tempted to throw in the towel. Just get started, and get more advanced as your healthy lifestyle becomes second nature.
31. Don’t keep changing your plan - Once you have it set up, leave it alone. Again, you can tweak this as you go, but stay focused on your original plan and let it do it’s thing.
32. Eat Slow - Take time to enjoy every mouthful, and slow down each meal time.
33. Think about the food on your plate - When you have plated up your meal, enjoy it, think about all the delicious healthy foods on your plate, and what they will do for your body.
34. Have salad with everything - Fill out your plate with amazing tasty salads. You won’t be able to pile your plate so high with other foods, and you get your all important greens as well.
35. Cook with coconut oil - Ditch the olive oil, and choose coconut oil instead. When you heat up certain oils, there components change, and become really dangerous for our bodies. Coconut oil is the perfect oil as it’s safe to heat up, and doesn’t affect the taste like you’d think. The good fats in coconut oil works wonders for your skin, energy levels, and enables you body to burn your stored body fat as fuel.
Buy your Coconut Oil here
36. Supplements - If you’re genuinely too busy for one meal in your day, a meal replacement supplement could be the answer. Don’t have more than 1 per day, as the majority of your diet should be real food.
37. Get your workplace involved - Employers are realising the benefits of a healthy team. See about organising healthy lunch options, healthy snacks, or a company cook book which you all contribute to.
38. Hungry or just bored? Don’t mistake boredom for hunger. When you feel yourself reaching to eat more food, try doing something that keeps you occupied, the craving will pass.
39. Knowing when to stop eating - listening to when you’re full is one of the biggest things to focus on. Too many people are eating to the point of being stuffed, and wanting to sleep. Re-train your mind and body to stop before you get to that point.
40. Become your own diet coach - Write down everything you eat, and at the end of each week review it. You will be surprised at the issues that come up, and some plainly obvious things you can fix or do better.
41. Get some expert help once and for all - If you’re stuck and need help, just bite the bullet and get some expert advice. You can get an expert to review your food diary, and get you a plan that works for you. Designed around your lifestyle, goals, and barriers.
Email the Swift team here to arrange a free over the phone strategy session.
42. Bad Fats V Good fats - You’ll find bad fats in processed foods, so things like biscuits, cookies, and crisps. Bad fats are stored by the body straight away as fat, and is very difficult to be used as fuel. Good fats can be found in things like nuts, seeds, coconut oil, fish etc. Good fats play a big part in unlocking your stored body fat, and using it as energy. We encourage you to include good fats as much as you can in your diet and removing the bad fats all together.
43. Raw Revolution - When you cook vegetables, you take away some of it’s nutrients. Don’t boil your veggies to death. If you can, eat raw. There are some really amazing raw places all over London now, check out Tanya’s cafe and get inspired.
44. Healthy cooking methods - If you really can’t go raw, then steaming your veggies is the best option. For meats, use the grill, or a non stick pan which saves you using loads of oils.
45. Plan your treat meals - if you’re planning on having a few treats along the way, you have to plan it. Plan your treats in advance, and make sure it won’t set you back too much. Don’t blow all your hard work.
46. How to Eat Out - When out, try to choose the leanest options possible, so things like fish, steaks, and chicken is the way to go. Leave the chips, and instead try the house salads, they will often be tastier than the ones you do at home, so give them a try.
47. Calorie quality matters - Not all calories are equal. What’s better, a large orange with 90 calories, or a small chocolate bar for the same calories? Clearly the chocolate bar is full of sugar, bad fats, and preservatives. Whereby the orange is natural, full of nutrients and helps with hydration. Look past the calories and ensure the food makes sense with your nutritional ethos.
MINDSET AND MOTIVATION
1. Prior preparation prevents poor performance - You may have heard this before, but it’s true. Take time each day, week, and month to get organised. It will be the difference between success and failure.
2. Barrier Sheet - Get a sheet of paper, and list your barriers. Describe them, and the create a strategy to how you can over come it. By planning where you know you may get tripped up, you are already one step ahead.
3. Look in the mirror when you get dressed - It’s not easy, but to get in the right frame of mind, it’s important to get fired up. If you’re not happy about the way you look, let’s do something about it.
4. What’s your Why - Why do you want to lose weight? The more personal you make your reasons, the more likely you will be to stick at it when things get tough.
5. Motivation sheet - Get a sheet of paper, with 2 columns. In one column, write how you feel now. Perhaps you feel overweight, frustrated etc, what impact does this have your life. Go into detail. Then on the next column write how you will feel when you achieve your goals, and how this will affect your life.
6. Reward calendar - Map out the next month, and each week give yourself a reward for sticking to your plan. It could be a new pair of shoes, or even a holiday at the end, give yourself something you want to work towards.
7. Get a trainer - If you struggle for motivation, a personal trainer could be the answer for you. Not only does a trainer design a programme tailor made for you, they also know the right things to say to keep you on track. Also, the fact that you’re spending money on something is often enough to motivate you to keep it up.
8. Do it with a friend for support - Get a friend on hand to support you when you need it. Send them a message, and tell them what you doing, and why. Explain that you will need some help along the way, as it’s hugely important to you. They will be more than happy to help.
10. Book it in your diary - Book everything in your diary. Your workouts, your review periods, everything. Block out your time and make a commitment to yourself.
11. Take Massive Action - Each and every day, keep moving. Take action that takes you close to where you want to be.
12. Daily Reminders - Keep your all of your motivation & barrier sheets to hand, and remind yourself every day why you’re doing this. Don’t let it slip.
13. Post it notes - Put notes everywhere in your house. On your fridge reminding you to drink water rather than eat junk. On your laptop reminding you to go for a walk.
14. Become a guru - Be informed about everything you do. If you’re eating a certain way, make sure you know why. You want to be in control, knowing that what you’re doing is accurate and correct for you.
15. Mindfulness - Mindfulness can play a big part in your weight loss programme. Everything from being present & in the moment, to maintaining calm in stressful situations, mindfulness covers a wide range of issues which can be huge for weight loss.
16. Create a motivation Board - Full of pictures of people that inspire you, and motivation quotes which fire you up. It could be a picture of you looking your best, or perhaps not your best to remind you of what you’re trying to do.
17. Write a journal - Log your thoughts, your successes, your failures, and learn from each one. When you look back you will be amazed at how far you have come.
18. Share your journey on social media - By letting other people in on your plan, you instantly raise the pressure for you to walk the walk.
19. Do it for Charity - Taking part in an event for charity can push you further than you would normally go on your own.
20. Read success stories - Find people who have done what you’re trying to do and read about them. They’re failures and successes will spur you on to continue on your own path.
21. Take pride in yourself - You’re worth it (no we’re not selling shampoo). Take pride in how your look, and what you think of yourself. If you don’t think very highly of yourself you won’t think twice about eating junk food. You deserve the best.
22. Fill your mind with positive affirmations - rid your brain of anything negatIve, and replace with positive messages about who you are, your potential and who you can become.
23. Have clear and structured goals written down - Keep them close to you at all times, and keep working on them until you’re ready to create some new ones. These can be daily, weekly, monthly even yearly goals.
24. Fuel to your Fire - Writing down all the bad things people have ever said about you can be a huge motivator. If you have been subject to people saying not very nice things about you, this may act as fuel to your fire, so you can show them what you’re really made of.
25. Positive Focus - Things do go wrong, so it’s important to create a strategy for when this happens. Ask yourself what happened, what can you learn from it, and what are you going to do about it. As long as you learn from it, you can move on with peace of mind. Remember once is a mistake, twice is a choice.
26. Put yourself in the tempting situations - It may sound a little crazy, but if you can walk into your favourite cookie place, and come away with a bottle of water, it shows you are in control.
27. Say No - Try saying no to your friends, to yourself, see what happens. The thought is often much worse than the reality. Say no, see how good it feels.
28. Keep it Challenging - Don’t get complacent with your programme. Keep pushing yourself, and striving for the next thing.
29. Surround yourself with the right kinds of people - The influence of others is huge. When you hang around with positive, healthy ambitious people, you put yourself in the best position to mimic and mirror their success.