There is so much attention on calories when it comes to weight loss. Obviously, that’s because there’s no getting around the energy balance equation. Calories in have to be less than calories out if you want to lose weight. Unfortunately, that near-sided approach to weight loss totally ignores 4 of the most important aspects of weight loss that you should be placing your focus on.
Focus on Being Healthy
Weight gain is a side effect of living an unhealthy lifestyle. Weight gain is a symptom. It is not the problem that needs solving. We need to shift our energy away from fighting with the never-ending symptoms of unhealthiness, and instead get right to the root of the problem.
If you can instead focus on improving your health, and have a little faith that the inside of your body is changing for the better, you will eventually see your external appearance align with its internal counterpart. Focus on getting healthy and the weight loss will take care of itself. You will soon begin to see the positive side effects of being healthy being reflected in your body composition.
Focus on Eating Quality Foods
Instead of directing all of your energy into trying to determine how many calories you should be eating, focus your energy on slowly changing your eating habits until 50, 60 70, 80, and then 90 percent of your food intake is made up of whole foods. I can assure you that a diet consisting of 90% whole foods will do wonders for your body composition.
Calorie intakes are a tricky thing. Individual metabolisms make it difficult to throw out blanket recommendations for how many calories you should be eating. Unfortunately, one of the top questions people ask me is how many calories they should be eating. More times than not, 10-12 times body weight ends up being a good starting guide, but even that is not perfect. Even still, I don’t start counting calories until after the quality of my diet is at least 80% whole foods.
The true power of body transformation lies not in manipulating calorie intakes, but instead in providing your body and mind with whole, nourishing foods. Macronutrients such as protein, fat, carbohydrates, and the calories they provide are fun to play around with, but the real magic happens when you fuel your body with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and energy from whole foods.
Focus on Getting Active
You’ve heard it plenty of times before – eat less and move more. But what does it mean exactly to get active? Does that mean adding a workout to your day and calling it quits? What exercise is required to get fit and healthy?
Well, getting active means going beyond throwing in the token workout here or there. It is true that some exercise is better than none, but the goal of losing weight and getting healthy doesn’t just mean doing a daily workout. It means living an active lifestyle.
If you were to ever study fit people and their daily activity you would soon see that they go beyond the daily 30 minute workout. They get up off their butts and they move. They walk more. They take more steps than the average person does, and they spend less time just lounging around. They engage in opportunistic exercise by finding creative ways to make their daily tasks just a little more active and intense.
This pays big dividends in their physiques and their health in the long term. Just 100 extra opportunistic calories a day equals out to 10 extra pounds of weight loss in a year. Multiply that by however many years you wish, and you can see the power an active lifestyle has over a short term exercise program.
Focus on Creating a Positive Self Body Image
Body image problems are abound in our society. Pictures of beautiful people are plastered all over the place in malls, magazines, and television. Many people take these images as cues that this is what they need to strive for, and they won’t be happy with their bodies until they achieve these looks.
Creating a positive self image starts now. You must begin to see your true beauty within, and you must do that before you begin to transform your inner health and outer physical appearance. Love your body regardless of what it looks like. It does not define who you are. Learn to accept yourself, and the rest will follow.
Calories? Suddenly they seem like such a trivial little thing.