Personal trainer Jackson Desjardins has personal experience when it comes to advising his clients on weight loss: he lost a total 100 pounds. In a recent video on his YouTube channel, he shares some of the practical, deceptively simple habits he built into his everyday routine to help make losing weight sustainable in the long-term.
Finding food alternatives
At the beginning of his weight loss journey, Desjardins would struggle to stay in a caloric deficit (i.e. the state where your body is burning more calories than it is consuming). "I just didn't know how many calories were in things," he says. "So keeping it really simple, you just need to be calorie-conscious and choose the foods that are going to be lower in calories but might taste the exact same... It's going to make your fat loss so much more seamless because you're still enjoying foods."
Cutting down on "liquid calories"
"I just stopped drinking my calories," says Desjardins, referring to the sugar-laden iced coffee beverages and energy drinks he used to have all the time.
Physical activity every day
"I made daily movement non-negotiable," he says. "I'm not saying you have to be in the gym every day, but going for a long walk, doing some form of cardio or lifting, whatever it is, get moving every day... It's a great habit to build, not just for the calories it burns, but for the mental effects."
Set short-term goals
Desjardins explains that he was always chasing a new objective, whether it be losing a couple of pounds or a slight reduction in his waist measurement, in order to keep himself on-track with his longer-term targets.
"Weight loss can be really intimidating, because it's really hard to be motivated about something that you're not necessarily going to see results on for a couple of months," he says. "So setting short term goals, whether you're trying to lose a little bit of weight or a lot, is going to keep you motivated the entire time."
Drink more water
Staying hydrated helps keep you energized and healthy, but Desjardins also drinks a gallon of water each day in order to help himself feel full and sated, especially in the evenings when he wants to avoid snacking.
Adjust your mindset
Desjardins encourages a "shift in identity" away from defining yourself as somebody who goes to the gym because they're trying to lose weight, and towards being somebody who's invested in their fitness, and who goes to the gym because that's part of their lifestyle. "You're not going to entertain the thought of not doing something if it's part of your identity," he says.
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