When it comes to weight loss in its simplest form, it means expending more energy than you are consuming (also known as a calorie deficit). That’s not really a secret these days! Everyone “knows” what they need to do to lose weight, but often people struggle to actually follow through on this simple task of being in a calorie deficit to get to their goal weight or to sustain it, over a period of time.
Losing weight is a challenging task that requires planning, discipline and unshakable habits and behaviours. Sedentary lifestyles, fast foods and all the modern creature comforts are common obstacles that derail even the best intentions when it comes to optimal health and weight loss.
Dubai couple Adam and Olivia McCubbin, co-founders and head coaches at the DIFC-based Best Body Co have created a 6in4 Challenge Programme that helps people to lose 6kg in four weeks. “Our approach to weight loss is always with the long-term view. Since we launched this programme we’ve helped transform the bodies and lives of our members,” says Olivia.
Here are their top tips for long-term weight loss:
1. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
The first time you do weights, go for a run or set your alarm before you normally get up, it’s full of discomfort. You will be out of breath, sore and tired. After a period of time not only will your body adapt to the training (where you won’t be constantly sore) but also your mind will develop resilience and will start to find enjoyment in the challenge! Seeking out weak points, discomfort and personal growth is never ending when it comes to health and fitness.
2. Have clear goals and targets.
It’s only natural to have clear goals, but you’d be surprised how many people we speak to that say they have tried everything but they can’t lose weight or stick to a plan! When we ask them what specifically they are looking to achieve, answers can range from “I want to tone up” to “I want to drop a few pounds”. Know what you are aiming for. No one will selectively go through discomfort without a solid target. Getting crystal clear on what you want will give you a reason why to push through when discomfort appears.
3. Health comes first.
Making health a priority will only help when it comes to long-term weight loss. Yes, you can lose weight eating donuts, drinking chocolate milk and sleeping three hours a night while being in a “calorie deficit” but will it be good for your overall health and is it sustainable? Eating foods that contain actual nutrition like vitamins, minerals, fibre, essential fatty acids etc. will help your body function, recover and thrive. If you feel good mentally and physically, then making disciplined decisions are easier, because you’ll get addicted to how you feel when you do things that are good for your health and good for your body.
4. Assess and never guess.
How do you know if you are getting better? You must assess and have some type of quantifiable data that you can track over a period of time. If you want to drop inches from your waistline, then it’s probably a good idea to start measuring it. If you want to drop 6kg then you might have to start weighing yourself. No one likes facing the hard truth and it can be uncomfortable doing that initial assessment. Also if something isn’t working, having the data there will help you adjust your plan and move in the right direction. Without the data you won’t know if you’re winning or losing. During our 6in4 Challenge programme, our members follow a set plan for four weeks before they’re given a new programme. More variety isn’t always better because you can’t measure your improvement!
5. Enjoyment and accountability
If you hate your workout routine and the foods you’re eating, then chances are you won’t stick to it in the long run. Find something that works for you. There are a million and one ways to approach weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. You need to find elements that you enjoy for it to stick. Chances are you won’t love everything, but when the results start to come, it’s amazing how people start liking their training programme - because it works! Battling away on your own on the gym floor, when you might not be sure what to do, for most people isn’t going to be very enjoyable! Also, being on your own leaves out the element of accountability - you’re more likely to procrastinate. It’s not an efficient way to workout. Don’t rush your health, fitness and weight loss. You only get one body, so make sure you treat it right!
Thirty-nine-year-old UAE-resident David Do Rosario has tried the 6in4challenge and records a 6.5kg loss and a 28cm reduction in total body measurements. “The 6in4 Challenge has allowed me to be consistent in having a daily workout and guidelines on my food habits. The huge plus is the community with daily chats on WhatsApp with our “workout” mates who share weight loss tips and tricks, which are always supervised by our coaches. My goal is to get back my 30s body when I reach my 40th birthday, which is in six months from now!
Thirty-two-year-old Gabrielle Khaled from the UK lost 4.7kg in 4 weeks. “The sooner you start, the sooner you will be thanking yourself you decided to make change for the good. I want to build my strength and enjoy getting fitter. Once I hit my weight loss goal, I am going to do a sky dive.