man-stretching-at-homeman-stretching-at-home
mobile-female@2x-comprmobile-female@2x-compr

Kickoff's certified personal trainers and registered dietitians share detailed analysis, discussion, and how-tos about the questions we get most often

Back

Tips for Losing Weight and Finding a Weight Loss Trainer

What’s the most effective weight loss strategy? If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, welcome to the club. Survey data suggests that more than half of Americans are currently trying to lose weight. 

However, weight loss is a little different for everyone, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach guaranteed to work for you. (If there were, we would know what it is by now.) In other words, the most effective weight loss strategy for a famous celebrity may not necessarily be the most effective weight loss strategy for you.

A personal weight loss trainer can help tailor a fitness plan that works well for you and your lifestyle, and they can also help to motivate you and hold you accountable. Finding the right personal trainer for you can take a bit of work – but if you came here looking for tips on how to lose weight, you’re not afraid of a little work. 

In this article, we’ll cover some general weight-loss strategies. We’ll also explain how to find a good weight loss trainer and personal training expert who can help you implement those strategies in a way that’s right for you.

Weight Loss Strategies You Can Try Right Now

woman-exercising-at-home

Keep in mind the following list is not exhaustive. More importantly, it isn’t necessary — or even beneficial — to try all of these strategies at once. Consistency is more important than perfection. 

Start small, with one or two simple changes you know you can do right now, before piling on additional strategies. Setting reasonable goals can make the difference between persevering and giving up. Remember this when you’re really tempted to try that “advanced” weight training workout video Youtube is recommending to you.

Drink More Water

Drinking water is important not just for weight loss, but for your overall health and wellness. However, as many as 75% of Americans may be chronically dehydrated. Wait, WHAT? That’s right, a lot of people are thirsty all the time – and many don’t even know it.

There are many reasons for this, including the fact that thirst signals tend to be weaker than hunger signals, and many people mistake thirst for hunger. Consider what this means for weight loss: If you’re confusing thirst for hunger, you’re most likely eating more than you need to, making it that much harder for you to lose weight. It’s a vicious cycle.

A study from the journal Obesity found that increasing water consumption was associated with weight loss in women aged 25 to 50, independent of diet and activity levels. But before you get excited thinking about how much water there is in diet soda, take note: The researchers didn’t find this same effect for artificially-sweetened diet drinks. In fact, there is some evidence to suggest artificially-sweetened drinks like diet soda could actually contribute to weight gain. In other words, don’t believe the ads.

If pure water is hard for you to stomach, add some freshly-sliced cucumber, orange segments, mint leaves, lime juice, or any other fruit or vegetable. Try drinking a full glass of water before each meal, and notice the effect this has on your feelings of hunger.

Eat More Veggies

While exercise can be an effective component of weight loss, no amount of exercise can make up for that box of donuts you just stress-ate. Weight is mostly a function of diet. One simple change you can make to promote weight loss is to eat more veggies (and low-sugar fruits such as berries). They’re loaded with nutrients and fiber to help keep you full, but they tend to be very low in calories. 

Try to include some fresh veggies, especially greens, in every meal. It’s recommended that adults eat 2-4 cups of vegetables per day, though the exact intake depends on your age. 

That said, choose vegetables you actually like. No, French fries don’t count (but baked sweet potato fries might!). It’s important to enjoy your food. (Pro tip: Kickoff can inspire you to eat delicious, healthy food with recipes. Just take a peek at these immune-boosting smoothies.) 

In case you need convincing, a groundbreaking study from the journal Health Psychology suggests our mindsets about food are just as important as the nutritional components of what we put on our plates. A supposedly high-fat, high-calorie milkshake was found to suppress ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) much more so than a supposedly low-fat, low-calorie milkshake, when in fact participants were given the exact same type of milkshake on both occasions.

In other words, your body responds to your beliefs about the food you’re eating. So, don’t think of healthy food as restrictive: Think of it as indulgent. Have you ever had a really good tomato? A perfect avocado? Any part of a fresh coconut? Then you already know vegetables can be delicious and satisfying.

Get Plenty of Sleep

What does sleep have to do with weight loss? 

Well, although most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, many of us fall short of this goal, causing us to accrue sleep debt. It seems people just don’t understand how important sleep is. However, the effects of chronic sleep deprivation are well-established: Sleep deprivation is associated with inflammatory disease risk as well as all-cause mortality. More specifically, sleep loss has also been linked to weight gain. So yes, cheating yourself out of good sleep can derail your weight loss goals.

There are a few potential reasons for this. For instance, sleep-deprived individuals often eat more to make up for their lack of energy, and they often make worse decisions when choosing what to eat. Refined carbs seem even more appealing when we’re sleep-deprived! This is supported by the science: When you’re sleep-deprived, you have more leptin (the hunger hormone). Even if you have superhuman willpower and manage to avoid that pint of ice cream in your freezer, more leptin spells bad news for your body.

To really stay on top of your weight loss goals, make sure you’re catching enough Z’s. Your body will thank you.

Find Ways to De-stress

That said, try not to stress about how much sleep you’re getting, because (you guessed it): Chronic stress is also associated with obesity. There are a few potential mechanisms for this, one of which is the fact that refined carbs are even more appealing when under stress.

You already know this if you’ve ever felt anxiety: There’s nothing quite like stress-eating candy or a box of sweets. However, as with sleep, this isn’t just a matter of mastering your willpower. Chronic stress can alter your hormones and increase inflammation.

Mindfulness meditation, journaling, warm baths or showers, and physical activity are just a few examples of some of the tried-and-true ways to de-stress. Of course, not everyone responds to each method, so consider what your personal happy place looks like, your zone of Zen, whatever makes your mind go “Ahhhhh that’s so relaxing!” Finding ways to de-stress that really work for you will also help you sleep better, another important strategy for weight loss.

Focus on Both Cardio and Strength Training

You already know cardio is effective for weight loss, but did you know strength training also plays an important role? The more we build our muscle mass, the more our bodies are burning calories all the time, even when we’re not exercising. By contrast, too much cardio and not enough strength training can lead to muscle loss as well as fat loss. So don’t overdo it on the treadmill. Really. No matter how much you might want to lose body fat, you do not want to lose muscle.

If adding more workouts to your weekly plan is unrealistic, you can combine cardio and strength training into one workout with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). No special weightlifting equipment is needed for HIIT! Strength training can always be achieved by using your own body weight as resistance, via push-ups, sit-ups, squats, burpees, and so on. That said, it’s important to make sure you’re doing these exercises with proper form. You may want to check with a professional before radically changing your workout routine.

Finding a Good Weight Loss Trainer

motivational-brigade

Now that you’re ready to get started, let’s talk about how a weight loss trainer can help you. If you’re unsure of where to begin, having trouble staying motivated, or just looking to take your workout plan to the next level, a good personal trainer will meet you wherever you are and help customize a plan for you and your lifestyle. They’ll get to know you as an individual and learn what really motivates you. So, after deciding you want to find a personal weight loss trainer, what comes next?

Clearly Define Your Fitness Goals

Before you even begin looking, consider your current fitness level and ultimate goals. Do you just want to lose a few pounds? Are you hoping to lose weight and train for a marathon? Do you want to build upper body strength while losing fat? Different personal trainers will have expertise in different areas, so you’ll want to find someone with the kind of expertise that’s going to be relevant for you. That said, make sure any personal trainer you’re working with has expertise in nutrition as well as fitness, especially if one of your goals is weight loss. To get started, look at setting SMART goals to really get results. 

Spend some time thinking about what other benefits you’d like to see from weight loss, apart from a different number on your scale. That number will always change. Instead, focus more on how you feel. You already know regular exercise can improve your mood and energy levels, so remember: You have a lot more to look forward to than just weight loss.

Find Someone Who Listens to You

Now that you’ve defined your goals, you need a weight loss trainer who actually cares about those goals. As with any relationship, you want a good listener!

Your personal trainer should listen carefully not only to your goals, but your whole history: your past experience with exercise and weight loss, your current diet, any injuries or conditions you have, and anything you want to share that makes you tick. Your personal trainer should figure out what motivates you (and what makes you want to take your tennis shoes off for good). A personal trainer with high emotional intelligence and the ability to really listen will be your ally in this journey.

Experience Matters More Than Certification

There are six popular types of personal trainer certificates, and it’s a good idea for you to review these to see which sort of certificate you’d like to look for in your certified personal trainer. However, what matters more than a weight loss trainer’s certificate or education is their experience. Have they successfully coached others who had goals similar to yours? Your best bet is to go with someone who has a proven track record of helping people like you, regardless of their credentials.

Consider What You’re Willing to Pay

You might worry that personal trainers or weight loss trainers are prohibitively expensive, but as with anything else, you’ll find a fairly wide range of prices depending on where you look. A one-hour session with a personal trainer will cost you an average of $50, but some personal trainers may charge upwards of $100 per hour, especially personal trainers in big metropolises like New York City or LA.

A more cost-effective option is to find an online trainer. This is a great option if you want professional guidance but don’t have the funds or time for an in-person trainer at a gym. Kickoff will give you unlimited access to an expert trainer for just $95 per month. That’s roughly the cost of two in-person trainer sessions, but you will have access to your trainer 24/7, at home and on the go, potentially allowing them to give you much more advice than what you’d receive in two in-person sessions.

Find the Right Personal Trainer for You

woman-exercising-using-a-pilates-ball-and-dumbells

It’s no secret that weight loss can be challenging. If you feel you could benefit from working one-on-one with a fitness expert, consider getting started with a personal online weight loss trainer to decide whether or not they’re right for you, and repeat until you find someone you’d like to work with longer-term. Commitment to fitness is a lifelong journey, and finding support in that journey can make all the difference.