Did you find yourself hopping online for guidance on weight loss? Odds are, you’ve run into countless articles on diets, workouts, pills, and surgery. Each of these methods has its place but the truth is, one recommendation is not appropriate for all people, all of the time. But there are a few simple guidelines for weight loss that hold universal value for most of us.
1.Start with healthy eating before implementing an exercise regimen.
The more overweight you are, the more important this becomes. When you jump into an exercise routine with an excessive amount of weight on your body, there is more strain on your joints, a taxing load for your heart, and pressure on your lungs. That means you’re more likely to get injured, exhaust quickly, and quit sooner.
By making healthier food choices, you can shed some pounds first which will make exercising easier and safer.
Many people stop working out because the exercise makes the feel sore and fatigued for days. Healthy eating will also give you the nourishment that you need to feel energized throughout the day, build healthy muscles and bones, and heal quickly from injury. These factors will make weight loss more accessible.
2. Exercise for where you are now, not what you were capable of before.
Another common hinderance to weight loss is to do too much too soon. This is especially challenging for former athletes who are accustomed to training hard and always raising the bar for an additional challenge.
When you pack on too much too soon, you’re more likely to suffer an injury that will put you on the bench. As you sit out for recovery, you may gain weight back and lose motivation. Or worse, you will work through the injury, make it worse, and then have to sit out longer. This may result in more weight gain and discouragement.
By gradually increasing your workouts–starting off easy, even–you can prevent injury. Your body will acclimate to its new regimen, heal properly, and enable you to exercise longer.
Another benefit to gradual training is confidence. If you begin with high intensity, you’re more likely to become overwhelmed and self-criticize. Starting off gradually helps you to build confidence and establish a healthy routine.
3. Prioritize form more than resistance or appearance.
In a gym (or even with home videos) its easy to compare yourself to others. It can be tempting to increase your resistance and perform exercises that are challenging with the hopes of getting faster results. Go hard or go home means harder exercises, right? Wrong.
What’s hard is to establish solid form and technique during exercises. This is the first challenge you must rise up to! It can be tedious at first but having a firm foundation will allow your to safely increase your resistance. Though this, you will achieve greater gains. Otherwise, your workouts are less effective (read: slow weight loss and muscle development) or downright dangerous.
4. Don’t skip out on the weights.
Bulking up is hard to do (just ask any professional lifter). With that said, don’t think weightlifting is going to make you bulky.
In fact, lifting weights helps you burn fat, contributing to fast weight loss. The firm muscles also give your body better definition, giving the impression of faster results than cardio alone. (Ahem, abs and booty, anyone?) So if you want fast weight loss that shows, strength training is the way to go.
5. Be patient.
This is harder said than done for just about everyone. But remember: it took years to gain the weight that you have now (or months in regard to pregnancy). It’s not going to shed drastically (or healthily) in just a few weeks. Give yourself time to restore your body.
It is important to feel good while you’re in the process of achieving your goals. Keeping a high morale will increase the likelihood of sticking to your new healthy lifestyle. Consider the following to boost your confidence:
- Wearing your old “fat clothes” can make you feel frumpy, even when you’re fitter than ever. Celebrate your new size! As you lose weight, consider buying at least one outfit that celebrates your achievement.
- You may consider shape wear to achieve the look you’d like on special nights out. Instant slim down! Some studies suggest that restrictive shape wear can cause key core muscles to weaken, so it may not be suitable for daily use.
- Get support from others who are currently on a weight loss journey. This can be in-person or online as long as your peers are kind, encouraging, and motivated. Bonus: friendly competition and accountability help you lose weight faster.