3 easy steps to lose weight
Losing weight and getting healthier is always a hot topic, especially this time of year. It’s amazing how many ads and products exist just for this purpose. In reality, losing weight and getting in shape couldn’t be easier. Here are 3 simple steps you can take to get started on a path to a healthier life.
This is listed first because it really is that important. I have seen triathletes (myself included) exercise 15 hours a week and still gain weight. Exercise alone will not cause weight loss. It will improve your cardiovascular system, bone density, and many other things. However, to lose weight you must enter a caloric deficit. This simply means that you must burn more calories than you consume. I often joke that the most affective exercise is the “decline of the table.” This is where you always say no or decline the offer of more food.
A big mistake that exists among many is that they believe in spot reduction. They feel that if they do a lot of abdominal exercises they will lose weight around their abdomen. This is simply not the case. You lose weight all over your body. Another big mistake related to strength training is that you will build a lot of muscle so quickly and actually gain unwanted weight even if it is lean muscle. Again, it’s not going to happen and is less likely if you’re avoiding the isolation-type movements and exercises that were commonly done in the 1980s and 1990s.
The last piece of the fitness puzzle is doing cardio. Cardio workouts are only limited by your imagination. You can row, bike, swim, run, walk, climb, skate, etc. It is practically unlimited. If you move, then you are doing cardio. It really only takes 30 minutes a day of cardio depending on intensity levels.
Generally, most can go down 2 of the 3 steps. However, for whatever reason, it is difficult to get all three at the same time. Many endurance athletes have pretty good nutrition and cardio, but they don’t lift weights for fear of becoming too heavy, which is counterproductive in endurance sports. Weightlifters have low nutrition and strength training, but don’t do cardio for fear of losing size. This can be very nice if you are trying to compete in a certain event. However, most just want to be healthy and look good. If you are one of them, create your routine to include small changes in the three previous areas (Nutrition / Strength / Cardio). You don’t need to train more than an hour a day (30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of strength). Then make small changes to your diet. Remember, this is a lifestyle change, so you are creating a new life here. This takes time and constant effort. Changes that are too big too early are often well intentioned, but they are not sustainable.
Hope this helps you get on a better path to health and fitness. Inside everyone there is a healthier body that is dying to get out.