Have you recently made a commitment to start exercising and eating healthier in an effort to lose weight? Not only is that a fantastic goal to set for yourself but you’ll find that when you stick with the weight loss process for a month or two, your entire outlook on life will begin to change and start to become much more positive.
You will find yourself inspired to exercise regularly as opposed to sitting on the couch watching TV with a soda in one hand and a bag of potato chips in the other. You will also want to prepare meals at home instead of going to the local fast food drive through and get a meal that is likely over 1,500 calories. You will do this because you know that eating this size of meal will not lead to weight loss but do the actual opposite, add on more weight.
If you’ve already tried to lose weight but haven’t had much success yet, don’t get down on yourself. Most people who attempt to tackle this issue have troubles and often need to start over a number of times before they get it right.
If this is the case don’t beat yourself up if you happen to encounter issues. You should actually be complemented since you’re not giving up and are willing to give it another go. Therefore if you’re reflecting on how the weight loss process is going so far, consider how you’re addressing these two specific areas – your daily nutrition and your exercise frequency.
Let’s look at both of these topics in more depth.
1) Daily Nutrition
Since weight gain is generally caused from eating or drinking excessively and far too frequently, the most important item of business you need to address is your daily nutrition. The problem most overweight folks have to deal with is not only the type of food they eat, but more importantly the portion size they consume at each sitting.
Our body only needs a certain amount of calories in order to function properly. If we take in more than our body needs and the excess is not burned off in some manner such as in the form of exercise, then all those extra calories are packed away somewhere on the body in the form of fat.
Instead of having to deal with this problem, it’s crucial you prepare food at home and more importantly serve appropriate portion sizes at all meals. You can still gain weight eating healthy food. Just because you grilled some chicken and made rice with beans doesn’t mean you can have four servings of each. That’s still going to total too many calories for one meal.
At first, portion size will take some getting used to especially if you habitually overeat at most meals. Simply put, if you eat to the point of being “stuffed”, you ate too much food. Try to stick with a curled-up hand sized portion on your plate. Drink 2-3 glasses of water throughout your entire meal time. Start before, continue during, and especially afterwards to aide with digestion.
Another benefit to preparing all your meals at home is that you have the liberty to cook a bit extra to ensure you have leftovers. These leftovers can now become travel lunches to take with you to work the next day or eat for dinner the following night. If you don’t have a good assortment of plastic travel containers put them on your shopping list as soon as possible. You can often find good deals on these containers at the dollar store, your local Walmart, or the supermarket.
Finally, don’t get the notion that since you’re eating healthy meals you can treat yourself afterwards to an edible reward such as a piece of cake or large bowl of ice cream. These choices right here will nullify all your healthy eating efforts and can limit your weight loss progress. Instead of that junk food, if you feel like you need a “reward” eat something healthy yet still sweet. Jello and frozen yogurt are two excellent alternatives to curb the sweet tooth, much better than donuts or pieces of pie.
2) Exercise Frequency
One of the best ways to burn off the excess from our bodies is to do some type of cardiovascular exercise. However unlike the nutritional aspect of the weight loss process, the exercise component comes with its own set of dangers you need to be aware of before you start any type of physical movement.
Depending on your current shape and/or if you have any medical conditions, you should seek clearance from your doctor prior to working out. Better safe than sorry right? Remember, an injury may prevent you from continuing with your workout regiment but depending on the severity it may also keep you from working at your job which can cause a whole bunch of other issues, particularly financial ones.
Once you’re cleared for exercise, take the slow but consistent approach. Remember, there is no rush to go full steam ahead. Some folks haven’t exercised in years so if that’s the case, don’t get out there and try to run 10 miles the first time you start to workout. Instead, take it from the absolute beginning and just start walking, then slowly week by week increase the duration and speed. Everyone is different so do what you feel comfortable with.
For instance, maybe the first week you walk 3-5 times a week for 30-45 minutes. The second week a little faster and now for an hour. The third week you warm up with a 30 minute walk then go into a slow jog for 15-30 minutes. The fourth week you walk for 15 minutes then run for 45 minutes, etc.
By slowly increasing the intensity of your workouts you give the body time to get used to this new healthy change along with developing the strength you’ll need to last longer and longer. You can also incorporate different activities to not only stay inspired but you’ll workout different muscle groups. In other words, you don’t have to stick with just walking and running.
How about learning a new sport like tennis or basketball, or possibly even rollerblading? You may be surprised to find there are likely leagues or groups that meet regularly near you and would love to have a new, energetic person join their group. Check what you can find by doing a search for what you’re interested in on Craigslist.com and Meetup.com.
Remember, your exercise regiment should be fun and inspirational. The more fun you have when working out, the less it will feel like actual work. There’s nothing wrong with smiling while you are sweating away all those unwanted pounds during this weight loss process. Make it enjoyable and you will marvel at how your entire mindset will change over the coming months. Give in an honest chance and be amazed at the results.