In a previous post Josh gave his personal experience on the best way to build muscle. He very nicely explained that he was a “hardgainer” and he outlined his approach in getting stronger by eating (and drinking) more, exercising harder and sleeping like a baby for 8-10 hours a night. Unfortunately not all people are “hardgainers”. There are a lot of people out there who put on weight easily (and we are talking about fat) and no muscle. For these people the first step in getting stronger is to lose the extra pounds and at the same time they can work on building more muscles.
What you are going to read below is nothing magic or extraordinary but it is the real truth behind weight loss. All you need to do in order to understand how to lose weight is change your lifestyle; this includes changing your diet, adding exercise to your weekly schedule and living a less stressful life. Once you get used to this way of living everything else will come naturally; gradually you will start losing weight and becoming stronger and this will make the whole process a lot easier.
1. Changing your diet
Many times people get frightened by the idea that they have to change their diet. They believe that by doing so they will be miserable and that they will stop eating things they like. This is absolutely not true and in fact if you take this approach you will end up with more weight. Changing your diet for weight loss implies that you will follow a balanced diet taking care of what you eat and in what quantities.
A weight loss diet is not about starvation or about excluding whole food groups from your meals; it is about eating the correct number of calories from all food types. For example you can eat protein (lean meat, fish, and poultry), fat (olive oil, fish oil), lots of fresh fruits and green vegetables, whole grain food (oats, rice) and drink as much as water as you can. The key is to eat smaller food portions more often. This will reduce your daily calorie intake and will give your body enough time to digest the consumed food and convert it to energy instead of fat.
2. Physical activity and exercise
People that need to exercise do not necessarily have to join a gym or participate in fitness classes. There are so many exercises and activities to perform that can help you lose weight and enjoy yourself at the same time. Of course working out in a gym or taking aerobics glasses may give you faster results but this is not the criterion for your success.
Find an activity (which keeps your body moving) that you like maybe a sport (basketball, football etc) or hobby (cycling, hiking etc) and follow it regularly 3-4 times per week. Combine this activity with regular strength training exercises and sooner or later you will see those fat tissues being replaced by muscles. A few examples (for those who like numbers) of sports and activities together with the number of calories you can burn per hour are shown below:
|Step aerobics-low impact||541/hr|
The key of losing weight through exercise is to be consistent on your efforts. It is more efficient to work out for 3-4 times per week for 30 minutes each session than for 1 continuous hour every other week. Include exercise in your weekly schedule and you will see that after a couple of months you will not only look better but feel better as well.
3. Get rid of stress
I am sure you heart many times that stress is bad for your health. Well, stress and constant worry are also very bad for your weight loss efforts. People who are under stress tend to eat more (snacking on full fat food becomes their favorite sport), exercise less, sleep less and this gradually makes them fat and overweight. While it is not easy, if you manage to control stress and allocate more time for enjoyment this will also have a positive impact on your efforts to get slimmer.
As a final word, stop over-thinking on how you can lose weight. The basic concepts are there in front of you; it is time to skip theory and get into practice. Good luck!
PS: If you happen to be in the Minneapolis area and are looking for fat loss or musclebuilding help, please check out a Minneapolis boot camp offered by Adam Glass at The Movement Minneapolis.
PPS: If you’re interested in digging a little deeper into nutrition you will eventually run into the organic food conversation. To give you one side of the debate, I had a pretty interesting guest post that you might enjoy: the disadvantages of organic food.