With all the fad diets, crazy supplements and new workouts that come on the market every year people are often confused as to which is the best. Which one will get me the results the quickest? Are they really worth the money? New products come and go. Some are rip offs and don’t work at all and some are dangerous. The ones that do work are based around the same principles. I will outline some of these principles below.
The first tip is based on the law of thermodynamics. It is what all weight loss is derived. The First law of thermodynamics basically states “the change in the energy of a system is the amount of energy added to the system minus the energy spent doing work.” So what the heck does that mean and why do I need to understand that? Well in a nutshell it means energy in must equal energy out or there will be a change. So if you eat more than you move, you will gain weight. If you move more than you eat, you will lose weight. If you eat the same as you move, you’ll stay the same. That’s it. That is what all diets and workouts and everything else, as far as weight loss, is based. You need to move more and eat less if you want to lose weight. There are no shortcuts. If this first principle is not met, you will not lose.
The next tip to keep a food journal. Getting your calories to the right levels are important, but for most people just keeping a food journal will be a huge first step. Record what you eat. Everything. Good and Bad. Just that alone will help most people control what they eat. Most people know what foods are good and what foods are bad so writing down a bad food is a demotivator for a lot of people. A lot of people will not eat that piece of cheesecake if they know they need to write it down and look at it later. Once you see how many calories that cheesecake is, you may think twice about it the next time.
Know what calorie range you should shoot for every day. Eating too much will cause you to gain weight and that is very bad if you are trying to lose but eating too little is also bad. If you eat too little your body will not only burn fat but will also burn muscle. Muscle is your fat burning machinery and the less you have, the harder it is to burn fat. A good way to know how many calories you should shoot for is to find out your daily calorie expenditure (with an online calculator) and subtract about 500 calories.
Don’t skip meals. Make sure you eat often and don’t starve the body. When your body does not get enough food it will use your muscles as food and that is not good. Eating many small meals will keep your metabolism high and your body will be burning calories at a much faster rate than if you were eating one large meal. You will be more likely to make proper food choices if you are not starving. Six small meals per day is ideal.
Lift weights or do some strength exercise program. Most people who want to lose weight do not lift weights because they don’t want to get BIG. You must remember that muscle burns fat so the more muscle you have the more fat you will burn. Muscle takes up less space than fat so if you add one pound of muscle and lose one pound of fat, your weight will be the same but you will be smaller. Also, you will be burning more calories with the added muscle so the calorie deficit you have each day will increase.
Work your big muscles. A lot of people want to spot reduce. Unfortunately there is no such thing. Situps will not burn fat only in your stomach. Tricep exercises will not burn fat in just your arms. You cannot control where the body will burn the fat from first (this is where genetics come in,) but you can control how much fat the body will burn. Work your big muscles and you will burn more calories and build more muscle. The 3 major muscle groups are your chest, back and legs. Basically, these are worked with push exercises, pull exercises and squat exercises and all of their variations.
Go hard with your cardio. I walk in to a gym far too often and see people on the bikes or treadmills going at a very slow pace, or talking on their phones. While that is better than nothing it’s not a very effective use of time. The best way to burn the most calories is to do interval training. Go hard for a couple minutes then go slow for a couple minutes. The hard part should be difficult and you should be breathing hard. The slow portion should be a little easier and should be considered your rest. Make sure you are going slower for your rest and not stopping for your rest. As you get more in shape you can increase the duration of the difficult portion and decrease the duration of the slow portion.
Be consistent. There are a lot of people that can eat right and work out for a couple days. There are a lot fewer that can make it a lifestyle. Remember that you are after a lifestyle change and not just a quick fix. Eating less crap and working out at least 3 times a week should be your goal. There are many who do not see results right away and give up. Don’t be one of them, be consistent and stick with it. If you can do it for 2 weeks, you can do it for 3. If you can do it for 3 weeks you can do it for 4. If you can do it for 4… now it’s a habit. Keep with it.
You need to make changes if you want your body to change. The activities you have done, including eating habits and workouts, have caused you to look the way you are. If you want to change the way you look, you need to change the habits. Many people want to lose weight, but don’t want to change their eating, or don’t want to work out. You need to be committed to making a change in your diet and your workout routine if you want to see a change in your body. If you do not change these your body will not change.