Summer is right around the corner and you aren't feeling ready for the beach just yet. No problem! Follow these simple steps to start seeing results in your physical appearance almost immediately!
Track your diet. This sounds easy, but it is where most people fail to stay consistent. You might have heard that one pound of body weight equals 3500 calories, but what does that mean for you? If you are eating 500 more calories than your body needs for the day, then your body will store that for energy for a later time. By the end of the week that 500 calorie a day surplus becomes a whopping 3500 calorie excess, which is enough to equal an extra pound of unwanted weight!
So what can you do to prevent this from happening? Create a food journal and record everything that you eat throughout the day. By the end of the week look at everything you wrote down and calculate the amount of calories you took in per day. There are many websites online and apps for your smartphone that will help you out with this. Precision is key in this case.
After you tracked what your diet for a period of time, try to eliminate just 100-200 calories a day from your diet. This would work better if you cut out small portions from all your meals rather than cut out one meal altogether. If at the end of the week you are still gaining weight, then reduce your intake by another 100-200 calories a day for the next week and note the progress. Be sure to not overdo it! If you cut out too many calories from your daily intake, your performance will be affected, your metabolism will slow down, and you will feel awful after a while. A crash diet is not the way to go with weight loss. Just as you put on weight over time, you must lose the weight over time. It will not happen overnight, but you will see progress each week.
Start exercising. This doesn't mean that you have to spend 3 hours at the gym 7 days a week to see any progress. You can start out by going for a 30 minute walk or a quick jog around your neighborhood. Join the gym and find a routine that you like and can mange with your schedule. The biggest problem people have when they first start exercising is that they do not stay consistent. They will sign up for a gym, find a hardcore routine, and then get burnt out by the end of the month. Exercising should not feel like a chore because you will never stick with it if you feel like you're forced to do it.
The best routine for beginners is a full body routine 3 times a week. You can find a routine online or create your own routine using body weight exercises like pull ups, push ups, squat jumps, etc. Start off by walking or jogging on the treadmill for 15-30 minutes and then move into your workout. This will help you warm up and get blood flowing for your main exercises. Be sure to stretch and record the amount of repetitions (reps) of each exercise. In order for your results to stay consistent, you should try to push your self every week by performing more reps than the previous week.
Once you feel comfortable with your full body workout, you can move into the more advanced workouts and split your routine up into an upper and lower day and then further down into a muscle group day like chest and arms one day followed by a leg day.
Sleep is important! A lot of people overlook sleep as being a contributing factor to weight loss and weight gain, but it is just as important as your diet and exercising. How many hours a day do you sleep? Is it less than 8? Studies show that if you are not getting enough sleep, you might be unintentionally contributing to your weight loss.
Your body releases hormones during sleep that help you maintain normal functions and weight loss is one of these functions. Without sleep, your body will start to feel more stressed and release stress hormones called cortisol. Cortisol has been linked with weight gain as well as a variety of other ailments.
Sleep will also help you recover quicker for your next workout. The quicker you recover, the quicker you can progress to the next stage of your workout. This creates a snowball effect, which will have you seeing progress each week until you finally achieve the body you've always wanted!
These 3 steps are very simple, but also very powerful. If you take them seriously and do your best to follow the simple guidelines, then it will be a matter of time until you're beach ready. And who knows, you might just have the best body there!