A commonality amongst many people is their want to lose weight. They try all sorts of new diets and exercise programs, but for whatever reason they find that they cannot accomplish their goals. Personally, I feel people over complicate the concept of losing weight or shaping their bodies. At the end of the day it comes down to how many calories are coming in and how many calories are going out. Diet and exercise is the winning combination to change a person’s body. That being said, if it is not done properly you may prolong or never reach your goal. The hardest part of making this change is breaking old habits and creating new ones. This is essential to be able to move forward to become one step closer to the goal. In this brief article I will present you with tips for both diet and exercise that I have found personally helped me reach my goals.
The Internet is full of people claiming to have the winning dieting strategy or meal plan to get people to their ideal weight. From my personal experience with training and dieting I have found that losing weight is all about portion and frequency of the meals throughout the day. I have never followed a specific diet that has been set in stone to help me lose weight. I have always been experimental with my body and have developed a foundation that I consistently build my diets around that keep me the shape that I want to be.
1) TIMING: Timing is everything in life. When it comes to eating I make sure I eat every 2-3 hours whether it is a snack or a meal to keep my metabolism running. The higher the metabolism the more calories you will burn during your resting period.
2) STAYING SATISFIED: The key in having the ability to eat as frequent as mentioned above is to ensure that every meal or snack that I have does not make me feel that “full” feeling. I try my best to get to the point of satisfaction instead of stuffing myself until I can’t breathe. This allows my metabolism to stay elevated, eat less calorie dense foods and prevent myself from being and/or feeling lazy.
3) TYPES OF FOODS: It is important for every meal that I have that I always incorporate vegetables, 6-8 oz of meat (size of palm) and half a cup of rice/pasta with my meals. I try to consume most of my carbohydrates earlier in the day and eliminate or have a very minimal amount of carbs during dinner. I have found that the more vegetables the better because they are nutrient dense, low in calorie and have a high fiber content that helps me feel satisfied more quickly.
4) SNACKS: Eating junk food as a snack is unacceptable if you’re trying to lose weight. Great snack options that will keep you moving without starving are anything that contains lots of fiber and are nutrient dense.
Examples: Fruits (bananas, apples, berries, grapes, etc.), vegetables with low calorie dip (carrots, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, celery, etc.), nuts, one piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and/or greek yogurt.
Remember, everything should be in moderation and these snacks should also be distributed within a reasonable amount. You should not be consuming a bag of carrots and hummus dip, thinking this will count as “dieting”.
5) DON’T FORCE YOURSELF TO FINISH: Personally, I have had difficultly in the past to finish my food no matter the state of satiety I was in. Never feel obligated to finish your meal if you cannot do so. When I make too much food and I feel satisfied before my food is completely done I will pack it away for the next day. This was personally one of my most challenging habits to adopt.
My number one advice when it comes to the gym is YOU JUST GOT TO GET THERE! You must always surpass that internal debate of whether you should or shouldn’t go to the gym. Once you get your butt to the gym you will always begin to workout whether it was a killer workout or a mediocre workout, it’s better than staying at home. My workout plans change every 6-8 weeks because my body has adapted to the stimulus the workout imposed on my body.
When it comes to losing weight the best combination of training is aerobic training combined with resistance training. Essentially I weight lift and complete cardio on the same day. The duration of both usually fluctuates, but I always make sure I get a fantastic sweat in. Just like my diet I have developed a foundation of every workout plan I create for myself that is catered to losing weight or whatever my specific goal is with respect to fitness.
1) COMBINATION TRAINING: Aerobic and resistance training during every workout. I always perform cardio (running, biking, Stairmaster, etc.) for 10-20 minutes before I begin a weight lifting regimen.
2) FREQUENCY: 4-6 times a week.
3) CARDIO DAY: Always set aside 1-2 days of a full cardio day. I usually perform 20 minutes of treadmill, stationary bike and stairmaster for a total of 60 minutes.
4) RESISTANCE TRAINING: When I’m trying to shed weight I either perform either circuit training or single free weight exercises with high repetition and low rest time. The objective is to keep your heart rate elevated to keep your body temperature up to ensure you’re burning calories. Regardless, if I’m doing individual exercises or circuit training I will always perform every exercise for 3-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.
There you go a few simple rules to follow on your journey to weight loss! Now it’s always easier said then done, but at the end of the day you must break habits to create new ones.
Thank you for reading; I hope this was informative and GOODLUCK!