So summer is around the corner. You might have gained some unwanted winter weight. Who didn't, right? And you want to lose 10 pounds, or maybe just get your abs to show a little bit. Who wouldn’t? You might be wondering, “Where do I start?” Here are 5 tips to get you started to a stronger and leaner you.
Tip #1 - Get active.
One of the simplest things that you can do is to get active! Let's say you eat the exact same foods in the exact same amount right now that are maintaining your weight. If you burned 250 calories a day, 7 days a week from a daily walk, you would lose ½ pound every week. Why? Because 1 pound of weight loss is worth about 3500 calories. If you can’t fit in an hour of activity, then try 20 minutes first. Then build up from there. If you still can’t get 20 minutes in because you just can’t get away from your desk, then buy a standing desk. Standing at work will burn more calories than sitting. If you’re on a call meeting, stand up, walk around the room, and do some high knees. Why? Because you're increasing blood flow and burning more calories!
Tip #2 - Eat healthier.
The next thing you can do is eat a little healthier. This doesn’t mean that you have to avoid the foods you enjoy completely (will actually depend on a case-by-case basis). If you typically eat a burger and fries for lunch most days out of the week, replace it with a steak and vegetables. The burger and fries can be up to 1500 calories. The steak and vegetables can be up to 600 calories. That’s a HUGE difference in calories. If you applied this to your lifestyle everyday and incorporated Tip #1 as well, you’d be well on your way to losing 1 to 2 pounds a week.
Tip #3 - Set a goal, then a plan.
After you set the goal, write it down and set a timeline. This will reduce your chances of failing, compared to not setting a goal at all.Tell your friends and family about it. Spread your goal. If more people know about your goals, you’ll be more motivated to stay on track. If your goal is to lose 10 pounds, set the timeline. Do you want to lose it in 2 months? 3 months? A very realistic goal is 1 to 2 pounds of weight loss per week. If the goal is toning, then you might gain muscle while losing fat, so the number of the scale might not change.
Tip #4 - Strength training and HIIT
No matter what your goal is, add some strength training into your program. Even if you’re a runner, strength training will still benefit you. Strength training has a wide array of benefits. You'll increase your lean body mass and your metabolism as well. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue. So get to it!
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is also another beneficial form of exercise. Many studies have shown that HIIT can burn more body fat than other forms of exercise. HIIT is a quick burst of intense exercise, followed by rest or low intensity work. A typical circuit would be 30 seconds of intense exercise, followed by 60 to 120 seconds of rest. This would be repeated for 15 to 30 minutes. The short duration and effectiveness of HIIT also makes it an excellent choice for people with busy schedules.
Tip #5 - Track your progress.
Tracking your progress throughout your program is not necessary to see results, but it is highly beneficial. Why? Because you’d be able to track what in your program is working and what is not. Many of my clients will track their food intake, their strength training, cardio, hydration, sleep, and even stress levels. This may seem like a lot to track, but doing so creates an efficient way to see progress and modify factors in the program.
There are hundreds of ways to get toned or lose weight. I hope these tips help narrow things down for you and your goals. If you’re still unsure about what to do and how to reach your goal, let's work together.
I have Virtual and In-Person training spots available for April 2021. Your first fitness assessment is free. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.