The journey to sustainable weight loss can be a daunting one, and at times it can seem like the end goal is unreachable. But with the right tools and motivation, you’ll soon realize that anyone can do it.
Those fitness professionals you see in magazine spreads and covers? They too started somewhere. Ditch the excuses and put in the work so that someday, you can have the body you’ve always deserved.
Here are some tips that can help you kickstart your healthy lifestyle:
Take note of your trouble areas
Trouble areas are perhaps one of the most frustrating things you’ll encounter in your fitness journey. That’s because the only thing that could be standing between you and your ideal beach body is that one body part that just doesn’t look right.
Look at yourself in the mirror and take note of your trouble areas that you can work on. By directing your efforts towards your lagging body parts, you can achieve a more balanced and symmetrical physique.
Develop better eating habits
Dieting plays a big part in unwanted fat. To get rid of that unwanted fat, you have to be in a caloric deficit. This means eating less than you’re burning so that your body can utilize stored body fat as fuel. By developing better eating habits, you can make changes to your body composition and improve overall health.
Burning fat isn’t just for aesthetic purposes.
A high percentage of body fat has been linked to a number of diseases including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Moreover, the likelihood of you developing these diseases increases if most of your body fat is concentrated around your midsection.
Set goals and smash them
If you think your arms are looking a little flabby, it makes sense to create a routine that consists of arm exercises, right? When creating a routine, make sure you take note of the primary and secondary muscle groups that you’re stimulating.
Some go hand in hand like chest and triceps, back and biceps, and legs and abs. Some train for performance rather than aesthetics, so speed, technique, power and endurance are top priorities.
If you don’t know how to attain your goals, it’s best to hire a professional to make a program for you. Some gyms are tailored for bodybuilding, while others are for MMA, strength and conditioning, Crossfit, etc. Find a gym that you can call home where you are around like-minded individuals.
Keep track of your progress
Your first instinct may be to ask your wife or husband if you’ve lost weight or not. That’s not the best idea especially if they see you everyday. Chances are, the changes will be too minuscule to notice, so it’s best to ask someone who only sees you two or three times a month.
Your body doesn’t drop 10 pounds overnight, so it’s going to take longer than that to see some noticeable results. The recommended rate of weight loss per week is 1 to 2 pounds to prevent muscle breakdown. By gradually losing weight, you increase the likelihood that you’ll be able to keep the weight off.
Also, you want to preserve as much lean muscle mass as possible to keep your metabolic rate up.
Measure yourself at least once a week so you can quantify your progress. Sometimes it’s not all about the weight you lose because you’re also gaining muscle when you exercise.
A common misconception is that muscle weighs more than fat. This is false; a pound is a pound regardless of the material. The difference is in the density of muscle versus fat. If you put equal amounts of muscle and fat side by side, you’ll see that fat takes up more space or volume.
Tracking your body fat percentage is a more accurate way of measuring changes in your body composition because the weighing scale could be misleading at times. Progress photos in the same clothes and lighting conditions are also great for comparing growth/reduction in muscle and fat. Keeping track of your progress shows you how far you’ve come not just physically but emotionally as well. Think of the long-term effects of eating healthy food and exercising regularly—better cardiovascular health, lower risk of developing diseases and more energy to perform.
Be patient and stay consistent
Weight loss doesn’t just entail eating less; it’s a lifestyle change.
Studies show that the success of a weight loss diet has nothing to do with macronutrient ratios, low carbs, juice cleanses or special foods. It’s all about diet adherence. What this basically means is that the best weight loss diet for YOU is whatever YOU can live with.
No one is telling you to go from a sedentary couch potato to elite level athlete overnight. What matters is that you take steps every day towards becoming a better version of yourself.
That’s ultimately what matters the most.
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