People struggle with losing weight all the time. There is no simple secret to success because everyone's body is different. The important things to remember when trying to make healthy lifestyle changes is that it takes time to achieve your goals.
Losing weight and maintaining a healthier lifestyle can help you feel more confident in yourself, give you more energy, and definitely give you a happier outlook on life.
Here are some tips to help you on your fitness journey:
1. Men vs. Women's Fitness
Okay, I'm going to get this one out of the way early. A stigma with working out seems to be that men are supposed to lift weights and women are supposed to do nothing but cardio.
However, this is definitely not the case. Strength training is beneficial to everyone, and lifting weights is important no matter what your gender.
2. Strength Training vs. Cardio
Cardio workouts like running, biking, walking, and doing elliptical training can definitely be beneficial to your body. It helps for a stronger heart and lungs, increases bone density, and even reduces stress. There's also a lower risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer. There's also proof that it can give you temporary relief from depression and anxiety.
However, you can't build your best self by doing cardio alone. Strength training is very important to any workout routine and is the best way to help you lose weight. Things like squats, deadlifts, the bench press, and pushups help you build muscle and burn body fat.
3. Create a calorie deficit.
Overeating is one of the biggest causes of weight gain. Keeping your calories in a healthy range is one of the most important things you need to keep in mind.
Of course, this doesn't mean eating as little as possible throughout the day, because that can be very unhealthy. If the average women wants to maintain her weight, she needs to consume about 2000 calories a day, whereas if she's trying to lose weight she should consume about 1500. The same goes for men. To maintain weight it's 2500, and to lose weight it's around 2,000.
With a calorie deficit, you can lose up to one pound per week!
4. Choose the right foods.
Working out and creating a calorie deficit isn't the only thing you need to do to lose weight. You also need to have a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole foods.
My absolute favourite protein is the humble egg because it can be cooked in so many different ways. Other great sources of protein are chicken, steak, greek yogurt, fish like tuna and cod. Great fruits that are great for fat loss are blueberries, apples, watermelon, bananas, and cucumbers.
The best foods for fat loss are foods that are high in protein, high in fiber, high in volume, and high in water.
5. Change the way you think about food.
To keep a healthy mindset about your weight loss journey, you need to think the right way about food. There are no "Good Foods" or "Bad Foods," there are just less nutritious and more nutritious.
Getting into this mindset will help you stop moralizing the food you eat. To make up a balanced diet, you need to include everything in your life. Just make sure the less nutritious food is consumed in lesser quantities.
6. Make exercising fun.
If you choose workouts you enjoy doing, there's a higher chance you'll stick with them in the long run.
There are a lot of different ways to spice up your workouts, like setting small daily goals, joining classes and becoming part of a community, and creating playful challenges with friends. Even little things like making an enjoyable music playlist for your workouts can give you that little boost of energy you need to keep going.
Make sure you focus on the process and not just the ending outcome.
7. Make exercise a habit.
To lose weight and keep it off, you have to make exercise a regular habit. Working yourself to death for short periods of time and then taking a month-long break won't help you gain any progress.
Making a schedule can help you get into a set routine. If you feel like you'd rather work out early in the morning, stick to this to be sure you'll keep it consistent.
Don't start out by doing too much. If you overwork yourself right in the beginning, there's no way you're going to want to go back. Being a little sore after a workout is normal, but working yourself to death can be very dangerous for your health.
Working out with friends is also a good way to make exercise a continuous habit. If people you know are into something, it's more likely that you're going to get into it, too. Plus, friends can always drag you out of bed in the morning. It's a good motivator.
8. Don't be a yo-yo dieter.
The yo-yo dieter doesn't take into account what consistency is. In the beginning, they're ready to start their fitness journey and take on the world, but then they severely cut calories and deprive themselves of all the unhealthy foods they love.
Sure, they may get temporary success, but sometimes if they're thrown off track by something serious like severe stress or anxiety, they might just say screw it and binge eat.
And then, after a while of binging, the yo-yo dieter decides they can take on the world again, and the cycle continues. Being consistent is important! Temporary success might make you feel good for a short period of time, but if you don't keep up with your training there's no way you'll be able to change your lifestyle.
9. Cheat meals are okay.
Depriving yourself of all junk food is a path that's hard to stay on. Binge eating unhealthy snacks regularly won't help you lose weight, but a cheat meal once in a while can be greatly beneficial.
Giving in to a craving every now and then isn't the end of the world. Some people think it's a bad thing to do because you'll lose all your progress, but this simply isn't true. You won't gain all your weight back by having a cheat meal once in a while. All you're doing is giving yourself a reward for all your hard work. As long as these rewards don't get too frequent, you'll still be able to stay on course.
10. Don't take yourself too seriously.
Try not to stress out if you don't lose a ton of weight right away. It's a gradual process, and although you might not see results right away, keep going and you'll be sure to meet your fitness goals.
Chill out and try not to treat your weight loss goals like they're a race! Don't let the opinions of others upset you. Set your own goals for yourself and don't compare yourself to anyone else. Even if someone is going through their own fitness journey beside you, ultimately what you do with your life is up to you.
Keep in mind that fitness is supposed to be a part of life. Be confident in yourself and stay on the path to a happier life!
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