Tips to Lose Weight & Get Fit
Back in April, we posted an article for people with naturally fast metabolisms providing them Tips to Gain Weight & Get Fit. Today’s follow-up post in this series is for those who have slow metabolisms and wish to lose weight and get stronger!
The best way to achieve your health goals is to work with nature. Not only do we all have biological systems that function in a universal way across all humans, we also have personal differences we must learn about so we can work with these, too.
This is where a knowledgeable personal trainer comes in handy. But if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, here are some general tips in…
How to Go From Fat to Fit
Like we said in the first post of this series, being fit means building a strong cardiovascular system and lean muscle mass. Because you have excess weight to shed and a slow metabolism, your mission is to burn more calories than you consume and increase your metabolism.
Fat to Fit Workouts
If you’ve got over 25 pounds to lose, we suggest you focus on increasing balance, stability and cardio. Depending on your fitness level and particular goals, when you’re speed walking, cycling, swimming or doing whatever activity fits your fancy to work your heart, aim for 70% – 80% of your maximum heartrate.
Interval training will help you out a lot, too. For instance, try speed walking for 5 minutes and light jogging for 1 minute, then go back to speed walking for another 5 minutes and repeat the cycle for a total of 30 minutes.
When your weight-loss goals are substantial, we find that cardio is more helpful than strength-training. However, you should be doing some strength-training, too. First, it builds confidence because heavier set people don’t realize how strong they actually are until they are tested. And secondly, lean muscle mass increases your metabolism, so you’re burning calories even when you’re resting, as in while you’re reading a blog post like this one!
When you’re strength-training, aim for less rest between sets, as you want to keep your heart-rate up to about 60% of your maximum levels. Your goal is to stay in the “fat-burning” range of your heart-rate zone throughout your workout. Your personal trainer can help with this but if you don’t have one, we suggest calculating your target heartrate before undertaking a workout program and invest in a heart-rate monitor.
Fat to Fit Foods
Your nutrition is just as important and your physcial activity, if even more so. And again, it’s very personalized to you and your goals, so a personal trainer can help greatly here, too. Here are a few important, general tips you can follow on your own:
- Choose whole foods. Avoid packaged and processed foods that have little to no nutrition and that actually strip your body of nutrients for digestion. Instead, opt for more healthy fats (avocado, nuts and olive oil, for instance), lean protein (like chicken and fish), grains (like brown rice), fruits and veggies (e.g. sweet potatoes).
- Buy protein powder or shakes that have extra protein and calories for your post-workout recovery fuel.
- Cut out dairy. We suggest you focus on a well-balanced diet but cut out the dairy. We’ve seen amazing results with clients after they take this suggestion. The theory behind it is that we’re the only mammal that consumes milk from another mammal, and we haven’t the digestive capabilities for doing so.
So there are a few tips for your diet, but we also have some tips in HOW to eat!
- Eat less and more often! Decrease your overall caloric intake with smaller portion sizes but eat more often. You should have 3 meals a day, plus small snacks so you’re eating every two to three hours.
- Watch expenditure vs. intake. If you’re inactive during the day, be aware of this and consume less calories. If you workout and you’ve done gardening, laundry and cleaned the house, you need to consume more calories for the food energy. Just be careful of how much you eat because you still want to consume less than what you burn.
- Practice eating until you’re satisfied, not full. In our society of humongous portions, many of us have created a habit of finishing what’s on our plate and eating until our bellies are full and bloated. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on tips to eat until you’re satisfied.
Let’s recap on all this information: Focus more on cardio, less on strength-training; stay within your fat-burning heart-rate zone; eat smaller portions but more often; and really be aware of your calorie intake as well as eating until you’re satisfied, not full.
Do you have any tips we didn’t cover here on how to lose weight and get fit?