This is the season for a lot of things, and getting in shape is no exception. With the hustle and bustle of New Year’s Resolutions and the summer weight loss plan, there couldn’t be a more perfect time to create an extreme weight loss plan and kick it into high gear!
There are many things that cause us to wake up and realize the body we’re living in isn’t the healthiest of bodies. Stress, especially this time of year, can lead to overeating and increased cortisol- both of which are not conducive to getting or staying fit. Being overwhelmed with balancing all aspects of life- work, kids, home, school, etc., can also cause us to under eat or fly through a drive-thru without thinking twice.
There are a plethora of factors that can throw our healthy habits off track or just completely off the radar.
When we shed just even a small amount of weight, we reap a ton of health benefits. Our chances of developing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease drops. We are less likely to suffer from sleep apnea. Our blood pressure drops and we feel better about ourselves. Energy increases as we become more active and we produce more feel-good hormones when we exercise.
No matter how you slice it, medical or physical, the benefits of working out and losing weight are plentiful.
So with that said, it’s time to begin the journey that will ultimately change your life…are you ready? Let’s get started
5 Steps To Ensure A Solid Foundation For Successful Weight Loss
Once you decide to start taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle, it’s important to follow certain criteria in order to ensure success. From experience, the following things are what I think are imperative to any successful weight loss plan:
Set Reasonable Goals
If you have 50 pounds to lose, don’t plan on losing it all in two months. Losing 1-2 pounds a week is reasonable and maintainable, but not much more than that. So if you want to lose that 50 pounds, plan on doing so over a course of 6-7 months instead. This will not only be much easier for you to maintain if you drop at a steady rate, but it will also be a much healthier approach.
Remember that it took some time for you to get to where you are today. So don’t expect to see progress happen magically, and don’t get discouraged when things are taking longer than you hoped or anticipated. The most maintainable results are those that are achieved in a healthy fashion and not in a crash-diet style.
Acknowledge Mistakes and Move Forward
In the perfect world, we’d never fall off track or make mistakes, but that’s just not reality. There will be times where you will experience setbacks- you’ll sneak in a slice of cake, skip a workout, find yourself at a McDonald’s drive-thru. The only time mistakes will make a dent in your progress is if you let one turn into ten. Acknowledge it happened, understand the trigger, forgive yourself and move on.
Share your Goals
We tend to feel most accountable when others around us know what we’re working towards. For example, if you tell your coworkers about a weight loss goal, you’ll be less likely or at least think twice before having dessert at a company luncheon. You may even be able to find support groups in your community where other individuals with common goals meet.
Celebrate Small Accomplishments
Let’s go back to the example of wanting to lose 50 pounds. Perhaps part of your weight loss plan is to start working out, something you’ve never really stuck to doing. Set a goal of working out three days a week for a month straight and make your 6 week weight loss plan. Once you accomplish that, reward yourself with something non-food-related, like a trip to the spa or a new gym outfit. It’s the small steps that get us to the finish line, so celebrate them!
PLEASE NOTE****Seek Medical Clearance First
People tend to think they only need to be cleared by a doctor before exercising if they have a known medical condition or old injury, but that’s not necessarily the case.
Oftentimes the majority of exercise-induced injuries are a result of an unknown heart condition of some sort in combination with vigorous exercise. It’s not a bad idea anyway to see your doctor for an annual checkup or physical for general well-being purposes.
Busting 5 Common
WEIGHT LOSS MYTHS
There are many myths about fat loss out there that could derail you before you even begin. Recognizing what they are can go a long way toward helping you reach your own fat loss goals. Here are 5 myths about losing fat you need to ignore.
1. Diets Don’t Work
Sure they do!
Practically all diets work, at least in the short term. And diets should only be for the short term.
You can take off the excess weight pretty quickly with an effective diet.
But you KEEP the weight off with a LIFESTYLE change!
People go on a diet, lose weight, and go back to what they were doing before, which is how they added all that extra fat in the first place.
Then they blame the diet for not working. It’s not the diet, it’s the lifestyle!
2. Going Extremely Low-Calorie is Bad
Going very low calorie, and even outright fasting can be an extremely effective way to lose weight quickly, as you get a bigger calorie deficit and force the body to burn fat for energy.
But it has to be done the right way. You can’t go extremely low-calorie for a long stretch at a time, maybe just a few days here and there to kickstart the metabolism.
3. I Just Want To Tone Up
I’ve always hated this one. There is no such thing as getting toned. You can build muscle and you can burn fat. That’s it.
What most people call toning up is burning away fat while preserving lean muscle. You don’t want to lose muscle along with the fat or you’ll just be a smaller version of your fat self, or what we call skinny fat.
4- Light-Weight High-Rep Training Is The Best Way To Burn Fat
It can be effective, if done correctly. But if you don’t work hard, you won’t see results.
The BEST training style for fat loss is a mix of heavier training, to preserve mass and strength, and lighter, high-rep training that focuses on Lactic Acid accumulation.
When Lactic Acid accumulates in the body, this changes the acidity (the pH) in the bloodstream. Your body reacts to this by secreting Growth Hormone, which is a potent fat-burning and muscle-preserving hormone.
5. You Can Never Eat Your Favorite Foods Again
Just not true. Of course, you can. Can you eat whatever you want, whenever you want? No, but that doesn’t mean you can never have ice cream, or pizza, or potato chips again.
Keep these five fat loss myths in mind when beginning your weight loss journey and you can get better results from your training and nutrition programs.
Now we’ve busted those common myths, it’s time for figuring out a game plan of just exactly how you’re going to start living a healthier life.
Nutrition Tips To Burn More Calories Starting Today!
When trying to lose fat and build some muscle so you can reshape your body, it helps to find simple tricks to eliminate or burn more calories, whether it’s through your workout program, or through your nutrition plan.
Here are five simple nutrition tips that will help put your body in fat-burning mode. This will help you get even more out of your workout plan, helping you make even faster progress.
1. Eat More Vegetables
Simple sure, but how many people really do it? Try mixing and matching fresh vegetables for variety. Besides the numerous health benefits, most veggies are full of fiber, which will fill you up, as well as burn more calories than eating other foods.
Yes, frozen vegetables are just fine. In fact, frozen fruits and vegetables have shown to be more likely to hold their nutrient value versus fresh because of things like the time they sit after being picked before you have them at home and eat them.
2. Go Ahead And Snack
Just snack on good stuff, like raisins, nuts (especially almonds), veggies and most fruit. Not dried fruit, though. Have you ever looked at the calorie count and ingredients of most mixed nut and fruit “trail mix” products? It’s not pretty!
3- Speaking Of Nuts, Add Nuts To Your Yogurt And Salads.
Chopped nuts make a great alternative to “breaded” style garnishes like croutons.
4- Specific Food Combinations Can Help To Burn Calories By Ramping Up Your Metabolism.
Eat carbs that are rich in fiber. They take longer to digest and you will feel “fuller” for longer periods of time.
Along with carbs rich in fiber, take in more protein. Your body burns more calories when you eat protein than it burns to digest either fats or carbohydrates.
Eating more protein to burn fat was confirmed in a study published in the American Journal of Physiology.
One group was fed a high protein diet (just over one gram per pound of bodyweight per day) 30 day weight loss plan while the second group consumed a protein diet near equal to that of the RDA.
The group eating the high protein diet burned more fat than the group consuming protein near equal to the RDA.
Want to burn fat or build muscle? Get lots of fiber and protein.
Eating protein also helps to prevent muscle loss while dieting, which can help prevent the slowing of your metabolism.
5- Yogurt Can Help You Lose Weight While Protecting Muscle.
A study of overweight people who ate three servings of yogurt daily for 12 weeks lost 22% more weight, 61% more body fat, and 81% more abdominal fat than people who ate a similar number of calories but no dairy products.
Make sure to get yogurt with real fruit and no added sugar. Or, get plain yogurt and add your own berries to it.
Yogurt is also an easy and convenient snack and contains high quality protein as well.
Put these five tips into practice and your new muscle-building, fat-burning machine (your body) will reward you for it.
Basic Food Group Guidelines
These are real meats, not sandwich meats filled with unhealthy additives like nitrates. And forget the glaze for the ham!
|Olives||Peppers: green, yellow, red|
|Orange||all types of Brown Rice|
|Green Beans||Black eye Peas|
|– Udo’s Choice Oil Blend||– Coconut Oil|
|– Flaxseed Oil||– Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, and trout|
|– Fish Oil Capsules||– Natural Peanut Butter|
|– Olive Oil||– Nuts and Seeds like Almonds Macadamia Oil|
This is a partial list. As far as fruits, get fresh fruits, or frozen fruits without added sugar. For canned fruit, it should be in water or its own natural juice.
As far as vegetables go, raw, canned, or frozen with no added salt, lightly cooked or raw.
Keep in mind, that these are not complete lists and your selections will vary based on total caloric needs, total protein needs, etc. Not to mention your taste buds. If you don’t eat meat, that’s okay. You can get adequate protein from vegetable sources, especially a variety of beans and legumes, such as pinto beans, black bean, lima beans, etc
Stay away from all processed foods. I can’t stress this enough. Processed foods play a huge role in obesity as well as many other health problems such as diabetes.
Consider staying away from all-white carbohydrates, as well. At the very least minimize them by only allowing yourselves these treats once in a while such as on a rewarding day.
White carbohydrates include bread, rice, potatoes, cereal, pasta, fried food with breading, tortillas, and anything else white that falls under this category.
A Day Of Healthy Eating
Sometimes we get stuck on ideas and just don’t know what to eat. We may have all the choices but actually seeing a healthy eating plan is a different thing altogether.
In the following set menu for the day you will see a structured eating plan without being restrictive. Always remember to get in at least 10 glasses of water throughout the day. Feel free to use as-is and then supplement one choice for something else. The key is consistency and persistence.
1/2 cup Natural Oatmeal (can add cinnamon and a few
berries [strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry,
3 Egg Whites to every Whole Egg
Raw Almonds or Cashews
Chicken Breast (Garlic & Pepper Seasoning & chopped onions)
Salmon or Tuna (chopped in a salad if you prefer)
Large Chopped Salad (onion, peppers, broccoli, tomato, cucumber, macadamia oil, and vinegar)
Raw Almonds or Cashews
Now we have seen a healthy eating plan in action, it’s time to start getting active and adding an exercise program into the mix to supercharge your weight loss and increase your health and jumpstart your weight loss plan.
Let’s get active!
Start Exercising To Incinerate Body Fat
It’s important to decide what type of working out you want to engage in lifting weights, dancing, swimming, biking, etc.
It’s important that whatever you choose, you choose something that you enjoy doing, to increase your chances of sticking to it. If, for example, you choose weight lifting, you could start off with a workout that looks something like this:
- 3 days a week, lift weights
- Each time, do a full-body workout
- Begin with stretches and some cardio to warm up
- Do 3 sets of 8-12 reps of one exercise per each body part (i.e. shoulders, hamstrings, biceps, abs, etc.)
- Stretch as part of a cool-down routine
If you decide to do just cardio instead as a starter, you could do something like this:
- 3 days a week, do cardio
- Each time, you can either do the same form of cardio or switch it up (i.e. elliptical trainer, treadmill, bike)
- Begin with stretches and some very easy, slow-paced cardio to warm up
- Workout for 15-30 minutes, depending on your ability level
- Stretch as part of a cool down routine
It’s important to start off slow and gradually build up. With weight lifting, you can add more weight to your lifts as you progress.
With cardio, you can add more time to your sessions as you progress. You don’t want to jump in your head deep and not have anywhere to progress to or overtrain and get burnt out. Baby steps are key when starting a workout program.
Once you reach your initial goal, you may find yourself getting another one, and that’s great. It’s important to
always have something to work towards or look forward to. When you are able to view fitness, health, and wellness as a journey and not just a destination, you will find it much more enjoyable.
Making Lifestyle Changes That Will Help Maintain Your Weight Loss Forever
While New Year’s may be the trigger for your resolution-setting, motivation-gaining lifestyle change, it’s important to understand that being well is a 24/7/365 job.
By finding ways to stick to fitness and find your best way to jumpstart weight loss, by partaking in physical activities you love, and eating foods that are not only healthy but that you enjoy, you will find yourself on a path to a much healthier life.
Believe in yourself and your capabilities and before
you know it, you’ll be blowing past those New Year’s Resolutions and into even healthier territories.
So in saying that, the following things will help you incorporate health into your daily lifestyle so you are living it every day of your life rather than a fly-by-night fad.
Denying yourself from eating sweets ever again in your whole life just isn’t fun, let’s face it. Allow yourself treats in moderation. If you want a cupcake, have one, just have it after a hard workout. Plan smart and you’ll still be able to enjoy what you love without derailing your progress or maintenance.
Expand your Palate
Try different foods on a regular basis. You may find that the broccoli you despised as a kid is actually now one of your favorite vegetables. Keep your taste buds on their toes and incorporate new healthy foods to keep things from getting boring.
Drink Lots of Water
Often times we think we’re hungry when we’re actually just thirsty. In addition to staving off hunger, drinking water helps regulate body processes and keeps skin hydrated. If you’re a coffee or tea lover, be sure to drink equal amounts of water per ounce of coffee or tea. So, if you have an 8 ounce serving of coffee, also drink 8 ounces of water.
Eat Small, Frequent Meals
Eating regularly on your 60 day weight loss plan helps control and maintain blood sugar, so you won’t have any sudden drops or spikes, which often signal us to eat. Cortisol, the stress hormone, also rises after we don’t eat for a few hours. Have small, healthy snacks with you wherever you go to avoid finding yourself inhaling a Big Mac.
Be a Picky Diner
Don’t be afraid to ask for modifications to menu items when dining out at restaurants. If you order vegetables, ask that they be cooked in olive oil, not butter. Ask for half of your entrée to be boxed before it’s even brought out. Ask for sauces and dressings to be served on the side instead of on the dish or salad. There are tons of calorie traps lurking at restaurants, but if you’re smart, you can work your way around them.
If you incorporate these little lifestyle tips now, you will be well served in your future health.
Well, we’ve reached the end of our super-simple guide to kickstart your weight loss journey successfully and how to jumpstart weight loss, hope you’ve picked up some great tips that will ensure long-term healthy weight loss. Get started today!
BONUS – The Secret To Cardio Training That Could Double Your Results… IN LESS TIME!
Traditional long form cardio is getting bashed all over the place nowadays.
It’s not my favorite form of exercise either, nor do I think it’s the best option for fat loss and overall health and fitness.
At least not if that’s all you’re doing.
But cardio can definitely be effective and have its own place as part of a well-designed fitness program.
Cardio should be one component of your program, not the only component.
Then the question that gets asked a lot is, “if I’m training for fat loss, when should I do my cardio, before or after my weight training session?”
Great question! You’re on a roll! Oh, wait! That’s just the same question asked again!
So, weights then cardio, or cardio then weights?
The answer is… Weights then CARDIO!
So why resistance training first?
For starters, if you do cardio first, your weight training performance (and results) will suffer.
Here’s dirty little secret cardio bunnies and makers of “aerobics” DVDs don’t want you to know.
Intense, high quality weight training is MORE effective for taking fat off and keeping it off than cardio!
Hit the weights while you’re fresh, then move to your cardio. Yes, of course, you can do a few minutes of a general warm-up if you need it.
By hitting the weights first, you’ll also deplete your glycogen stores, leaving your body primed and pumped to dip into its stores of excess body fat to fuel the cardio portion of your workout.
The flip side of that is that fat is not an efficient fuel for weight training. Glycogen is the preferred source of fuel for short, intense muscle contractions.
By hitting the weights first, you’ve allowed your body to have the preferred muscle fuel available and primed it to burn fat as soon as you start your cardio. NICE!
If you want to be efficient and MAXIMIZE your results, it’s strength training first, then cardio!