Fit For Life: 3 Steps To Losing Weight While Getting Fit
Saturday, July 27, 2013
#1: Change Nutrition Habits
#2: Start Moving
#3: Progression on #1 and #2
Yes, these three steps are not glamorous, and not complicated, but they will take you where you want to be–which is fitter, and at an ideal weight–for you. To lose weight (and get fit), you need to start with both mental and physical toughness. Lastly, you need to set goals.
If you follow these three steps, you can expect to lose 2-3 pounds per week until you reach your ideal body weight. At that point you will look and feel so much better, it becomes effortless–and you have not only reached that weight goal, but you have established new habits–habits that you have now adopted towards a healthy way of living. I don’t believe in quick fixes, pills, packaged food, liquid diets, point system etc. I do believe in motivation, in wanting “it” badly, and in having the discipline to change for the better. Saying that, let’s start with the three steps.
Step #1: Change your nutrition habits.
For more people who are overweight, this will mean close to an overhaul of your nutrition program. First, we start by changing the quality of your foods. If you eat potato chips, we use organic corn chips. If you eat a commercial yogurt, we swap for an organic/biodynamic farm yogurt, with live cultures. We switch conventional vegetables and meats for organic. The reason we do this is that our bodies work more efficiently when we detox from elements such as cheap vegetable and canola oils, overly processed dairy, nitrates, corn syrup, soy, wheat, and other GMO fillers, as well as pesticides that cause major inflammation in the body. This step is by far more important than counting calories (which is the third progression after eliminating certain foods).
Step #2: Get moving.
Try to move more whenever you can. Take the stairs if you are only going a few flights, park further away from the door or where you are going, take a walk in your neighborhood, or during lunch time at work, etc. It is important to move to keep your system working properly to help blood flow to extremities, release endorphins, stimulate digestion, release free radicals, and improve sleep as well as burn calories and feel more energetic. This is your body’s jump-start for many of you if you have been sedentary too long. You do not have to join a gym or do anything too strenuous at this point. This is to get the body acclimated to movement. If you do too much, you could get excessively sore or injured, and that will only discourage you and give little incentive to follow through on your program. That's why I believe in progressions. Start small, make attainable goals that you can reach, log your progress, and after a while, it will become almost automatic.
Step #3: Progression on #1 and #2
Focusing on exercise and nutrition are the only ways to lose weight and keep it off, but you will need to expand and make adjustments to your program when you reach plateaus. After a while your body adapts to the changes you are making, so we need to make progressions. Some examples of progressions for your eating plan–after you make the quality change, it's time to eliminate more processed foods. Even though it says organic and gluten free, many of these foods are highly processed, and the less you eat the better. Make the transition to whole foods exclusively. The next thing to do when you reach a sticking point is calorie control. Everybody has different requirements and needs so you need to play with portion sizes. By this point you should have a good understanding of your body's needs, and how it reacts to dietary changes, so make some adjustments. Progression in exercise is endless. You can move from mild to intense by adding heavier loads and training faster. Go from walking to strength training to super setting to metabolic training to sprinting, etc. This requires some common sense so you do not over do it. The best advice I can give on this one is to feel it out and listen to your body, train within your limits, but also push yourself. If still confused, hire a professional. Personal trainers can work with you on making your workout program adjust so your body doesn’t acclimate to it, and some trainers have the expertise to also work with you on your nutrition changes. Losing weight and getting fit might not be “easy”, but it is simple–1, 2, and 3.
- Fit For Life: 5 Questions to Ask a Personal Trainer
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- Matt Espeut’s Fit For Life: Are You Skinny-Fat?