All I am asking of you is to try something that has worked for me, and I believe it may work for you. If you are hesitant, I understand. This is only the feeling of any human. I am not going to offer you a magic potion that will melt fat off your body. There is no such thing available. I am asking you to work a little bit to better yourself and to lengthen your life. I hope I do not sound like a "basket case" for offering you a chance at a longer and healthier life.
I have gone back in my brain and pulled out some tips that helped me to get to where I am now. I understand that everyone is different and some of these may not work for you. That is okay, because it took trial and error to fine-tune my healthy lifestyle. Please do not expect an overnight transformation into a superhuman. If you do, you will be disappointed. When I mention the words "resistance training" do not cringe.
Resistance training tends to scare some people into thinking of pain and discomfort. Done properly, such training can be injury-free. Do not think that you will wake up one day looking like a freak straight out of a magazine. This cannot happen over night either without the help of illegal drugs.
Check out the difference between the natural and non-natural competitors in bodybuilding magazines. The differences are astonishing. Now I would like to proceed with some tips that assisted me on my health adventure.
- Eat every two to three hours. These should be small meals. More frequent eating helped to increase my metabolism!
- Do not eat until you are full. This made me feel lighter and not so tired as did a full feeling.
- Go to the grocery store and find plenty of good foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and low-calorie ways to season or spice up.
- Do not get the same stuff all the time at the store. This can become very boring for you; it did for me a few times. Make sure not to bore yourself or you will want to quit.
- Never go for a long time without food because your body will start to think you are starving it and your metabolism will slow down to conserve.
- Even if you work twelve-hour days, you can still eat every two to three hours. Everyone gets breaks.
- Eat healthy as often as you can, so when there are special engagements to attend such as a cook-out, you can allow yourself to cheat. But remember not to stuff yourself.
- Drink lots and lots of fresh, clean water.
- Eliminate expensive fat-free snacks because they do not usually provide the necessary nutrients.
- Maybe for a while, prepare for the next day's meals the night before.
- If that is too much, then just pre-prepare your work meals for the day.
- Your body needs fat for proper digestion, so be sensible on the amounts that you consume. Please stay away from saturated fats! I did, and it helped me a bunch.
- There is nothing wrong with eating late at night as long as you watch your calories. For example, I will not eat a bowl of ice cream before bed, but I might eat an apple.
- Unless you live to be a calorie counter, I would not try it. In my whole weight-loss adventure, I did not count calories or weigh foods. This task would have turned me off completely!
- Just so you do not lose sight of your goal, remember, food and exercise are metabolism boosters.
- I did not like to eat in front of the TV because I would finish eating before a show was over and then feel as if I needed to keep eating until the show ended. Maybe that was just a little weakness only I had.
- If you have no clue about how to make a meal healthy, then check with a dietitian or nutritionist for guidance. This advice might cost a little, but your health is well worth it.
- If you do not want to start this task of a healthy lifestyle on your own, then do not! Try to involve someone you love or a great friend to begin this new part of your life. Do not ever feel limited as to the ways of losing fat.
- For some people, they need a little motivation. This is where a Certified Personal Trainer comes into the picture. Again, you will spend a little money, but it will be an investment to live a longer and healthier life with the people you love.
- Some people try to use meal-replacement shakes to lose weight. Some of these are good, but others are just filled with sugar and excess calories. I got my necessary nutrients from good food at the right time without the aid of health shakes. This may or may not be the route for you to take. If using shakes as a meal replacement crosses your mind, then be smart and do a little research as to the healthiest way to go.
- I did not use any diet pills to lose my weight either. That can be a dangerous area to enter without the proper research and knowledge. Pills can also become an expensive habit that could affect your moods.
- I know that sometimes you can get trapped at a fast-food restaurant and think the world has come to an end. This happened to me before I learned that you can still eat partially healthy fast food. Just look for the sandwiches that contain chicken or salads with or without chicken. You can get one of those without the fattening sauce or dressing or sometimes bread, and tide yourself over until you find a healthier meal or snack. Your metabolism keeps running and you are not starving yourself.
- If by some chance the in-laws order pizza and there is no escape, shoot for the cheese slices with no meat. If the goodies are already on top, then carefully remove them.
- I know there are some diets out there which tell you to eat minute portions of a special food only once or twice a day. I do not know whom they are designed for, but I know they are not for a healthy individual who works out on a regular basis. People who workout need more food than a lazy person who just diets. I need to eat a lot of healthy foods to replenish what my body uses for maintenance. What I am trying to say is that a diet for a slug is not the same as a diet for an exercising slug.
- When researching nutritional topics, believe only the documented studies that prove what works the best. Many beginners will listen to any vitamin or herbal company off the street and believe everything they say. Take into consideration that some companies are in it only for the money and will say or do anything to sell their products.
Get the Idea?
I hope you get the idea! This has no specific timelines or pressure. Try to do as I did and still do. Try as many of these as you feel comfortable with. Some of these may not work in an instant, but in the long run you will hopefully notice some results. These diet tips are the main ones I followed and still follow today.
There is nothing I hated worse than someone telling me to eat barely any meals or food all day and I would lose weight. I knew there had to be a better way, and there was. All I had to do was a little research.
Now I get to eat more all day, everyday, and still maintain great health and shape. The key was to eat healthy, clean foods that my body needed for proper maintenance. I hope this is not too strict for you.
Please: BEFORE IMPLEMENTING ANY OF THESE DIET AND EXERCISE TIPS INTO YOUR LIFE, CHECK WITH A PHYSICIAN FOR GUIDANCE AND APPROVAL!
Now is the time to discuss my initial workout. The exercises I used were nothing extraordinary. They were used by people in the past and still used today. My weight, as I said before, had dropped from three hundred and five pounds to two hundred and five pounds using only dieting and cardiovascular exercises.
This means I ate very little and did a whole lot of walking, jogging, swimming, and biking. These are all aerobic exercises that were strengthening my heart and lungs. This was wonderful, but as I mentioned before, I was not satisfied. I started to research and learn more about nutrition. This led me to the easy tips I wrote about earlier.
Once these were implemented into my life, I had more energy. Then I was studying resistance training. I was finding that my muscles were very weak and I needed to implement a type of resistance training into my workout routine. Doors were opened into a new realm of fitness for me.
My weight gradually started to increase, but I was looking better. The resistance training, was increasing the size of my muscles so I was burning fat constantly, all day and every day.
Now lets pause for a moment, and I will tell you that I was not becoming some huge animal, but a lean and muscular human being. I just wanted to clarify that so you would not become frightened of the increase of muscle. The cardiovascular training was and still is in use in my workouts. What changed is that it is not the focus of my workout.
Focus is now on a blend of aerobic and anaerobic (cardio and weight-training) exercise. My height and build made cardiovascular fitness alone put a lot of wear on my body. This does not mean doing just cardio is bad, but for my structure it made keeping off the fat a lot of work. The resistance training was the key to unlocking an easy way to keeping the fat off my body.
Even though my weight was down before, it did not matter. I did not look as I should. With the proper implementation of resistance training, cardiovascular training, and good nutrition, my body was able to take shape. Now, more than ever, I am finally happy with the way I look and feel. I brought my fat percentage down, way down.
Time's Running Out
There is no one right way to lose weight. I understand the concerns and the hesitancies of trying a new weight-loss program. Some people just do not have the strength to sit in a room with others and discuss their weight problems. Many get embarrassed. Many would not get embarrassed, but they would use that as an excuse. I myself always said I would never go to some sort of program and listen to some skinny "fella" tell me what to do.
The problem was that I was still getting bigger. My excuses were running out. The time came to change my attitude. Going to a program was still out of the question, but I was able to motivate myself to do a little research, which led to a program of my own. Sure, it had its faults, but it was better than what I was doing before.
By trial and error I made it run smoothly. This program, which did not force me to change my whole way of living overnight, led me to a healthier lifestyle. I did not follow the routine of some great bodybuilder. My new exercise and nutrition routines were my own. They were unique. I had learned on my own and tried a variety of techniques. The ones that showed the best results without any discomfort were the ones I implemented into a new healthier lifestyle.
All of my experiences in losing weight helped me to feel stronger inside. This success led me to getting my Personal Training Certification. My own experiences with being overweight, combined with my Personal Training Certification, are my tools with which to help others. I stopped feeling bad about myself and motivated myself to save my life.
Now I still eat a lot, but it's better food. My body gets maintenance (exercise) often and at the right times. I did not go all out as a calorie counter or a chicken-and-rice eater to get where I am today. It is not much trouble to live healthy. Many say that it is too much trouble to live a healthy lifestyle. That is only a lazy excuse.
You have the rest of your life ahead of you. If you are healthy, you will live longer, plain and simple. There are always special circumstances in which some people have some sort of physical, emotional, or mental impairments. I understand this, and I know this can limit a person to doing only so much.
Please though, if capable, try to implement some healthier habits into your lifestyle. You can extend your life with the ones you love and help prevent many sicknesses. Now is the best time!
Here are a variety of aerobic (with oxygen) exercises you may want to try:
- Swimming - A wonderful form of aerobic exercise with little to no impact.
- Walking - Easy to do anywhere or with anyone with little impact on knees. Keeping a variety in intensity and terrain will keep the body on its "tip toes"
- Jogging - This is an exercise that can put too much impact on the knees and lower back. If it does not bother you, then try it.
- Cycling - Whether indoors or outdoors, moving or stationary, this can be an enjoyable way to strengthen your heart and lungs.
- Hiking - This is a neat way to get your mind off the idea that you are exercising and enjoy nature.
- Elliptical equipment - This type of equipment takes much of the impact off of the knees and lower back, in turn giving you a wonderful way to burn fat.
- Stair-stepping machines - These have the potential to burn fat and calories and really strengthen the cardiovascular system. Be ready for a challenge!
- Surfing - Talk about a total body workout!
- Water skiing - This can be a very exciting way to burn calories and, if you are a beginner, "laugh at yourself."
- Snow skiing - Feel the crisp cool air against your face and have a great workout at the same time.
- Mountain biking - Be alert for trees, but enjoy exercising in the great outdoors.
- Rollerblading - Prepare your ankles for a shock, for they will tire quickly. This is a great cardiovascular exercise and also a strengthener of muscles from the waist - down.
- Snowboarding - Brave the cold air and at the same time strengthen your heart and lungs.
- Canoeing and kayaking - These two pleasurable activities can boost the fat-burning process and strengthen the body from the waist up.
- Step aerobics â€" It takes some coordination skills, but give this "sweat session" a try.
- Jumping rope - Now here is an exercise that can get the heart jumping (no pun intended).
- Water aerobics - Easy on the body and fun to do with or without someone else.
- Spinning classes - These are like putting stationary bikes into overdrive. Usually done with an instructor on a spinning cycle also.
- Tennis or racquetball - If you are not lazy and really play the game with some aggressiveness, you will really boost the metabolism.
- Sex - Self-explanatory!
- Cross-country skiing - Want to get that total body workout? This is it.
- Ultimate Frisbee - This combines football, soccer, and Frisbee throwing for a sport which keeps you on the move.
- Basketball - An on-the-go sport. Great for fat burning!
- Hockey - Indoor or outdoor, with ice skates or roller skates. Prepare for a lot of emphasis on the lower body and the lungs.
- Soccer - You do not see many overweight pro- soccer players, now do you?
- Speed walking - You have probably seen these people in your area. This is a great way to burn fat and calories, yet not put your legs through much agonizing pain.
Exercise Calorie Calculator!
Here are some different forms of anaerobic (without oxygen) training or resistance training:
- Sprinting - for strengthening the muscles from the waist down.
- Using your own weight for resistance training - This can involve exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, dips, crunches, pull-ups, etc. Take it easy on yourself, so you will be able to get out of the bed in the morning.
- Weight training with free-weights - There are tons of different exercises to do in this area. Exercises in this area help a beginner to learn proper form and balance.
- Weight training with cable machines - If you are scared of the free-weights, then this might be a smoother alternative.
- Weight training with plate-loaded machines or weight-stacked machines - Also a wonderful alternative to free-weights that is very controlled for safety.
- Rubber band exercises - A safe and fun way to add some variety to a workout.
Any of the exercises should be done with caution. Your workouts are very important, so do not clown around and hurt yourself. Injury will lead to time away from your body's maintenance. Be responsible. If something hurts, then stop. Keep a watchful eye on your heart rate. Steer clear of heart attacks.
Start your workouts by setting aside an hour. This routine should consist of a warm-up for five to ten minutes in which you could jog in place, walk, jump-rope, ride a bike, etc., at a moderate pace. Right after the warm-up, try to do some light stretching.
Then you can cut your aerobic and anaerobic sessions in half (cardio and resistance training). Finally and most importantly, include a cooling down process in which you could do the same as you did for the warm-up session for the same amount of time.
Beginners Full Resistance/Cardiovascular Workout Guide
Performed 3 Times Per Week With A Day Off In - Between Each Workout:
5-10 minute warm-up
20-30 minutes resistance train
20-30 minutes cardiovascular
5-10 minutes cool-down
The reason for the warm-up session is to prepare your body for shock. Your heart needs to warm-up so it will not get so much of a shock that it stops beating. The cool-down session is to help prevent soreness of the muscles and to cool the body slowly back down to its normal temperature.
All you need to do now is start! Get with a Certified Personal Trainer or another professional or knowledgeable person to guide you through a few workouts. They should show you the proper amounts of sets, reps, and weights to use when beginning your workouts.
They should also help you to understand how often you need to train each body part. If you are uncomfortable with something, ask questions. Make sure you know how to use all fitness equipment properly and always use proper form. Get motivated now and get started!
About The Author
David Gluhareff, CFT, lost over one hundred pounds from 1995-96 and became a Certified Fitness Trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association. David then built a fifty thousand dollar a year business, in a small town in Virginia, by the time he was twenty five years old. To contact David Gluhareff please go to www.trainwithdave.com.
Lisa's Fitness Tidbits For Everyone!