I have always been a weight yo-yoer. It has its good and bad points – I know when I put a bit of weight on over the Christmas period I can lose it fast, but it also unfortunately means I also put it back on fast if I’m not careful. Many others face the same struggle, or even find it hard to lose their desired weight. With too many temptations and expensive gym costs, it’s not hard to slip up, but it’s not until recently I have found ways to lose weight and keep it off, whilst actually enjoying it. This week I thought it may be useful to share my experience.The first thing you need, and the most essential is motivation. You can take all of the steps of buying the healthy food, or joining a gym, but if you’re not dedicated enough to be actually going to the gym and working hard, or eating healthily without giving in easily to temptation, it won’t work. I know from experience that this is difficult, but one way this can be tackled is by setting yourself a suitable goal. My goal this time was the 5K race for life. Not only do I need to be in a decent shape to complete this, but it is for a good cause, and without working hard to complete it, I would not only be disappointing myself, but an important charity. This has helped me to stay focused on my targets.
If you’re like me who finds working out alone in the gym quite intimidating, or you get lost for what to do resulting in short, low intensity sessions, join a gym with classes included. Not only does this save you money, but it gives you more of a push and intensity whilst working out. I was rather sceptical about the classes, but after having a date set to reach my target by, I knew I had to step-up, and I have no regrets. Up to now I have completed combat classes, pump classes, fat burn, and yoga. My favourite for a bit of fun is combat. Although after my first time I was rather achey, I have became hooked, and it is becoming more of a hobby than a workout. I started out with this class alone weekly, and worked my way up to completed a second class – pump. This class works on muscle, which is important to focus on during weight loss. By doing a combination of cardio and strength, it really works well together. It is important not to push yourself too hard. Work your way up at a healthy pace. I have also recently began taking Fat Burn classes, which as it says, is great for fat burning! The classes are very supportive and you can take it at your own pace – if it is too much, take a few seconds out and continue. I have never felt pressured during classes or intimidated and neither should you. Everyone starts somewhere and whether it means you’re using smaller weights than the others, or struggling slightly, don’t give up, you will get there!
The final class I have been attending, I find to be more of a chilled out session after the more intense classes. During weekends, I take a yoga class. If I’m aching, I find this class to be relaxing and soothing, whilst still burning a few calories by doing so. Unlike the other classes with loud motivational music, I find yoga ends my week on a peaceful note.
Another tip I can give is don’t be afraid to work on muscle. As mentioned previously, muscle workouts are great for fat burning, as they increase your metabolism, hence burning more calories through the day. Although not a major instant increase, the more muscle you build, the more calories your body will burn. It is also good for adding a bit of a variety to your work outs, rather than focusing on the same things.
If you don’t already have one, purchase a diary and a pedometer. Since beginning my dieting, I look at how many calories are needed to be consumed daily for my weight and height to lose my desired weight. I will then write down a balanced meal plan for each day within my targeted calorie count. It is important that you stick to a healthy balanced diet. Many people avoid foods containing such things as fats, but believe it or not, fat is an important part of your diet. If you are unsure of what food categories and grams of certain food types you should be consuming, I have found apps installed on my phone to be very helpful. Such apps will guide you with healthy goals for your height and weight, set you a reasonable overall weight target, as well as logging how many calories you have eaten whilst as informing you of how many you have left for the day (including calories earnt from exercise). Depending on your phone, some apps will include a step recorder. It will work the same as a pedometer, and tell you the distance you have walked. The average target for weight loss is 10,000 steps daily. If you don’t already reach this goal, try and go for longer walks. Whether walking a small distance you usually would go in the car, or getting off a stop early on the bus, it really does count towards burning calories.
My final advice is to try to exercise during the morning. By doing this, your metabolism will be increased for the day, therefore, throughout the day you will already be burning off more calories. I also find this refreshing as it wakes me up and I feel lively and prepared for the day.
So for those looking to lose weight, good luck, and make sure you stay focused!
Written by Christina Cooper.