By: Kevin Guardado NSCA-CPT
As we all know, losing weight and keeping it off can be a very challenging task. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. With persistent motivation and some guidance from knowledgeable trainers and experts, one can achieve the impossible and finally become fit for life. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating smarter and moving more, can greatly benefit your health even if the scale doesn’t move much. The key to successful weight loss is maintaining a commitment to your health for the rest of your life, looking leaner comes as a bonus.
When it comes to weight loss, we must use one simple concept: caloric intake vs. energy expenditure. To maintain weight the scale must be balanced between the calories you consume and the energy you expend. The obvious way to gain weight would be to increase your food intake (calories) and decrease the amount of exercise. Logically the only option left for weight loss would be to decrease your food intake in calories and increase the amount of exercise.
On one part of the equation, we must maintain our diet in order to tip the scale towards weight loss. In order to provide a good amount of energy to support our increased energy expenditure, we need nutrient dense foods that are low in calories yet packed with nutrients. That means eating real food! Food that is grown or raised naturally should always be the first option. That mean eating lots of fruits and vegetables, whole-grain foods, lean protein sources, low-fat dairy products and drinking plenty of water. Lastly, reducing the amount of empty calories (foods with lots of calories and very little nutrients) you consume can greatly benefit your weight loss.
The other part of the equation is to increase our energy expenditure, which means moving more! The MINIMUM should be about 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per day, which is the standard amount recommended by many health organizations. There are 3 main ways to increase energy expenditure, one is to increase the intensity (how hard the workout or exercises are), another would be frequency (how often) and lastly duration (how long the workouts are). By changing these variables you can optimize the rate at which you see your changes. Also, changing your mode (type) of exercise breaks the monotony and adds a different stimulus to your body so that it adapts to a different stress. This includes many types of resistance and cardiovascular training.
All of this would benefit you on your journey to a healthier you, but the biggest component is your personal intrinsic desire to achieve your goals. No one can make a bigger impact than yourself, that means staying motivated and committed to your weight loss plan and most importantly NOT GIVING UP!! Best wishes.