Weight loss 101

I’ve started my weight loss journey almost the same way anyone else did. Running, eating less food, trying to leverage the use of myths surrounding the topic of weight loss. I’ve tried running while wearing a jacket in mid-July, deprived myself of nutrients for the bigger part of almost every day…

And the thing is, though I lost few pounds here and there, I felt miserable; truly miserable. Then, after reading couple of websites concerned with the topic of weight loss, I started learning things and realized how stupid my strategy was.

Weight loss, and achieving great looks overall, should be easy. It should be fun, and most important of all- it should be a part of your lifestyle.

Here is my strategy, the one I share with people ever since, refined after two years of implementing what I know about fitness.

How to start losing weight?

-By not focusing on the numbers at all. This might sound a little bit counterintuitive at the beginning, but bear with me. What needs to be done first thing first is a complete evaluation.

Take a pen and paper and start writing.

Write how many hours you sleep, when you wake up… Write how stressed are you during the day… Write your number of meals, quantity and quality respectably. Write the sources out of which you consume your protein, carb, and fat intake. Write all of this.

Then write every single physical activity you engage into during the week. How often do you take the stairs, how much tied behind the wheel you are? Then, after having all this written down, take the paper and compare it with what fit people do, how they eat, how much sleep they are getting, how often do they exercise and what type of workouts do they specifically engage themselves into…

Here is how a nearly ideal day should look like:

  • Get up early, eat your breakfast first thing first, take a snack two or three hours later, then lunch another three afterwards. Dinner comes around 8 or 9 PM, and you can take another snack or two in between lunch and dinner, or right after dinner.
  • Breakfast is quantitatively more than dinner, and slightly less than lunch. Carb intake is at maximum at breakfast, it goes down as you take your lunch, and is at its bare minimum at dinner. Protein, you consume equally all day long. As well as fats.
  • Protein comes from nuts, seeds, and grains, and mostly from meat and fish. Carb from vegetables and whole grain food; and fats from seeds, nuts, fish, olives, and some grains.
  • You drink water constantly throughout the day- two liters give or take.
  • You try to stress less, meditate if need be, take it as a personal task to be calm and feel comfortable. If you need to take a break while working, stretch your legs and listen to some music. Point being- you need to relax.
  • Midnight is reserved for going to bed, and then you allow yourself seven or eight hours of sleep (Remember, this is the ideal. You can pass by with six, it’s not a biggie, but we are talking about the ideal amount of hours here)

And here is the ideal when it comes to exercise on weekly basis:

  • Five to seven days a week. So you are going in the fit direction more than the other way around.
  • Do your best and forget the rest. Measurements are cool to get you motivated, but don’t force yourself into something that breeds frustration. Instead, show up each day, do the best you can. If that means running in place for 3 minutes, so be it. As long as you are trying to reach out of your comfort zone, it is all good.
  • Try to push the envelope- try your best, and then a little more every day.
  • Be consistent- if you cannot do it today, don’t abandon ship- get right back on it tomorrow.
  • Diversify- Add yoga, strength exercises, cardio
  • Keep it fun- remember it is part of your lifestyle. It is your life now- so learn to be comfortable with it. And the best way to achieve comfort is to have fun.

Start with the base

Here is a strategy I started following at the very beginning after few futile attempts at fitness.

  1. Some resistance exercises to strengthen your muscles. This should go on from two days to a week, depending on your fitness level. The intensity also depends on you as well. Try to be in your comfort zone, but push an additional second if you can muster the strength.
  2. Add flexibility. If you need a week to complete the first step, then start implementing stretches and balance moves half way through your week.
  3. After these two are over, start running. A light jog if you cannot go for more, and try to keep the distance and pace you find comfortable. Push yourself after you complete one or two days. Keep stretching and doing some strength/resistance moves. This step may last for an additional week.
  4. Then, you can start your intermediate level fitness approach by following a program. Sing up to the gym, or do some home workout DVD like P90X or Focus T25 or Insanity Max 30 – depicted in this Insanity Max 30 review, (depending on your level of fitness), or take up a specific sport and start to train.
  5. After you complete this program (again depending on what you might choose) you will then know the limits of your body. You will also know your strengths, your weaknesses, and a lot of cool stuff like your anaerobic threshold and how to push the envelope. The smart thing to do is to keep with some sort of a program (by now you will know more about what you need), and work on your weaknesses.

Weight loss is only a side result of fitness, and fitness is a style of life

As you progress with your fitness journey, you will have to pay close attention to what your body wants- more sleep, less or more food, more protein or carbs… Keep in mind that as your goals change, so does your schedule and your diet and your workout regimen. They all change as time goes by, but not by a huge stretch- they refine one bit at a time. One push-up at a time, one spoon of food at a time.

Cool sites to follow and articles to read (possibly will expand on this with another article).

http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2010/10/04/the-beginners-guide-to-the-paleo-diet/

http://www.bodybuilding.com/

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