The Basics

6 Aug

So, I thought it’d be a good idea to start off by writing about the age old question that’s on everyone’s mind – “How do I lose weight?”

There’s always that guy in the gym who spends hours on the treadmill and never loses any weight. It can be frustrating putting in all that effort, but not getting any results. Many of us can relate.

When endless amounts of cardio just doesn’t work.

A few years ago, my friend gave me his Insanity DVDs, assuring me it worked for him. I decided to give it a try in hopes of losing weight, and completed the 60 day program. It was tough, and I dreaded every single day of it. But I soldiered on, and after completing the program, I noticed I’d become considerably leaner. However, that was all gone within a week. My athletic performance improved significantly, but I looked exactly the same as before.

So what did I do wrong? There’s a saying that goes, “Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym.”

The kitchen: where six-pack abs are made.

Simply put, the key to weight loss is ultimately in your diet. The only rule is to use more calories than you consume. Calories are essentially energy. If you expend more energy than your food provides, your body will have to turn to your fat stores for more energy. Thus, the fat burning process ensues. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Consuming too many calories does. Click here to read an interview with Alan Aragon about the different types of foods and diets, and how to go about weight loss.

In my opinion, the best way to go about losing weight is to first practice portion control. Most people don’t know how much they’re eating. But with today’s technology, it’s not all that difficult. First, you need to know how much you should be eating. A simple app like MyFitnessPal on your mobile will tell you how many calories your body uses at rest (otherwise known as your Basal Metabolic Rate), how many calories you should be consuming in a day depending on your goals, and even calculate the amount of calories you’re consuming each day. It’s convenient, free and surprisingly comprehensive.

“What happens if I don’t eat anything at all?”

Of course, starving yourself isn’t advisable either. Your body won’t be getting the nutrients it needs. Also remember that you want the weight you’re losing to be fat, and not muscle.For weight loss to be safe, and manageable so you don’t end up binging every few days, you should consume about 10-20% calories below your BMR. This should also be incorporated with regular cardiovascular exercise and strength training.

Don’t be disheartened by lack of results. Lou Schuler explains in this article how genes affect how effective one’s weight loss is. It is important to set realistic goals and expectations for yourself. Weight loss requires a great deal of patience and commitment. As long as you keep good nutrition and stick to your exercise regime, it will happen for you.

Good luck!

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