How do you get started? It looks like you already have. The simple fact is that you can change your life by changing your mind. Nothing is impossible for the willing mind! We all have the power to gain control of our lives, reach our goals, and live our dreams. The challenge is locating, nurturing, and believing in your ability to do so.
You’ve worked out before, and you have some experience with eating right. But now you’re ready to take things up a notch and get the body you’ve always wanted. Here’s what you should do:
1. Clean the crap out of your cupboards.So you think you know how to eat healthfully? Let’s see…how many boxes of crackers and bags of chips do you have lying around? How often do you cook white rice or refined pasta? Processed foods contain more endocrine disruptors (Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in humans) than you can shake a stick at, and youwant them out of your life.
2. Replace it with whole foods. Fresh, whole foods like vegetables, fruits, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains should be the focus of your diet.
3. Get on board with strength training. Let me guess: Whenever you’ve tried to lose weight in the past, you’ve done cardio…and more cardio, and more cardio. Cardio is great (in fact, I encourage it as “extra credit” toward weight loss), but it doesn’t help you maintain metabolism-boosting muscle and it doesn’t burn as many calories as circuit-training.
4. Know your target heart rate. To get the maximum calorie burn in the shortest possible time, I recommend exercising at a high intensity — 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. To find out your target heart rate just visit this site:
5. Keep track of what you eat. The formula for weight loss is simple: You need to burn more calories than you eat. That means you need to be aware of how many calories you put into your body so you can stay on track. I personally keep a food diary. I record everything that goes in my mouth. Pretty much if you eat it, record it. I like the old fashion way, just writing it in a food journal, but I know many people who use Apps on their smart phones. Apps such as “My Fitness Pal” and “Lose It” Both these apps have thousands of foods that have already been added with their nutrition information.
6. Evaluate your habits. If you’ve tried to lose weight before but weren’t successful, ask yourself what was standing in your way. Are you an emotional eater? Do you take an all-or-nothing approach that sets you up for failure? What I’ve done in the past is keep record of when you eat when NOT hungry. I mean, if you get stressed out and find that you’re turning to food, write it down. Write down the date/time and how you’re currently feeling. This will help you realize how you’re feeling when you turn to food. It’ll help evaluate if you’re actually hungry or if you’re hunger is triggered by something else.
The first thing you need to understand is how your emotions and your behaviors affect your weight. You need to commit all your mental resources toward change. Learn how to take control of negative self-image and poor self-esteem through journaling, positive affirmations, visualization, and behavior-modification techniques. It’s also important to build a support system and communicate with your family and friends so they know what you need and how best to support you. Identify temptations and “trigger foods” (foods that you have a hard time controlling) in your life so you can modify your daily routine and behavior. Next, you must learn how and what to eat. Learn how to make healthier choices and find out what the right types of foods are for your individual metabolism. Then educate yourself about calories. How many is your body burning daily? How many are in the foods you are eating? How many do you burn when you exercise? Starting to get the picture? Weight loss is simple math. A pound is 3,500 calories — so to lose a pound you will need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in. It’s “calories in” versus “calories out.”
This is where the exercise comes in. Exercise is the best way to get those “calories out” and burn fat. Get yourself acquainted with exercise. Find out the most effective ways to work out in order to burn the most calories. It’s also important to learn where your heart rate should be when doing resistance training and cardio, the proper form and purpose for each exercise you perform, and how to modify and progress your fitness routine to prevent plateau.