About a year ago I came to a conclusion: I didn’t want to be overweight any longer. I had gone from 145 pounds to 198 in about five years. I had become someone had I hated and decided to make a change. I was going to try to seriously lose weight.
I made lots of mistakes in the beginning and hopefully you can learn from those mistakes. I began to run on the treadmill daily for thirty minutes, but not at a fast enough speed. I also added some other cardio as well, but that was only an additional ten to fifteen minutes. Now, I’m not saying a forty-five minute workout won’t work for you, but at the pace I was doing it, it wasn’t substantial enough. I was only burning around five-hundred calories a day, at least I thought.
I also cut out sugars as much as possible and hardly drank pop, if at all. I stuck with water and green tea, which are both great at boosting your metabolism. I also began to eat smaller portions, as well. The hardest thing was cutting back on beer. Beer gave my the beer belly in the first place and was my worse enemy.
My exercise regimen went on for about six weeks and I had lost four pounds. It was a step in the right direction, but I needed to see more improvement. It was then I began to research more on how to find a workout that would give me the best results.
One of the most important facts I learned was that to lose a pound, you need to burn 3500 calories. The actual quote in regards to calories and pounds is:
A pound of body fat equates to approximately 3500 calories. So if you have a calorie deficit of 500 calories(meaning that you burn 500 calories more than you eat each day) you would lose approximately one pound per) More information on this can be found at http://www.caloriesperhour.com/tutorial_pound.php
Now, as I mentioned earlier I was burning what I thought was 500 calories a day, but I was off on that. I had found a calories burned calculator and I was only actually burning around 400 calories, which means instead of burning the 3500 needed to lose a pound in a week, it was going it take me an additional two days. Changes had to be made.
I then added a bike ride to my plan and would ride about fifteen miles a day (which is now up to twenty to thirty miles day). When I can no longer bike ride, I’m doing six and half miles on the treadmill. In the year I went from 198 to 170. I will be honest though, losing weight in the summer has been much more difficult to do because of BBQ’s and Beer, but I continue the workout and fluctuate around 170-175, but my goal weight is 160. I’m getting closer to my goal weight, so lets get you closer to yours.
I believe that weight loss and confidence go hand in hand. Losing weight isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would be skinny and or in shape. Its something that you have to want for yourself and you will have work hard for. If you can find someone to workout with, that is always a bonus. Its good to have someone who can push you and strives for the same goal.
There are many different approaches you can take to losing weight. You can go with just dieting to lose the weight, which can work for alot of people, but when doing that, you really have to stick to the diet. That’s why I think working out along with a decent diet can provide the weight loss you are looking for.
There is a great program online that can help guide you in your weight loss quest. Its a site by Discovery Health and its called the National Body Challenge. You go to the site and sign up and provide your weight and other details. It will then give you a challenge weight to get to in a certain amount of time. Another cool thing is that they have videos you can workout to. It keeps track of the calories you have burned. You can also add your own work out and time to find out the additional calories burned. If you are looking to diet, it also has option where it will provide a daily menu for you. You just need to cook it. Best of all, its free.
There are also forums where you can talk to other people about losing weight as well as other ideas about working out. You also add your weight daily or weekly and it charts your progress. Its definitely something I recommend. You can can register for the National Body Challenge here http://health.discovery.com/national-body-challenge/national-body-challenge.html
Now when you’ve decided you want to work out, you have to decide on whether or not a gym membership will work for you. I’m lucky to have a treadmill at home, but I would love to have access to an elliptical or stationary bike during the winter months. If you can afford a gym membership, then I’d say do that. The gym membership forces you to go and workout. I know for some people, they get the membership, hit it hard for a few weeks, figure they skip a day and fail to return. The end result is that you don’t lose weight, but your wallet loses the weight of the cash you are just throwing a way for a monthly membership fee. Before making the commitment to the gym, make the commitment to yourself.
The hardest thing for me was pushing myself through the first few weeks. Once I got through those it just became commonplace for me. I knew I was going to do some sort of workout for sixty to ninety minutes a day—rain or shine, hungover or not. Challenge yourself to a month of working out and dieting and I guarantee at the end of the month you will want to continue. I’ve found that after a workout I feel so much better about myself. Its also a great stress reliever.
Here are some tips in regards to working out and getting started:
1) Get yourself an iPod/MP3 Player or have the radio playing in the background. This can take your mind of your workout, so you aren’t thinking of how long you’ve been doing it or how may calories you’ve burned
2) If you are doing a treadmill or any other machine that has a clock, miles ran, or calories burned screen on it, cover it up with a towel, so you aren’t constant looking at it.
3) Buddy System: Find someone who wants the same things for you. You may even know someone who already works out. See if you can join them during their workouts. Like I mentioned earlier, its nice to have someone who is striving for the same things.
4) Water! Always have water along for the ride/workout. Its good to have it near your side, so you don’t have to stop doing what you’re doing to go grab a drink. Plus its just away to stay hydrated.
5) Wear comfortable clothing, especially shoes if you are doing treadmill or jogging. If you aren’t comfortable, its unlikely that you will stick with the workout.
6) Try and workout the same time every day. Make it routine. I find that doing it in the morning is the best, because I’ve gotten it out of the way, but find what works for you and stick with it. Also, when you decide to weigh yourself, do it the same day every time and even try to do it at the same time. Don’t be discouraged because your water weight can change from one day to another.
7) Pace yourself when you first start. You don’t want to overly do it and be sore for days and unable to work out. You have to work your way up. Be patient with your body.
In this article, I didn’t go into weightlifting, as I’m not too knowledgeable on the subject as I’ve chosen to go the cardio route. However, if you plan on doing weightlifting it can definitely speed up the process of weight loss an can tighten up your muscles. If you plan to add weightlifting to your workout, do the research so you are doing it right and don’t end up hurting yourself.
Take some of these hints and begin finding out a workout plan that will work for you. I’ve never felt this good in a long time and there is no better feeling then when someone says to you, “Man, you’ve lost weight”. Its knowing your hard work has paid off that makes it all worth it.
Believe in yourself. Make the commitment and you can lose the weight. You can find your better self and gain that confidence. Having confidence can lead to better relationships, love, better jobs, and so much more, and it can all begin with a simple workout.
Remember though, you aren’t going to see results overnight. In two weeks, you still may not be able to fit in those pair of jeans you like so much, but continue to work hard, and you will prosper. Don’t give up!
If you decide you don’t want to use the National Body Challenge website, then use this calories burned calculator. Its an awesome tool to find out how many calories you are burning in your workout. You can find it at http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc
I should also add, you cannot always rely on the computers on the treadmills or other exercise equipment that say how many calories you’ve burned. If the unit doesn’t ask how much you weigh in advance, it can’t accurately tell you how many calories you’ve burned that’s why the online calculators can come in handy. They aren’t going to be exact, but they are useful nonetheless.
I would love to hear some more tips from our readers on what has worked for them. Lets help each other live a better and healthier life.
Good luck to those and their weight loss missions!
If you have any questions or comments in regards to this article, you can comment below or send me an email at [email protected] (Ryan Madland)