There are many reasons why our bodies want to hold onto excess body fat. The simplest reason is we consume too many calories! For the most part, that's true. But, for a successful weight loss program, it’s not the total answer. It’s more complicated than that.
So, for now, lets’ not get into why it’s there and focus more on how we can take it off! And, realistically, we aren’t even concerned about the ‘weight’. It’s more about body fat loss and inches lost than that ‘number’ on the scale.
Starting any exercise and nutrition regime to promote body fat loss requires some planning, both before and during your program. It all starts about 3 weeks before, at a time when you find yourself thinking and feeling that you are not happy with the way you look and feel. Chores are harder and you are more tired at the end of the day. Here is where you do your research. What do you want to do? What time have you got? Where do you want to go? Who can help you (as in a gym, a fitness company such as Alter Ego Fitness Experience or a Personal Trainer)?
Pick a date approximately 3 weeks away to start your nutrition and training program. Call around or find a trainer that can help you with a workout program to get you started (at Alter Ego Fitness Experience we do packs of 5 or 10 - 1-hour Personal Training sessions and one can take up to 6 months to use up the 5 pack and one year to use up the 10 pack). To ensure proper use of muscles, and to keep down the risk of injury, you will need professional help with your workout program .
As far as eating healthier, get a Canada Food Guide for ideas on the servings required in a day and the foods you need to eat to stay healthy. I strongly recommend that you journal what you eat and when you eat every day. Create your own journal (or one can be purchased through Alter Ego Fitness Experience). Go out and purchase a low fat, low sodium, low sugar cook book. You’ll need new ideas on how to eat. Don’t fall prey to magazine or newspaper articles on what foods to eat to slim down! If you eat a variety of foods, or as I say a “rainbow” of foods (funny how now the Canada Food Guide has a picture of a rainbow!), and keep to eating foods as close to their natural state as possible you will succeed in nourishing your body.
With 2 weeks to go, once you have prepared yourself and have booked when you are starting, begin eliminating the following foods from your meals: WHITE foods (flour; sugar; salt; rice); any and ALL junk food; and, Pop or sweetened fruit type juices.
At one week to go, be sure you have your workout gear arranged. You will need runners for you and your individual foot strike. So, see a professional at a running store (Frontrunners Westshore and Peninsula Runners both have passionate and dedicated staff there to ensure you get what you need!).
Try out a recipe or two. Don’t forget you will want snack ideas as well.
Bottom Line: Plan, plan, plan. One of my favourite sayings: If you fail to plan – you plan to fail!
Plan when you are going to do your workouts. Make them consistent – 3 times a week, for an hour each time, is a minimum for successful body fat loss.
Plan your nutrition. Plan to eat whole nutritious foods that are low in fat (no trans fat!), salt and sugar. Plan to eat several small meals or snacks a day. Start with clean sweeping your kitchen, your car and your desk at work. Get rid of all those snacks and foods that aren’t working for you and that contain any of that white stuff (listed above) that tends to encourage body fat storage.
Any safe, effective weight loss or body fat loss program will take 12 weeks or more depending on your goals. A general rule of thumb: for HEALTHY weight loss (factoring in muscle building) is 1.5 to 2.0 pounds a week. It’s not quick and it’s not easy but it is worth it to be feel good, look good and to minimize your risk for such diseases as high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and certain types of cancer.
Take the plunge this week. Today would be even better! Good luck and remember, there will always be little stumbles along the way and diversions, but keep consistent, keep up your determination and realize that Rome wasn’t built in one day!