18 November 2012

Weight loss

Hello everyone,

Today's blog entry will be about weight loss. I think this is a very important subject to talk about as you can easily do things wrong and do damage to your body.

I am neither a personal trainer nor a nutritionist but I read and talk to experienced people a lot.

I have a lot I want to share with you guys, so this will be quite a long entry. I hope you are prepared because imma start now ;)

1) Find out how many calories your body needs to keep up basic functions and how much you need to maintain your current weight.  These two numbers are important ! Never have a calorie intake of less than your body needs to keep up the basic functions ! Don't even go near crash diets or 1000-calories-a-day-diets, they will make your body panic. As a result your body goes into starvation mode and as soon as you eat a little bit more your body turns it into fat. Your body thinks:" Better be fat but be able to survive the next time food is rare. You never know if food will become rare again soon."

If you want to lose weight, stay between the two numbers I mentioned above and you should be fine.

2) Go on a balanced diet. Count calories to get an idea of how much you eat. And eat healthy. Your body needs vitamines, minerals etc. to stay healthy. Aim for lots of vegetables, fish, skinny meat and chicken. Lot's of people say to stay away from carbohydrates in the evening. IF you can, good for you. I personally for example can't but instead I try to eat less.

Depending on your current diet you might not have to make a huge change to it. Let's say your next meal will be steak, steamed veggies and rice just take one steak, lots of veggies and just a couple table spoons of rice instead of 1table spoon of veggies and lots of rice.

If you go for counting calories (and I would suggest this at the beginning so that you get a feeling of how much you actually eat), reserve some calories for a candy bar or a small chunk of chocolate. By doing so you can still maintain your goal of X calories a day, eat mostly healthy  and don't feel guilty for having something sweet every now and then.

Oh and ditch the coke. Water is much healthier.  ;)

3) If you want to either increase the amount of calories you can eat per day or if you want to lose weight faster, exercise ! Cardio is a great way to do so. You don't even need to do hours of it, 10 to 15 minutes a day (or every other day) can do the trick as well, if you have a good strategy. Interval training is a great way to get as much result as possible by only spending a short time training. But keep in mind that just because you spend less time training it doesn't mean it is easy to do !

You can start by aiming for 10 minutes of interval running or biking.

For example:

- 20 seconds full speed
- 10 seconds low speed
- 20 seconds full speed
- 10 seconds low speed
- 20 seconds...etc. etc.

I could go on and on about this kind of training but your best bet is to either google it or to ask a trainer at your gym.

  4) Do proper weight lifting.  If you want to lose weight but want to keep your muscles, you need to challenge your muscles.

Also don't fall into the trap of using light weights. At my local gym I see a lot of women doing endless repeats with just a couple kg but they won't see any result. Remember, your handbag or the shopping bags you carry around already have a certain weight...and you carry those around every day. So what do you think will happen if your handbag weights 3 kg but the weight you lift is only 2kg ? Correct, nothing will happen.

Do a "proper" training with a lot number of repeats but high weights. Take the leg press, for example. Instead of pressing 10 kg 25 times, try 125kg but aim for 8-10 repeats. If you only manage 8, that's very good. Over time you will notice that it will get easier to do 9, then 10. Once you can do 10 comfortably, increase the weight so that 8 times will be a challenge again.  And don't worry, even if you train like that you won't become a body builder. The female body is not made for that.

5) 500 crunches won't do much, do planks instead. 1 minute is lots already ! If you want to do a high number of crunches, maybe cut it at...100 or so but like I said, planks do so much more for your abs. Try to do half a minute. Or 20 seconds even. Slowly increase the time once you feel comfortable.

6) Train all your muscles, not only arms or stomach. It is impossible to aim for losing weight on a particular spot ! Your body loses weight where it wants to !

7) This is very important: Don't train either abs or back muscles but always both ! The stomach and back muscles need and support each other, so if you only focus on either back or abs alone you will end up in a lot of pain.

8) Magazines like Men's Health offer a lot of useful information. No, there is no reason why women should not work out like men do ! No worries, the female body won't gain tons of muscles from it. But I already mentioned that above.

9) Don't train too much. Especially beginners tend to be over motivated and so train way too much. This is quite a shock for your body who most likely hasn't gotten any exercise in years and also often tends to make motivation wear off quickly. Better stick with something you can keep up for a long time. Weight loss does take time after all therefore better plan to go to the gym 3 times a week but do that for half a year then hitting the gym 6 days a week but lose interest after 1 month.

10) If in any doubt, consult your doctor, nutritionist and/or personal trainer. And if in pain, take a break ! Even if it means you don't work out for a week. By using pain your body tries to get your attention and to tell you something isn't right. Take pain seriously !

Like I mentioned above, I m neither a nutritionist nor a personal trainer. I am not a doctor either.. I am just a blogger who wants to lose a bit of weight and tone up. I read a lot, I talk to people who know more than me and who obviously seem to be doing SOMETHING right.

You will find a lot of information in the internet. Read as much as you can, think about it, make notes of what you think makes sense and sounds legit and ignore information that sounds either too good to be true or feels wrong.

If you are serious about losing weight and toning your body but you don't know where to start, look at the people around you. Maybe you have friends who work out regularly you could ask for advice (from my experience men tend to hit the gym more often than women and also know more about training as well).
Or, heck, maybe you even saw a cute guy with abs of steel at the gym last week. Go and ask him how he got those. Maybe he only gives you a quick tip but maybe he even becomes your friend (or next boyfriend *wink*°)