Weight loss tips that anyone can master

Much like any new skill, it’s easy once you know how. Losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated, although you’d never know it from the hundreds of diet plans, books, videos and products that we’re bombarded with whenever we turn on the television. It’s a wonder anyone makes any progress at all for the sheer volume of information out there. From juicers to circuit training videos to Ab Rollers, never has there been such a variety Weight Loss Tipsoptions to choose from. The trick is just choosing a few of those options and sticking with them. If you try and do too much you’ll get bogged down in the coordination and management of all the individual factors. Just do a few things, and do them well, and you’ll get ahead, guaranteed.

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of weight loss programs and diet plans we need to make a distinction that’s often overlooked; the difference between weight loss and fat loss. Always remember that your ultimate goal is fat loss, and that can’t be stressed enough. While doing any weight loss program it’s possible to loss water weight and some muscle mass, but while the scale might go down temporarily, you’re actually hurting your progress. Granted, if you cut back on carbohydrate and salt intake your water retention may be reduced, this is good as a natural by-product of a diet plan, but shouldn’t be your goal in and of itself. Preserving muscle mass should be a priority, even when dieting, as muscle actually helps burn fat more quickly and efficiently.

There are three major factors that can dictate the amount of fat you’re able to lose and how quickly this might happen; diet, workout routine and genetics. Let’s dive into the specifics of each one to help you determine your best course of action and then we’ll wrap things up at the end with some simple and effective weight loss tips.

Diet

When it comes to losing fat weight, nothing has more of an effect than diet, nothing. If you can get your diet dialled in then 70% of your work is done. A correct diet plan is just that important to your overall progress. The foods we eat come in essentially three different forms; protein, fats and carbohydrates.

Proteins are the “building blocks” of our bodies. It is what we’re made of. Protein plays an extremely important role in building muscles, organs, tissues, hair, skin and with the regeneration of your bodies cells. Skimping on protein can be a disaster if you’re trying to lose weight because it’s what keeps your muscles growing and active, which leads to more efficient fat loss. A diet that aims to cut out a lot of protein (high carbohydrate diet) will actually do much more harm than good. Some examples of proteins are animal products, dairy (milk, cheese), nuts and seafood. So keep eating your lean proteins.

Carbohydrates have really developed a bad reputation over the last few years and it’s a reputation that’s not entirely deserved. Carbohydrates actually have the distinction of being your bodies preferred form of energy (after being converted to glucose within the body). We all know many sources of carbohydrates; cereals, grains, potatoes, breads and fruits for example. The main distinction that needs to be made is between simple and complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates are sugars that enter the bloodstream very quickly and provide a quick source of energy for a short period of time, think chocolate bar or energy drink. Complex carbohydrates on the other hand are digested more slowly and provide sustained energy over a longer period of time, think apple or oatmeal. What you want to do is stick with the complex and eliminate the simple. The bonus is that complex carbohydrates are often chocked full of fiber and whole grains which lead to other healthful benefits. The best reference you can use to distinguish between complex and simple carbohydrates is the glycemic index. You can buy a pocket book version of it at most book stores.

Fats have really taken a beating in the media, but as with the other nutrients they have their rightful place and are necessary for good health. Fats protect our organs, make us feel full longer (it’s digested slowly), keep our hormones in check, help transport fat soluble vitamins and help keep our cells healthy, among other things. So trying to eliminate all fats from your diet is a bad idea.

As with carbohydrates, there are fats you want to avoid and fats that should be a regular part of your diet. The one we all know is saturated fat. Saturated fat comes from animals, and if you’ve ever left bacon grease out on the counter for a few hours you’ll know what happens, it turns hard and white, much the same as it does within your blood vessels. You don’t have to avoid it completely, but keep it too a very minimal amount and when you buy meat, purchase the leanest options. The fats you need to be focussing on come from sources such as nuts and seeds, avocados and olive oil. These types of fats are beneficial in that they boost your immune system, reduce the risk of cancer, lower cholesterol and decrease blood pressure among other healthful benefits. So the focus should be on eating the right fats and not eliminating all fats completely.

The second part of the equation is calories. Calories are the unit of energy given to each nutrient. So, both protein and carbohydrates have four calories per gram, whereas as fats are much denser and have nine calories per gram. So already you see that fat is more than twice as calorie dense as both proteins and carbohydrates. Each of us, based on our energy expenditure and body size, require a certain number of calories daily to function optimally. Too many calories will lead to extra calories being stored as fat (regardless of where they come from) and too few will lead to muscle loss, low energy levels and poor overall health. So the goal is to eat just the right amount of healthy calories to promote healthy weight loss, but not too few as to scare our bodies into thinking we’re starving and not too many as to force fat production. It’s a delicate balance.

So, how do you determine the number of calories you need daily, the foods you should eat and how much of each nutrient you should be eating? Easy, see below:

Calorie Calculator – http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm

Calorie Counter – http://caloriecount.about.com/

Calorie Percentages – http://www.ehow.com/facts_7403826_recommendations-daily-caloric-percentage.html

Workout Routines

The simple fact you have to remember is that muscle burns fat. So, if fat burning is your main concern then lift some kettlebells rather than hopping on an elliptical machine or treadmill. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s true. Performing high rep kettlebell swings will burn fat like nothing else. Workouts don’t need to be complicated, check out below for some options:

Workout Routines – http://www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=6_kettlebell_workout_routines

Genetics

Genetics is one area that you can’t change. You are your parents’ child and the genetic material they passed on to you will help determine your strength and muscle mass and general ability to gain both.  In scientific language your body type is referred to as your “somatotype”, of which there are three; endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. These body types all have specific physical characteristics associated with them which are referenced below:

Endomorph – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endomorphic
Mesomorph – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesomorphic
Ectomorph – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ectomorphic

Regardless of which type you are genetically predicated towards progress can still be made. As long as your particular weight loss goals are kept in mind.

Weight Loss Tips

Now to the good stuff. What simple things can you do daily to lose that belly fat? Follow the tips below and you’ll be well on your way:

  1. Cut out all fruit juices and soda pop from your diet (only drink water as your thirst quencher)
  2. Cut out all white starches (white bread, white potatoes, white rice), they are nutritionally poor and encourage fat retention
  3. Avoid oily and sugary snacks (chips, chocolate bars). Four cups of plain popcorn has fewer calories than one chocolate bar and has the added benefit of fiber.
  4. Build muscle to lose fat. Only doing cardio is a mistake. Combine it with weight training and you have a good combination for overall health and weight loss
  5. Drink one litre (four cups) of water immediately after waking up. A dehydrated body isn’t efficient at burning fat.
  6. Workout first thing in the morning before eating if possible (this will help burn more fat)
  7. Stick to it. Consistency and time are the key. Nothing will happen overnight so be prepared for a long-term commitment, but set small measurable goals in order to keep yourself motivated.

With the information presented here you have the tools to start losing weight fast.  Remember that diet is critical and is more than half the battle, get it right and you’ll start losing without even hitting the gym. Once your diet is keyed in make sure you’re doing an activity that builds muscle (i.e. kettlebell training) on a consistent basis, this is the second part of the equation. Best of luck in your quest to lose weight, stick to these 8 weight loss tips, and check out other great articles on Personal trainer, and you won’t even recognize yourself in a couple of months.

There’s a scam afoot my friends, and if you’re currently a card carrying gym member I have some bad news for you, you’ve already been had. But really, are you to blame? The North American commercial gym industry spends millions yearly to entice earnest, well-meaning people such as yourself through their doors. How could anyone
Home gym personal trainerrightly refuse? Just a quick glance through any gym brochure will yield numerous offers which are just too enticing to ignore; free personal training sessions, supplement discounts in the official gym store, free smoothies at the official gym smoothie bar, free tanning sessions, spa discounts, free gym towels and bags, discounted rates for referring a friend, body transformation challenges for prize money, the list goes on and on! It’s little wonder that collectively commercial gyms make hundreds of millions of dollars yearly, and all on the backs of regular people just trying to improve their overall health.

If you’ve been “swindled” by one of these franchised, commercial enterprises, please don’t be hard on yourself, just know there are alternatives. Alternatives that provide more bang for the buck than any gym ever could. Alternatives that allow you to be strong, healthy and fit, without becoming a hostage to commercial enterprise. Alternatives that require little or no time, money or space, and allow you to live your life free from perpetual bondage. Alternatives that can actually be found in the comfort of your own home. Yes, it’s true; everything that you could ever ask for from a commercial gym is available in your own home. Let’s skip the gym tonight and look at why you should consider dumping the membership and start flying solo as your own personal trainer. I promise you’ll be happy you did.

Money

I have yet to meet anyone who wouldn’t like to save a few dollars, especially considering the economy over the last few years. I’m going to strongly suggest that money handed over to commercial gyms is a waste of your hard-earned money. At first glance costs may not seem that high, but let’s break it down and see how much you could be saving.

Depending on the type of facility you attend prices will vary, but a good average is probably about $1000.00/year. That’s not to mention gas if you have to drive there, maybe another $200.00 per year. What about the fancy workout gear and sneakers you bought? Let’s add another $200.00 for the year, and this isn’t even taking into account any supplements you might decide to indulge in. So, our grand total for the year is $1400.00. Now, $1400.00 isn’t necessarily a bank-breaking amount, but here’s the thing, what if you maintain your membership for 5 years? You’re looking at a minimum of $7000.00! As far as investments go a retirement savings plan would probably yield better returns.

It just doesn’t make sense to give away that much of your money for the “privilege” of using exercise equipment and showers. For me, the choice is easy; spend a smaller amount upfront, maybe $1500.00, and create a small home gym. Take a look at some of the economically smart home gym alternatives below:

Cardiovascular Training

There’s a ton of variety when it comes to choosing a cardio machine, and it really just comes down to preference and price. Treadmills, Recumbent Stationary Bikes, Elliptical Machines, Stairclimbers, Stepmills, Versa Climbers, Treadclimbers, Stationary Bikes and Rowing Machines, the list goes on. I might suggest just going for a brisk walk or run instead, you’ll save the money and the fresh air does wonders. Losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated.

Strength Training – For home gym purposes, I strongly believe there is no better choice than the kettlebell. It is the MacGyver of the strength training world. It’s versatile, relatively inexpensive and takes up less than a square foot of space when stored. As a matter of fact, you could easily build a complete home gym centered on the kettlebell for under $300.00. Not to mention that cardio done with a kettlebell can easily rival any benefits offered from a cardio machine.

Flexibility Training

If stretching plays a regular part in your routine then just having a basic yoga mat will be fine. If you’re looking at stretching under tension you could pick up some elastic tubing to create the tension for you. Also, a stability ball of some size can be a benefit if you incorporate those types of movements into your workout routines.

Exercise Videos – Both the benefit and problem with exercise videos is variety. There are literally hundreds on the market, from videos made by laypersons all the way up the fitness food chain to celebrity trainers. It’s a tough call as TV marketing would have you think each one is the next best thing.

My advice here is simple; look for videos that require hard work, offer a variety of exercises and programs, with a specified time commitment required. A video that meets these requirements will force you out of your comfort zone and push you to excel, keep you from getting bored or stagnant, and give you a “finish line” to aim for so you can keep motivated. But the beauty is that for a very small investment of under $100.00 you can literally transform yourself in a relatively short period, without ever leaving the comfort of your TV room.

Time

The beauty of having a home gym is that you’re in control of your schedule. It never closes and is always there when you need it. It provides the ultimate in flexibility and convenience. This is especially true if your life is busy and you have a lot of commitments. For working parents who find it difficult to take the time to get out to a commercial facility, a home gym makes perfect sense.

Sometimes, it’s really just a matter of grabbing a quick 20 minute workout while the kids are napping, or getting home from work and doing a few kettlebell exercises in between supper and the kids’ soccer practice. The point is that it’s there when you need it. Whether it’s after work, at four in the morning or at midnight, with a home gym the excuses for not being able to find the time really do melt away.

Productivity

Unfortunately, there are a large number of gym-goers out there that believe that a home gym won’t provide them with the results they’re looking for. What everyone needs to realize is that there are only a small number of factors that actually lead to progress; hard work, progressive resistance on an intelligent workout routine, a proper diet plan and a regular time commitment. It’s very basic stuff, but let’s dig a little deeper:

Hard Work

If you want to succeed you’ll need to break a sweat and put it some effort, accept and embrace this fact. But the beauty is that hard work isn’t location dependent  If you’re motivated then giving 100% in your training will happen regardless of where it’s taking place.

Progressive Resistance

No matter your goals; strength, endurance, flexibility, they all require that you push yourself a little bit more each time you train. Resistance can be manipulated several ways including weight lifted, speed of lift, time under tension, rest periods, etc. Again, all these factors are simply dependent on a smart workout routine, perfectly doable in your own home gym.

Proper Diet Plan

This one’s a no-brainer and is also goal dependent. Suffice it to say you do the majority of your eating at home, not at the gym, so this has no bearing on where you train, but a solid diet plan is a must.

Regular Time Commitment

You’ve got to exercise regularly, “use it or lose it” as the expression goes. Three to four times per week works for most, but there’s room for variation here again dependent on your goals. The benefits of a home gym are obvious when you figure that you might have to leave the house three, four or five times a week to hit the gym. When also you consider the time it takes to change, pack your stuff, drive there, grab your towel, show your membership, dump your stuff in a locker, workout, shower, drive home, unpack, the idea of throwing on a pair of sweats and grabbing a workout in your own home gym becomes pretty appealing, especially if you’re doing it periodically throughout the week.

The beauty with these factors is that they can be implemented anywhere with the most basic equipment. They’re not specific to commercial gyms or fitness facilities. A home gym can provide all of these factors without all the added fluff that comes along with costly memberships. Not to mention you know have the keys that any personal trainer working in a commercial facility would have.

When it comes to efficiency, effective use of time and money saving, home gyms really are the ticket. They’re inexpensive to set up, don’t have to take up much space and can provide all the benefits of a commercial gym without all the distractions. I hope you’ll consider working out at home and becoming your own personal trainer.