As men’s fitness and physiques come more and more under scrutiny, many feel that the best means of losing pounds is to invest in flexible gym memberships. But there is unfortunately a lot more to losing weight than simply arranging a monthly direct debit or investing in tracksuits for men. As much effort has to go into losing weight as it did into gaining it. Some would say that gaining weight takes very little effort at all, and there is a basis for this argument. However, consuming more calories than you expend, over a prolonged period, does take some effort.
Rather than focus on the negatives however, let’s look at some positives. If you are considering losing weight, then you have already taken an interest in the subject and may indeed have taken the all important first step. Decision made, now comes the hard part – the effort, and losing weight will take effort. All is not lost however and here we look at some basic tips to assist you in your quest. Tough times may lie ahead, but remember that you are not alone, you are not the first, nor will you be the last.
Set Goals and Document
People who set specific goals are more likely to achieve them. Saying I want to lose weight is okay, but stating how much would be better. Also, document progress, by taking selfies, and against how well your clothes fit. These methods are often more inspiring than just jumping on the scales. Little increments will not seem much, but they will been seen better comparatively.
No not the word, the lifestyle. Those who are “on” a diet often fall “off”. So instead change how you eat and what you eat, perhaps even when you eat too. Remember, it is easier to eat 500 calories less than it is to burn 500 more using a flexible gym pass, so watch your intake; less processed carbohydrates and more vegetables is a good place to start. To lose a pound of fat takes the burning of about 3500 calories, so cutting 500 per day, cuts one per week. Remember, slow and steady results tend to stick around longer than drastic cutting. Starvation will not work, as the body needs food to function, so be sensible. An honest food diary will help identify problems a lot sooner than simply trying to recall everything. Also remember that you need breakfast to kick-start your body for the day ahead, and don’t eat too much too late for the opposite reasons.
When you do use your flexible gym membership, remember to hit the weights. You may argue that muscles weigh more, but they also burn more calories, so gym workouts that include hitting the weights, together with cardiovascular exercise, is the answer. Think full body workouts and interval training, ensuring that your body is pushed, but not damaged.
Water, Water Everywhere
The intake of water, together with good digestive fibre and a full range of nutrients and vitamins, direct from your food, is a fantastic way to improve your body mechanics and lose weight.
Simple tricks can help incorporate more activity, and hence burn more calories daily. Take the stairs not the lift, park further away from the office, get off the bus a stop early, stand rather than sit at work whenever possible and use your lunchbreak to get out and walk somewhere. As you progress, doing these little things, but slightly quicker (think run up stairs), will maintain the gains. Also, never go shopping hungry, the trolley just piles up with junk.
Laugh and Go Out
Laughter has many health benefits as does having company. But rather than arranging to meet at the pub or restaurant, why not the park for a walk, or even use your gym memberships to train with a partner.
We tend to fill whatever container we use, so use small ones, and don’t finish what is left on anybody else’s plate either – that is cheating.
A lifestyle change is great, but from time to time, you will lose a little willpower and succumb to temptation. That’s fine, provided it doesn’t become habitual. Flatly denying yourself something will make you crave it more, so be realistic. Remember, good habits are the same as bad habits and are easily formed, it just takes a little perseverance at first. If you do slip up, just gently remind yourself of the reasons for the change, and then get back on board with the plan.
The decision to lose weight is taken often, but more often than not, the plan is executed poorly. It isn’t easy, but then if it was then nobody would ever be overweight, right? Things will get hard, but you need to invest time, energy and self-belief. There will be hiccups, but so what, life is a journey and not a destination, just get up and dust yourself off. Little changes can make big differences, all you have to do is decide to make them.