Have you noticed that your clothes are feeling tighter than usual? Is your mirror reflecting back a body you can’t believe is yours?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Over 70% of U.S. adults are overweight, according to Time magazine.
No one likes being overweight. Sadly, dropping the extra pounds isn’t so easy.
It’s not like people aren’t trying to lose weight. Many people do, and the struggle has caused the weight loss and diet control industry to inflate to a whopping $72 Billion dollars a year.
The reason that figure is so high is that so many companies out there are intent on selling the latest, greatest diet, diet pill, and exercise fad. The sad truth is that if those things actually worked, we wouldn’t be facing our current obesity crisis.
What all those companies selling those fads don’t want to admit is that plain old diet and exercise are what help people lose weight and keep it off for good.
You don’t have to drink a lemonade mixture all day or subsist only on mangoes, or whatever the latest fad happens to be. And you certainly don’t need to buy exercise programs by the fitness training expert of the day.
Instead, it’s best to stick to the best exercises for weight loss and getting in shape. What’s tricky is that there are tons of exercises that are excellent for shedding excess pounds, and everyone is different. Therefore, what works for you may not work for someone else, and vice versa.
Therefore, it’s best to give you a short but thorough education on the best exercises for weight loss and getting in shape. That way, you can make the best decision for your needs, goals, and time frame (most people want to lose weight in the shortest time possible).
Before we get to those exercises, let’s discuss a very important topic all overweight people want to know when they make the decision to slim down.
Why is Weight Loss So Difficult?
Losing weight is difficult because most people go about it the wrong way. Losing weight and keeping it off for good is about building healthy and consistent habits. You didn’t gain all that weight in just a day or two. Weight gain and its severe counterpart obesity are bodily states that are attained over a long period of time.
We all know that food is comprised of calories, which are heat or energy units. The energy we feed on gets used by your muscles or stored as fat. Pack in too many calories, and all that energy will be stored away as body warming and organ protecting fat for a rainy day. The thing is, with automation and our sedentary lifestyles, that excess energy never gets used. So, it just sits there and more gathers as you continue to eat unhealthily. Before you know it, you’re overweight and that’s when you want to lose the weight desperately.
When people make the decision to lose weight, they might cut their calories drastically. This isn’t good as too few calories signals to the body that you’re in the middle of a famine. The body doesn’t want to give up the excess fat because it wants to ensure your body has enough energy to wait out the famine. You will lose weight by cutting your calories, but your body is eating itself in the process.
Most often, your body will feed on muscle first, then fat. This is the body’s way of protecting itself against no food or calories coming in. Your metabolism also slows down.
You may have lost the weight, but most people start eating normally after this initial weight loss. Since your body subsisted on muscle and fat, you don’t have as much muscle to use the energy you are taking in, your body stores even more fat than before. Before you know it, you have gained every inch back and maybe more.
Then there are those that emotionally eat. If you eat to feel better, no amount of exercise is going to take the weight off. You must change your habits, and sometimes this means looking deep inside to find out why you are eating to excess to begin with.
Others may lack motivation or have a disorder that causes weight loss to stall. Some women have childbirth have trouble dropping the pregnancy weight due to hormones.
Whether your weight loss is due to bad habits, genetics, a medical condition, or another factor, losing weight comes down to moving and eating right.
How to Lose Weight Quickly
If you haven’t attempted to lose weight before or it’s been some time, you may find that any amount of weight loss is significant right off the bat. However, even if the scale shows you dropped five pounds in the first week or so, you should expect your weight loss to stall at some point. This is your body wondering if a famine is coming or if you are about to take a long hike across the tundra and might need extra energy for your trip.
By being consistent with exercise and dietary habits, your body will eventually burn off the excess energy for a newer and slimmer you.
How to Burn the Most Calories
Ask any athlete how to lose weight quickly with exercise, and most will tell you to run. Bicycling is a good exercise for weight loss, as is jump roping and aerobic dance.
Casual swimming is excellent for weight loss, as it has the added benefit of being easy on your joints and muscles. You’re essentially floating through the water as you work every muscle in your body.
Hiking is another effective and fun exercise that can help you burn a significant number of calories while also getting your daily dose of nature.
Best Fat Burning Exercises
If you want to lose weight quickly, the best way to do it, aside from diet (you can’t outrun a bad diet) is to exercise.
One of the biggest excuses people give for not working out is that they don’t have time. You get up in the morning and barely have time to grab breakfast and say goodbye to your family before you’re out the door to work. You get home, eat, watch TV and it’s time for bed.
The trick to finding time to work out is first to find an exercise that interests you. Then, squeeze the time into your daily routine. Get up a little bit earlier and hit the gym. Or, go to the gym right after work instead of hitting the Starbucks drive-through. You could even work out at home, in your bedroom, right after rolling out of bed.
Here are some exercises you can do at home, at the park, or at the gym to help you achieve your weight loss goal.
Exercises Outside of the Gym
With enough motivation and creativity, you can find the time and the ability to work out pretty much anywhere.
Most parks have chin-up bars or at least monkey bars that can serve as the same thing, or you can buy a chin up bar to set up inside your bedroom door frame. That’s all you need. The rest of the exercises can be performed with bodyweight or weights you find at the gym, wherever you happen to be working out.
Exercises for Losing Weight Inside and Outside of the Gym
Your body burns calories, even at rest. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Therefore, if you want to lose weight fast, and be healthy about it so you can keep the extra pounds off for good, you should seek to build as much muscle as possible for your frame.
If you are a female and worried about looking like The Hulk, don’t worry. Working out with body weights or weights at the gym won’t build heavy amounts of muscle unless you train for that bulk. What you will gain is a sleek tone to your body, which is what most men and women want when working out to lose weight.
Best Way to Build Muscle
The best way to build muscle, aside from eating correctly, is to train the major muscle groups. As a beginner, think of your legs and shoulders, chest and back, and arms.
Here are some workouts you can do at home or in the gym to help you lose weight with exercise and good dietary habits.
Stick with three sets of 10-12 reps to start until you build up more muscle and endurance.
In the gym, find machines that work your quadriceps (front of thigh) , hamstrings (back of thigh), and calves. You can also do dumbbell or barbell squats, lunges, and calf raises.
At home, regular squats or squat jumps can be excellent exercises for building up the legs. You can also do one-leg squats, and one-legged calf raises. Don’t forget the lunges to give your hams a good pump.
Dumbbell curls and overhead triceps extensions can give the front and back of your arms a great workout. There are also machines in the gym for working your bis and tris.
At home, do chin-ups at the park or on a store-bought chin-up bar.
The back can be worked out by doing bent-over dumbbell rows and pulldowns to the front using a pulley machine.
At home, you can do chin-ups with your hands facing away from you.
The chest can be worked out with the bench press or by doing dumbbell presses. Dumbbell flyes and dips between bars are also excellent chest exercises.
At home, you can do a series of pushups and elevated pushups with your feet, then your shoulders elevated to hit your chest from all angles. At the park, you may be able to find dip bars as well.
You can work the shoulders with shoulder workout machines and by doing dumbbell shoulder presses and bent over dumbbell flyes.
Work Consistently for Muscle Growth
Make sure you speak to your doctor before starting any exercise program for weight loss and talk to a trainer or at least watch videos or look at diagrams to ensure you are using proper form. Your back should be straight during the exercises and you should only feel the strain in the muscles being worked, or else you can bet you are using improper form.
Make sure you also do a warmup set at least before really getting to it, as that will prevent strains and other injuries that can hinder your progress moving forward.
The key to muscle growth is consistency and eating a healthy diet.
Personal Training with Fitness Experts
You may not be feeling the exercises listed above, and that’s okay. You just have to find the exercises you do enjoy. One way to do that is to sign up for lessons with your local fitness expert. The job of a personal trainer is to help you achieve your best, which includes losing weight. Tell the trainer your goal, and you’ll gain a plan for getting there in the shortest amount of time.
Most personal trainers offer one free session so you can try it out. What have you got to lose?
A trend that is quickly catching on in the fitness industry is group personal training classes. Think P90X and those types of programs, where you have one or even a couple of trainers working with a small group moving toward similar goals.
These small group classes are just general enough so you can do your own thing, but yet you can get personalized attention if you want it. You can do the classes consistently or once in a while to switch up your fitness routine from time to time.
Which Fitness Gym Equipment Should You Use?
Some people love fitness machines because they are targeted for specific muscle groups and are ideal for beginners. Simply move the pin to the desired weight and follow the instructions listed on the machine.
Others prefer dumbbells or plate weights. Find what you prefer, as long as you remain consistent.
Should You Count Calories Burned?
Not only should you count how many calories you are burning, but you should definitely count the calories you are taking in. Only when there is a calorie deficit will those pounds come off as rapidly as you expect.
Of course, you can lose weight without counting a single calorie. As long as you are consistent with your exercise and eat a healthy diet, you should find yourself losing weight before you know it.
Beware of the exercise and eating trap. Some people, when they get into a heavy workout routine, end up night-snacking because their body is trying to make up for the calories they have burned. Try to stave off night hunger by drinking more water and caffeine-free tea, and by snacking on low-calorie veggies if you absolutely must have something to eat.
You can count your calories using Fitbit and other fitness trackers, or by using calorie calculators commonly found online. And most cardio equipment at the gym will tell you how many calories you’ve burned. Keep in mind that these numbers are only guides, as your true calories burned will depend on your height, weight, how much lean mass you have, and genetics.
Take Advantage of Nutrition Counseling for a Weight Loss Boost
Your body cannot transform without healthy eating habits. Many local gyms offer nutrition counseling. These tips from fitness experts can help you navigate the grocery store so that you can pad your fridge and cabinets with nutritious selections instead of all the junk.
Out of sight, out of mind works well when exercising for losing weight, as you can’t be tempted when you don’t have any junk food in the house.
Transform Your Body & Burn More Calories at the Gym
You can run and do chin-ups and other exercises at home if you are supremely disciplined. However, it’s hard to be your own cheerleader.
For beginners and those who need a little more urging to get up and around, it’s highly recommended that you join a gym.
Your local gym has fitness equipment and classes, nutritional counseling and more. Most of all, there are people working out right alongside you who have a common goal: to be in the best shape possible. You may even make a friend or two as you traverse along on your fitness journey.
Which Fitness Center Should You Choose?
When it comes to finding a gym near you, there are many choices. RPM Fitness in Birmingham is the best gym, as we have all the fitness equipment you need, small group classes, personal training, and nutritional counseling; everything you could want when exercising to lose weight and get in the best shape of your life.
Call now to schedule a free trial session and start on your journey to a newer, slimmer you.