Q: What would you recommend for exercise to someone who needs to lose some serious weight?
A: Any exercise that you do will assist with weight loss and improve your health but more specifically you want to get your heart rate elevated and keep it elevated for at least 20 minutes. You should be working hard enough that you are breathing heavy and unable to carry on a conversation with your friend on your cell phone but you should still be able to say a few words. Walking is a great starting place for anyone who has been inactive. Add some hills into your route for a little more challenge as needed.
You also want to incorporate strength training to build muscle. Muscle is important for a couple of reasons:
- Muscle requires energy and as a result, burns calories even when you are sitting relaxing.
- When you are losing weight it is not just fat; you are also losing muscle if you are not building it.
Muscle is extremely important in keeping your bones strong and healthy as you age. Many women say they don’t want to use weights because they do not want to bulk up but we do not have the testosterone men do in order to build that kind of muscle mass. You may feel you look a little bigger as you start to build muscle (as that will often happen before much fat loss) but as you burn off the fat, you will begin to look leaner.
Q: What is the biggest mistake people make when they attempt to lose a lot of weight?
A: We are an instant gratification society; we want it and we want it NOW. What we need to realize is that the weight gain didn’t happen overnight and it will not be resolved overnight. People start a weight loss program or exercising and if they don’t lose that 50 pounds quickly enough, that must mean it isn’t going to work.
Weight loss is a journey that involves looking at your whole lifestyle. It is first and foremost an emotional lifestyle change. You need to visualize yourself lighter and healthier and imagine exactly what that looks like for you. Then with your eye on the prize, you can start the work to get there. Make healthier food choices eating whole foods that require preparation so you know what is going into them making sure to get lots of healthy fats and protein as well as the nutrients from fresh vegetables and fruits. If you put these things together with exercise, there is no way for you to fail.
Q: Why is it that men seem to be able to lose large amounts of weight in a relatively short period of time?
A: Men generally have fewer fat cells than we, as women, do. We are a little more padded around our reproductive organs. Men also tend to be able to gain muscle more easily than we do and as a result, burn the weight off faster also because they generally have a faster metabolism. So when it seems they can lose fat more quickly than women, it's because it is a fact.
The biggest piece of advice I can give, is don’t lose heart. You are more than worth it. Although it may seem daunting if you are someone looking to lose a large amount of weight, once you are on your way and feeling more energetic and confident you will wonder why you waited so long.
Your knees might hurt right now but the more you move, the less they will bother you. The stairs that you dread at work will become nothing more than a challenge for you to see how quickly you can climb them. You will start looking for the walking path that has more hills and you will no longer be afraid to fall. You will feel stronger, healthier and proud that you started the journey for YOU!
Do you have another weight-related question? Feel free to ask below or contact us privately.
Miriam | Owner
Women's Only Health & Fitness