Weight loss seems to be on the forefront of many people's minds. There is no single solution for getting rid of “the excess”, as the root of why it's there to begin with can be related to lifestyle, emotions, hormones, or maybe even a combination of the three. To really lose weight and keep it off, you need to look at all of these aspects closely, however, today we'll take a look at some general advice in response to questions we hear often.
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 so – just get moving! (Always check with your health care professional before beginning a new exercise program.) Ultimately, 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 full conversation with your friend, 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 it 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. (Be as specific as possible.) 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.