Saturday, November 27, 2010

You Don't Have To Pack On Holiday Pounds

Soon it will begin. The New Year’s resolutions. People deciding to lose weight. And then, the endless hours on the treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike. You’ll even see it when the local newspaper does their obligatory New Year’s exercise story- rows and rows of cardio equipment filled with people slogging along in the hopes of dropping excess weight.

First off, don’t wait until the new year. That’s just an excuse to go hog wild over the holidays, overindulging in calories both liquid and solid and not exercising . Get moving now. That way you’ll burn extra calories and lower your stress level when you most need to. You’ll also be programming your healthy habits now so you’ll already be on track come January. Regular exercise can help you maintain rather than gain over the holidays.

Whether you want to start dropping pounds now or wait until next year, the most important element is proper nutrition. I can go on and on and on- believe me :-) -about the many mental, physical and emotional benefits of regular physical activity (or you can see a list here ==>  Benefits of strength training) but if you are interested in dumping excess fat, any decent fitness professional will tell you that you can’t out-train a bad diet.

I realize that every overweight person wants to thinner yesterday but most people set themselves up for failure by making massive changes to their nutrition (often eating too little) or exercise (often doing too much). If you are serious about slimming down and then maintaining a healthy weight, you need to accept the fact that the process will take time. You must commit to a lifestyle makeover- not a “diet” that ends when you meet your goal weight. If you truly want to be buying smaller clothes, you must decide that your lifestyle will include good quality nutrition and regular physical activity. The cold, hard, truth is that no infomercial ab gadget or quick fix diet will get you where you ultimately want to be. 

Instant "weight loss"

Start small. If you eat fast food burgers five times a week, resolve to cut back to two or three; then do it. If you haven’t exercised in years, don’t start working out an hour and a half every day. Pick a reasonable amount of time based on your current fitness level and lifestyle and commit to it.       
You can even start out with 10 minutes a day but do not allow yourself to crawl into bed until you have completed your daily exercise. There is no one who can’t find 10 minutes in their day to improve their health. Dump the “all or nothing” mentality - ten minutes every day is actually better than 70 minutes in one day. Small, consistent changes are much more productive than big, sporadic ones. Once you have created new, healthy habits and had success with some small changes, start making bigger ones.

Stop spending so much time on the cardio machines and do some strength training. It’s a big fat lie that cardio is the most important exercise for weight control. It’s not. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen in gyms, month after month, plodding along on the treadmill or elliptical whose bodies barely change. Women, especially, are afraid of lifting weights but their results would be so much better if they did.

Do total body strength workouts, concentrating on compound movements. Do cardio intervals or metabolic circuits instead of steady state cardio. Intensity is the key, whether it's strength training or cardio. Push yourself. (I didn’t say kill yourself.) Shorter, more challenging workouts will save you time, burn more calories and fat and result in a healthier, trimmer, more toned body. Isn’t that what you want?

Are you ready to stop procrastinating and start getting healthier and thinner?

To encourage you to take action now, I will give you 2 free weeks of my No Pink Dumbbells fitness boot camp or free enrollment to Body & Soul Fitness Studio if you mention this blog post and start exercising by December 15th. Both of those gifts are a $79 value. If you’re ready to stop wasting time and start getting results, call me today at (717) 509-7777.

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