Fitness is a lifestyle, and not just about losing weight, and weight loss, just for the heck of losing weight never lasts. Here are a few ways of improving your fitness, and maintaining it, which I came across on my journey to lose weight and be a healthier me 🙂
Diets do not work
Going on a special diet/ No Carbs/ No Fats/ Gluten Free/ Fruits only etc DO NOT WORK when you wish to lose weight. They show a difference in the short run, and you will quickly drop a few pounds, but soon the body adjusts to the current intake of calories and goes into what is called as ‘Survival Mode’, that is, it stops expending the calories at the cost of stopping basic metabolic processes. Also, the body will try and conserve whatever little energy it can, and hence will try to store the same as fat. That is the reason, diets seem to stop working after the initial few days. Additionally, you will gain that weight, and some more fairly quickly, as the body prepares for the next starvation period.
Just Exercising does not Work
Exercise, though an essential part of weight loss and fitness, cannot help on its own. People do seem to think, that since they are exercising, they can eat whatever they want, and still will lose weight. However, do consider this eg: A single slice of pizza contributes to about 250-300 calories (not the extra cheese one), and to burn that, an average person needs to do aerobics for around 45 minutes!!!!
So, it is not humanly possible to eat all and burn all, unless you wish to spend your entire day on a treadmill 🙁
Here are a few tried and tested ways, that do work, not just in making you lose those pounds, but also in improving your stamina, fitness and overall health status.
Do not go hungry, but instead eat healthy. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, in fact, eat as much as you can. Consume whole grains, instead of processed ones, like prefer brown rice over the white polished rice, as that contains more fiber. Consume nuts, instead of chips etc. Eating right, and not less, is the correct answer to lose weight.
Never dehydrate yourself, that slows down the metabolism. Aim to drink 2-3 litres of water everyday, and more if you are active. Also, soda and tea/ coffee do not count, in fact, consume an extra glass of water for every cup of tea or coffee you drink, as they tend to dehydrate the body.
Aerobic exercises, such as Jogging, Zumba, Treadmill, Aerobics, are all low intensity repetitive movements, which help in burning a lot of calories, and hence are a quick fix to losing some weight quick. Though the downfall here is, that it only burns the calories while you are working out, and hence an average session of about 30 minutes will help you with anywhere between 150-300 calories, depending on the activity & intensity.
Weight Bearing Exercises
Myth: It will lead to bulking up, and since I wish to get thin, I should not be doing this.
Weight bearing or resistance exercises, help in building the muscle mass, and muscle being a metabolically active tissue, burns calories even while you sleep to keep itself alive. It raises the basal metabolic rate, and hence you lose more calories throughout the day. The downside here is that, resistance exercises tend to lose less calories than aerobics exercises at the time of activity. For eg, to lose 100 calories, you can perform aerobics for 15 minutes, or do weight lifting for 26 minutes.
Combination is What Works
Do a mix of both aerobic and resistance training, backed by healthy eating and drinking enough water, to lose that weight and keep it off.
Do let me know in your comments if this helps, and will add more about the diet changes and the exercises that help, and more tit bits of information!!!
PS: I managed to lose 10 kgs (22 lbs) following these in 3-4 months 🙂