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Jump Start Your Weight Loss

By Aarti Patel Email By Aarti Patel
July 2011
Jump Start Your Weight Loss

Add strength training: If weightlifting is not part of your workout routine, you really are losing out on maximizing your weight loss. While everyone focuses on cardio activities to lose weight, strength training is often ignored. Strength training jumpstarts your metabolism and increases your lean muscle mass, which will help you burn additional calories throughout the day and even at rest. Become knowledgeable about various strength training exercises you can do at home or at the gym. The internet is a great resource and many exercise routines are available at no cost. Remember: with strength training, you have to begin slowly and then gradually increase the weight.

Clean up your diet: For most people, this is the biggest challenge when it comes to losing weight. Try to eliminate all fried foods, refined sugars, boxed packaged foods, foods high in sodium, etc.  Cook all your meals at home and eat several small meals a day consisting of quality proteins, complex carbohydrates and vegetables. Include some fruit and dairy for mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. Add more spices for flavor, rather than butter and fats. Take a close look at your diet to determine where you can make changes.

Keep a Journal: This is the best way to keep track of your progress for both your workouts and meals. Also keep a weekly record of your weight and inches lost. Plan each meal in advance the day before and document what exactly you are going to eat and at what time and then strictly follow it. Have your meals prepared ahead of time so you don’t mess up. If you write it down, it becomes easier to manage and follow. If you don’t plan your meals ahead of time, and wait till you’re hungry, you’ve already messed up. At the end of the week, analyze your progress and see if you’ve met your goal. Write down what areas need improvement and where you did well. This will motivate you to stay on track and be consistent.

Be a lot more consistent: I know it’s not easy to lose weight and it’s difficult to be on track every single day, but don’t lose focus of your goal. Most people start with great gusto and then fizzle out in a few weeks. The more consistent you are, the sooner you will see results. If it’s a bathing suit you want to fit into or a particular dress, have it hanging where you can see it every day and be reminded of your goal. Schedule your workouts in your calendar just as you would a meeting. Personally, morning workouts are best, as you get it out of the way and don’t have to try to accommodate it later on. Being consistent is very important, when it comes to your fitness goals.

Build in accountability and have fun: Let’s face it, if there’s no one to hold us accountable, eventually our desire diminishes and we tend to lose focus. Tell someone important in your life about your fitness goal and have that person hold you accountable. Or, if possible, get a workout partner and set goals together and hold each other accountable. Your workout partner can help motivate you on those days when you just don’t feel like moving. Make your workouts more enjoyable by changing them from time to time – take a variety of classes at the gym instead of going to the same step or kickboxing class. Look at your workout not as a chore but something positive that you are doing for yourself.

Increase your intensity: Very few people actually challenge themselves to work out of their comfort zones. Simply put, they just don’t work out hard enough. For example, when doing cardio on the treadmill, if you are able to carry on a conversation, you are not working out at a moderate /high intensity. Make a note of your speed and try to increase it each week. If you can, add a 30-second jog in intervals, gradually increasing the seconds to minutes. This way, you are pushing yourself a little more each time and working out of your comfort zone.
If you haven’t met your weight-loss goal, don’t be discouraged. Remember: it takes patience, discipline and, above all, making it a lifestyle. 


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