Looking to lose weight? K.I.S.S
Being in the fitness industry for over a decade now means that I am commonly being asked questions by new clients about everything exercise related you could possibly think of who want to know everything to help them lose the weight fast.
More often than not these conversations start of with the phrasing: ‘I read the other day…’ ‘or I heard from so and so…’ or my personal favourite ‘My trainer friend told me that….’ followed by a statement about something the client believes might be beneficial to them.
How much time should I be spending on abs?
How low should I be going on my squats?
What about milk in my coffee? Should I cut that out?
How many reps should I be doing?
Or the most popular: How do I know what my heart rate should be at?
When asked, for a split second I contemplate letting all the knowledge I have on the subject spill out my mouth like a rainbow in all it’s colourful detail and specificities. But ultimately I force myself to resist the temptation to go down that track, because for the average exerciser who is trying to lose weight, the secret is in the simplicity…now here it is…brace yourself for the magic formula…..
Eat right, exercise regularly, and recover well.
That’s it… where’s my national fitness award and book deal?!
It’s not really rocket science but yet 67.4% Australians are still overweight. So where are we going wrong?!
Primarily it seems that most who are beginning to exercise are often getting caught up in the detail of their workout rather than just concentrating on getting moving. Achieving consistency and legitimately pushing yourself in the gym is something many of us lack on a regular basis, which is why if you’re starting out, the answers to the questions above need not matter. What matters is getting moving and maintaining regularity of exercise.
Rest assured you don’t necessarily need a fancy exercise routine. While some people wake up and obsess about the program creation and conditions, others just get up and train and herein lies the difference between results and lack of change. Those who are regular might not always be doing the most suitable exercises for themselves, but the fact they are consistent means their results can surpass those with more knowledge on the subject simply because they are keeping moving regularly.
The other immediate issue I face as a trainer is the client in food denial. They assure me they don’t need nutritional device because they already eat healthy, or have ‘pretty good’ eating habits. But the truth is, if your diet was fine even with no exercise then you might be above average in weight for your age certainly not overweight or obese.
Therefore logic says you are either eating too much, or you are eating the wrong foods, or both. Upon questioning, I’ve usually found that most people who are overweight have actually lost touch with what is a good eating plan and this is where we as a general public are going wrong in combatting the obesity epidemic.
Restaurants tend to consistently serve oversized meals, laden with sauces choc full of hidden sugars and all the products that make our food yummy but not particularly healthy. Even salads these days always come with a dressing or mayonnaise based sauce. With the popularity of cooking shows we are also seeing a culture coming through where meals should be gourmet to be enjoyed, encouraging the use of unnecessary additives to our meals.
Where has the plain Meat Potato Veg gone? Even though we were poorer I’m not sure that we weren’t better off physically in times of the great depression or cave man days, simply because we were no longer in a position to buy, cook and consume such extravagant meals.
So if you want to drop the kg’s let your trainer give you advice about nutrition because it goes hand in hand with exercise if you want results because it’s unlikely that one will work without the other if you’re already overweight.
Be honest with your trainer so they can give you the best advice possible, and stick to the basics. Portion sizes should be palmed size, no bigger than that. Keep alcohol to a minimum, no more than one standard per night. And get rid of all the packaged unhealthy foods, that’s right, bin them immediately because regardless of what the latest magazine or articles in the media tell you cannot lose 10kgs in a month while still eating chocolate before bed every night.
Lastly, give yourself time to recover. There’s no use going into the gym guns blazing for the first week and then being too written off to continue the following week. Ease into regular activity with a day or two in between to let your muscles recover. Start with 1-2 times a week and eventually increase to 5 -7 times a week and get a good nights sleep every night. Make sure the television is off in time for you to get 8 hours of shut eye and don’t forget to reward yourself with a hot bath and massage every now and then when your muscles might feel a bit tired or tight.