Getting started with fitness and weight loss can be incredibly confusing because there is so much information out there! The path to a healthier life should be fun and easy, and something that is looked forward to, not daunting and stressful. In my opinion, that leads to quitting before ever really getting started! I’ve outlined a few simple things below to incorporate into your fitness journey to ease the stress so you know what can be expected!
Check with your Doctor
See a healthcare professional first before jumping into any workout program or eating plan. No one wants to begin the path to wellness with an injury or underlying medical condition. Also, a doctor can help determine if it’s OK to go all out or ease into working out!
This one’s a biggie… Being in a calorie deficit means to expend more calories than are being taken in. Healthier food choices such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains and non-processed foods are are always going to be better than frozen food, fast food and takeout. That’s not to say that these foods can’t be enjoyed but the key word is moderation. Smaller portions of any food is better in the long run! The 80/20 rule is the perfect example of balancing healthy eating with other foods you love: eat nutritiously 80% of the time and indulge (in moderation) 20% of the time.
Understanding that fitness and weight loss are a process is a key part of success. Building muscle and losing fat takes time – it certainly won’t happen overnight! For weight loss, losing one to two pounds a week is completely normal and greatly lessens the chance of putting the weight back on. Losing weight rapidly in a short amount of time can lead to a slew of problems including loss of muscle tone. You’re most likely to gain every bit back and then some!
The Dreaded Scale
My advice about the scale? Throw it in the trash. The number on it is just that: a number and not a measurement of health. In fact, most people are discouraged when they start working out because the number on the scale either goes up or doesn’t move. But guess what… muscle weighs more than fat AND the number on the scale can fluctuate wildly depending on how much water you’ve had to drink. The best way to tell how the weight loss journey is going is by how your clothes fit. Trust me on this…
Ease into It
My advice is to start slowly… Fitness should be fun and something to look forward to each day. Remember that exercise is a benefit and not punishment for something unhealthy you may have eaten (we ALL fall off the wagon). Try different types of workouts to see what suits you best… My favorites are Kickboxing and Athletic Cardio!
Also, do not look at “bad” foods as the enemy, they really aren’t. I’m not going to lie, I LOVE french fries and pizza, and I certainly eat my fair share. I’ve just learned to listen to my body before my stomach gets uncomfortably full! Incorporate healthy foods into your diet slowly, especially if you aren’t used to eating them all the time. I promise, you will grow to love them and your body will thank you!
Have questions or additional tips about getting started with fitness and weight loss? Leave a comment below!