The decision to get fit can be one of the most positive life-changing ones you can ever make, as losing excess fat can not only get you looking better (who doesn’t want a nice set of ripped abs?) but also living longer and with a higher level of overall health. Barring weight loss surgery, there are plenty of things you can do to maximise your weight loss, but beware – none of them is going to be without a requisite amount of hard work!
Understanding is key
Before you even set foot in a gym, you’re going to need to understand a few things about weight loss – namely, that it actually gets harder as you go along. If you’re terribly out of shape, you’re going to see excellent gains early on if you start a serious diet-and-exercise regime, but as the weight begins to drop off, you’re going to have to bring your game up to the next level to keep on losing until you’re at your target weight.
Not only that, but abdominal fat is most likely going to be the last to go, simply because the human body is designed to store fat there. You’ll see the difference immediately in your face and your extremities, even though you’ve still got that flat tyre around your midriff, but keep your eyes on the prize and you’ll get rid of that too – it’ll just be the hardest part.
Six pack abs start in the kitchen
One of the best things you can do is to not just exercise but change your entire dietary habits, because most weight loss is actually accomplished by about 90 per cent diet and only 10 per cent exercise. What this means is that you need to go to a qualified dietitian and learn exactly what types of foods you should be eating in order to energise your metabolism and get your body burning fat on its own; once you accomplish that, any exercise you engage in on top of that will simply supercharge your weight loss.
One of the best ways to stimulate your body’s ability to burn fat is to not just cut down on the amount of food you eat but spread out your meals more evenly throughout the day. Instead of eating just breakfast, lunch, and dinner, try to have six smaller meals throughout the day every two to three hours, and eat foods that are high in protein and dietary fiber in order to make you feel full for longer, so you’re not feeling like you’re hungry.
Get your blood pumping
Finally, increase the amount of exercise you get every week. You don’t have to go mad by running marathons, as as little as 30 minutes’ worth of exercise three times a week can be more than enough to get your metabolism working overtime and burning that fat off you.
You can, of course, exercise more than that, but make sure you’re doing the right kind: cardiovascular exercise, like jogging, swimming, or bicycling, is a wonderful way to increase your heart rate and maximise your weight loss. If you’re also looking to build muscle tone at the same time, engage in strength training or weight lifting on days that you’re not doing cardio to give your body time to recover, and before you know it you’ll be fitter than you’ve ever been before!