How to Suceed at Fat Loss for Beginners
For the beginner entering the fitness and weight loss world it can be intimidating. It doesn't have to be and in reality it is one of the most straightforward jobs you'll perform. You do need two things: self discipline and a good set of guidelines like the following:
First see your physician especially if you have a risk factor like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Once you have clearance, see your local fitness professional for a fitness evaluation. This will tell you your present fitness level and also what your strengths and weaknesses are.
Goal setting comes next. You need to set both short and long term goals. A short term goal might be lift 5 lbs more each week. A long term goal might be lose 50 lbs. Your goals must be realistic or you could be setting yourself up for failure. Write your goals down and refer to them often. When you acheive a goal give yourself a treat or reward.
Now you are ready for your first workout. The one described is for weight training. I chose weight training because it increases your metabolic rate higher than any other type of exercise and for up to 48 hours. Start with just one set for each muscle group during the first week and lift every other day. In week two add a second set. If you want to build up to three sets, do so in week three. Increase the weight slowly. Beginners usually start with 8-12 repetitions done to about 70-80% maximal effort. If you become too sore to lift the next workout you need to back off.
One of the greatest secrets to fitness success is having good social support so go out and find some workout buddies. Support can come from your spouse, children, friends, a personal trainer, a neighbor or a fellow gym memmber. People get better results when they have to respond to someone so don't try to go it alone.
Nutrition is as important as your exercise program for fat loss. Beginners usually initially lose fat from better nutrition, not from the exercise. If you don't improve your nutrition, even the greatest fitness program in the world won't help you reach your fat loss goals. Some nutrition basics include:
* Eat 6-8 smaller meals a day. Include a lean protein source, fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fat sources with each meal. Keep breads and pastas to a minimum. Eating 6-8 meals a day helps regulate insulin which is a fat storage hormone as does protein, the fiber in fruits and vegetables and fats.
* Don't go on low calorie diets. While you may lose weight at the start, eventually your metabolic rate will drop and you will stop losing weight.
* Eat healthy fatty acids such as omega-3's and alpha lipoic acid. Both have been shown to aid in weight loss.
* Avoid drinking any calories in beverages. You're best bet is green tea and water.
As you can see the above guidelines are not intimidating or complicated. Anyone can follow them. Like I said it just take one thing on your part: a little self discipline.
About the Author: Dr. Lanny Schaffer is an Exercise Physiologist and the President of The International Fitness Academy. For more cutting edge research and ideas on weight loss and fitness go to http://www.aerobic-exercise-coach.com