If you’re like millions of others on January 2nd, right now you are hyper-committed to losing weight as a new year’s resolution.
Again, if you’re like millions of others, that resolve will dissipate entirely by February.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Most people burn out so quickly because they try an all-out assault on the problem. Then, they get frustrated when they don’t see the results they’re looking for after making so many changes. We can help you get in better shape for 2019.
Weight loss can be extremely difficult, but it’s not particularly complicated. It’s all about energy intake vs energy expenditure. When you eat stuff, you take in energy. When you do literally anything, you spend energy. If you take in more than you spend, you gain weight. If you spend more than you take in, you lose weight. It’s simple.
With this knowledge, let’s look at some of the ways people try to lose weight, why some work, and why others fail.
This is the one people tend to hit the hardest when trying to lose weight at the beginning of the year. Gym memberships skyrocket, sporting goods stores see booming profits. The common belief is that cardio will help you lose weight the fastest. There is truth to this, but it should not discount strength training as well. When cardio is over, it’s over. With strength training, as you use your muscles more, they require more energy just to exist. The more energy you’re using the better. But, most people aren’t going to lose weight this way.
What typically happens is that a person will go to the gym for a few weeks, not see the results they are looking for and slowly let life get in the way of going back. It makes sense why people think exercise is the answer. In the movies, an inspirational workout montage transforms people into physical specimens in two minutes.
In the real world, you can go to the gym and bust your butt for a month and see no real changes.
There are two reasons. Firstly, it really just takes time. The human body can only take so much physical excursion at a time. Second, and more importantly; if your diet isn’t correct, you’re just working against yourself.
You can work out until you’re blue in the face – if you celebrate that workout with a pizza, it’s not going to do you any good. The amount of calories you can cut from working out is nothing compared to the amount of calories you can cut out from just not taking them in in the first place. Meaning you would lose more weight from dieting and not working out than you would from working out and not dieting.
Unfortunately, dieting is hard for most people. Worse, people tend to overdo it in search of quicker results. Taking in too few calories can be hazardous to your health, and will likely cause you to give up quicker.
Diet and Exercise
Because you need to take in so many calories to remain healthy, the best course of action is a moderate diet supplemented with exercise. We’ve already covered why working out without dieting doesn’t work. While dieting without working out will cause you to lose weight, a lot of that weight will come from muscle mass and you may not end up looking the way you were hoping.
When you do both, you are more likely to burn fat and maintain muscle mass to get the athletic physique you’re likely after.
How to Stay on Track
Before you start, make peace with the fact that you aren’t going to morph into perfection overnight. If possible, put results into the back of your mind entirely. Just make the new changes part of your new routine.
Don’t torture yourself. The more uncomfortable you make the process; the less you’re going to want to do it. There is a balance between living off of a baby carrot and rainwater and eating McDonald’s every day. The trick for you may just be portion control. Eat the things you like, just less of them.
Muddle through. If you can get over the hump to the point where you actually start seeing results, it becomes much easier to continue. In fact, people often become willingly more committed. It’s getting to that point that’s tricky.
Are these generic concepts? Yes, because everyone is different. There is no uniform way that everyone can use to succeed. It’s about finding what works for you. Good luck.