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Basic Reminders: Weight Loss

The most basic things in life are often boring. When you first learn to drive, you have to learn to adjust the mirrors, put on your seatbelt and use your blinker. With more experience that becomes second-nature.

Another example is playing a new sport. The first few times you play tennis, you learn to grip the racket and move your feet to get into position to hit the ball. Learning the basics is crucial to learn any skill, but the advanced stuff is almost always more fun. While you can “fake it til you make it” in many activities, eventually you’ll need to master the basics to get good at anything.

Your fitness goals aren’t any different. In fact, most problems are so simple that it wouldn’t take more than a paragraph to explain the solution. The difficulty lies in the execution, doing things that aren’t necessarily enjoyable every day such as dieting and exercising.

For weight loss, the basic strategy is to burn more calories than you can consume. To do so, you have three options: consume fewer calories, burn more calories, or do some combination of both.

Research shows that exercise isn’t the best way to lose weight. Think about it this way: a weight training workout burns a few hundred calories. That’s the equivalent of a small meal or a large snack. Shrink your portions a little or cut out some junk food and you’ve just eliminated hundreds of calories from your daily routine.

Exercise is still vital, and the more you do the better (although it’s possible to take things too far). Eating less without exercising can only take you so far. Building muscle boosts your metabolism and helps fight metabolic disease and some aspects of aging. 

Eat a little less, exercise a little more and the results will be evident. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure these things out. Rather, it takes discipline to stick to your routine. More often than not, a lack of consistency is the problem if you’re struggling to meet your fitness goals.

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