If you ever look at old pictures you may notice that you used to have a flat stomach and small waist. However, as you got older, your metabolism slowed, you got consumed with work, and you ate poorly and exercised less.
Fortunately, with a clean diet and effective exercise program you can get back into shape!
Accept Yourself and Be Realistic
When you look in the mirror now you may not like the extra pounds you gained.
Many people make the mistake to believe that they can lose all the weight and look like cover girl models in a matter of weeks. Be realistic!
You need to be realistic about your goals because if you set yourself up for unrealistic goals you set yourself up for frustration and failure.
If you have a naturally curvy figure, then you will not look like a skinny version of Keira Knightley. And if you use to have a figure that is thin do not expect to suddenly develop an athletic look like Venus Williams in a few days.
What you can be realistic about is attaining a healthy weight and trim waist. Your goals should not be to attain an unattainable body shape. Rather, your goal should be to achieve significant fat loss and muscle gain.
Take The Quiz: Which Veggies Fight Abdominal Fat?
A Healthy Diet is Essential
The key to fat loss is to consume fewer calories than you burn.
Let’s say you need run 30 minutes a day and your body requires only 2000 calories a day to maintain your weight. In order to lose fat you can increase your exercise frequency and intensity or eat fewer calories. Or both!
The easiest is to eat fewer calories. You should use a calculator to determine how many calories you need to consume a day.
Most women need to consume 1,500 calories to lose weight, while most men need to consume 2,000 calories a day to lose weight. However, everyone’s body is different so to find out your required calorie intake to lose weight use the highly acclaimed nih Body Weight Calculator.
If it tells you to consume 2,200 calories a day to maintain your weight, subtract 500 so you will consume 1,700 calories a day.
Avoid eating foods packed with fat and simple sugars. Instead, you should be eating lean meats, vegetables, fruits, dairy and plenty of fiber.
Lean chicken or turkey is packed with protein to help with muscle recovery. Vegetables and fruits satisfy your sweet tooth and will leave you satiated and supply plenty of healthy vitamins and minerals.
Most women should consume 25g of fiber while most men need 35g of fiber a day. The fiber that is found in whole grain pasta, oatmeal, nuts, and breads will help keep you full and assist with regularity in your bowel movements.
Do not shy away from fats, as you need these for your cellular functions. Instead try eating mono-saturated fats in moderation like almonds, walnuts, or eating Omega-3 fats found in fish.
Instead of drinking soda or a fruity drink loaded with sugar, opt instead to drink water. If water gets old after a while, try having zero-calories flavored water to satisfy your sweet tooth.
You need to be exercising to burn off more calories. Aerobic exercise has shown to be effective in weight loss.
If you are new to exercise, start off with developing good habits by taking a short walk around the neighborhood for 20 minutes a day.
If you are more advanced, go to the gym and use some of the machines. Try doing 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity exercise like running, boxing, jump roping.
Even mix up the machines and alternate between the elliptical, Stairmaster, or rowing machine. It doesn’t matter what type of aerobic exercise you do as long as you do it routinely and at a proper intensity.
Keep in mind that heavier people will burn more calories compared to a lighter person doing the same activity. Over the course of 30 minutes running at 5mph, a 135 person burns roughly 260 calories, while a 175 person burns 340 calories.
For those in great shape, attempt sprinting or interval training with a punching bag to burn more calories and increase your resting metabolism.
It is impossible to do spot reduction of fat. You cannot do crutches to lose belly fat. You cannot do arm exercises to lose fat from your arms. You lose fat from your entire body through diet and exercise.
The more muscle you build the higher your metabolism is at rest and the more calories you burn to help you lose fat. You should be taking part in whole body weight lifting three to four times a week.
Do exercises that incorporate as many muscles as possible such as the squat, bench press, lunges, and barbell rows. These exercises also incorporate the use of your abs and lower back so you can build them too.
If you are new to these exercises ask for a personal trainer to show you the movements safely. If you want to really kick things up a notch, do high intensity circuit training.
It is critical that you do these exercises at a fast pace with very little rest so you can get the benefits of building muscle and the aerobics which burns the fat.
High Intensity Circuit Training: Do this circuit as quickly as possible with no rest between each exercise. After you finish the cycle take a 30 second rest. Then repeat the cycle.
Do the cycle a total of 4-6 times each workout session. Afterwards do 6-8 sets of abdominal exercises of your choice followed by aerobics activity of either 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or high intensity cardio (ex: interval training, sprints, boxing, etc.)
Burpees: 10-12 reps
Squats: 10-12 reps with dumbbells or barbell
Pullups: 10-12 reps with your bodyweight
Lunges: 10-12 reps with dumbbells or barbells
Push-Up: 10-12 reps and pause at the body for 2 seconds
Barbell Rows: 10-12 reps with dumbbells or barbells
Bicep Curls: 10-12 reps with dumbbells or barbell
Rajiv M Mallipudi, md, mhs is an internal medicine resident physician, personal trainer, athlete and author. He has over a decade of personal training experience and helped hundreds of clients of all levels achieve their weight loss and fitness goals. This inspired him to work as a clinical researcher at the nationally recognized, Johns Hopkins Hospital Weight Management Center. During medical school he and his classmates created the health and wellness organization, med fit, which provided personal training and nutrition counseling to the medical student body. In his spare time, Dr. Mallipudi enjoys playing ice hockey, dancing, and training for his next bodybuilding and powerlifting competitions. Dr. Mallipudi serves as a contributing writer for the Diet and Fitness sections.
Disclaimer: The content of this article on this website is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute the practice of medicine and should never be relied on, or used as a substitute or replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Vixendaily and its authors are not responsible for any actions or inaction, safety or liability on a User’s part based on the information that is presented on Vixendaily. Consult your doctor for medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Before starting any new diet or exercise program speak with your doctor regarding the potential risks and benefits.
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