The more complicated a fitness plan is, the more likely it is to fail. I’m 46 years old and I weight what I did 25 years ago. Also, I can run further and faster than I did then. Try this simple plan and it will work. Also, please understand this is one layman’s opinion. This is not medical to be considered medical advice. In other words, check with your doctor, don’t do anything stupid, and don’t sue me.
Make it fun! Maybe you hate exercise and love food that’s bad for you. Most people do. So link something you want to do to something fun. For instance, if you love watching TV, then get an exercise bike and ride it while watching your favorite shows. Make it a game. Reward yourself (no, not with food!).
Change your eating habits gradually. Diet books are bestsellers for a good reason: they almost never work. They are based are the premise of quick changes in your diet. That is hard to do. Instead try two gradual changes.
Substitute one better food or drink for one worse one. Continue doing this until most of the bad foods are out of your diet. For instance, maybe you drink sodas. Substitute sweet tea for sodas. Then move to tea without sweeteners and then to water. Trust me, I’ve done it and you can to. The goal is to retrain your taste buds. This doesn’t happen overnight but it really does happen. That’s why you want to avoid artificial sweeteners. They just keep your taste buds expecting too much sweet taste.
Stop eating after 9:00 PM and then move it back one hour per month until you are not eating anything after 6:00 PM. After you finish eating, brush your teeth and make a deal with yourself that you won’t eat anything until breakfast.
Vitamins. Get in the habit of taking them and don’t stop. I buy most of mine from nutritionexpress.com. The package I take is Varsity Pack 2. Avoid those supplements that promise to “speed up your metabolism”. They can be dangerous.
Get things in the right order. The best place to begin is with strength training. You can see quick progress and it is the most crucial for weight loss. Add to strength training stretching. Once you are consistent with strength training and stretching, then add cardio. I suggest that you add one additional component per month until you are doing all of them. Two books I recommend are FrameWork and The Whartons’ Stretch Book. I’ve read dozens and these are my favorites. Also, remember that your eating habits are much more important than your exercise habits when it comes to weight loss.
Start really gradually and build up very slowly. Most people who start an exercise program get injured. Most of them get injured because they try to do too much. Have you ever tried to do a routine from a magazine? Me too. Give up? Me too. The cynical side of me thinks that some of those magazines put these herculean routines in them so you think you will have to buy the crazy supplements they are selling to be able to do the routines. So start really gradually and build up really slowly (See You Don’t Need More Time ). If you are thinking about running, make sure you check out Jeff Galloway’s site for a gradual approach that works.
Stretching. Most people don’t do it because the way we have been taught doesn’t work. For a method that works try The Whartons’ Stretch Book. I’ve been doing their method for several weeks and I’ve had great results. I’ve been able to run without my knees hurting in large part because of this. Almost everyone can benefit from a good stretching program (especially those of us over 40).
Strength Training. If you’re looking to lose weight this is the most important part of your fitness routine. Find a program that works for you. Don’t think you have to go to the gym or buy a bunch of stuff. One reason I like, FrameWork, is that is includes routines not only for the gym but also for home (with very little equipment). Most people recommend starting with 3 days per week. If you can do that fine. If not, start with two days per week and focus on core, legs, or upper body for both sessions. The reason you want to do at least two days per week is that one day per week is generally not enough to make progress. On the other hand, training most body parts more than every other day is counterproductive. Make sure you record your progress. You will be impressed by how fast you can progress.
Cardio. Find something that works for you and do it. Start today. I started with 5 minutes of running per week and built from there. By the way, I love to run but unless you are willing to commit to running the right way (Dr. Nicholas Romanov’s Pose Method of Running), I would not recommend it. Your goal should be 60 minutes or more each week at a pace that leaves you breathing harder but still able to carry on a conversation.
If you do these things, you will feel better about yourself and enjoy like more.
Let me know what you think? Bad advice? Good advice? Have something to add?