I was having a word with one of my very old friends yesterday who said she’s on a mission to finally lose weight (who isn’t, eh?!)…
And that got me thinking, almost 1 out of 3 of my friends & relatives could stand to lose a couple of pounds.
Yes, we are in the midst of an obesity problem… yet, there’s simply no seriousness about it.
That’s why I decided to write about it!
After having a word with couple of experts in the field, they helped me identify three excuses most people, especially women make, when it comes to losing weight.
So let’s see those in today’s unique blog post and let’s also see how to tackle these excuses when YOU make them the next time you’re on a slimming mission!
Excuse #1: “I Just Want to Know How to Get a Flat Stomach”
The number one excuse!
You may not want to hear this, but you cannot just pinpoint an area on your body and find a way to lose weight there. If you keep skipping around from book to magazine article to DVD to diet pills to crazy products like that body wrap thing… all in order to try to “melt” your belly fat and have abs, you are really in need of a reality check.
Fat cells are spread all over your body; some areas have more fatty deposits than others.
Genetics often dictate where excess fat is stored.
Some people are pear shaped and store excess fat mostly in their lower body, while the apple shaped folks store more in their upper body.
While you are not going to be able to reduce fat in just one area, you can reduce your overall body fat.
This is the way to a true flat belly.
Make sure your expectations are realistic. In order to get a tighter stomach area, you will need to burn more calories than you consume on a daily basis leading to overall fat loss.
Once the weight starts to drop, you can focus your efforts to core exercises and toning up your abs, if you are not already doing so.
This excuse often stems from the “It’s too hard” crowd. The notion of having to lose overall weight sounds like quite a feat, and they would really like to just concentrate their efforts on one area believing that that may be less work. It is just not realistic.
You can lose your belly fat and tighten up your stomach!
Just realize that you are going to have to lose weight overall to do so.
Excuse #2: “I Have Hit a Plateau, Why Keep Going if I’m Not Seeing Results Anymore?”
This happens with almost EVERYONE.
During the weight loss process there are several reasons why we hit a plateau and stop losing weight. The key to getting over this hurdle will be educating yourself on why it happens so that you can assess your diet and exercise routines to figure out what needs to be revamped.
Weight loss tends to happen rapidly in the beginning due to an abrupt change in calorie consumption and an increase in physical activity.
Your body will get to a point where it tries to become more efficient with less fuel resulting in your metabolism slowing.
This will cause your weight loss to hit a standstill. Do not worry, this is temporary. It is your body’s natural way of trying to survive with less food. There are plenty of ways that you can help your body get back on track with weight loss.
Check your exercise routine. In the beginning, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest intensity, you probably felt like you were exercising at a level of 8 through 10 just to make it through the workout.
Once you have made exercise a routine you will start gaining endurance and cardio fitness, so you are going to have to step up your workouts. Adjust your workouts so that you keep your intensity in the 8 to 9 range.
Looking at exercise on an intensity level of 1 through 10 keeps your body from adapting so easily and that will keep you burning more calories.
Think about it.
If you struggled to walk a mile on the treadmill on week one, and by the end of week two you get that mile done with no problem, you need to step it up!
That mile went from feeling like an 8 or 9 to now feeling more like a 6. Increase your speed, or lengthen your distance to get yourself back to feeling like you are working at an 8 or 9.
Take a look at your diet. You may need to temporarily up your calorie intake a little. Maybe add in a healthy snack or two for a few days.
I know what most of my reader will be thinking. Eat more? Yes, temporarily.
Remember, your body has hit this weight loss plateau because it is going into survival mode from eating fewer calories than you were burning for an extended time.
Now, if you increase your calories, maybe by 200 to 300 a day, you can send a signal to your body that it does not need to be in starvation mode and your metabolism should rise again.
After you have increased your calories for a few days, take the one or two added snacks back out of your diet. You can rotate this calorie intake method throughout your long-term diet.
One week you eat an extra snack a day, the next you do not. This can help keep your body from hitting the plateau, or at least help you quickly recover from it.
The best thing you can do with a weight loss plateau is work with it. Expect it, and when it happens do not get discouraged. Try the above mentioned changes to your diet and exercise routines and just keep going.
The weight loss plateau is an obstacle to push through. You have come this far, do not use this as a reason to stop now.
Excuse #3: “I’m Embarrassed to Go to the Gym”
If you feel embarrassed or intimidated about going to the gym you have two options: suck it up and go, or choose not to go.
Neither option means that you have to give up on exercise. Read that last sentence one more time. This may be a genuine feeling for you, but it is NOT an excuse to keep you from exercising.
If you are out of shape or not used to working out you may feel like you are entering an environment where people will judge you or watch you make a fool of yourself as you try to use fitness equipment that you have never used before.
First, most people that go to a gym are there to better themselves.
They are into health and fitness and are proud of the folks who come through the door and put forth an effort to better themselves too.
That being said, the world does have those people who think they are better than others and cast judgment, but never let those people stop you!
If you choose to suck it up and go there are a couple of things you can do to ease yourself into it.
Most gyms have a trial day or week where you can go and get familiar with the gym.
Many will have a trainer walk you through and show you how to use the equipment. Some will even go as far as to give a few free training sessions with a new membership. This is a great way to get familiar with all of the equipment available to you.
Once you learn your way around you will be more at ease. You will get into your groove in no time.
Get a workout partner to go with you. Be each other’s support. You will feel more comfortable walking through those doors in the initial days if you have an encouraging partner at your side. It encourages you to continue in spite of the post workout pain in the early days.
If you just cannot do it, then you can build your exercise routine at home, local parks, or outdoors.
With minimal home gym gear you can still get great workouts in.
A jump rope, exercise ball, workout mat, and a few free weights make an excellent home gym. You can do your cardio exercise outside by walking, running or biking, and you may even get a treadmill, or exercise bike, for indoors.
You do not have to have an elaborate home gym to get an effective workout in at home, but by all means if you want to you can.
The only caveat of working out at home is distractions. When you go to the gym you are there to work out. You cannot stop to put in a load of laundry or answer the door or countless other things.
At home you can easily get too distracted to begin your workout at all, or if you do get started it becomes easy to give in early.
It works best if you have a separate workout room and you schedule your exercise time. Do not just fit it in as you can.
Schedule exercise and work around it.
So that’s that!
I know this is a very unique post unlike most of the usual content I publish on the blog. But I do feel this is a helpful post for everyone here, as I am sure many of us have made one of these excuses when we’ve tried to lose weight.
All in all, remember that improving your health, losing weight is a long-term process, and not a one-time thing.
Instead of making excuses, try to work around them and try to create a habit out of it. Before you know it, you’ll be in a much better shape than ever before.