Taking care of your body and aiming to stay fit is one of the best things you could do to improve your quality of life, but unfortunately, many people fail to find the right and meaningful way that will help them make that happen. There are many reasons for that, one of them being a lack of self-discipline and motivation, so if you’re struggling to lose weight and/or build muscle, here are some tips that will help you do so.
It’s important to remember that there are no such things as an overnight success, so before you start your own weight loss regiment, it’s essential to arm yourself with patience and perseverance because if you give up too soon, all your effort will be for nothing. So, without further ado, here are some guidelines that will help you be the best version of yourself.
1. Identify the root of your issues
Behind every person that struggles with losing weight, lies a unique set of problems. For some, that could be body image problems, while others might have problems with self-control and self-discipline. If you often turn to comfort food whenever you’re sad or depressed, then switching to an extra strict diet won’t do much for you in the long run. Similarly, going to the gym won’t help you loads if your diet consists of junk food and unhealthy snacks. In case you’ve tried to get yourself in shape without much success, chances are that your problems might be more mental and hereditary, rather than purely physical. Often, it’s a combination of both, therefore, make sure to identify your own personal issues, habits and past traumas before you decide to change your lifestyle.
2. Stay away from unhealthy food
Let’s be honest: food is deeply ingrained in our psyche, and its significance often stems from one’s cultural, national and religious identity as well. Hence, many people can struggle with a diet change, simply due to the fact that they frequently lack moral support from their loved ones, and it’s well-known that, if you’re aiming to get fit, you should surround yourself with people who will support you on your journey. However, if you’re determined enough, it’s possible to adopt a clean diet plan that will be free of refined sugars, trans fats and unhealthy carbs. In case you don’t know where to start, then feel free to consult a renowned nutritionist in your area, but also, make sure to clearly voice your concerns and goals, so they will be able to help you in a healthy and reasonable manner.
3. Create a workout plan that fits your needs
Not all workout routines are equal, so before you sign up for a gym membership, make sure that you’re opting for things that will work for you. Usually, losing weight requires more vigorous types of exercises, such as a bit of cardio, swimming and running, while muscle-building workouts are more apt for those who lost their fair share of weight, and are now looking to get fit and toned. This is important to know because opting for weight-lifting and other muscle-building exercises won’t help you get rid of stubborn fat, therefore, creating a proper and effective workout program should be your top priority. Also, don’t hesitate to hire an experienced and professional personal trainer who will be able to guide through the whole process.
4. Always aim to educate yourself
Many people have insufficient knowledge when it comes to human anatomy, diet and exercises, which is why they often struggle to lose weight and build muscle efficiently. Sometimes, going to the gym and eating less can be counterproductive, so being informed and educated can be extremely helpful. Aside from talking to people, you can also opt to read health and fitness books that will provide you with motivation and the right tips to start your exercise journey. As someone once said: “Dreams don’t work unless you do.”, therefore, learning the right stuff and working hard are the perfect combination to achieve that body you’ve always dreamed of.
5. Focus on fat loss, rather than muscle loss
Human weight consists of many things such as fat, muscle, water, poop (yes, believe it or not!), glycogen and stomach content. Therefore, if you’re looking to cut weight, you should aim your focus on fat loss, rather than muscle loss. And in order to make that happen, you basically need a caloric deficit, which is a state when you consume fewer calories than your body needs to burn for energy. The best way to make that happen is to create a diet and exercise plan that will make your body burn fat, instead of muscle. So, consuming enough protein, adjusting your strength levels, and taking diet breaks when needed will surely be of great use. Also, avoiding excessive amounts of cardio will give your body a better chance of recovering after exercising.
6. Give yourself time
As mentioned previously, overnight success doesn’t exist, so if you feel unhappy with your progress, it’s important to give yourself time. Instead of obsessively counting calories and working out tirelessly, you should focus on mindful eating and taking up hobbies that require physical movements, such as kayaking, walking, dancing and yoga. That way you will occupy yourself while also losing weight and building muscle. Being patient and persistent will provide you with the right mindset one definitely needs in order to slim down and get into shape. Aside from that, it’s essential to incorporate healthy habits such as eating breakfast every day and cooking your own food.
Cutting weight alone can be stressful and difficult at times, so adding muscle-building workouts (with a bit of cardio) can be a great addition to your newly-found routine. That being said, it’s essential to point out that patience is a virtue, especially if you’re just starting out your fitness journey. Aside from that, you should always aim to surround yourself with the right people, such as fitness trainers and health-oriented individuals, as then you’ll be more motivated and focused to turn your life around and become a healthy and happy person.