Quick steps to weight loss: Part 2/3

In the first part of this 3-part series in my previous blog, we looked at the importance of being organised, setting small goals and building a sustainable routine, all whilst being honest with yourself and focusing on where you are right now, not where someone else is! The steps were as follows;

Step 1: Where are you now?

Step 2: Sustainable Routine!

Step 3: Make small changes!

Now, in part 2, we will start to push the focus into more of the practical elements, with a further 3 steps towards weight loss.

Step 4: Activity levels!

Leading on from the last point on the previous blog, we spoke about the importance of step count. Walking might seem like such a trivial thing, but it’s such an easy win and it adds up to so many calories over the long term! That is an important thing with controlling your weight, thinking long term rather than short term! If I usually walk 5,000 steps a day, and then tomorrow I will walk 10,000 steps, it won’t make any visible difference what so ever! However, if I do that over a week, that’s an extra 35,000 steps a week, an extra 140,000 steps a month, and an extra 12,775,000 steps a year! Now that’s where it makes a huge difference! The great thing is because it’s low level activity, it doesn’t take anything out of you in regards to negatively effecting gym workouts, running or cycling etc. Also consider, that in this blog we are almost exclusively talking about weight loss, so this doesn’t even take into account the numerous benefits of walking in regards to strength, mobility, cardiovascular health, and mental well-being.

Along with aiming for 10,000 steps a day (average! as some days can be more and some can be less), you will look for some cardiovascular exercise to do alongside this, once or twice a week. For people starting on this journey, I’d normally recommend just doing something you enjoy! If you enjoy getting on the bike, do that. If you want to play a sport with your friends or in a team, that’s great too! Or maybe you want to join the gym and do a class once or twice a week! Something like the MSC Met Con class works great, or a gym closer to you that also takes into account beginners and experience levels.

Step 5: Gym

I know a lot of people who are looking to loose weight don’t go to the gym, and really don’t like the thought of it. However, I’d strongly recommend joining a gym (ideally independent) and doing strength training once or twice a week, as the benefits are almost unlimited! Without boring you with science you don’t need to know about, building strength in the gym will make the walking and the cardiovascular activity easier, due to an increase in muscular strength, joint strength and stability, and being able to proceed more force. Also, the risk of injury will be reduced dramatically, the more lean muscle tissue you build, the more calories you will burn at rest during the day, and the better you’ll look! Something that sometimes surprises people also, is that a persons strength, along with VO2 max, is a huge predictor of cardiovascular disease! Another huge benefit of joining a good gym is the social side you get with it too!!

A good gym will take into account your current levels of fitness and experience, and prescribe the right programme and schedule for you. For most beginners who are looking to loose weight, a target might be this;

  • Average 8,000-10,000 steps a day (or 15-20% more than you’re currently doing)
  • 2x per week basic strength training for 40minutes
  • 1x per week cardiovascular exercise such as a fun sport, gym class, or a outdoor bike / hike

Step 6: Nutrition

In the first 3 steps, we talked briefly about nutrition and the importance of making smarter choices. Now let’s step it up a little bit. Along with your regular exercise routine, let’s get an idea of how many calories you are consuming. So for 2 weeks, track your calories! I know what some of you might be thinking reading this! I cant be bothered to count calories! That’s so time consuming! etc ect. What I would say to that is, is it really that big a sacrifice / require a massive amount of discipline to put aside 5-10 minutes a day to track your calories for a couple of weeks?? Surely not if the end game is to be the fittest and healthiest version of yourself ever!! I would also say that tracking calories doesn’t have to be done forever! I don’t track calories myself, apart from rare check ups or specific goals a couple times a year perhaps, because when you’ve got to an ideal weight and have been training and eating reasonably well consistently for a long time, you’ll know in your head roughly how many calories you are consuming, and therefore don’t always have to track. However, especially at the start of your journey, it is a great way to find out where you are at the moment, and then once we’ve got that data, we will then look to create a sustainable calorie deficit, to really start to loose some unwanted weight! And the key thing here is to be completely HONEST with yourself!! More information on calories and calorie deficits will come in the next blog!!

Start to implement these next 3 steps, and next week I’ll tell you the final 3!!


Mark x

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