There are many different ways to lose weight. But there are only a few that help you shape a lean and healthy body and MAINTAIN it. What you eat is an important part of the Real Fitness Formula, but it is more than that. There’s a FIT MYTH that is constantly causing people to feel as though they have failed. It’s one that is at the heart of the diet industry. Heard this one before?
Fit Myth #2:
I’ll lose weight and then I’ll start exercising.
When someone says this I know two very important things:
- They have been riding the diet roller coaster for a long time.
Losing weight with calorie restriction alone is an idea that comes from prepackaged diet programs and weight loss best sellers. There may be a mention of exercise in the fine print or a chapter on getting moving, but it’s not emphasized as much as the food. These programs are all about quick fixes and not building a healthy lifestyle. I agree that 80% of your fat loss journey is about the fuel you choose to give your body. But if you restrict calories without exercise, specifically strength training, you will just end up a smaller version of your squishy self.
- They have done some serious damage to their metabolism.
Dieting without exercise sacrifices lean muscle. Losing weight too fast will surely tap into more than just fat. In fact, the quick weight loss in the beginning is usually just water. Without exercise, muscle is lost along with fat. The problem is muscle is the stuff we want to keep! It boosts our metabolic fire and fills out our jeans in all the right places. We lose muscle naturally as we age but constant calorie restriction without strength training makes it even worse. Strength training is critical in preventing this loss of lean tissue and keeping our metabolism primed.
Exercise and good nutrition go hand in hand on your fitness journey. I understand that the gym or a set of dumbbells can be intimidating, (I know it was for me when I started) but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Strength training is as simple as challenging your body to move it’s own weight. For a beginner it could be as simple as this:
- Push ups
Those three exercises will work all your major muscle groups. They can be modified for any level. They can be done in minimal time in the comfort of your own living room. Once you’ve mastered those basics you can starting adding on. Get some ideas from a great book like Weight Training for Dummies or try a workout like my 12 Days of Fitmas Workout (adding a new exercise each day).
Strength training (and cardio) should be part of your fat loss plan. Get off the diet roller coaster and starting focusing on lifelong fitness adventure.