Start Your Fitness Journey with Our 4 Week Weight Loss Plan
4 Week Weight Loss Plan
In these unprecedented times, being at home most of the time has become the new ‘norm’ be that due to shielding, furlough or just generally working from home. Whilst this may have been beneficial in a lot of ways by helping to control the Coronavirus during this pandemic, I’m sure we’re not alone in reflecting on one of the downsides – a certain amount of weight gain.
Those little trips to the fridge with no restrictions on when you can or can’t eat, (that may have been imposed in your workplace) have made it all too easy to form bad habits, that may have resulted in a fluctuating waistline. If your diet plan has gone out of the window along with your healthy mean planner, the rest assured, you’re not alone
So, how can you fix this and start being healthy again?
The first thing you need to do is Act Now!
Don’t put it off until tomorrow or think ‘I’ll start again on Monday’ as Monday can easily become Tuesday, or Wednesday and before you know it another week has passed and your unhealthy relationship with the fridge is still as strong as ever.
Even if you’ve had a big lunch, a chocolate bar, or a piece of cake already today, don’t let that stop you making a start from now.
Reduce Your Sugar and Alcohol Intake
A great way to kick start your weight loss journey is to limit your sugar intake. It’s both surprising and shocking how much sugar there is in fizzy drinks, fruit juices, squash and shop bought coffee and teas, that you may be unaware of. Instead of the fizzy drink choose the diet version, or better still a bottle of water, and try to take your hot drinks without adding sugar. It may taste strange at first but you’ll soon to get used to it.
Cutting out alcohol too for a few weeks at least, will help also with your weight loss, because as well as being high in calories, alcohol can also increase your appetite (if drunk in small amounts) as well as lowering inhibitions – which means you’re less likely to stick to your healthy eating plans if you’ve had a few drinks. If giving up alcohol completely seems unrealistic, try to have a few alcohol-free days each week, as this can help keep you on track.
Kickstarting Your Fitness Regime
After a few lax months, getting back in the habit of regular exercise can be easier said than done. Anyone who has tried to lose weight, tone up or even just simply recommit to exercise knows that the battle is often more mental than physical.
The sensible thing to do is start with mini workouts of up to 15 minutes. This small timescale should be achievable for most people and will combat any excuse you may have as to why you can’t exercise. It could be crunches while you’re watching TV, squats while you fold the laundry or a walk around the block. It may not sound like much, but these are the types of movements that you want to start doing so you get that muscle memory.
It’s easier to convince yourself to do something for fifteen minutes rather than 30 or an hour, especially if it’s been a whilst since you’ve exercised regularly. Beyond that, you are slowly starting to condition your mind to put health front and centre and are getting your body used to moving, which will help build motivation over time.
Set Achievable Goals
The key is to set yourself exercise goals that are achievable which in turn will make it a more enjoyable experience, and one you’ll want to repeat.
But setting the right kind of goal is key. One that you know will be unachievable has the potential to have the opposite effect, leaving you discouraged and preventing you from sticking with it.
When it comes to setting goals, many health experts recommend the ‘SMART’ approach; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound.
There’s no point in setting a target of 10,000 steps a day for example, if you can realistically only manage about 7,000 most days. Seeing yourself consistently fall short of the target daily is like to have a really discouraging mental effect, whereas setting the goal at 7,000 steps will ensure you constantly hit your goal.
You’re training your brain that you are successful and once you build that momentum of seeing that yourself accomplish your goal each day, this will boost confidence, and encourage you to set the bar a little bit higher, and so on. By steadily increasing the goal number of steps, it won’t be long before you’re smashing 12,000 steps a day!
Once you get used to seeing yourself hit that goal at the end of each day it will motivate you to keep going.
Try Not to Skip A Workout Session
Often, deciding to skip a workout isn’t really a decision at all: The unexpected happens, or we all have days where you a sit down to rest on the couch when we get home and time gets away from us. it’s therefore really important that you try to ensure one night off doesn’t become two, or three etc as before you know it, it can be two weeks since you’ve done any exercise and then it just becomes more and more difficult to get back in the habit.
If, say, you miss an exercise session because you had to work late, do 10 minutes of resistance exercises in the living room when you get home. Or take the dog for an extra-long walk the following day. It’s about not feeling like you’re back at square one and trying to maintain the new habit rather than losing it.
Don’t Throw in The Towel Too Soon
If your goal is to lose weight but you’re not seeing the results you want, don’t be disheartened. Fitness techniques aren’t a one size fits all and what works for one person may not garner the same results for another. In fact, what works for you at one time of your life may not work at another. As you get fitter, you’ll gain muscle and become more toned – muscle weighs more than fat, so that will slow weight loss.
Start as You Mean to Go On
If your ultimate goal is to exercise, say, three times a week, start out by doing that rather than building up to it. Research shows that frequent, early repetitions of certain behaviours, such as exercise, make it more likely to become something you do automatically.
This doesn’t mean you have to go all out in each session though. A classic mistake, especially in tough sports such as running, is starting off too hard. Your good intentions will melt away if you get back from a run feeling sick and exhausted.
Begin slowly and comfortably. With running, for example, go out for 20 minutes, walking for a minute and running for a minute. You’ll then get back feeling exercised and chuffed, instead of defeated, and it’s also a great cardio workout.
Gradually reduce the walking (say, run for a minute, walk for 30 seconds). Within weeks, you’ll be able to run for 20 minutes non-stop.
Give yourself at least a solid 4 weeks of following the tips and advice in this guide, as you’re sure to start seeing results by then, and don’t forget to tell us about your progress in the comments section below.
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