While maintaining a proper diet is essential to shedding those unwanted pounds, you’ll never really be able to keep the weight off without a consistent exercise routine. Unfortunately, in today’s day and age, most people think of exercise as “cardio.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with cardiovascular exercise. It burns calories, strengthens your heart and lungs, reduces stress and can significantly lower your blood pressure.
As we get older, however, we tend to lose muscle mass. Muscle mass is responsible for a large portion of the calories you burn each day. One pound of muscle burns approximately 50 calories per day. If over the course of 20 years you lose 10 pounds of muscle, that’s almost 500 calories a day you are no longer burning. That’s 3500 calories a week!
Gaining weight causes you to be more sedentary, which only causes you to lose more muscle and, you guessed it, gain more weight. The problem compounds itself, which is why the obesity rate in the United States has reached epidemic proportions.
Weight training, or “resistance training” as it’s knows in gym parlance, allows you to build and maintain healthy lean muscle mass, which is essential to preventing the spare tire from coming back. Most people, however, have no idea how to train properly with weights.
Use Weight Training Machines
When you first start to train with weights, don’t automatically go running in to the free weight section of the gym and throw a bunch weight on a bar. If you’re new to resistance training, use the machines that most modern-day gyms offer. These machines are engineered to help you go through the proper range of motion and will greatly reduce the possibility of you injuring yourself as a novice.
If you can afford it, hire a personal trainer. Most trainers go through extensive programs such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine to learn how to train their clients safely and effectively. In addition, these trainers can be a source of motivation and inspiration when you feel like giving up.
If you can’t afford a personal trainer, follow the instructions listed on most resistance machines and start light. That doesn’t mean so light that you’re not feeling like you’ve accomplished anything, but a weight that you will be able to move for at least 12 to 15 repetitions. Only do one set per muscle the first week, as you’ll need to ease into it. Do two sets the second week, and then three sets from then on.
Take the Muscle to Failure
The most important thing to know about weight training is remembering to take the muscle you are working to failure. What does that mean? It means, when you are nearing the last of your 12 to 15 repetitions, you should feel as if you could not lift it one more time, no matter how hard you try. Taking a muscle to failure breaks it down on a molecular level and forces the body to “rebuild” the muscle. This rebuilding burns copious amounts of energy, adds lean muscle mass, and, well, let’s face it, makes you look great!
Incorporating a weight training program into your exercise routine will not only help you burn off those extra pounds, but will keep you looking and feeling young for decades to come.
Psychological Ways to Lose Weight
There are many reasons you may not be able to exercise: recent surgery or illness, a broken leg or sprained ankle, major depression, or an intense dislike of sweat. To help you shed the pounds, here are seven psychological ways to lose weight without exercising.
P.S. If you’re trying to lose weight, make sure you’re making lifestyle changes that last. If you’re popping weight loss pills to lose 20 pounds before summer, then you may be setting yourself up for failure. The only way to lose weight permanently is through positive, sustainable lifestyle changes. If you walk or do yoga occasionally but find your motivation to exercise is decreasing, try 5 Tips For Staying Active.
Psychological Ways to Lose Weight Without Exercising
Take up knitting. Do something else with your hands: knitting, crocheting, cross stitching, exercising with hand balls, or painting. This is a psychological way to lose weight without exercising because it keeps your hands busy and your mind occupied. Your mind will be on what you’re doing, not what you want to eat.
Enjoy occasional treats. If you totally deprive yourself of the food you love, you’ll gorge at the drop of a hat. Enjoying occasional treats is a psychological way to lose weight because you don’t feel like you’re on a diet.
Get enough sleep. This is a psychological way to lose weight without exercising because if you’re tired, you’re more likely to make bad decisions about eating. It’s biological, too: enough sleep allows your body to build up more leptin (a hormone that helps you feel full).
Seek dietary counseling. One study shows that dietary counseling can lead to a weight loss of approximately 10-15 pounds in one year. Though this seems slow, remember how fast the years go by – and remember that slow weight loss can be permanent weight loss. See a nutritional counselor to help you set realistic weight loss goals,
Keep a food diary. Simply writing down everything you’re about to eat can help you eat less, and more nutritiously. Monitoring your food intake with a food diary is a psychological way to lose weight because it keeps you aware of how much and what kind of food you consume. Plus, it helps you notice your mindless eating habits and emotional eating tendencies.
Use small dishes & cutlery. To cut down on the amount you eat, simply use smaller plates, salad forks, and teaspoons. This is a psychological way to lose weight for three reasons: you’ll automatically put less food on your plate, your plate will look full, and you’ll take longer to eat. This will help you feel full, which makes you less likely to overeat.
Listen to your body. Let yourself get hungry. What does it feel like? Now, eat a few bites. How do you feel now? Many of people have lost touch with our feelings of hunger and satiety. They eat because they’re watching TV, at the movie theatre, or scared about their lives. This psychological way to lose weight without exercising will help you tune in to your body, and strengthen your mind-body connection.
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