Many of us start to exercise for a variety of reasons. As a personal trainer and fitness professional, the #1 reason that I hear is – I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT! This is especially true to form in January when the New Year’s Resolutions pile in.
Here are the questions that I hear over and over from my clients and my answers (some humorous but true):
I have been exercising faithfully for the past 2 weeks and I haven’t lose a pound.
It hasn’t been long enough. There are 3500 calories in one pound. If you burn 300 calories working out and eat 300 calories less per day (two pieces of bread and a slice of turkey; one Cooke), you will save 600 calories per day. If you do this every day, in one week, you will have lost 1 lb! The moral of the story: DON’T OVEREAT! When you do, work it off!
OK. I have been training with you for a month and the scale has not changed.
If you are adding weight training, you are probably gaining muscle and losing fat. The scale will not change but your body fat % will. If your clothes are looser, than you are losing fat and gaining muscle! That is a good thing. Muscle burns more calories than fat!
I have been working out for the past year and my belly has not gone down.
Some people store their fat in their belly – actually many of us do. The only way to reduce your belly fat is to reduce your fats in your diet (your body stores fat more readily as fat), do more cardio (burn calories so that you reduce your fat lbs), and eat less (calories in have to be less than calories out).
My legs still look the same as when I started training with you.
You probably are toned beneath the fat. Your legs are large muscles and it is difficult to see muscle definition if you have fat on top of them. Increase your water and decrease fats! Once you lose body fat %, you will start to see some definition.
When am I going to have arms like yours? I have been working out for 25 years or more. My muscles are old! But I am consistent with my workouts, watch what I eat, and make sure that I get enough protein. I do cross training (different forms of cardio), Boot Camp, and weight training. All of this combined makes my arms defined.
The overall point made in this article is that you have to lose fat in order to make the results that you usually want. Introduce small changes on a weekly or monthly basis.
Here are a very small changes that I have found work for clients:
Increase hydration levels by 5 percent a week.
Cut one high-caloric indulgence a week.
Commit to one aerobic activity where they need to move for five to 10 minutes at least two or three times a week.
Smokers – reduce the overall number of cigarettes they smoke by three to five cigarettes a week.
Drinkers – Match each drink with the same amount of water or sparkling water.
Most people won’t feel deprived or think they’re sacrificing too much by making small changes. Yet, by slowly chipping away at negative behaviors, you will experience surprisingly rapid progress and feel a nice sense of accomplishment.