“I want to lose weight now.”
Whether you say it or secretly wish it, this is the most popular desire of today’s gym goers. We spend millions of dollars at gyms every year just to achieve this goal of weight loss, but the truth is most of us fail. We don’t know how to do it properly and we’re too afraid to ask for help. After trying countless fitness classes, exercise programs and diets, you can’t get it to stick.
So, how do you lose weight? I would like to share some common concerns that I hear from gym members and explain what is happening. With basic and accurate knowledge, you CAN achieve your healthy weight loss goals through a healthy lifestyle!
Concern #1 “I’ve tried many diets and none of them are working””
Dieting is a very simple concept that is unduly complicated by various authors, doctors and fitness professionals. Here is the bottom line: Your body burns energy by moving and it receives energy by eating, so if you burn more calories (energy) than you consume, then your body will tap into energy storage (fat) and you will lose weight. That is it! That is the formula to weight loss. Imagine if you are eating all of the right foods on a 1700 calorie plan but your body is only currently using or burning 1600 of those calories in a day. 100 calories every day are being stored as fat. Since 3500 calories = 1 pound, after 35 days, you have already gained 1 pound and after 3 years, you’re 30 pounds heavier! The diets you have tried weren’t working because you were not in “calorie deficit.” The best way to reach a calorie deficit is to combine exercise and healthy eating.
Concern #2 “If all I need is to eat fewer calories, then I will just stop eating, right?”
WRONG! This what many people believe. Here is the problem: Your body is very smart and its number one priority is self preservation. If you deprive the body of too much food, then it goes into starvation mode. This means that your body will try to slow itself down to match the calories that are coming in. You will become a very tired, very cranky and very unhappy person and at the end of all of that, any weight that you do lose is going to boomerang right back! You may even become heavier. It is very important to have a healthy diet. You can find articles about healthy eating and other weight loss tips on the Shane blog, ator
Concern #3 “These fitness classes aren‘t helping me lose weight either.”
Fitness classes can be a very valuable tool for losing weight when used correctly. A lot of us don’t see progress when we go to these classes though. It all goes back to Concern #1 with dieting. You need to be in a calorie deficit which exercise will help by increasing the amount of calories that your body burns. Cardio classes will shred calories while you are participating and classes with resistance training will strengthen muscle which allows you to burn more calories at rest. The reason that a lot of us do not see this happening is because we go to the class, but we are not IN the class. When you participate in any activity with the intention of getting the most out of it, you need to concentrate fully on it. With an exercise class, that means focusing on each move that you are doing, having a positive attitude and making sure that you are pushing yourself. Next time you go to an exercise class, instead of simply going through the motions, focus on working hard and getting the most out of your 30 minute or 60 minute class. It will be more fun too.
Aaron Feldman is one of the weight loss fitness trainers at Shane Diet Resorts, a fitness retreat for young adults ages 18-25 and adults ages 26 and up. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport/Exercise Science, a Personal Trainer Certification through the ACSM, a Swim Instructor Certification through the American Red Cross, and he is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Kinesiology- Exercise Science at California State University – Long Beach.