HOW TO SET A WEIGHT LOSS GOAL FOR BEGINNERS
Setting a weight loss goal for beginners is all about deciding what end results you want to achieve for yourself. And it’s important so that you can have a point of reference as you progress through your weight loss program.
Treat it like navigating a boat using the stars. Stars provide captains with a point of reference so they can tell if they’re on course. Same here. Your goals help you stay on course so use these criteria to set your weight loss goals:
1. Be specific – Simply saying, “Exercise more next week” is not a goal. “Spend 30 minutes every other day in the weight room at the gym” is a goal.
2. Make them measurable – “Eating better” doesn’t provide anything you can measure. “Limit food intake to 1,300 calories” does.
3. Make sure they’re attainable – “See ribs.
4. Set a time limit – If you don’t institute some sort of time limit on your weight loss, you’re likely to start slacking off, because hey, what’s the rush?
When you’re trying to lose weight, the gym can be a very intimidating place. You might look around at everyone else who seems so at ease and light years ahead of you in progress-wise. The machines all around you may feel alien, and you’re at a loss where to even begin.
Let me tell you a little secret: Every single person in that gym has felt exactly the way you are feeling at one point.
Be sure to incorporate a warm up, cool down, and stretch in you. The structure of a gym machine workout for beginners may look something like this:
1. Warm Up: 10 minutes of slow-moderate exercise biking.
2. Strength Training: 20 minutes of focused weight lifting.
3. Cardio: 20 minutes of moderate-fast cardio.
4. Cool Down: 10 minutes of moderate-slow walking on a treadmill.
5. Stretch: 5 minutes of stretching on an exercise mat.
If you have a tight schedule, don’t let that keep you away from the gym.
Keep the following things in mind before you embark on your weight loss odyssey:
1. It’s a process, not an event – This is the most important thing to keep in mind. You’re not going to walk into the gym tomorrow overweight and emerge 2 hours later slim and cut. Achieving weight-loss and improved overall health is a process, not an event.You didn’t put on all your extra weight overnight. And you won’t lose it all overnight either.
2. It’s not all about cardio – While cardiovascular exercise is important for all-around health and is a great way to increase the number of calories burned, there are other aspects to good health as well. Muscle tissue, for instance, actually burns a lot of calories even when it’s at rest. So one of your goals should be to increase muscle mass. You don’t have to look like a bodybuilder. But you should make time for the weight room and the various resistance training machines at the gym.
3. Nothing good will come from being dehydrated – No matter what type of body fat loss and exercise program you adopt water will be a crucial component. If you’re like most people, chances are that you’re not getting as much water as you should be right now. You should make drinking enough water one of your goals and be specific: “I will drink 3 liters of water per day.” That’s actually the amount recommended by the National Academy of Science.
4. Intensity is the key – When working out at the gym, it doesn’t matter how many machines you use. What matters is the intensity you bring to each exercise. The only way to build muscle is to challenge yourself. So don’t stop when you feel resistance.
Push forward through the resistance and once you’re able to lift a certain amount with relative ease, increase the weight.
Interval training is bursts of moderate to strenuous cardio activity followed by brief periods of recovery or reduced activity.
1. Two minutes of a brisk jog (about 3.5-4 mph)
2. 45 seconds of walking (about 2.5-3 mph)
3. Repeat above steps for 20 minutes
When you are ready to advance, a high-intensity work out will look like this:
1. One minute 30 seconds of all-out sprinting (6.5-8 mph)
2. 45 seconds of brisk walking (3-3.5 mph)
3. Repeat above steps for 28 minutes
To find the right workout plan to fit your needs, ask yourself the following questions:
1. What’s my ultimate fitness goal? – Do you want to become a bodybuilder or are you just interested in slimming down and becoming a bit stronger? Most people just want to slim down and tone up. In which case, a moderate amount of resistance training should be fine.
2. How much weight do I need to lose to achieve that goal? – If the amount of weight you want to lose is significant, you’ll likely have to include more cardio in your workout plan than if you only wanted to lose 20 or 30 pounds.
3. How much time do I have to devote to weight loss and strength training? – Do you have 2 hours you can dedicate to visiting the gym every day? Or is your time seriously constrained? If you’re chronically short of time, you may want to work with a personal trainer to devise a series of short, intense workouts.
4. Are there any mitigating circumstances? – Old injuries or current medical conditions may need to be accommodated when you devise your exercise program. If you have a history of shoulder problems. For instance, you’ll want to avoid declining pushups.