I often get asked questions like “what’s the best work out to lose weight?” “which exercises will give me abs?” “does this or this burn more calories?” “What should I eat to lose weight?” and the list goes on. Now before I elaborate give me a moment to disclaimer myself- I understand wanting to have a healthy body and look good but we all have to agree there’s a point where it’s ridiculous.
· What’s the best work out to lose weight?- the work out you enjoy the most!
o Seriously, if you’re doing a work out you don’t enjoy chances are you probably won’t work as hard or stick to that routine for very long. That being said, there is some benefit to doing work outs that push you out of your comfort zone but over all I firmly believe that you can find a balance of doing what you enjoy and mixing it up with things you may not enjoy. It’s true that sometimes the things you resist the most can be the things you need the most, however, just because you don’t enjoy dancing doesn’t mean you go dance for 6 hours. There’s a difference between not personally enjoying something and not wanting to do something.
· Which exercises will give me abs?- who cares!
o I am still not sure why our society judges fitness based on abs and biceps. Who wrote that rule? Having visible abs doesn’t really have anything to do with your fitness but has more to do with your body fat, and for some people chasing visible abs will more often then not put them in the underweight category (especially for women!). Instead of chasing abs how about we chase health and see what happens.
· Which exercise burns the most calories?- again, who cares!
o Let’s go back to enjoying your fitness life. I personally cannot stand dance classes and the thought of burning X- amount of calories in a dance class will not make me more likely to go shake it. Bottom line, anything you do that is active is good for you. There are a lot more benefits to being active than burning calories, losing weight, or looking good. If you’re working out just to lose weight or burn so many calories you may want to reconsider your motives before you risk burning out. Over all being active reduces risk for a number of illnesses, improves your mood, among other things. Make it about more than just the scale and I think you’ll see dramatic results. Even if it’s just an extra smile it’s worth it!
· What should I eat to lose weight?-
o Ok, so we have the obvious what’s good for you and what isn’t. Obviously carrots are better than candy. But that doesn’t mean that you should go eat 16 pounds of carrots every single day. Give yourself a little leeway, find the difference between a diet and a lifestyle. If you go on a diet chances are once you reach your goal you revert to your old habits, or half way through you get sick of eating 16 tons of carrots and go back to what you were doing before. Neither of those sound pleasant to me, so let’s look at it a different way. Consider it a lifestyle, make changes that are maintainable for life. Doing this will increase your overall health so much more than any diet will. Did I mention it’s more maintainable? Give yourself some wiggle room, you don’t have to be strict on yourself all the time. Studies show that cheat days (allowing yourself that treat here and there) are actually good for you not to mention they keep you sane. I know there’s a lot of things floating around out there and I get a lot of questions asking if this type of diet is good or if this is better. Why do that to yourself? Just because paleo works for one person doesn’t mean it works for everyone. In a nutshell- do what works for you and do whats maintainable!
All in all- find work outs that you enjoy, push yourself out of your comfort zone but in a way you enjoy, know that everyone’s body is different and chasing extreme goals isn’t always healthy, lastly, eat well but eat in a way that is maintainable and enjoyable! Give it a shot, I think you’ll find yourself healthier and happier and if you don’t let me know and we can talk and I’m more than happy to help you figure it out!