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How to Lose Weight and Keep it off: Exercise

Categories: Weight Loss, Exercise

I speak to a lot of people at my Chelmsford studio who tell me that they can lose weight but find it almost impossible to keep the weight off in the long term. In my experience there are two reasons for this. The first is that maintaining a healthy weight is not simply a 10-week journey that takes you from A to B. It’s more about a sustainable change of lifestyle; making small, manageable changes to your routine that you can commit to on a long-term basis. As the cliché goes, it’s not about the destination, but the journey.

The other common reason is that the body has a remarkable ability to adapt to change. If you make a drastic change to your lifestyle then of course you’re going to see fast results, but the body is great at adjusting to new routines, so it’s important to intermittently re-evaluate your progress and try new strategies to keep off the weight.

Below are some suggestions to help you keep the weight off, but if you do find that you struggle, consider booking a few sessions with a personal trainer who specialises in weight loss and can give you some tools that you can use to make your own workouts more effective.

Set Realistic Exercise Goals

One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, is setting yourself an overambitious exercise routine. You might indeed find that you lose weight fast if you spend two hours a day in the gym, six days a week. But you’ll also find that this is unsustainable, and you’ll quickly start skipping sessions and beating yourself up for it. Instead, try three 40-minute instances of exercise a week. This is much more achievable, and you’ll find it easier to stick to. Slow and steady wins the race!

Find an Exercise Buddy

Would your kids do their homework every night if their teachers weren’t checking it? Probably not. The same goes for losing weight; you’re far more likely to succeed if you have someone holding you accountable. Try to find a friend or a personal trainer who can keep you motivated and on track – you can even make it into a competition if you’re the competitive type! Alternatively, there are loads of apps out there that allow you to log your exercise time, such as Jefit or Strava.

Schedule Your Weight-loss

At the beginning of each week, schedule your workouts into your diary. I always find that it’s useful to schedule four exercise windows, even if you’re only planning to exercise three times – that way if something comes up or if you’re not feeling up to a workout, you’ve got an extra window left over to squeeze your exercise into. In an ideal world I’d recommend having at least a day’s recovery between each workout but I know this isn’t always possible so don’t worry too much about it. If you’re planning to exercise on a day you’re at work, make sure you take your gym kit to the office with you. It’s always far easier to go straight from work to the gym than it is to go home and then persuade yourself to go out again!

Plan Your Gym Routine

Points to anyone noticing a theme here because planning really is the key to success! When you first start going to the gym, you’ll probably be able to get away with losing weight without much of a plan simply due to the increase in regular exercise. But once your body catches up, you’ll find that keeping the weight off isn’t quite so easy. A plan will help you structure your workouts, develop targets and focus on key areas. It’s much more effective than just turning up and jumping on whatever equipment is free!

Beware the Machines!

Don’t stick to machines at the gym – they are not the best way to lose weight. Cardio machines are monotonous and repetitive while weight machines isolate one muscle group. Free weights are the most effective way to keep off weight. They allow you to target more muscle groups in one single exercise and are therefore a more efficient way of burning fat – ideal if you lead a busy lifestyle. If you’re not confident using free weights then consider booking a few sessions with a personal trainer.

Work it with a circuit

Circuits are a great way to combine cardio and strength training. One of the reasons it works so well is because there’s an unlimited number of combinations you can use. Once you get comfortable with one routine, just switch to another. This will keep your body working hard. Plenty of these routines can be done in the comfort of your living room – all you need is an app to time your routines. My personal favourite is Seconds.

I hope you find the above tips useful for keeping the weight off! If you’re based near Chelmsford and you’re looking for a personal trainer, don’t hesitate to get in touch.