The time has come to stop kidding yourself. That extra weight has been piling on for a while, and it isn’t going away on its own. Even if you are the kind of guy who would willingly take down kale and beet salads instead of a steak, you can still find yourself trotting around a few too many pounds.
Maybe you have been trying to cut some corners in your diet and hoping that going for a jog every now and again or doing a few push-ups will be enough to do the trick. The truth is, you can lose weight by dieting alone, but doing so might put you at other risks. If you are going to get serious about weight loss, it is time to get serious about getting in shape.
Yes, it is possible for men to lose weight without exercising, but that is like only driving your car in first gear. If you really want to ramp up the fat loss, pairing changes in your diet with the right cardio and strength training can be the ticket to rapid, healthy weight loss.
The first rule of exercise for fast weight loss is “start slow.” That may sound counterintuitive, but beginning well is the fastest route to dropping pounds in a hurry. Everyone likes quick results when it comes to weight loss, and nothing will set you back faster than starting a workout plan with too much intensity and injuring yourself. “Easy does it” in the early going will set you up for a better foundation down the road.
Starting slow doesn’t just apply to your overall weight loss plan. Each individual workout should start out slowly. Adding in warm up time can make it harder to fit a full workout in your schedule, but that is vital time to get your body prepped for the workout you are about to do. This applies to both weight training and cardio workouts. Your risk of injury is significantly higher if you haven’t warmed up properly, not to mention your body won’t perform at its best.
The second rule of fat burning workouts is that any movement helps. This is especially true if you have not been exercising at all or if you find yourself with a BMI north of 30, commonly known as the territory of obesity. More important than picking the perfect routine or the exact mix of cardio to weight lifting is getting started and getting moving. Beginning to fit workouts in around your existing schedule is a great way to start rather than whipping up a dramatic change you won’t be able to sustain.
There are several types of workouts you should consider if you are looking to lose weight, and each type has its advantages and shortcomings. A quick list of the types is listed below:
It can be easy to laser focus on just one of these types of workouts, especially if there is one that is particularly enjoyable or fits your schedule. Your best bet, however, is not to put all your eggs in one basket, as these types of exercise all have their place. In the sections below, we will cover the benefits and some downsides of each of these types of exercise.
Though often overlooked by some men as not being “intense” enough, bodyweight workouts and exercises like yoga or pilates are great foundations for a new life free of extra body fat. The best part of these workouts is you don’t need any special equipment and very little space. When you are starting out, bodyweight workouts can be done at home, and many yoga training courses exist online, so you don’t even need to spring for that gym membership just yet.
One of the biggest values of these workouts is they help build foundational strength that can carry into other forms of exercise. Isometric holds like planks can build core strength while lowering your chances of hurting your back while you begin to build muscle at the beginning of your new workout routine. These workouts also benefit from being easy to sneak in around your schedule since they don’t require a trip to the gym.
Ultimately, bodyweight workouts are at their best when they are part of a larger fitness plan. While yoga and similar exercises are great for mobility, balance, core strength, and flexibility, they do not burn calories or build lean muscle at the rate intense HIIT workouts or weight training can.
There is probably no other exercise that brings about feelings of such loathing when you are just starting out than cardio. It may seem like a unique torture to think about running for hours, but a little cardio can go a long way. Cardiovascular fitness is one of the biggest advantages you can have in your corner for other types of exercise, as well as being crucial to helping you avoid a host of diseases later in life that are linked to carrying too much body fat.
Cardio workouts don’t have to be marathon events to start working either. Just 30 minutes of running or jogging can burn around 300 calories, depending on your body weight and how fast you run. If running isn’t your thing, cycling can burn even more calories in a similar amount of time, and swimming can put you north of 400 calories for a quick half-hour workout.
Many cardio workouts are focused more heavily on the lower body. Focusing on cardio without adding upper body strength training can put you at risk of lower back injuries, which is why it is best to pair cycling or running with full body workouts that help build muscle throughout your body.
One of the downsides of cardio workouts is they take more time than most other forms of exercise. As you progress through your workout program your body will adapt, which means you need to run faster or for longer periods to burn the same calories you were torching at the start of your exercise plan. Furthermore, cardio alone will not build the lean muscle mass at the same rate lifting weights can achieve.
HIIT workouts are the secret weapon of any workout routine for burning fat fast. These short-duration exercises that pair brief periods of maximum effort with equal or shorter periods of lower-intensity rest can be done in as little as 20 minutes, but they burn an immense amount of calories. What is more, your body will be in a state of increased caloric consumption for up to 24 hours afterward.
One of the reasons HIIT workouts are so popular is they don’t take very long to do. Blasting out 30 seconds or a minute of burpees or kettlebell swings followed by lower intensity lunges for just a few minutes will absolutely torch calories, as well as helping increase your VO2 max, or the measurement of how good your body is at processing oxygen. This, in turn, gives you a boost to push harder on your cardio workouts later.
HIIT workouts are hard to do alone, and could even be dangerous to try right off the bat. Working your body to the point of failure brings about the risk of injury. Doing HIIT workouts as part of an exercise class or gym membership that gives you access to trainers or coaches can significantly reduce the chances you will hurt yourself by lifting with poor form or overdoing it.
When it comes to muscle building, there are few better ways than heading to the weight room at the gym. Single muscle exercises like dumbbell curls or barbell exercises like bench presses can be good for targeting and strengthening individual muscles, but exercises like deadlifts that involve all major muscle groups work even better. You should be very careful when starting out with your workout routine, though, as exercises like deadlifts are a great way to sideline yourself for several weeks, or forever, with a lower back injury.
Weight lifting can be incorporated into HIIT-style workouts to help you lose fat even faster. Rather than simply stopping and resting between sets, keeping your heart rate up by hopping on an exercise bike or doing lunges can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your workouts.
Lifting weights is a great way to burn fat faster by increasing your amount of lean muscle mass, but it should not be the only workout you do. If your gym workouts involve a rest period between sets, you may not be getting your heart rate high enough to burn as many calories as you need to really lose weight fast. Weight lifting also does less for your cardiovascular health than running or swimming, which is an important component of weight loss and overall health.
All exercises that help increase your base metabolic rate by building lean muscle mass will help you lose weight. The best workout routine for losing weight is one you can stick to regularly and progress in as you get in better and better shape. Pairing strength training and HIIT exercises at the gym with occasional cardio workouts like running or cycling will give you the best chance to lose weight as quickly as possible.
Any exercise that helps you burn more calories than you take in will help you lose body fat. Visceral fat, or the fat around your organs, is a significant contributor to the bulge around your middle. Cardio workouts, such as jogging and running, and HIIT workout routines have been shown to burn visceral fat faster than some other forms of exercise. Strength training workouts also contribute to fat burning for several hours after you stop working out, which will help you reduce fat throughout the body.
The hardest part of any workout plan is getting started. Having friends to help you, personal trainers to coach you, or even your doctor to demand you get in shape are all helpful, but in the end it will come down to you lacing up your shoes and getting going.
It is crucial at the beginning to set realistic goals. You many want to lose weight fast, but there is a limited amount you can lose in a healthy manner. People who have higher body masses to start with tend to lose more than those who have less to lose to begin with, so looking at a percentage of body weight is a good way to decide how many pounds you should try to lose. Research suggests aiming to lose around 1% of your overall weight a week is an attainable and sustainable goal.
Another thing to remember is that if you are engaging in strength training exercises to build muscle mass, you may actually get heavier. Don’t let this discourage you! Muscle mass burns calories, and weighs more, than a comparable amount of fat. Even if the number on the scale isn’t moving as fat as you would like, if you are working out hard regularly and eating well, your body is on its way to becoming a fat burning machine.
Speaking of eating well, all the weight loss workouts in the world have one thing in common: they don’t do much for you if you still eat poorly. Getting in the gym is important, but pairing your workouts with a meal plan designed to keep you on a healthy diet low in carbs and high in protein will build muscle as quickly as possible. Every bit of extra lean muscle you put on increases your base metabolic rate, which will only increase the rate at which your body burns fat.
Depending on how much extra body fat you are carrying, beginning an exercise plan can be anywhere from difficult to outright dangerous. If you only have a few pounds to lose, you may not be in much danger of negative consequences from starting a new workout routine. If, on the other hand, your body mass is extremely high, you could be putting yourself in danger of physical injury or even a heart attack by going too hard too soon in your new exercise plan. Losing weight fast can seem like a good thing, but losing too much weight too quickly can put you at risk of constipation, gallstones, malnutrition, fatigue, and more.
Being overweight can be a risk factor for problems associated with exercise, but if you have undergone any form of weight loss surgery or procedure in an attempt to lose weight, the risks are even greater. After bariatric revision or a procedure such as an endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, you will not be able to take in as many calories as you would otherwise. This can lead to serious problems if you are trying to exercise but can’t get enough fluids and nutrients to replenish your body.
At True You Weight Loss, we have the expertise and experience to help you navigate the potential pitfalls of starting a workout routine after a weight loss procedure. We also offer alternatives such as the ORBERA® Managed Weight Loss System. If you are struggling against severe obesity, these alternatives to traditional weight loss surgery can give you more options to take control of your weight through a more active lifestyle down the road. To learn more about these and other services we provide, request a consultation today.