3 Keys for Overcoming Obesity: Weight Loss Tips From a Personal Trainer
Overcoming obesity is one of the most misunderstood topics for fitness influencers on social media and personal trainers. For those who have been healthy their entire lives, oftentimes, simplify it to “all you need is to go into a caloric deficit, and your weight will fall right off”; and then there are those that were obese and remain convinced that what worked for them can work for everybody else, then preaching it like it’s the word of God.
Maybe it’s my experience in working with so many different individuals who have struggled to lose weight, as well as having an advanced education in nutrition, that I have come to understand that the weight loss approach is different for everybody.
Welcome to the Workout Nerdout.
Offering tips for people that are struggling with defeating obesity is one of the most tricky topics because solutions come from such a wide spectrum that makes it difficult to offer advice that is specific to the individual. In that case, think of this as the broad outline to guide you to form your path to your weight loss journey. Think of this like a writer first having to brainstorm and storyboard ideas before they start on their masterpiece.
Before you even get started, make sure you check with your doctor on his/her thoughts about exercising and listen closely to any directions you’re given.
Walking the Walk
One of the most common misconceptions about exercise is that the only way one can successfully lose weight is to train super hard for every single workout. Not only is this approach probably going to lead you straight towards an injury, especially if you’ve been sedentary for a while, but it’s only going to make you get burned out in no time.
I am a massive fan of walking for a number of reasons, especially for folks who are overweight or obese. Walking is a low-impact exercise that can help individuals burn calories and lose weight. It is a simple way to increase physical activity and can be done almost anywhere, making it an easy and accessible form of exercise for people who may not be able to do more strenuous activities.
Walking can help improve cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. It can also help improve lung function and increase circulation, which can lead to improved overall health.
If it’s been a while since you have worked out, or if you are totally new to working out, your can actually grow muscle at a faster rate that those who have trained for a while. Walking can help build muscle in the legs and glutes, which can help increase metabolism and burn more calories. As a morbidly obese person loses weight, with consistent exercise, you may find that it becomes easier to walk longer distances, which can lead to even greater benefits for weight loss and overall health.
Are you nervous about going to the gym? That is completely fine because you can still get an excellent workout in the comfort of your own home, and you don’t have to break the bank for fancy equipment. In fact, most persons who are overweight or obese can make massive progress with bodyweight exercises and bands.
Home exercises such as squats, lunges, and push-ups can help individuals burn calories and lose weight. They are a low-impact way to increase physical activity and can be done at home without any special equipment, making them an easy and accessible form of exercise for people who may not be able to go to the gym. If you’re strength isn’t quite there yet, you can modify exercises, such as doing push-ups on your knees or against a wall.
Just because you don’t have all the fancy machines they have at the gym, you can still build muscle with home workouts, which can help increase metabolism and burn more calories. As a morbidly obese person loses weight, you may find that home exercises become easier and feel capable of performing more repetitions and sets as you progress. Even if you can’t quite notice massive changes in the mirror, being consistent is the key to weight loss and improving your overall health.
Being “fit” is a lot more than having shredded abs and a great butt, it also includes having the strength, flexibility, and balance to live your life independently. Consistent exercise, including the workouts you do at home, can lead to improved mobility and reduced risk of injury, making it easier for a morbidly obese person to engage in other forms of physical activity and ultimately achieve their weight loss goals. Also, one of the greatest benefits that you can get out of working out at home is improved mental health and well-being — even if the weight isn’t dropping dramatically, feeling better about yourself is a much greater victory than the scale displaying a lower number.
Health Starts in the Kitchen
Becoming overweight or obese didn’t happen with just one bad meal, but, in most cases that doesn’t involve medical conditions, it’s linked to an accumulation of poor eating choices and a sedentary lifestyles that have lasted for years and years. For instance, a pound of fat is approximately 3,500 calories, and, in theory, when you gain fat, it happens because you have consumed excess calories; so, for a person that weighs over 300 lbs, amassing this much excess fat mass takes a lot of time to happen. On the same note, to lose the fat, it is important that you understand it’s going to take a long time for that to happen, as well.
While exercising is hugely beneficial and an important part of the weight loss journey for anyone who is overweight or obese, it’s not the only thing you need to be disciplined about. What I have learned in my 8 years as a personal trainer is that changing one’s eating habits is, at times, more challenging than doing the workouts. While I am no fan of overly restrictive diets, I do believe it is important for folks to practice more sensible eating when it comes to high-calorie indulgences, instead of gorging just because it tastes so great. One of the biggest issues is that people can get attached to eating the foods they love, so it takes a great deal of effort to try to reduce the intake of such foods. In this case, I find making small and gradual changes to be most effective.
Adding in whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into a morbidly obese person’s diet can make a massive impact in improving overall health. These foods are typically lower in calories and higher in nutrients, which can help support weight loss.
As Americans, we have grown accustomed to super-sized portions at restaurants and at home, which leads people towards overeating. Controlling portions is an important aspect of a healthy diet because it puts limits on caloric intake. I find that using smaller plates and measuring portions are highly effective in helping people get better control of their portions and avoid overeating.
You should not feel like you are alone in your journey towards better health. If you feel that you need some guidance and support, working with a registered dietitian or nutritionist can be a valuable investment to help you along the way. These professionals can provide tailored recommendations and help a person develop a healthy meal plan that meets their specific needs and goals. Additionally, joining a support group or working with a therapist can also provide emotional support and help a person stay motivated to make healthy changes in their diet.
The journey to better health can feel exponentially more daunting for the morbidly obese person because the road is longer and getting started has more obstacles that it does for those who are just a couple pounds overweight. From the social stigma of being morbidly obese to finding equipment suitable to your needs, it’s going to require extra planning that most others don’t even think about. My best advice is to be patient and commit yourself to being consistent; for example, if you planned on working out in the morning before work, but overslept, then make sure that you do your workout as soon as you leave work (don’t even dare turning on that TV or heating up your dinner!).
For more information on healthy weight loss and weight loss maintenance, schedule a free introductory consultation with Coach Julio at www.365physique.com/bookonline.