America is the fattest country in the world, that’s a fact. America is the laziest country in the world, that too, is a fact. If you’re reading this, you’re probably fat too, and quite possibly lazy. There’s no reason to be offended, you simply need to be truthful with yourself and admit that you’re fat and lazy – as soon as you’ve done that, we’re ready to move on.
Regardless of how many fitness magazines you’ve read, how many infomercials you’ve watched, or how many dietary supplements you’re considering, the fact remains that there are simply no easy way to lose all of that blubber smothering your internal organs. Forget about miracles, stop daydreaming, and follow these few tips below to help you finally beat the blubber.
Your first step, especially if you’re an extremely out of shape person, is to make a routine visit to your doctor and inform him or her that you’re planning on beginning a new exercise regimen. This should be a critical step, you’re better off being alive and fat than looking good while you’re dead. As your weight increases, so does your cholesterol, you’re resting heart rate, your blood pressure, and practically everything else that can be harmful to your body. If you don’t go see your doctor, performing a new intense exercise program can simply kill you. Another good thing to know, since I’m sure at least a few of you will completely skip this step, is that your target heart rate is 220 minus your age. That means if you’re 32 years old, your target heart rate is 188. You really don’t want to exceed this heart rate if you’re already out of shape, it can be dangerous. Reaching your target heart rate (THR) is ideally what you want to be doing when you’re exercising, though, as research suggests that you burn calories more effectively and quickly this way. Now that we have this out of the way, let’s talk about some things you can do to improve yourself.
Next, find yourself a notebook or open up a word processing document on your computer and keep a food log. There are tons of websites on the internet that will tell you how many calories are in the foods you’re eating if they aren’t readily available on the package that they come out of. Find those websites or look at those packages and start keeping track of how many calories you’re eating. Do this for 3-5 days, and keep a total of your caloric intake on a daily basis. Don’t bother trying to change your diet right now, let’s see how much you’re actually consuming in a day on average. At the end of the three days, take a look at how many calories you’re eating. If your calories are between 1500-2200 calories and you’re still obese, you’re either extremely sedentary or you possibly have some sort of medical condition that is causing you to keep that blubber. A diet of 1500-2200 calories should be what you’re aiming for at first, you can worry about adjusting it more specifically at a later date. To start how, let’s try trimming your daily intake down to around 2500 calories.
Your next step is to get up off of the couch (after you read this paragraph) and throw away everything in your kitchen that is bad for you. If you’re like any other average American, that’s probably everything that you have. Keep your fresh fruits and vegetables if you have them, frozen ones aren’t too bad either, and keep any lean meats that you have, along with eggs, yogurt, oatmeal (not the sugary fruit flavored ones), milk (as long as it’s 2% or skim), and throw pretty much everything else in the trash. Figuring out what foods are good for you isn’t really that difficult, if you are honestly struggling trying to figure out if that white bread and those pop tarts are bad for you, you should do more research before you even consider dieting or working out. Generally, enriched flours in breads aren’t very good for you, try to buy breads that have whole grains listed as one of the top ingredients. Buy things that are low in or absent of saturated fats, and eat fish and poultry as your primary meats, though steak isn’t bad for you every now and then. Avoid store-bought juices, they’re usually loaded in sugars, and don’t even think about drinking any kind of soda or soft-drink, I don’t care if it’s diet or not. Avoid things that are very high in sodium (this is usually most frozen meals and soft-drinks), and drink a full glass of cold water before every meal.
The next thing you need to do is plan on going to the grocery store. Buy some of the items I discussed earlier, get fruits, vegetables, whole-grain oatmeal and bread, eggs, cheeses (especially the white ones), skim-milk, and a few treats you can enjoy without totally ruining your diet – look for some low-calorie snack bars, buy some dehydrated vegetable chips instead of potato chips, or even some of those little 100 calorie snack packs with cookies or crackers. Find some things you can still eat and enjoy, most of us fat folks eat foods because it’s a pleasurable experience or as a reward, so let’s continue doing that for a while, but by eating better foods.
Now that you’ve gotten rid of your bad foods, started a food journal, and bought some good food, let’s talk a little bit about meals. First and foremost, never skip breakfast. Breakfast is without a doubt you’re most important meal of the day, it helps boost your metabolism of the mornings, and it will keep your body from going into starvation mode. Between breakfast and lunch, have yourself a small snack – one of those low calorie snack bars or an apple should do the trick. For lunch eat something light, and try to get yourself some protein. Tuna makes a fine choice for lunch, as does a nice chicken-salad with minimal or no dressing. Try exploring some other alternatives to dressing, such as olive-oil and vinegar as well, you may be surprised at how good it actually is! Have another snack between lunch and dinner, something small, but whatever you feel like you need. For dinner, eat some more protein, chicken, salmon, an occasional steak, try having some asparagus or green beans or a salad, along with a baked potato or yam to supplement your dinner. Mix and match your meals, don’t eat the same things every day or that will only enhance your cravings of your previous poor diet.
If you have an unbearable craving, just eat whatever it is you’re craving. If you don’t you’re going to stuff yourself so full of everything else that you’ll do far more harm than good. Eat that piece of pecan pie, drink a milkshake, do whatever, just be smart about it. Buy a small milkshake, dump half of it out, cut the slice of pie in half and throw the rest away. Normally eating a bite or two will be enough to satisfy you, chew/drink slowly and enjoy it, don’t just shove it down your throat.
Once you’ve begun eating better, I realize you’re still probably not where you should be, or you’d like to be for that matter, it’s time to begin doing a little exercise. Start by doing a little bit of walking, take a stroll around the block during the evening. Walk a little further on the days that you feel like it, but be careful that you don’t overdo it early on. A week or so of walking around the block should help you build up some endurance and expand your lungs a bit. Once you start feeling a little better (this may take three or four days, and it may take a month) and you’re ready to push yourself a bit, here are some good exercises to start with, and you don’t even have to go to the gym!
And by all means, please be sure to warm-up before you every work out, even if you’re just walking! Bend over and touch your toes, while doing so keep one hand on your toes and twist at the waist, stretching another hand up into the air, bend your leg at the knee behind you and grab hold of your toes, stretching your hamstrings. Squat down and stretch your knees, move your shoulders in a circular motion frontwards and back.There are tons of warm-ups you can do to loosen yourself up and prevent injury prior to working out, if you need some ideas just do a search on the web.
Squats – bend at your knees and dip your butt down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, stretch your arms out in front of you as you squat down to help counter-balance yourself. Once your reach the point to where your thighs are parallel to the floor, push yourself back to a normal standing position. This can be an incredibly difficult workout at first, but it’s one of the best exercises you can do, do not cheat yourself out of this workout! Try to do 3 sets of 10-12.
Jumping jacks – if you aren’t familiar with the good old-fashioned jumping-jack, well, just look it up. I’m sure there’s someone on Youtube or something that will be more than happy to demonstrate to you how to do them. Again, try to do 3 sets of 10-12 jumping-jacks.
Push-ups – do normal pushups if you can, if not, you can do sissy push-ups, where you’re pushing up from your knees instead of your toes. If you’re excessively heavy, these will probably be difficult for you. Keep working on them until you can successfully complete three sets of 10-12 push-ups.
Sit-ups – these can be incredibly difficult if you have a big belly, but force yourself to do them. If you’re upper half is so heavy that it’s hard for you to sit up without your feet flying up into the air, lie with your knees bent and tuck your toes under the couch or something. You may also need to put a pillow or cushion underneath your tailbone in order to prevent some of the unnecessary pain in this exercise. Again, do three sets of 10-12 sit-ups every day.
Once you can perform all three sets of 10-12 repetitions of these workouts you’ll be well on your way to a new, clean bill of health! Once you’ve lost a little weight and you’ve regained your confidence, it’ll be time to find a local gym so that you can push yourself a little harder. Check in with your physician on a regular basis in order to keep an eye on your health. Always go in for a check-up any time you plan on beginning a new, more intense workout regimen. From a fellow fat guy, I wish you the best of luck, I know you can do it, I did!