For the vast majority of those looking to improve their fitness, their main goal is losing weight and bringing down their BMI. Over the last few years there has been what you could call an obsession with obesity which has to a certain extent cast a shadow over fitness which should come first. The reality is that an improvement in your fitness will ultimately lead to weight loss and the feel good factor this will bring.
Slowly does it
Unfortunately, many people have a go at weight loss like a bull in a china shop. They will start visiting the gym every day, pushing them self to the limit in the knowledge that they cannot continue at this rate. It has been medically shown on numerous occasions that the best way to lose weight is gradually. Sudden and dramatic weight loss is unlikely to stay, it is more a case of retuning your mind and retuning your body to ensure the weight stays off.
Focus on fitness
If you Google weight loss and diets you will come across literally millions of websites offering the best advice, a shortcut to weight loss while often mentioning nothing about fitness. For some websites, fitness is an afterthought when in reality fitness should be the main thought and weight loss a consequence of this. It goes without saying if you improve your fitness and your stamina then ultimately you will lose weight. The likelihood is that you will lose a significant amount of “excess water” in the early days and then your weight loss will begin to flatten out – so no point focusing 100% on weight loss as you will only get disheartened.
Feel good, look good
While people will mock the idea of feeling good and looking good, a lot of fitness and weight loss is down to confidence. The confidence to be yourself, know your limits and, when it comes to fitness in the early days, the ultimate goal of losing weight. In reality, we are all different we have different bodies, different metabolisms and ultimately different lives. We all know it is easy to eat excessively when we are down and depressed, but when we’re up, feeling better about ourselves, binge eating is unlikely to cross our minds.
Do it for yourself
While the focus should always be on fitness, with weight reduction really a side-effect, you will need to have a focus and a reason to get fitter. This may be health implications, perhaps you are struggling with mobility or perhaps you just want to feel better about yourself. Far too many people will undertake a new fitness regime simply to prove other people wrong, sometimes to do it for other people when ultimately in the long term you need to do it for yourself.
Fitness is fun
It is not fun waiting for that weekly date when you step on the scales and check your weight. You may have lost a few pounds, but you always think you can do better, you may have gained a few pounds and you are devastated. Focus on fitness and fun and improving your health, and as a consequence weight reduction will not become a chore, it will be enjoyable. Talk to people at the gym, join forums about fitness and weight loss and expand your social circles. It should not be a case of going to the gym, putting your head down for an hour or so at full belt, stopping, showering and going home. There is more to life!
Enjoy the ride
Many people keep a diary of their new fitness regimes and the impact this has not only on their physical health and weight loss but also their mental health. For many people, mental health is the first obstacle to overcome to improve fitness and physical health. If you can get yourself into the right mindset, set sensible targets and not overextend yourself, your confidence will return, you will enjoy life again and above all you will feel healthy both mentally and physically. Focus on the fitness not on the weight loss!