A few years ago after my third child was born I weighed in at 215 pounds. I’m 6 feet tall so everyone always told me I “carried the weight well.” Maybe so, but I was tired all the time and playing with my kids was challenging. I was a size 16/18 and didn’t like what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I also felt like people treated me differently, less professionally, because of my weight.
I wanted to have energy. I wanted to feel good about myself when I looked in the mirror. I wanted clothes shopping to be fun and not something I dreaded. I wanted to be treated like a professional adult. I finally decided that I needed to do something.
The basic premise of weight loss is burning more calories through your daily movement than you are taking in by your daily food consumption. Seems simple enough, but if you’ve ever tried losing weight before, you know that it can be a lot harder than that.
Let’s break it down into 4 simple things you can do starting today. First, we want to boost your metabolism. We want to get your body to a state where just being, resting, even sleeping, it’s burning more calories. There are 2 really efficient ways to do that. We’ll talk about one of those today and the other one tomorrow.
High Intensity Interval Training
You’re going to have to get that heart rate up to burn calories. In order to burn a lot of calories, the intensity of your exercise needs to be physically (and probably also mentally) demanding for you.
High-intensity interval training will get your heart rate up and keep it up. We are talking about smaller bursts here – 6-12 minutes. Studies show that after 12 minutes your ability to keep up that high intensity drops significantly. Whereas on a nice slow jog, your heart rate will increase at first, but slowly decrease over time because of the low level of intensity, ultimately burning less calories. I don’t know about you, but I am a very busy person. I would much rather spend 12 crazy, intense minutes pushing really hard doing several different movements than 45-60 minutes on a boring treadmill or elliptical.
We also want to make sure we are doing exercises that use multiple muscle groups and multiple joints. Total body movements like squats, pull ups, and burpees will burn more calories than single muscle/joint exercises like bicep curls or leg lifts.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about the second way to burn calories – Strength Training!