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How to Lose Weight - Properly

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You can lose weight by starving or dieting, but when you do that you will end up as a smaller, weaker, fatter version of your former self. Don't waste your time on fad diets, everyone knows what really works, exercise and good nutrition. The human body is a magnificent machine, but it can't tell the difference between a calorie restricted diet and actual starvation, and its first priority is to ensure that it survives for as long as possible. When the body is starving it will actually conserve fat because it is a valuable energy resource, instead of burning fat your body will burn lean body mass like muscle which is four times denser than fat. So people lose weight by losing muscle while keeping fat. Then when people finish their diet or give up because they feel run down, they go right back to eating the way they did before and they end up putting all the weight back on, but this time it's fat instead of muscle. There is a better way.
What you'll need: 
Tracksuit bottoms, sweatpants or shorts
A small towel
Water bottle
Get a health checkup - This is especially important if you have any medical conditions or injuries that may be exacerbated by exercise. Also ask for their advise about nutrition and exercise.
Start eating right. Nutrition is not the same as dieting, diets are temporary but nutrition is forever. Developing healthy eating habits and keeping to them is the first thing you need to do. Get wholegrain bread and pasta, fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, fats in the form of fish and vegetable oils. The amounts that you should be eating depend on your size, weight, height, age, sex, etc. There are calorie calculators all over the Internet for determining your recommended daily allowances (see resources) It’s not just about what you eat, but also how you eat. Don’t skip breakfast, your body will go into starvation mode and you’ll stockpile fat while burning muscle. Try to eat many small meals throughout the day so that your digestive system is always working and using up energy, of these meals breakfast should be the biggest. Eating like this also helps keep away cravings for sweet or fatty foods, you can indulge in these things occasionally but not often.
Mentally prepare yourself to go out and exercise. Actually starting to exercise can be intimidating. People I’ve spoken to, and even I, felt quite self-conscious when starting, afraid of being judged by people who you think are going to be fitter and more attractive than you. It is rarely the case, though - you'll get more encouragement than any criticism. Firstly you're out of shape and you're joining a gym, you're not standing in line at McDonald's, so nobody in a gym is going to be judgemental about that. Secondly nearly everybody in the gym was in the same position as you at some point in their lives. Thirdly, and most importantly, you shouldn't even care what anyone else thinks because you're doing it for your own reasons, not to impress them. Life becomes so much easier when you stop caring what other people, particularly strangers, will think of you for doing something.
Join a Gym! So now that we've established that nobody is going to give you a hard time for joining a gym, join one. Gyms tend to have a few instructors on hand who will show you the correct techniques you will need to use equipment, ask them for advise because you don’t want waste your time or risk injuring yourself when exercising. There is also usually a lot of variety in equipment at gyms with different machines, swimming pools, steam room or sauna, and a variety of classes. Find some local gyms, ask them to show you around and then join one that you like.
Cardiovascular Training. This is a type of exercise that is designed to get your heart pumping and blood flowing, hence the name. In order to burn fat your heart rate has to be in the ‘training zone’, which is around 70% of your maximum heart rate. The maximum heart rate for males is 220 beats per minute (bpm), 226bpm for females. Deduct your age to get your maximum heart rate, and multiply your maximum heart rate by 0.7 to get your training zone. So if you are a 35 year old male your maximum heart rate will be 185bpm, and your training zone will be around 129bpm. Most cardio training machines have heart rate monitors and will do this calculation for you if you enter your age. Cardio isn’t necessarily very hard, you can do it at a rate that doesn’t leave you too out of breath but still gets your heart rate into the training zone. There is usually plenty of variety when it comes to cardio training machines, there are rowing machines, treadmills, stationary bikes, stair-climbers, ellipticals, pick one that you’re comfortable with. I’d recommend doing about half an hour of cardio four times per week when starting off. Do longer exercises when your fitness level improves.
Resistance Training. Whether you are a man or a woman lifting weights is a great way to create a demand for energy from your muscles. Tiny hand weights are a waste of time, you need to put some actual strain on your muscles to create the demand for energy. You do not have to be worried about turning into a huge musclebound brickhouse if you push around a few dumbbells, people don’t end up looking like that accidentally. Lifting weights can lead to injury if you do not know what you are doing, and you could end up wasting your time if you’re doing doing the exercises properly, so be sure get instruction on the correct techniques for lifting. It can be tempting to use weight machines instead of free weights, because the machines look easier to use and look safer, but you should avoid them if possible. Weight machines are easier because they do all the stabilization work for you, but because they are doing stabilization you’re not using as many muscles as you would when using free weights, and you’re not creating as much of a demand for energy. Machines are not necessarily safer than free weights either because you can still use them wrong, or try to lift too much and risk injuring yourself. Use the free weights, do compound lifts that recruit many muscle groups, that way you will create a greater demand for energy than if you just used isolated lifts, like bicep curls, that only recruit one muscle group. Always start small and work up to heavier weights when you know you have the technique right. Don’t over-train by exercising the same groups of muscles before they’ve had time to recover. Split your exercises into different groups, do chest and arm exercises like bench presses and overhead presses, then have a day off, then do your back and core with rows, pull-ups and sit-ups, then have another day off, and then do your legs with squats and deadlifts. Then do the same next week.
Measure your progress. It can be hard to measure your body fat percentage accurately without specialist equipment, and weight can vary with hydration levels and will also include muscle. An easy way to measure your progress is to simply take photos of yourself at regular intervals and see the difference over time, as it won’t be noticeable from day to day. It is worth noting, by the way, that you cannot do spot-reduction on body fat. If you do stomach exercises that won't remove fat from your stomach, it will just tone the stomach muscles. Imagine a bath full of water. If you use a bucket to remove some of the water from the bath there isn’t going to be a bucket-shaped hole left in the bathwater, instead the overall level of water in the bath goes down, this is the way that body fat works.
Stick it out. Losing a lot of fat is a long term project, but this is the fastest and healthiest way there is to do it. Having a friend go to the gym with you can help you and them both keep going, as you can push and nag each other to keep going rather than losing interest and giving up.
The hardest part of all this really is starting, once you get into the routine it will become enjoyable and the fat will drop off in no time. You will be fit, healthy and will feel great.
This is just a very quick overview. Do plenty of your own research into nutrition and exercises, make sure that you know what you are doing.
Once again, get a medical checkup. Consult your doctor before engaging in strenuous exercise.
Do not risk injury by attempting to do more than you are comfortable with.
Receive proper instruction in the correct techniques for using equipment.


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