Everyone wants to lose weight and for most people weight loss can be challenging. As a certified personal trainer in NYC, I am constantly asked, “How can I lose weight?”. Being a personal fitness trainer for over 14 years, I can tell you with certainty that exercise is usually not enough. Diet is crucial. Over the years, I have seen the gym rats, (people who practically live in the gym), not change their bodies. Why? Diet! They’re definitely burning plenty of calories, BUT, when they get to the dinner table, WATCH OUT. Poor choices – rich foods, huge portions and too much sugar. Just too many calories overall. So with this in mind, I decided to write an article, “Weight Loss Tips from a Personal Trainer”. I hope it helps.
1) Prepare most of your meals at home if you can. Restaurant food is typically loaded with calories. If you prepare foods at home, you can read the food labels and know how many calories you are eating in a meal. i.e., a 4oz. ham sandwich on low fat bread is about 240 calories.
2) Choose lower calorie foods. Read food labels. For example, cereal. Cereal A has 100 calories per serving and cereal B has 200 calories per serving. Obviously, cereal A is the lower calorie choice. Or if you eat a higher calorie food, eat a smaller portion.
3) Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. They are extremely low in calories and very healthy.
4) Eat foods low in fat. Fat is 9 calories per gram, carbs and protein are 4 calories per gram. More fat equals more calories.
5) Add more fiber to your diet such as beans, fruits and vegetables, etc. Fiber is healthy, helps with digestion and gives you a feeling of being full.
6) Don’t miss meals. You will feel starved and end up over eating.
7) Eat small meals frequently. Graze don’t gorge.
8) Eat more during the day and less at night. You will have more opportunity to burn those calories you’ve eaten during the day.
9) Drink plenty of water.
10) If you are not active, start becoming active. Walking, jogging, bike riding etc. All activity is good. Try to burn more calories throughout the day.
11) If you are not following a weight training program start now. As you age you lose muscle. This lowers your metabolism. With a lower metabolism you burn less calories. Weight training helps you gain or at least maintain muscle increasing your metabolism. This is very important for weight control or weight loss. If you have never trained with weights, a certified personal trainer can develop a safe and effective exercise program for you. If you follow these guidelines you should see results. Weight training, aerobic activity and proper nutrition are the three key elements involved. If you are not seeing the results you want, I would recommend consulting with a registered dietician, and if you are inexperienced with exercise, schedule some sessions with a certified personal trainer.
By Mark Darco CPT
Mark Darco is a certified personal trainer and boxing instructor with 15 years experience.