How to lose weight and body fat are the most common questions I’m asked.  Sometimes, it can be a real challenge for people because let’s face it, you are going to make some or a lot of lifestyle changes.  The challenges that I see with people is they try to make too many lifestyle changes too fast!  What I mean by this is that they try to change everything right away, rather than take it one step at a time.  When I talk to people about these lifestyle changes, they are a little timid about making these small changes.  I am sure that most of you out there have tried most diet plans or fantasy workout programs and had little to no success.  That’s ok, I would be a little timid, too about trying something new.  In my opinion, it takes three weeks to build a habit.  Those first three weeks can be brutal, but we all can do it!  Once we have made one thing a habit, then we move onto the next thing.  What I tell all my clients about making these lifestyle changes is “I need you to be comfortable being uncomfortable”.  What this means is that it is going to be hard to change a habit that we have been doing forever. Try to take 1 or 2 steps at a time and master those first instead of making dramatic changes, this will help you so you can decrease the risk of falling off the wagon. Good things can happen if we put in the hard work to improve a healthy lifestyle.

Here are 7 tip that a Personal Trainer can help to improve your healthy lifestyle:

1. Get off your butt and move around

As a society, we love to sit down!  We work at a desk, watch tv, play video games, and etc.  We can all agree that if we are not moving then we should not be surprised why we are not losing weight. I hear all the time “I do not like going out and going for a walk or run because it is too boring”.  Moving around does not mean you just go out and run.  Try picking up an activity that requires you to move around, such as a sport or anything you can think of that requires movement.  If you are on your lunch break or you are going somewhere close by, get out of your car and walk there.  Sometimes these simple little things can help us strive towards bigger and better changes.

2. Pick up the Tempo in the Gym

Are you one of those people that will do 3 sets of 10 of an exercise, take a 2 min break in between each set and move on?  There is nothing wrong with that, but if you are trying to maximize your potential, high intensity training may be your answer.  Instead of doing 1 exercise at a time, a personal trainer can help you perform 3-4 exercises in a row without a break.  This will not only make your heart rate skyrocket, you can get way more done in a shorter amount of time.  

3. Sprint!

If you are not a big fan of running long distances like me, adding sprints training to your program can improve your fitness.  After you are done with your weight training, hop outside or on a cardio machine and bust your butt for 15-60 seconds for 3-5 sets and that will increase your metabolism and help shed fat. Instead of running miles upon miles, take 10 mins to run some all out sprints.  It is not about the quantity of running, it should about the quality. Bust your butt during your sprints!

4. Become Friends with your Nutrition

I love my carbs more than anyone out there.  Carbs are great for an energy source, but they must not be overdone.  If you are someone who is trying to put on weight and/or muscle mass, go hog wild on your carbs.  For most of us, we are trying to lose weight and body fat.  Cutting down carbs and replacing it with proteins, vegetables and healthy fats can help you shed some serious weight.  This does not mean we completely cut out carbs, a start would be to not have any carbs after lunch or 12 pm.  Protein and vegetables should be included in every meal.

Portion control is another big problem that can hinder our goals.  You can eat the healthiest things in the world, if you do not burn the food you put into your body, it will convert into fat.  Let’s say you eat 3 big meals a day,  cut those 3 meals in half and eat every 3-4 hours.  This will help speed up your metabolism and help you reach your goals! A personal trainer can keep you consistent with your nutrition and goals. 

5. Find a Partner

Having a partner to workout with can help you strive for your goals.  The purpose of a partner is to help motivate and push you to your limits.  Especially if you can find someone who loves working out.  You know when you are at the gym or running outside and you are tired and you want to stop.  A good partner will push you past your breaking point, so you can push your limits.  That is why a personal trainer is a great option to take if you really need to be pushed.  They should not let you give up when you are tired and you feel like giving up! A partner does not always have to be someone that works out with you.  If you can find somebody that will motivate you and push you to your limits, keep them!

Personal trainer helping client perform push-ups

6. Water not Booze, Fruit Juices, or Soda.

This should be obvious but some people have trouble mastering this point.  Hate to tell you people, alcohol has empty calories.  Even if on your cheat day where you eating some unhealthy foods, stay away from the booze.  I know fruit is healthy, we hear it all the time, but the fruit drinks that you love to drink, I hate to tell you are loaded with sugar.  Here is a tip that has really worked for people.  If it has more that 5 grams of sugar in it, ditch it.  I know what can be boring, but drinking a lot of water is not only healthy for you, it can suppress hunger. Typically, water, tea, and/or coffee (without sugar) are the go to drinks for those working with a personal trainer.

7. Go to Bed

I am not the best person to tell you to sleep because I only get 4-5 hours of sleep a day, but sleep at least 6-8 hours a day is huge for weight loss.  In my personal opinion, being sleep deprived not only makes you tired throughout the day, it could make you gain weight.  There are some days where I get little sleep and it really affects my workouts. If you think about it, if you are not sleeping enough, then that means that you are awake.  When you are awake for more hours, that means that there is a good chance that you will eat more instead of being asleep at that time.  It is very easy to use food as an energy source, this is when we are going to pick up the foods that we know we should not be having.  It is easy to get into a bad habit of skipping multiple days a week and causing you fail.

Conclusion

After reading  these tips, do you see where you at fault?  I will tell you first hand that these have been problems that I have had over the years.  Just one of these can be the reason why you are not reaching your goals.  Take some time to evaluate why you are having trouble with your results.  If you need someone to help you, having a personal trainer there to push you to your limits can get you over the hump!

Written by Chris Barber, CPT