Losing weight, getting into shape and improving your health is no easy ordeal; it takes a considerable amount of effort, willpower and patience to achieve it, especially if you’re new to the whole thing and have no idea where to start. We’ve all been there, I’ve been there and I know exactly how you feel – you’re probably bombarded by all kinds of advice and tips from multiple sources, tips that often even contradict one another.
In my personal opinion, when you’re first starting your workout routine and changing your nutrition, you need to keep it as simple as possible. So today I’m not going to attempt to demystify all there is to know about fitness and health, but what I am going to do is give you some easy, tangible tips that you can easily adhere to without too much second thought. This is advice that was given to me when I was first starting out. I found it to be incredibly helpful, and hopefully you will too!
Working to Failure
A popular concept among bodybuilders and people who perform any kind of strength training is the concept of working to failure. In a nutshell, this basically means that you do as many reps as you possibly can while maintaining good form. This is a really effective way to quickly increase your strength, condition your nervous system against stress and even burn calories, but note that it is very fatiguing and can leave you drained if you overdo it.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t work to failure at all; I’m just saying that is it just one tool in your arsenal, a tool that you should use wisely to maximize its effect. What I like to do is leave the working-to-failure part for the very end of my exercise, when I know I don’t need to save any energy for anything else.
Breakfast is Very Important
If you want to lose weight as fast as possible, one of the things that you’re going to have to do is start controlling your cravings. This means not eating every time you feel like it, just because you feel like it. Believe it or not, our bodies don’t only crave food when we’re hungry; they also crave it when we’re low on dopamine, or in other words, when we’re bored or otherwise unsatisfied. This is because tasty foods naturally trigger a release of dopamine within our brains, resulting in feelings of well-being.
One of the ways to better control cravings is to have a big, healthy, balanced breakfast every morning, and supply your body with all the necessary nutrients the moment you get up. Studies have shown that people who regularly eat breakfast generally tend to snack much less during the day, especially during that critical period before lunch, when the cravings are at their worst.
HIIT in Moderation
HIIT, also known as high-intensity interval training is another way to really rev up your organism, get stronger and burn more calories in less time. It’s an extremely popular method of exercise among professional athletes, which is why many newcomers in the world of fitness think that they should do it, too – which is perfectly okay, as long as you’re aware what you’re getting yourself into.
Just like working to failure, HIIT is a very strenuous form of exercise that can be really hard on your nervous system and fatigue you really quickly. Additionally, you need more time to recover from an HIIT-type workout than a regular one, so I don’t recommend doing HIIT more than two to three times a week.
Water is one of the best solvents in the known universe, which means that it’s very good at dissolving all types of matter, including harmful toxins in our bodies (which in turn helps our organism expel them more easily). Certain studies also suggest that drinking more water can increase your metabolism, make it faster and more effective.
And finally, drinking at least 12 cups of water throughout the day might actually help you control your cravings better, since hunger can often be mistaken for thirst. Taking all of this into consideration, it’s a really good idea to get enough water every day – and trust me, your body will thank you for it.