Fitness for Every Body Part 3

Matt Green, Reporter

Editors Note: Matt Green is a senior sport management major and a personal trainer at Leverage Fitness in Forty-Fort, Pa. This is part three of a four-part health and fitness series special for The Highlander.

PANIC MODE. It may not seem like it yet, but warmer weather is just around the corner. For many of us, we frantically panic and realize that we may not be entirely “beach body” ready. The Christmas cookies and weekends out might have caught up to you, but don’t panic. Just take a few deep breaths and understand two things: 1. You are not alone and 2. You do have time to lose the weight.

Many people think that to lose weight, you need to go to the gym. More specifically, you need to do “cardio.” That’s where we go wrong. Exercise will help aid you in weight loss because you’re obviously burning calories, but exercising and weight training is more intended to help you get stronger, not smaller. The key to maintaining weight comes from proper nutrition [NOT DIET!]. Controlling and monitoring what you eat is much easier and manageable when it comes to weight loss. Once you begin to lose the excess weight and fat, you can then build your strength and tone with the right exercises. The question to ask yourself is, how much do you want to lose?

Be Realistic: Usually when- ever people want to lose a certain number of pounds, that number is most likely exaggerated. The more exaggerated the number is, the more likely you’re setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. Let’s just say your number was fifteen pounds by June. If you started today, that’s just over a month and a half. The number is reachable; the time frame is fine. The next step is the execution.

The suggested caloric intake for the average human is 2,000 calories. This is pretty common knowledge. The problem with this is every body is different. There are a ton of variables that can make that number bigger
or smaller. For example, your gender, height, weight, age and how active you are throughout the day are just a few things that differ for each body. Someone who sits in front of a computer all day compared to someone who has a more active job will have to take in less calories to lose weight because of how sedentary their lifestyle is. So you figure out your measurements and let’s say your lifestyle is semi-active. Now what? Well, know you execute with perfection and education.

Stick to the Basics: Avoid diet pills and weight loss supplements. It’s not worth your time or your money. Focus on foods such as vegetables, fruit, lean beef (93% protein, 7% fat), ground turkey, chicken, salmon, tuna in water, egg whites, rolled oats and even
a form of protein powder if you can afford it. These foods are the foundation to a quality eating plan and aren’t high in calories. Aim for three main meals a day and two or three snacks. Try your best to avoid eating past 8 p.m. Your body barely burns any calories sleeping so your dinner should be mainly protein-based and lower in calories compared to your other two meals.

Hold Yourself Accountable: You are your own worse enemy, but you are also your biggest motivator and fan. It’s up to you to surround yourself with healthy foods and avoid temptation. Willpower is what separates you from everyone else. If you know that you will drink eight beers when you go to that party, DON’T GO. If you know you will order the mozzarella sticks for an appetizer if you go out with your friends, DON’T GO. Learning to control what you eat will take about two weeks to become a daily routine. Usually it takes between 14 and 21 days to either break, or in this case, make a habit.

Do it for the “Likes”: A great motivational tool is pictures. I’ve seen people post a picture of themselves for all the world to see on social media that displays their out- of-shape body. Yes, it’s embarrassing, but you’re hold- ing yourself accountable. Tell the world that this will be the last time they will see this body. You’ll be surprised how many people will cheer you on with every progression picture you post, but remember to keep it tasteful.

Remember that obstacles are going to happen, but you need to keep going. It will all be worth it in the end when you reach your goal. Be smart and stay strong for the next few weeks. Progression takes time, effort and patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day! Stay healthy, Cougars.

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