Let me start at the end — I don’t believe it is possible to lose weight without significantly increasing the amount of exercise you get. When I say exercise I mean the kind of exercise that feels like work. Our bodies were designed for hard work. Most of us, me included, do not have jobs where we have to physically work hard. That means we have to make our own work, which is called working out. If you want to lose weight you have to work out, hard and often.
Second, losing weight is a math thing. You need to burn more calories than you consume. There is no way around this. All the stupid diets that you see are selling you something. If you burn more than you eat, you lose weight. If you don’t, you don’t.
The reason I bring this up is I have a goal to lose somewhere around 20 pounds. I started out trying to change my diet. I was miserable and it didn’t work — I actually gained weight. But days after I started working out, I started losing weight. I’ve lost about 12 pounds so far. The other great thing about working out is that you can be a little less concerned about your diet. I am still trying to eat less and eat better but I don’t worry about the occasional meal at McDonalds.
My plan has been to work out every day. I go to the YMCA and lift weights and do 30 minutes on a cardio machine every other day. The other days I go for a run or a bike ride or do some other cardio work out. I don’t do it everyday. I’m busy and things come up. But by planning on working out everyday, I guarantee that I get at least 4 or 5 days per week. If I planned on doing 4 or 5 days per week, things would come up and I’d end up doing 1 or 2 days per week.
The other great thing about working out, as opposed to trying to simply eat less and better, is that you are getting healthy in other ways, too. You improve your cardiovascular health and your bone density. Your digestion is better and stress levels are reduced. It is also good psychologically because it is hard and it takes discipline and you feel like you have accomplished something when you are done.
So there it is. Work out in a way that makes you sweat. Challenge your self and push yourself. Start now and do it forever. I hope I do.