Powerhouse Fitness Ambassador Fabio Bonanno shares the best ways to lose weight and get in shape for summer!
Summer is here and people across the country are wanting to get in shape fast. Lockdowns have closed gyms and it’s been a lot harder to stay motivated to get in shape.
Now the weather is coming back, people are looking for the quick fix and solution to losing weight.
While I don’t want to burst your bubble, I must give you the best advice based on science. If you’re not losing weight, you’re eating too much and / or moving too little. You can do all the searches on the internet you want but that’s the simple reality and facts, which I know is not always nice to hear!
You might feel you have specific issues and have never had luck losing weight before. I’m telling you that it’s just a mindset shift. Before I go into detail into the practical tips to actually shift the weight, you need to know that anyone can lose weight. It’s never too late, you’re never too old and you don’t even need a gym membership.
I’ve trained hundreds of clients over the years, when people are ready to change, the excuses stop and the work begins. The only thing that changes is full commitment to the process. The next magic workout or special diet doesn’t exist, anyway most of them are unsustainable.
What you need is a mindset and identity shift. Ask yourself in every situation, what would a fit person do here? What would they eat? How would they move or workout? Then you can be that fit person and eventually you’ll get there.
Now to the practical tips. The basics are that you need to move more and eat less. The simplest way to do that is to track both of these things.
TRACK YOUR CALORIES
Firstly and most importantly, how many calories are you eating? You need to find your maintenance calories for your activity levels, there are 100s of these online.
They take into account your height, weight and activity levels and give you a number. Here is a simple one to follow.
Once you know that, you can lose weight straight away. You don’t technically need to workout, although that will help. You just eat anything from 10-30% less calories than your burning. The only way to truly know if it’s working is to step on the scales. Take your weight first thing in the morning with little to no clothes on and after going to the toilet, this will give you the most accurate reading.
Track this over the week and then take your average, then begin to make changes from there.
Calculations are a great starting point but they are just a best guess and you have to change them based on what’s happening in the real world. Once you know that, you are most of the way there. Just keep changing as and when you need to every 1-2 weeks and you’ll get there.
A realisitc and healthy weight loss is 0.5-1kg per week. If you have 10kg to lose, that will take you around 10-20 weeks. It sounds like a lot of time but if you’ve been overweight for years, it won’t get better by yo-yo dieting. You can lose weight faster if you’re in a rush, just know that you aren’t going to feel as good.
If you need help tracking calories, use an app like myfitnesspal. It has a huge database and will allow you to track every bit of food you eat (even coffees and drinks) so there’s never any guesswork.
You can download it here
The next step is simple, start to move more! The simplest way and least stressful way is to walk. Walking is accessible to everyone, it helps to lower stress and is very healthy. You might have heard of a guideline of 10,000 steps per day and that’s a good starting point. Get yourself a fitness tracker like a fitbit, an Apple watch or anything similar.
They aren’t always the most accurate but if you stick with big brands, you will be in a better place. Start to track your steps, you will lose the most fat by walking everywhere through the day. A great workout compared to a good workout might burn an extra 200 calories if you’re lucky.
Walking everywhere throughout the day can burn up to 500-1000 calories more and it’s a lot easier than a workout.
Set 10,000 steps as a daily target, but generally more is better. 12,000, 15,000 or even 20,000 will get things moving a lot faster.
This goes without saying, working out with weights will always get you better results than just cardio exercise.
When you weight train, you promote muscle and strength gain. This muscle will allow you to burn even more calories at rest so you will lose fat faster.
Without going into technical details, lift as heavy as possible with safe technique. Training 4 exercises in a circuit style fashion back to back with little rest will help most people. Use kettlebells if at home, you can get amazing results with that alone.
Ideally training 3-5 times per week if you have time, around 30-60 minutes if possible. If you need more specific workouts then reach out to me.
That’s really the basics that you need to know. The key is to find something you can stick to because being consistent is the answer. If you constantly restart you will never get the weight off. Just don’t stop, do what I’ve suggested above and the weight will fall off. Most people will take a break at the weekends becuase they think they have earned it. In the end, the weekend kills all the efforts during the week.
Remember the golden rule of eating less and / or eating more. If you eat too much at the weekend, it cancels out your efforts. Make adjustments along the way if things aren’t moving.
You don’t need any more information than that really. The key points are track your calories while eating less, move more and workout. Find a way you can do all of these things on a regular basis that’s realistic for your lifestyle and you will be able to get results.
BONUS TIP – GET SOME PROTEIN
Whilst losing weight is great, eventually, if you don’t eat enough protein you will lose muscle.
If you lose muscle, you won’t be able to burn as many calories. By eating enough protein combined with weight training, you will give your body the best chance to keep as much muscle as possible. This way, you will look better, feel better and be able to burn more calories, ultimately losing more weight.
A rough guideline is 1.5-2 grams per kg of bodyweight within your fat loss calories you calculated above.
If you don’t want to count, then eating 1-2 palm sized servings of protein 3-6 times per day is a good start. Fish, eggs, chicken, meat and yoghurts are all very good. If you are struggling, then I recommend protein shakes. I’ll have anything from 1-3 servings per day on top of my 3+ meals.
If you have any questions about anything covered above, then just reach out to me on my Instagram here.