June 10, 2010

How to Lose Weight Fast 101: Part One: Getting Started

Yes, here's the article that some of you are waiting for, especially the ladies. A total round-up of how to control your diet and train to shed off the weight. I decided to write about it now because lately I've been shedding the pounds for Mr Kuala Lumpur 2010. So most of the weight loss tips are actively at the back of my head.

Here's the most difficult part of losing weight - Getting started. Most of you fear starting on a fat loss programme because you think that you're already so far behind the body of your dreams that there is no use starting on one anyway. DON'T think that way.

Here's how you should think. Do you know that the untrained body responds the fastest to training and dieting? You see, someone who has been training and dieting for a long time will have difficulty to continue progressing. That's because their body has already adapted to the intense training. On the other hand, if you're really not in shape, any form of CORRECT physical stimulation and dieting will have some effects on the body. So take advantage of this and start training and dieting! More of this in Part 2: Motivation.

So, here's a list of things that you should be doing RIGHT AFTER you're done reading this article. Right away! You may not like it, especially #1, but if you don't get over this phase, you'll be going nowhere.

1. Clear your fridge, shelves or wherever of these foods - Instant noodles, candies, chocolates, ice-cream, processed meat (sausages, nuggets, etc.), milk, yoghurt, sugar-added cereals, sugary drinks, sugar, butter, sweet bread spreads, jam, potato chips, white rice, noodles, beer, MILO... (I'll add to this list as I go on blogging).
2. Find a nearby gym to workout. Minimum facilities: Dumbbells, barbells, benches, a threadmill. Make sure that you've not maxed out the available weights. Maxing out means that even the heaviest weight is too light for you to perform an effective working set.
3. Get a log book. It can be clear or single-lined. Small enough to be hand-held.
4. Bookmark Fabodylous on your browser. (Serious! There's more to come!)
5. Find a nearby wet market/wholesale centre. Believe me, purchasing food from these places are a lot cheaper compare to supermarkets.

Goal Setting
When you set goals for yourself, your dieting and training won't seem aimless and monotonous. Plus, it helps you to keep to the programme. And here's some tips on how to set effective goals.

1. Make realistic goals. It is safe for the body to lose 1kg per week without any damages to one's health or loss of muscle.
2. Tie it in with your social life. For example, lose so and so amount of weight AND impress your wife/husband, get ten compliments from your colleagues, look great for a date. Quite a number of people want to lose weight because they want to excel socially. This will make the goal more motivating.
3. Give it a deadline. If you don't, there's no pressure in setting the goal. For this, set two goals. One to be achieved in a month (short term) and another in a year (long term). Renew your short term goal monthly.
4. Write it down with a Sharpie on an A4 paper and stick it right in front of you on your study/work desk. So you'll never forget it!

So, a good example of a goal is,

"Lose 5kg and one inch of waistline in 30 days (5th July 2010) and look great in photos when visiting Sentosa beach with friends on that day."


"Lose 20kg and get a six-pack by next year (5th June 2011) and be known as the buffed guy instead of the fat guy among friends and family."

So quick, set your goals now and paste it in front of you on your work/study desk!

Progress Tracking
Before you set off on your journey of weight loss, let's see where are you at first. There are three ways to track your progress. And they are

1. Body Weight - Body weight is very easy to measure. However, it tells a very shallow part of the whole story. If you lose weight, it could be just water weight, muscle loss instead of real fat loss. Thus, track your body weight but do take note of the other two measurements too.
2. Body Measurements - Body measurements are the most accurate form of progress tracking. There will of course, be variations depending on what time of the day the measurement is taken, when was your last meal, etc.
3. Progress Photos - Now, most of you will want to lose weight to LOOK good, not to be light or have great measurements. So, progress photos matters most among these three.

How to Take Body Measurements
Firstly, remember the log book that I suggested you get one? On an empty page, write down the date and then your body weight and measurements. Do this every two weeks and watch the numbers go down!

Body Weight
Well, this one is easy. First, get yourself a weighing scale, set it to zero and stand on it! Here's a few tips.
1. Use the same scale to measure your progress. This is because no matter how inaccurate your scale is, what matters is the change of weight. So if you switch to a more accurate scale and it tells you that you're 2kg lighter, don't jump in joy just yet.
2. Measure your weight at the same time of the day, because our body weight fluctuates by the hour. Best time of the day is as you wake up. And note, your weight will be heavier after workouts, not because you've gained weight, but because your muscles are holding more water.

Body Measurements
View this video which will guide you how you should take your body measurements.

Progress Photos
Most of you might not be familiar with bodybuilding photos. Well, you don't need to. All you need is your front, side and back profile photos.

Like this -
And I know, my facial expression sucks. I get it. I get it.

And tense your muscles when taking these photos. In short, try to look your best. Why? Because fat can't be flexed but muscle can. So, you'll be able to differentiate the muscle from fat when you flex (muscle has shape and tone. Fat just hangs there).

And keep it in a file on your pc, like this -

So, now we're done with this part, we'll move on to Part Two: Motivation!


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