How to Use Fitness Challenges to Overcome Weight Loss Plateaus
Even the best-laid plans can falter.
Weight-loss plateaus happen to virtually everyone who is trying to lose weight. At some point, you may well find that your own progress has stalled, even if you’re continuing to exercise and eat well. Such plateaus are extremely common and are no cause for despair.
All it takes to get your body over the hurdle is the right push. It’s not just about physiology, but also psychology. You may be experiencing a plateau because you have simply run out of the motivation required to reach your fitness goals.
This is also a very common experience and nothing to be ashamed of. Again, all you need is a jolt to get you going again. One of the best ways to jumpstart your fitness journey is with a fitness workout challenge.
A challenge with a strict time limit and structure, such as a 30-day challenge, is the ideal way to get things going again. Here are the very best fitness challenges to help you overcome your weight loss plateau.
30-Day Full Body Fitness Challenges
If you really need to feel the burn, then you need a full body custom workout plan to reignite every muscle in your body.
There are many effective ways to do this, but the most popular ones involve you dedicated each day of the week to a different body part, with one day off for rest.
So Monday would be your lower body day, Tuesday your upper body, Wednesday your cross-fit, and so on.
30-Day Cleanse Challenges
One sure-fire way to get your weight loss back on track is with a 30-day cleanse. There are countless ones to choose from, from paid programs like The Clean Program and ones you can easily do yourself, such as the Master Cleanse.
If you’re on a high-protein diet or are bulking up, certain types of cleanses are best avoided until you can gradually adjust your diet. Alternatively, there are a number of high-protein cleanses which will whip you into shape.
30-Day Ab Challenges
Sometimes the most effective workout challenges are those with a visible and tangible goal at the end. Telling yourself you want to get shredded within a month is a powerful visual motivator that will jump-start your weight loss journey in a heartbeat.
There are several highly-recommended ab challenges you can undertake without having to spend a single penny. Try the 30-day ab challenge app to start with, so you can game-if your weight loss and push yourself to the finish line.
30-Day Squat Challenges
This one is especially popular with the ladies, for good reason. Workout routines that make you look and feel good in a rapidly short period of time are few and far between.
The simplicity and ease of most squat challenges are a key part of their appeal and a great way to build up your motivation again.
Start off with just a few squats and keep building until you’re doing hundreds a day by the end on the month.
It takes more than fitness challenges to reach the finish line and achieve the body of your dreams. You need support, expertise, and discipline to ensure your body is the very best it can be.
If you want the support and information you need to reach the top, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. We’re here to get you on track – your success is our mission.
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Walking for Weight Loss: How to Get Your Steps In and Shed Pounds
Those people who obsess about getting their steps in have a good reason. Here’s how walking for weight loss works and some tips to make it work for you.
When you want to lose weight, you’ve probably researching gym memberships and crash diets. But sometimes all it takes is a few steps. Literally!
If the thought of high-impact exercise is overwhelming, walking could be the solution. Walking for weight loss is effective and low-intensity. This could be the perfect exercise regimen if you’re starting your fitness journey.Â
A brisk walk can reduce stress, burn calories and build muscle-so why shouldn’t this be a part of your fitness plan?
Walking is a great form of physical activity that’s free and easily accessible for most people.
However, there are certain factors that can improve your results. How often you walk, at what speed and where you walk all play a factor.
This article explores how you can walk your way to fitness!
How Long to Walk Each Day for Weight Loss
So how often do you need to walk to lose weight? Less than you may think. A good goal is 30 minutes per day for weight loss.
At a brisk pace, the distance you could cover in 30 minutes cover should be 1.5 – 2 miles or 3,000 to 4,500 steps.
Some days are busier than others so feel free to walk more or less on some days. By the end of the week, you should have walked for at least 150 minutes.
How Fast Should I Walk for Weight Loss
The great thing about walking for weight loss is that you don’t have to overexert yourself. Walk at a moderately brisk pace. A great investment would be a heart rate monitor. There are plenty of smartwatches that have them built in.
While walking, your heart rate should be at 60 – 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. You should be breathing heavily enough to make speaking difficult.
Keep in mind that the higher your heart rate, the more calories you burn. You’ll get more benefit by increasing the intensity for 10 minutes. But listen to your body. If you need a break, take one. Ignoring your body’s signs can cause injury later.
If you’re new to exercise, start with shorter periods and build up over time. You could also designate three days each week for your lower-intensity walks.
When it comes to health and fitness, consistency is key. Make it your goal to never go three days without taking your walk. If you find yourself unmotivated, this podcast might inspire you.
This will help improve your fitness level and your metabolism. Your body will begin to learn your new habits. Mental health is just as important as physical. If you find yourself worn out, take a day off.
How Can I Fit Walking in My Schedule?
We get it. Life is busy! Here are some tips to make walking fit in your schedule:
- Break it up into walking two or three times a day for 10 minutes at a time.
- Break it up into bigger chunks and take your walks twice or three times per week
- Make it a family activity. Take a walk after dinner and use this time to bond with your family.
- Start a fitness challenge at work to motivate co-workers. Walk as a group during lunch or other breaks. Accountability can help you reach your goals.
- Park further at the grocery store! You’d be surprised how many steps you can get in large parking lots.
- Skip the elevator. Stair climbing burns more calories than you may think.
- Take a brisk walk on your lunch break or after dinner. This will help with that post-meal slump.
- Make casual meetings walking meetings instead of meeting in a conference room. Having a change of scenery might even help with creative thinking.Â
Make a plan and write it down! If you fall off for a day or so, don’t stress out. You can always pick back up where you left off tomorrow!
How Walking Burns Calories
If you’re trying to lose weight, there’s a simple formula that you need to know. Weight Loss = Calories Burned > Calories Consumed. You need to burn more than you eat.
Walking is one of the activities you can do to increase the number of calories that you burn.
Think of calories as energy for your body. You need calories for daily activities like moving, breathing, and sleeping. However, some people eat more calories than their body needs.
People who are physically active will burn more calories and lose weight. But, everyone doesn’t have the time to lift weights at the gym or cross train. Simply finding a little time to walk each day can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Let’s break it down. Walking for 30 minutes equals 1.5- 2.0 miles. This will burn approximately 200 calories, depending on your sex and weight.
The more you weigh the more calories you will burn. Your body is exerting more energy to exercise so you will burn even more on a 30-minute walk. Another way you can increase the number of calories burned is by adding weights. You can also walk on hills or on an inclined treadmill.
A lot of beginners become discouraged when they aren’t able to run for long periods of time. Yes, running will burn more calories, but only about 23 more calories per mile.
Don’t worry about running quite yet, walking can burn a significant amount of calories.
If you choose to take longer walks, this can increase your calories burned as well. During the first 30 minutes of exercise, your body burns sugar for energy. After 30 minutes, your body starts using fat as fuel.
Make it a goal to take at least on extended walk per week. This will build your endurance and help you get rid of fat cells!
How Walking Builds Muscle
Most people are unaware of the benefits of building muscle. Building muscle doesn’t always mean you’re training for a bodybuilding competition. Building lean muscle can help you lose body fat.
Even though walking doesn’t involve barbells and weights, it still helps build muscle. It can also reduce age-related muscle loss. This helps you keep more of your physical strength and reduce age-related weight gain.
You may have noticed that walkers have strong and toned legs. Walking builds, shapes, and tones the legs and buttocks. If you’re consistent in your walking, you’ll notice stronger calves, quads, and hamstrings.
This isn’t the best way to “buff up” though. If you want to pack on some serious muscle, consider weight training.
How Walking Improves Mood
Been in a funk lately? Exercise may be the last thing on your mind, but it could actually help you feel better. Exercise can do wonders for your mood.
All kinds of physical activity can decrease feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety. It makes your brain more sensitive to the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine.
These hormones relieve sad feelings while releasing endorphins, which make you feel happy!
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if you enjoy a physical activity, you’ll continue to do it.
This makes walking an excellent choice. It’s a moderate-intensity exercise that won’t be too physically demanding. Over time, you’ll look forward to your scheduled walk and feel great about doing it.
How Walking Keeps Weight Off
Let’s fast forward a bit. You’ve been walking for some time now and you’ve lost weight. You’re happy with your results and simply want to keep the weight off. Walking can play a major role in helping you maintain weight loss.
Remember, people who exercise frequently are usually better at maintaining their weight loss.
When you lose weight, your metabolic rate will drop. This means it will be harder to keep the pounds off. Walking can help prevent muscle loss and help you maintain your results over time. Lean muscle we mentioned earlier will also help you burn more calories, even at rest.
To maintain a stable weight, aim to walk at least 150 minutes per week. Increase this number if you’ve lost a considerable amount of weight. 200 minutes per week should be a good goal for you.
10,000 steps per day is a goodÂ goal for most people. Stay active by walking throughout your week so that your progress isn’t lost.
How to Start Walking For Weight Loss
So where do you start? Walking for weight loss can help you improve your muscle, reduce fat, increase mood and more.
The bottom line is that physical activity can help you live a healthier, longer life. 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise like walking per week is ideal.
Walk for around 30 minutes at a time at a brisk pace. When this becomes easier for you, go the extra mile (pun intended). You can only reap more health and fitness benefits.
Remember, every little step helps, so start small and increase the amount you walk over time.
If you want to lose weight, you’ll get the best results by combining physical activity with a healthy diet. Check out these healthy eating tips.
12 Brilliant Gym Tips For A More Efficient Workout
Do you think you’re wasting time at the gym? Efficient workouts equal fewer excuses. Here are some gym tips to help you trim the fat off your workout routine.
Do you workout regularly? If so, you’re already in an elite group.
According to new research, although more than 75% of people claim they want to get in shape and look great, only 31% actually make exercise a routine habit.
Yet, are you getting the most from your time at the gym? Do you leave with sweat dripping, adrenaline pumping and those exertion-fueled endorphins running in your veins? Or, are you still struggling to see the results you crave?
If it’s the latter, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re sharing 12 simple gym tips that can help you supercharge your workouts and bump up the ROI on that membership.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
1. Start with a Plan
You walk into the gym and take a long look around. There are treadmills on one wall, ellipticals on another and a giant weightlifting area. It’s inspiring. It’s exciting. It’s also incredibly overwhelming.
You spend more than a few minutes figuring out which area you want to visit first and which part of your workout you want to prioritize.
Does this scenario sound familiar?
If so, try planning out your next gym workout. Before you even get in the car and head out, jot down what you want to focus on, how long you want to spend there and in what order you’re going to tackle it all.
Doing so not only helps you stay organized and start your workout quicker. It also makes sure your heart rate doesn’t drop as you spend time perusing the options. One way to ensure you’re always ready to go? Have a backup plan ready in case the machines you want are full.
2. Shorten and Strengthen Your Workouts
It seems like simple logic: The longer you workout, the better you’ll look and feel, right?
If your usual gym session includes exercising for an hour or two at a slow, moderate pace, it’s time to kick it up a notch. Studies show that interval training, or working out in smaller, 10-30 minute bursts with rests in between, is more beneficial than marathon sweat sessions.
Why? You’ll increase your heart rate, build your endurance and maximize your speed when you focus on working your body to its top capacity. When you go for longer, something has to give and it’s usually your body’s performance.
So, the next time you’re looking at the indoor track and dreading that five-mile stretch you’ve been doing, try tackling one mile instead and see how much more powerful you feel.
High-Intensity Interval Training
A popular way to add shorter, more powerful workouts to your gym routine is to try high-intensity interval training or HIIT training. Put simply, this is the method of dividing your overall workout into blocks of intense exertion along with designated times for rest.
Focus on exercises that get your heart rate and lungs working to their top capacity, and sustain the movements for a few minutes at a time. Of course, if you have any cardio or health concerns, talk to your doctor before trying a HIIT routine. It is also recommended against for those just starting out in their fitness routine.
3. Add Protein
After an especially exhausting workout, your muscles need to rebuild themselves. This is true for both cardio-centric exercises as well as strength-building ones. To amplify the results you’ll see and improve your body’s ability to bounce back, it can be helpful to add an element of protein into your post-workout meal or snack.
A simple protein shake, made with either whey or soy, is a great way to recharge and refuel after your time at the gym. You can also find protein bars and other snacks that make refilling on the go both simple and quick.
While you sip or munch, you’ll be helping your body repair any damage it sustained during your workout. You’ll also give your immune system a boost, rebuild your stored glycogen, and regrow your muscles. It’s a simple trick that can cap off a great session and help you see results quicker.
4. Pump the Right Tunes
It might sound unimportant, but the idea that the right music can affect your workout is backed by science.
While there is no one-size-fits-all playlist that will make you magically grow those muscles you want, your best bet is to stick to jams that make you feel seriously inspired. From the soundtrack to Space Jam to Madonna, anything goes. One rule? If it puts you to sleep or makes you want to cry, save it for another time.
Instead, invest in a great pair of workout headphones and turn up the dial on those energy-infused rockers that make you want to holler, howl and show your strength. Start the playlist while you’re on the way to the gym and let that feeling follow you.
5. Do a Digital Detox
One surefire way to get less from your workout? Hop off the treadmill every five minutes to respond to that group chat, take a picture of your gear or post on social media.
Not only are you allowing your heart rate to fluctuate as you momentarily disengage, but you’re also losing that valuable mental focus. If you must have your phone on you, activate airplane or vibrate mode. Otherwise, leave it in the locker room.
6. Know Your Weights
You might be tempted to grab the heaviest weight at the gym to push yourself and look cool, but take a step back from those dumbells.
Using a too-heavy weight is just as ineffective as using one that’s too light. When you try to lift a boulder, chances are you can’t do many repetitions, if any at all. The ones you are able to manage are likely not executed properly.
On the other hand, a too-small weight isn’t activating your muscles effectively. The key is to find that sweet spot. Ideally, you want a weight that requires effort to lift and move but isn’t uncomfortable to curl.
It might take some trial and error but look for one that allows you to finish out your rep set. You want to challenged and struggling just a bit on the last few reps, but not throughout.
7. Journal Your Workouts
Just as a dieter monitors what he or she eats, if you want to get the most from your gym exercises, it’s helpful to write down your progress.
Keep track of when you exercised, what you did and how you felt. You might keep your notes in an old-fashioned notebook or on a fitness app. Either way, be specific. Note how many reps you did, what weights you used and any other important details.
When you go back the next time, take a look at your notes and see where you can push yourself a little. Add a few more reps, use a slightly heavier weight or incorporate a new machine you haven’t used yet.
8. Focus on Compound Movements
Wondering what to do at the gym? Your best bet is to find exercises that pull double or triple duty.
Known as compound movements, these are ones that work for more than one muscle group at a time and at least two of your joints. While there is a time and place for bicep curls and other routines that laser-focus on one area, compound workouts are a great way to maximize your time.
As you do these moves, you’ll build muscle mass, exert more energy, and burn more calories. Not sure where to start? Try a simple lunge or squat. Or, take that bicep curl a step further and flow into a shoulder press.
9. Find an Exercise You Love
It sounds simple, but one of our best workout tips is to find a workout routine you actually enjoy doing. If you aren’t passionate about something, your initial enthusiasm will only take you so far. After that, you’re just going through the motions, often to no avail.
Our interests and goals change over time, so don’t be afraid to reexamine your routine every so often to make sure it’s still enjoyable.
Whether you love running, biking, hiking, lifting or anything in between, find a workout that brings you alive both physically and mentally. That’s the only way to ensure you stick with it in the long run.
Still, need a little motivation to summit that mountain ahead of you? Try reaching out to a personal challenge coach who can encourage you to push ahead on your fitness journey.
10. Fine-Tune Your Form
All the repetitions in the world won’t give you results if you’re not doing them correctly. While it’s fine to add on more weight as you grow stronger, make sure you’re not sacrificing your form as you do so.
This is where a personal trainer can be valuable. Work with one at your gym to make sure you’re performing each exercise the right way. Doing so can help you prevent injury and safely engage all the muscles you’re supposed to be working.
While you’re still learning, stick with a lighter weight and focus on maneuvering it before you build up to a higher level.
11. Train Your Brain
Exercise is as much about mental strength as it is about physical. To this end, it’s helpful to focus your mind on each part of your workout as you’re going through it. Think about the muscles you’re activating, your posture, and the form you’re trying to maintain.
As you do so, you’ll automatically become more invested in the routine rather than just going through the motions. If you find yourself spacing out, talking with others around you or watching the television screen too often, take a break to re-center.
12. Get More Rest
If you think your muscles are working during your workout, you should see them afterward. As your body repairs itself from the exertion and strain you put on it, this is a valuable and important time in your fitness regimen.
If you’re pushing through back-to-back workouts without resting in between sessions, you’re denying your body that vital time. It’s no wonder, then, that you haven’t seen the immediate results you’re looking for. As your muscle fibers are put to the test, they develop small tears that must heal to grow.
Moreover, the next time you visit the gym, you’re not only sleep-deprived and sloppy, but you’re also setting yourself up for injury.
Though it might be against your nature to indulge in rest, it’s essential that you do so. If you suffer from insomnia or have a difficult time falling and staying asleep, it’s worth a call to your doctor to address any underlying health conditions that might be attributed to the issue.
Ace Your Next Workout With These Gym Tips
We all want to make the best use of our time at the gym. It’s why we make the trek up there, gear up and carve out space in our schedule to sweat. Yet, it’s frustrating to think that you can put so much into your workout and still feel dissatisfied with the results.
That’s where we come in.
Our team of coaches is dedicated to making sure you don’t run through your next workout aimlessly. We’ll work one-on-one with you to help you define, refine and achieve your fitness goals. From the foods you eat to the routines you perform, we understand that great health is a lifestyle, not a fad.
If you’re just getting started, our nine-week challenge is a great place to begin. You’ll transform your physique from the inside out, learn valuable gym tips and amaze yourself in the process. In the meantime, feel free to contact us with any questions. Your transformation is our motivation!
10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight and How to Fix Them
Over half of Americans say they’re trying to lose weight. It can often feel like you’re doing everything right, but you’re not losing weight.
You’ve tried the most recent fad diet and committed to a rigorous exercise regime, but the pounds aren’t shifting.
The answer has to be somewhere. Don’t give up just yet!
Instead, find out why losing weight is hard and what you can do to fix it. Check it out below!
1. Not Getting Enough Protein
If you’re having a hard time losing weight, then you could still be eating the wrong things.
Even if you’ve reduced your overall consumption, you might need to increase your protein intake. You want to lose fat, not muscle.
People who eat a protein-rich diet (between 15 and 25% of overall calories) store nearly 50% of excess calories as muscle rather than fat. If your diet consists of only 5% proteins, then 95% of your excess calories are stored as fat, not muscle.
So make sure you’re eating plenty of eggs, lean meats, and legumes in your diet.
Apparently, 80% of working Americans don’t drink enough water on a regular basis. You may be eating great, but are you drinking enough water?
After all, up to 65% of the human body is made up of water. It’s essential to the healthy functioning of your body.
However, it’s also really important when it comes to weight loss. High water consumption can even improve your metabolism by up to 30%.
3. High-Stress Levels
If you’re trying to lose weight, then high-stress levels are really not helping. There is a correlation between high stress and larger weight lines, according to studies.
You can either get started with mindful meditation, which has been shown to reduce mental stress and anxiety. Or you may need to make some drastic decisions about your work and home life. Either way, your stressful life could be responsible for not losing weight with diet and exercise.
4. You’re Click Happy
We quickly moving toward a cashless society. However, this could have some significant consequences for people trying to lose weight.
Studies have shown that people who use credit cards to pay for groceries online are more likely to make unhealthy purchases. Therefore, if you think you’re guilty of being “click happy” with your credit card, then it’s time to switch back to the green stuff.
5. Missing Out On Sleep
You may have trouble losing weight because you’re not getting enough sleep.
If you want better sleep, you may need to consider when the best time to do exercise is to optimize your shut-eye. Or how you set a regular bedtime and wake-up time to improve your sleep patterns.
6. Lack of Vegetables and Fruits
Do you only ever buy food which has nutritional information on the label?
You don’t need to only purchase groceries which are labeled “low fat” or “no added sugar.”
Instead, why not purchase whole foods which don’t have any labels at all. Most importantly, you need to be eating fresh fruit and vegetables to lose weight.
By eating fresh fruit and veggies you can also maintain your healthy diet after you’ve achieved your weight loss goal.
Do you ever think – “It’s healthy! I can eat as much of this as I want.” This is a dangerous game to play.
It’s also possible to overeat low-calorie and so-called “healthy” foods. Simply put, if you’re consuming calories that you’re not burning off, then you’re overeating.
Eating fruit can be essential to feed your cravings if you’re cutting out candy and chocolate. But, you can also eat too much of this good stuff too.
8. Drinking Calories
It’s so easy to concentrate too much on what you’re eating and forget that your drinks count as calories too.
If you often find yourself drinking lattes and smoothies instead of water, then you need to count those calories as well.
Although your regular black coffee doesn’t contain many calories, lattes and other milky coffee drinks do. Even a latte without sugar and low-fat milk contains up to 150 calories. However, if you’re choosing to add syrups and whole milk, you could be going over 400 calories.
When you consume sweet drinks, this also triggers your cravings for more food. So, you’re making it harder for yourself.
9. You’re Hungry
If you want to lose weight, you’re probably going to reduce the number of calories you are consuming. You can always go too far!
If you reduce your calories too much and too quickly, you could starve yourself. This slows down your metabolism so you can’t lose weight as easily.
If you’re eating less than 400 calories, your body could stop functioning normally. Your stress levels will increase and your thyroid hormones breakdown.
10. Run Don’t Walk
Even though any physical activity can contribute to a healthy lifestyle, if you want to lose weight, you need to do more than just walking.
Low-intensity workouts, such as walking with friends in the park, can be great, but you need to go up a gear as well.
You need to do moderate-intensity exercises if you want the pounds to fall off you. These include jogging, swimming, and cycling.
Why You’re Not Losing Weight
When you’re not losing weight with diet and exercise, it can be hard to stay motivated to achieve your weight loss goal. However, there are numerous reasons why you’re having a hard time losing weight.
Now you know what mistakes you need to watch out. It’s time to fix them and get back on track.
Do you want to find out more about how we can help you overcome your setback? Check out our 9-week challenge here!