You’ve decided to pursue a more active lifestyle. Great!
Everyone was once new to exercise and fitness. Weights, cardio, eating too little, or eating too much. It’s hard to know where to begin. Lucky for you, many of those before us have already made mistakes for us to learn from. Now, we are giving you a plan of attack to avoid most, if not all, of the most common pitfalls.
Mistake #1: Doing the same workout time after time
Your body gets accustomed to doing one exercise or a routine and once this happens, the effectiveness of your workout drastically declines. It’s also boring to do the same thing over and over again!
We as human beings need variety in our lives to spice things up. You don’t have to drastically change your preferred mode of exercise – try adding harder body weight moves to your resistance training or pick up the intensity and add a jump to your squats. Variety is key.
Make a plan before you go to the gym or workout from home. Have you heard the quote “failing to plan is planning to fail?” Most show up to the gym without a plan. They do the exact same thing they have done the day before or randomly select exercises. Then put this cycle on repeat. Avoid this by planning in advance what you want to accomplish in the week.
As you continue through 8fit workouts, you’ll notice that they are created to work your whole body. And to get better results, we add variations and progressions as you get fitter and stronger.
Mistake #2: Too much of a focus on cardio
Beginners – especially women – often believe that lifting weights makes you bulky, and that cardio slims you down. While this is partly true, it is important to understand that weight training burns many more calories, even after you finish exercising. Furthermore, when you increase your lean muscle mass your body will burn three times as many calories per pound of muscle than per pound of fat. This makes weight training an extremely effective. You don’t have to use heavy weights at the gym either. You can get the same benefit from bodyweight exercises, such as those in the 8fit app. We have a huge database of bodyweight exercises in the 8fit exercise library.
Cardio itself is not bad and is crucial for helping you get lean and lose any extra fat. It is just not the end-all and should be combined with strength training. Adding exercises using your bodyweight, will drastically increase your fat burning capabilities. Add a strength training session to your routine at least two times per week to build muscle and definition. At 8fit, we try to make this simple for you. You’ll notice that we include both cardio and bodyweight exercises to your weekly workouts for you to get maximum results.
Mistake #3: Restricting calories to the extreme
Simply not eating seems like the right thing to do to lose weight, right? After all, if you don’t consume the calories, they can’t make you fat. Wrong! Just like your car needs fuel to run, your body needs food to provide energy to live. While you need to reduce calories to lose weight.
You can’t just suddenly stop eating or go to extreme calorie restrictions. If you try to maintain this deficit in the long term, your body will react to the reduced number of calories by going into self-preservation mode. It will hold onto every calorie you get and it will become even harder for you to lose weight.
Extreme calorie restrictions are also not sustainable over time. It’s unrealistic to eat so little that you are constantly hungry or to avoid social outings with your friends and family because you are on a diet. Find a balance between reducing your calorie intake and adding exercise to get the results you crave. On average, if you have a 500 calorie deficit per day – through diet and exercise – you will lose a pound a week.
Take a hard look at your current meal selection. Keep a food journal for at least a week to gauge how much you eat at meals and how often you are snacking. You may be surprised by how many extra calories you are actually consuming. Use this information to help you make healthier choices. You may want to look into meal prepping to really know what food, and how much food, you are actually eating.
If you are looking for help meal planning, the 8fit PRO plan provides customized weekly meals plans. We send you a grocery store shopping list and provide full recipes based on your diet preferences. You don’t even need to think about whether what you are eating fits into your calorie allowance, we have already done that for you and created food choices based on your goals.
Mistake #4: Putting too much pressure on yourself
It’s easy to look at a friend who lost 20 pounds and expect the same results. You are not them. All too often we compare ourselves to our friends, but we don’t know their journey or their whole story. We can only focus on ours.
Make small goals and focus on achieving them before moving on to your next goal. It’s tempting to put pressure on yourself to achieve a huge goal – like losing 50 pounds in two months. In reality, this is unrealistic and sets you up for failure.
Set small, achievable goals and once you achieve one you can set a new goal. Work towards your smaller goals every day.
Commit to a goal, such “as I will only have dessert twice this week”, and then stick to it. The following week commit to working out three days a week and eating one serving of veggies at two meals a day. We’ll help you break down workouts into quick, 10-15 minute sessions, and plan out your meals so you don’t have to. Soon, these small goals will become habits.
You’ve got this!
To recap, here’s how to make today, and every day after, a success.
- Vary your workouts with a mix of exercises, including cardio, body weight and flexibility.
- Keep a reasonable calorie deficit.
- Give yourself a break and try not to put too much pressure on yourself. Take small steps everyday towards your goals.
Sound good? We’ll be here to help you every step of the way with personalized workout and meal plans.
Let’s do this!