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How To Work Out To Lose Weight

Updated on August 10, 2016
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Sharilee and her husband, Vern, live with two cats. Due to Vern's cat allergies, she has done extensive research on the subject.

Work Out To Lose Weight

What is the best way to workout to lose weight? Well, in a nutshell, start doing it! Look, we all know we have to work out to lose weight. But sometimes it intimidates us.

We get caught up in so many questions, such as what kind of exercise to do, and how long we should do it for, and how many calories we should burn. And sometimes all those questions might even stop us from doing it. But the main thing is, that we do it!

Here are five tips on how to workout to lose weight. These are the things I learned from my own personal experience from losing 30 pounds. I still have a ways to go in my weight loss journey, but I speak from one loser to another: let's encourage one another!

1. Set Your Workout Goal

First of all, decide how much weight you want to lose. Set a weight loss goal for yourself. Next, figure out how many calories you want burn off every week in order to lose weight.

You also need to consider how much time you are willing to spend. Take an honest look at yourself, at your life, and at your motivation. Don't set goals that you can't keep, but also try to push yourself a bit beyond your comfort zone.

Remember that to lose one pound, you must burn off 3500 calories than you take in. You can do this either by eating less, moving more, or a combination of both. The healthiest way is to do a combination of both. Read this article for more about planning your weight loss menu to lose weight.

If you decide that you would like to burn off half a pound a week through exercise, you will have to burn off a total of 1750 calories, per week. Let's say that you plan to exercise five times a week.

That means that you will need to choose to burn off 350 calories per session. This is definitely do-able! Remember, this is just an example. I am giving you modest numbers but you may wish to do a lot more every week.

The point is, set your goal and try to stick to it.

Get Yourself Some Workout Gear!

Be sure to get some comfortable, attractive clothing to workout in.
Be sure to get some comfortable, attractive clothing to workout in. | Source

2. Get Some Workout Gear

Whenever we start a new task, we need to get prepared. Working out is no exception. Get your some basic gear to begin this new journey in your life.

Doing this is important for two reasons. First of all, you don't want to be stopped from doing it, because of not having the proper equipment. Secondly, it will give you a psychological boost and signal to your brain that you mean business.

What do you need to get in order to start your program? Well, for the bare minimum, you need a good pair of shoes. This is essential. Splurge on the shoes, even if you can't buy anything else. If you can't walk, you will not keep it up!

Second of all, get some clothes appropriate for your workout. I have written an article outlining some of the excellent choices available in plus sized workout wear. If you can't afford much, try going to your local thrift stores. But get something besides a pair of jeans! The more attractive you can look while working out, the more you will be able to maintain the habits in the long run.

Lastly, make sure you have a good water bottle, something to track your exercise minutes ( a cell phone works great) and perhaps a little bag to carry your keys and bottle.

Tracking With the Daily Mile

This is a screen shot from My Daily Mile,  a program I use to track my exercise minutes, and calories burned.
This is a screen shot from My Daily Mile, a program I use to track my exercise minutes, and calories burned. | Source

Tips on Tracking

Track the number of calories you are burning .... remember the more calories burned than taken in? This how you will know that this is happening.

  • You don't have to be exact, but get an idea.
  • Your weight itself will be a factor in how many calories you burn. The heavier you are, the more calories you will burn. and THAT is a bonus!
  • Your age is a factor. Are you under 30? Count that as a blessing. The older you get, the more your metabolism will slow down.
  • Are you a man or a woman? Well, if you are a man, you automatically burn more calories than a woman, for the exact same amount of exercise.

3. Track Your Exercise and Calories

Once you have decided on how many calories you want to burn off each time, choose a form of aerobic exercise, and see how many minutes you need to exercise, in order to burn off that many calories.

You can do this using online calculators. There are dozens of these available. One of the easiest to use is this one from gyms and fitness clubs.

Using this calculator, I calculated that someone who is 190 pounds, would need to walk quickly, for 45 minutes in order to burn 368 calories.

You can try it for yourself, plugging in your weight, and the exercise that you want to try, and finding your "sweet spot." Don't worry about it being an exact number, but try to find something within your range.

So, once you have set your goal of how many minutes you want to work out, start tracking your exercise minutes. If you use an online program or app, it will also tell you how many calories are burned.

There are numerous ways track your exercise minutes. You can simply write down your minutes in a little book. There are also several places online that help you to track your exercise minutes, including SparkPeople, MyFitnessPal, and DailyMile.

If you are very tech savvy, you can also use a fitness phone app to keep track of those minutes! I have not started using these yet, but they are very accurate in keeping track of your minutes.

4. Do What You Can

What kind of exercise should you do? Do what you can. You do need to do some cardio exercise, in order to get your heart rate elevated. but do whatever you can.

I know that when you have gained a lot of weight, it is very difficult to want to exercise, because it can be really embarrassing to try to sweat and move, when your body is big. I understand that completely, but it so worth it, when you start feeling more like a jock!

But just start by doing what you can. If you can only walk around the block, do that. If you have to simply move in your chair because you can't get up, then do that. Start with something, and you will keep getting stronger, as long as you keep doing something, and don't give up!

I highly recommend walking for weight loss because it is so easy that anyone can do it and the fresh air can be very invigorating. Walking is a low pressure exercise and it is an awesome place to start. However, choose an exercise that works for you, and that you enjoy. You may wish to have several choices that you do at different times, so you don't get bored.


5. Add Strength Exercises

The last piece of advice is to add in some strength training to your workout. I say this last, because I think it is important to develop a routine first, and get yourself used to exercising before adding in one more thing.

But once you are in routine, and on track, it is a very good idea to add in some strength training of some kind. Strength training can take the form of weightlifting, circuit training or even simple isometric exercises that you can do at home. The advantage of doing this is that it increases your metabolism, or the rate at which your body burns calories.


Just Don't Give Up

The most important advice I can give is, don't give up! Even if you get off track, just start again and keep going. It's never too late to workout to lose weight and you will always feel better in the end.


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