I believe that you are familiar with the concept of energy balance. In theory, weight-loss happen when you burn more calories than you consume. That generates a negative energy balance forcing the body to used stored energy (mostly fat) to keep you going.
But do you know how many calories you need to burn in order to get rid of a single kilogram of fat? A whopping 9000kcal. That’s the equivalent of 30 hours on a treadmill. That’s assuming that you are not consuming more calories than your body need.
Before you walk away from, listen me out. Don’t get discouraged by the numbers. The good news is that any physical activity can contribute to your daily calorie count. And by physical activity I mean anything that get you moving, not only structured exercise.
Here are my strategies to turn your body into a furnace.
1.Reserve time to exercise
We are all busy. I get it. But if you want to transform your body, you will need to fit exercise in your life. That means setting it as a priority and scheduling a time for it.
I know that when we think of working out, the image of super fit people in tight outfits pumping iron pops into mind. But you don’t even have to commit to a gym membership to get started. You can exercise on your own, in the comfort of your home. All you need is a little space and your phone. There are so many fitness apps available today (including our BPT online coaching app), that I’m sure you’ll find something to fit your needs. And if you are on our program you will be receiving your tailored program very soon?
The advantage of working out at home is that you can exercise at different times of the day to suit your needs. However, for this to work in the long run, you have to book a time for it. Otherwise is just too easy to skip it.
When planning your workout session, consider how much time you have available. It can be 15, 30, 45 minutes; you don’t have to use a whole hour. Remember that some exercise is always better than none. It also important to choose a time that you know you won’t be interrupted. Create the right environment, and you will be more likely to stick to your plan.
2. Include strength training
Strength training helps you build lean muscle mass. The higher your lean muscle mass, the faster your metabolism (and calorie-burning capacity) will be, even at rest.
Hey, calm down! You are not going to get bulky. Even though some women are able to increase muscle mass significantly (as you can see on bodybuilding contests), that is not the rule for most of us, so there is no need to be afraid of the weights.
Any woman is capable of improving muscle strength and stamina with proper training, and these gains are not necessarily accompanied by large increases in muscle bulk. As you lose body fat, your newly built muscles will become more evident, thus giving you the “toned” appearance about which you always dreamed.
Besides, doing only cardiovascular activities and skipping strength training can lead to muscle loss. If you lose muscle, your ability to burn calories decreases considerably.
3. Invest in activities you enjoy
Getting a gym membership to force yourself to exercise won’t work in the long run, if you don’t feel comfortable in there. The secret is to engage in activities that excite you.
Think out of the box. Do you like dancing? Then, find a ballroom or salsa class. Or are you more like an outdoors person? Joining a hiking club can get you active and double as a social network.
And don’t think you are stuck to a single activity. You can always look for something new, when you start noticing that your interest is fading away. The bottom line is: if you choose an activity you love, showing up for it won’t be an issue.
4. Active living
Up to this point, I’ve only talked about structured exercise and leisure-time activities. But what about other things we have to do during our day such as household chores? Can they count as physical activity? Absolutely. As I said before, anything that gets you off your butt counts as activity.
So, use the household chores for your own benefit. Scrubbing the bathroom floor can be a great upper body workout. And, did you know that you can burn around 230 calories per hour while vacuuming? It is almost the same as walking at a moderate pace for one hour!
|Light cleaning (dusting)||170 kcal/hour|
|Heavy cleaning (washing windows)||204 kcal/hour|
|Scrubbing floors||258 kcal/hour|
*Estimated caloric expenditure for a body weight of 150 lbs.
The cool thing is that you can use our BPT coaching platform to log any of those activities. This will help you staying on top of your daily calorie burn.
5. Consider Purchasing a Fitness Tracker (such as Fitbit)
If you are a metrics person, you may enjoy this one. Activity/fitness trackers can help you monitor several aspects of your exercise routine such as calorie burn, heart rate, distance covered, number of steps among others. This might be a good way of staying motivated because you can keep an eye on your progress.
Even a pedometer (step counter) is a great way to keep track of physical activity during the day. This is an light and inexpensive piece of equipment that can be worn throughout the day to keep you accountable. Besides, walking is a simple way to introduce exercise into your life. When you least expect you be walking more often, just because you are paying attention to it.
6. Disrupt long periods of slouch
Sitting for too long has been related to the development of several chronic diseases. The problem is that most of us have sedentary jobs, sitting behind a desk in front of a computer.
No, don’t quit your job just yet. Instead, set a timer and get off your chair every hour or so. You can even perform a few stretches to relax tight muscles and improve blood circulation.
And don’t forget about TV time. Use the commercial breaks to perform short bursts of exercise such as push-ups and sit-ups. Or hold a plank until your show gets back. If you do this on regular basis, you’ll have abs of steel.
7. Start a fitness journal
A good way of keeping track of your progress is starting a fitness journal.
I recommend recording the activity type, the intensity (how hard or easy it was for you), and the duration of the activity. You can even register your thoughts and emotions, if you’d like. It’s super rewarding to read older notes just to realize how far you have gone.
Also record your initial measurements and take progress pictures. This is way you can periodically assess your improvements.
Our online platform, allows you to log all those things in your profile. And you can use the blogging tool to share your achievements with other members. This gives you accountability and you may inspire others to become fitter.