Ways to Lose Weight

Photo by Puuiki Beach

So you want to lose weight, look awesome in and out of your clothes and be one fit BITCH?
There are plenty of ways to reach that goal, but not all of them are safe or healthy. To reach and support a healthy body weight in a safe and effective way, the most important factor is managing what and how much you eat. Exercise is secondary to creating a healthy body weight. You can shake your tush, sweat like a whore in church for an hour and then stuff your face with candy bars and soda, but it won’t do you any good. So while exercise is important for a number of reasons, it shouldn’t be your only weight-management tool.

The following are a couple of healthy, safe methods for losing weight. (Hey, no one said it’d be fun. Just do it already!)

Calories in, calories out — (Don’t like this method? Scroll down the page, baby.)

We all have different caloric needs. So first, calculate how many calories you need to eat a day to maintain your weight with this nifty BMI calculator.

Next, subtract 500 calories from that number. Doing so will allow you to lose one pound per week. To lose two pounds a week, subtract 1,000 calories.

Warning: Losing more than two pounds a week is considered unhealthy, as it requires an extreme deficit in calories that can adversely affect the body and lead to yo-yo dieting. Never eat less than 1,200 calories per day.

So, aside from eating smaller portions and fewer high-caloric foods, the best way to reach a 500 to 1,000 calorie burn is to include exercise into your daily routine. The less time you want to spend working out, the harder you’ll have to work. I mean sweat, baby -– lots of it.

The best calorie-torching exercise is circuit training. Seriously, it burns even more than running. You’re probably wondering just how many calories you can expect to shed during a circuit session, but that depends on intensity, duration, method and weight of an individual, so it is hard to precisely calculate. But to find an estimate, see this exercise-to-calorie conversion tool.

Portioning — (Another weight loss method)

There are people in the health and fitness industry who shun the idea of counting calories. They say people don’t have the time to measure the calories in everything they eat, and I agree. It’s not sustainable. While I don’t discount the effectiveness of counting calories, in the short-term at least, I believe learning to eat intuitively is the best way to lose weight and keep it off.

Eating intuitively means eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are satisfied, not full. It also means that you must be mindful about what and how much you eat.

Portion meals in such a way that vegetables are the centerpiece of your diet. Eat as many of them as you want (with some exceptions. Read on.). Meat servings should be palm sized. For weight loss I recommend forgoing bread, rice, cereal and other processed and flour-based carbohydrates. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and corn should be eaten sparingly.

To learn more about how to eat for weight loss, check out my post on how to get “abs-olutely fab abs.”

Why Getting Fit Will Change Your Life

Photo by Planetwoman

Everyone knows exercising leads to weight loss, but it yields equally or more awesome effects than the average person realizes. Do you want to find out what they are? Really? Well, then you’ll have to work out to find out. Harsh, I know, but it’s true.

See, I can tell you all of the great things that happen when working out and progressing strength and endurance, but that doesn’t mean you’d know for yourself. In order to fully understand the benefits, you have to do the work. After you’ve panted and sweat, wheezed and gasped your way to a healthier you, then, and only then will you really know.

Nevertheless, I’ll cut to the chase and tell you what benefits you can expect from being fit, because let’s face it, working out is freaking hard. Most people won’t push themselves enough to get to the other side of the rainbow unless they know there’s a pot of gold at the end, and even then some people will wuss out.

Even if you haven’t yet shed an ounce, if you’ve been “showing up” for your workouts and are really busting a sweat, you’ll foster a sense of pride in yourself. You don’t have to go from couch potato to Olympian. You just have to consistently challenge yourself, and every time you meet your demands, you’ll boost confidence. Pushing past discomfort, beyond boundaries you’d imagined you have does wonders for self-image. Eventually, you’ll begin to feel stronger and you’ll have more endurance –- another image booster.

Aside from that, if you keep a workout schedule, eventually you’re going to see physical results. An overweight friend of mine said, “When you’re significantly overweight, any weight loss is an improvement.” This is motivation for beginners. Put one foot in front of the other, and eventually, you’ll have walked a mile and broken in your BITCH Fit shoes.

Often progress will seem slow, but as the weeks go by, you’ll notice your clothes fit better and people will start to ask, “Hey, did you lose weight?” These are golden motivating moments. Harness them to push further during workouts.

When on a path of self-development anything seems possible. You want a six pack? Awesome! Keep working out, eat right and it’s yours. From a beginner’s perspective, achieving something like this might seem like a distant dream. But for someone who is entrenched in and committed to a fitness lifestyle –- even if they are still nowhere near their goals –- it’s doable. They know that while it may be a slow process, they will meet their best weight and fitness goals.

Before I became determined to get and stay fit I was a sloth. My ass was typically glued to the couch if I was home. After several weeks of working out I noticed a tremendous spike in energy. Instead of slumping around I would have to keep myself from spontaneously dancing or jumping up and down. I wanted to move my body all the time.

Like I said, working out is hard –- that is, if you’re doing it right. In order to make physical progress you have to push yourself past your comfort zone, and in order to do that your mind has to drive your body. If the mind is weak, the body will be, too.

The determination it takes to get fit can be applied to other aspects of life: determination to eat healthfully, to learn a new skill, to break into a new career path, to choose to be happy and quit dwelling on your crappy past, etc.

I’ll talk more about mental strength and how it can be used for weight loss in an upcoming post. You don’t want miss it. It may be just what you need to make that major change you’ve needed.

Beyond optimism about physical pursuits, the Fit BITCH knows she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. She’s proven it during workouts when she’s pushed past what she thought were her boundaries. When someone says something is impossible, the fit say, “Watch me accomplish the impossible.”

Naturally, with optimum health and fitness comes the capacity to do the things in life you want, whereas having a list of things you won’t do because you lack stamina or low self-confidence is anything but freeing. Once you unburden yourself from a weak physique, you can start taking part in life –- like really living –- experiencing.

Go hiking a gorgeous path, go dancing for hours, feel confident at the beach or swimming pool, explore a city for hours by foot or try new recreational sports like climbing a rock wall or learning trapeze work or aerial yoga. (If you haven’t heard of aerial yoga, check it out. Freaking amazing!)

You want one more reason to get fit? To open the damn jar of pickles yourself. Rawk!

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