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How to Lose Weight: A Quick Guide for Beginners

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Have you been carrying some extra weight that you want to lose? 

Today, I want to give you a quick and easy guide on how to lose weight for beginners.

Does this sound like you? You’ve gained two sizes, you feel bloated, you’re uncomfortable in your clothes, and you feel lethargic all the time. Your back hurts. Your knee hurts. Everything hurts. 

How do other people seem to lead such healthy lifestyles? They look so fresh. They seem so disciplined and active. They eat acai bowls and drink green juices when all you want for breakfast is a sausage-egg-and-cheese-on-a-bagel. Add butter and hot sauce, please. 

You feel frustrated and disgusted with your lifestyle and want to revamp your life now

But there’s one problem. You don’t know where to begin.

Those machines at the gym intimidate you. You don’t know your triceps from your quads. What’s an IT band again? 

Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but you could brush up on your health and fitness lingo.

Let’s begin with the basics and what you absolutely should know to set the foundation for losing weight. 


What is a calorie?

I won’t bore you with the advanced definition here, so simply put, a calorie is a measurement of energy in our food and drink items. (Something for you to understand, but don’t obsess over it.)

1 lb = 3500 calories

To lose weight, you need to do a combination of eating fewer calories and exercise to burn off calories. 

When you can create a deficit of 3500 calories, you will lose 1 pound of weight. 

So now we’ll get into understanding the exercise portion.

A balanced workout routine focuses on 3 areas:

1. Strength Training 

Strength training exercises are any movements that add resistance to a particular muscle group to strengthen that muscle.

Common Myth: Using weights or heavy weights creates bulky muscles, especially for women.

2. Cardiovascular 

Cardiovascular exercise is any activity that brings your heart rate up above your resting heart rate. Adults’ average resting heart rate is 60 bpm to 100 bpm (beats per minute.) 

Tip: When you engage in cardiovascular activities, aim to bring your heart rate up to your target heart rate (or at least about 120 bpm) for a minimum of 20 minutes.

Common Myth: Running is the only way to engage in cardiovascular exercise. I hate running. I don’t know what else to do. 

3. Flexibility 

Flexibility exercises are movements that lengthen, stretch, and keep your muscles and joints mobile. Think of your muscles like a rubber band. When a rubber band gets old, what happens to it? The rubber band becomes dry, rough, brittle, and snaps easily.

Your muscles behave in the same way when you don’t stretch your muscles over time. Most injuries in the gym are due to poor flexibility. So don’t neglect this part of your routine.   

Common Myth: You stretch before your workout.

Correct Answer: You never stretch your muscles cold; you warm up before a workout. Stretching is done after a workout when you are cooling down and your muscles are still warm.  

To have a balanced routine, you want to strengthen your muscles, engage in cardiovascular exercise to work out your heart and stretch your muscles and joints for flexibility and mobility.

Before you begin trying to lose weight, creating a plan for yourself is advantageous. Below, we’ll go over the key points.

Lay the Foundation

  • Take out a sheet of paper and write out your fitness goals.
  • Weigh yourself, take pictures, and find a measuring tape to take your body measurements. 
  • Decide how many times you can realistically work out a week.
  • Clean out your refrigerator and pantry of all the bad foods that you want to eliminate.
  • Plan a day to go grocery shopping. During this trip, focus on understanding new foods and calories. Online shopping counts as well. 

Start a Food Journal

Next, start documenting what you eat. You don’t have to change your eating habits yet if you’re not up for it. Record everything for at least two weeks, from when you wake up to when you go to sleep. Optimally, for a month. 

When I was a personal fitness trainer, the clients who achieved their goals were always the clients who turned in their food logs. So don’t skip this step. The simple steps are often the most powerful. 

I recommend recording on paper before transferring to technology. I’m old-school, but it’s up to you. My Fitness Pal is a popular go-to app for food journaling and exercise. 

Take Away on How to Lose Weight for Beginners

Yay! You made it all the way through. Now that we’ve covered the basics. There’s no reason to feel intimidated anymore.

You are officially armed for success. You know what a calorie is, the different workouts you should incorporate, and how to lay a foundation before you begin. 

It wasn’t that hard, was it? You’ll have a fantastic time exploring the world of health. Trust me; it gets easier. Before you know it, one day, you’ll have a moment when you realize that you have changed and the old you are so far away. Have fun on your journey to the new and healthier you. 

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Picture of Susan Pham, mbgFNC
Hi, welcome! I'm Susan, the creator and writer of Manifestaire. My mission is to help you explore the powers of your being so you can create a magical life you love! Here, you can find articles on manifestation, spirituality, metaphysics, yoga, wellness, and so much more.
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