I'm often asked about the best ways to lose weight. There are a multitude of messages out there claiming to be the best way. Clients can often end up being completely confused as to what to do. There is no best way, best training system or best 'diet'. Every client is different and, first and foremost, needs to be listened to.
The general principle behind weight loss is to use a three pronged approach involving progressive changes to lifestyle, nutrition and exercise. Very few clients I have come across can make massive, immediate and irreversible changes in all three of these areas. The best approach is generally to find incremental changes with small steps. In terms of lifestyle, making just small changes can lead to positive results. A example is to try to get up and move every 20 minutes or so during a working day. Another one is to set up a workstation that allows you to stand whilst working. It's amazing how many more calories you metabolise a day just by doing these types of things.
Nutritional intake is by far the most important ingredient when it comes to weight loss. Following simple, manageable principles is the most sensible approach here. Making huge changes by cutting out one of the macronutrients (carbs, fat, protein) is just as mad and impractical as it sounds. It's just amazing how often trainers advise this type of approach. Rather than going 'negative' by cutting something out, a far more advisable approach is to go positive. Eat food; taste it. Really taste it (ask yourself when did you last really do this and savour food?) and really enjoy the incredible variety it provides. Follow simple principles (at Dr. Mark Mullineaux Health and Fitness, POP follows three simple, positive principles).
Exercise is a crucial adjunct, but it is highly unlikely to be successful if it is the primary intervention. When properly structured and enjoyable, it can and should be fun. There is no need whatsoever for it always to be flat out. Vary your workouts, use different kit, and, above all, enjoy it and take a 'positive' approach. Relax with your personal trainer and enjoy the sessions you do.
Dr. Mark Mullineaux, personal trainer in Lancaster is qualified as a personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and YMCA awards. He is qualified in nutrition and weight management.