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Health

What’s the secret to weight loss?
The answer is simple, but the work not so much
 
Published Tuesday, August 12, 2014 12:13 pm
by Andrea Royal

People often ask me my secret to weight loss. In fact, it’s one of the most common questions I’m asked about fitness, and for good reason. Losing weight isn’t easy.

We are all susceptible to weight gain, but getting the pounds off can often be more challenging for some of us than others. A lot depends on your body type and where you generally hold most of your weight. For example, endomorphs – those with soft round bodies - tend to hold most of their weight in the middle and lower regions of their bodies. They typically have a harder time losing weight than a mesomorph (someone with a compact and muscular build) or an ectomorph (someone with a lean and delicate build).

However, regardless of your body type, there are two key components of weight loss. They are nutrition and cardiovascular exercise. It’s all about finding the right balance between calories consumed and calories burned throughout the day.

Nutrition

Proper nutrition is key to weight loss. As obvious as this fact is, I cannot stress it enough. I understand that some people do not believe in diets, but in order to achieve a certain fitness goal and drop some pounds, you have to watch what you eat. The proof is in the pudding (no pun intended).

It doesn’t require eliminating entire food groups or starving yourself, but there are definitely some foods that you should cut back on and eat only in moderation. They include: sugar, starches, bread, and heavy carbs. Other foods should be consumed more frequently. If you’re looking to burn belly fat, make sure to eat more of the following foods:

  • Oatmeal
  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Eggs
  • Lean meat
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Dark chocolate
  • Whole grains

Cardio exercises

In addition to a healthy meal plan, you should also have a solid workout routine. 

Cardio exercises are great for losing weight.  Essentially, when doing cardio, your body is building up strength to your heart and blood vessels as these exercises speed up your heart rate and get blood coursing through the veins.  Your heart is a muscle and needs exercise just as much as any other muscles in your body.

When your body is active and in motion, it burns more calories. The longer your routine, the more calories you burn. Within the first 15 minutes of your workout, your body is burning sugars and carbs. Then it starts burning the fat. 

Looking to add a little more cardio to your life? Here are a few exercises that you can try today:

  • Running/jogging
  • Cycling
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • Swimming
  • Circuit training
  • Rowing
  • Skiing

Remember not to try and do too much at once. If you are accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle, don’t expect to successfully run tomorrow morning for two hours. Take it slow and simply focus on exercising more frequently. Doing something is better than doing nothing at all to reach your goals.

As you exercise more, your endurance will increase with time and so will your results. Don’t expect it to be easy. It won’t be. It takes will power and the ability to stay focused on your goals knowing that in the end, it will be worth it.

Andrea Royal is a Charlotte-based bikini fitness model. On her blog, "The Royal Truth: A Fitness Model's Story," the self-described shy, awkward, goofy girl from New York chronicles her journey breaking into the world of bodybuilding. Visit her website at qcfitnessmodeling.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter @a_royalfit.

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