The Stages Of Weight Loss

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There are many stages and approaches when it comes to losing weight and getting fit, some of us are stuck in one stage and give up, but what we must realise is that sometimes the only way out is through. You must have heard this at least once, there are no shortcuts, there are no quick fixes, however there are scams, plateaus and burnout, along with results and the incredible high of progress. So let’s dive in to the stages I have personally noticed in others and gone through myself.

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Stage 1 : The Diet Obsession 

Let’s admit it, we’ve all been there. You just decided to lose weight and you go online determinedly searching for the best 2 week diet plan… well here’s the punchline – IT DOES NOT WORK – it only gives temporary results and long term stress. Many of us have an on and off ¬†relationship with this stage, but we should all just break up and move on.

 

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Stage 2: Cardio Junkie

Better but not by much. At this stage, we’re still pretty knew to the whole concept of weight loss but this is where we lose a ton of it. Why? Because we pack on the cardio and monitor our food. I started with the treadmill and bicycle, boring, I know, although it did help shed the weight cause I was spending more than I usually did. I also ate super clean, but only in my opinion at the time since I hadn’t figured out what eating clean really was. I thought I was eating clean but I was still having processed foods that didn’t fuel me.

 

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Stage 3: Losing the Gym V-card 

Hello strength training and extreme food monitoring. This is where I tried out the Keto diet (not for me) and calorie tracking. Here is where the stigma around working out is broken and stress about food is built. I realised cardio was not enough and weights were my friend, soon to be bestfriend, so I started strength training but I still wasn’t sure what I was doing. Also tracking and weighing my food led to food being reduced to numbers and it was highly stressful, I was unhappy all the time. I became obsessed and felt guilty if I didn’t track or exceeded my calories. I had lost all the weight I needed to at this point but I now wanted to lose body fat.

 

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Stage 4: Prime Time

This is where I fell I am at right now and it is bliss, but I have to say that I didn’t reach here alone, I had help and great advice. This is the most mentally healthy stage, food is now your fuel, no more tracking or weighing food. I eat when I’m hungry and I eat clean, and there are times that indulge, but the most important thing is I am fully aware of it. Working out has never felt better, in other words, I push hard but I don’t beat up myself about how many calories I’ve lost or about taking rest days, I just embrace every workout as a chance to exert my all into it. This is where progress is slow but significant and long term.

 

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Stage 5 : Finish Line

Funny thing is… we never reach this one, because it moves along with us. This is your goal, the perfect, ultimate result of your fitness journey, but this is the point that you realise there is no finish line, because this is your lifestyle now. The more you go along the more your goals change and you will keep having new ones even as you accomplish them. There is no perfect, you will always find more to want, even when you think you’ll be happy once you reach this weight or that body fat percentage, you will be but it will not stop there. This is the forever stage.

 

These stages took me 3 years… it was not easy. However, not everyone goes through these exact stages, some people have gone straight to strength training or other forms of fitness, but this pattern is highly common in people trying to lose weight. I hope this post was helpful in giving you clarity on your fitness journey or in any way possible, thank you for reading.

Burn More Fat Doing Less Cardio

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When trying to lose weight, most people jump on the treadmill first thing and ‘workout’ for 2-3hours. Now while this may burn calories, it’s definitely inefficient and inconvenient in the long run, especially when you don’t have much time to spend in the gym. Running for hours on the treadmill, will also burn muscle, which isn’t what you want if you’re looking to tone your body. Moreover, building muscle boosts your metabolism and increases the amount of calories you burn, so what you need to do is find peace with your cardio routine.

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This is where HIIT training comes in. High Intensity Interval Training leads to burning more calories in less time. However, I do recommend you consult your doctor before taking up any form of exercise as it may be detrimental to your health or cause injury, so make sure to verify with your doctor.

I’ve recently started HIIT training and I’ve begun to see changes in my strength and body after only one week. I combine HIIT workout along with strength training as well as pilates to increase my flexibility. The great thing about HIIT is that you can adapt it to any form of exercise; on the treadmill, the elliptical, the rower or even PIIT (HIIT with Pilates). If you need a starting point, here is my HIIT routine on the treadmill.

Beginner’s guide to a HIIT workout

  • 5 min warm up
  • 1 min sprint + 2 min walk (repeated 6 times)
  • 5 min wind down

Your speed and inclination is totally dependent on your fitness level, I usually walk on 5mph and run on 8-8.5 mph. I do increase the amount of reps every one or two weeks if I feel myself getting used to the workout or I increase my speed. HIIT training is definitely one of the fastest ways to achieving a change in your body, but keep in mind that during a workout your heart rate will reach its optimum level during that one minute.

There are several videos that go into depth about the several workouts you can do, if you want to take it a step further. I’d also recommend Blogilates (Youtube) for PIIT workouts. I hope you enjoyed this post and leave me comment if you decide to take on HIIT training.