Don’t run before you can walk

Picture showing a goal setting board

So another year and another chance to get fit and lose that stubborn weight you have nursed into existence over Christmas. You’re not alone, many people will be thinking the same thing. The problem is that many people will leap into a fitness regime with little or no knowledge of how to set realistic goals and reach them in the right way. All too often, people will make the mistake of setting unrealistic goals, for example: lose a stone in 3 weeks. While this may seem a reasonable goal, and a friend of a friend lost a stone in 4 days, there are many things to consider. Firstly, what do you need to do to lose weight? The simple answer is burn more calories than you eat. Easy right? Well yes and no, first you need to work out how many calories you need to live, this is what’s known as your BMR, your basal metabolic rate. This can be calculated by multiplying your current weight in kg by 25 , lets say you weigh 85kg that would be :

85 x 25 = 2125, that would give you 2125 calories per day, that is your BMR. That is to say, that is the basic amount of calories your body needs to function properly each day. All you need to do to lose weight, is to reduce that amount. This is where people can go wrong.

There are so many quick fix methods to lose weight fast, many of them are not long term methods and some of them are very expensive to boot! By far the simplest method, and the one I use with clients is to reduce daily calories by eating less calories and beginning to exercise.

Eating less calories than you’re used to is a great way of tapping into those fat stores in your body, that alone will make you lose weight, over time. For a more effective weight loss plan, you can also reduce daily calories by burning them through exercise. Moving more each day will encourage weight loss, through using calories to fuel your movement. Something as simple as walking for 30 mins each day will use up to 150 calories, depending on the speed you walk, and how much you weigh. This leads me back to the title of this post and the idea of being realistic.

While running is a great way of keeping fit and maintaining a healthy and lean body. There are many things to consider: your current fitness level, your current weight (pressure put through joints), the right shoes for running, your gait, flexibility, and previous injuries. It can be a minefield, but a little preparation goes a long way. First if you are new to running or exercise, and carrying more weight than you should be, consider walking first, and shifting some of the extra weight. This will put less pressure through your joints: Knees and ankles. When walking or doing any activity for that matter, progressive overload is key, meaning when you get used to an activity and it becomes easy or not challenging, you need to increase either the intensity or duration or both! This will maintain a steady reduction of weight and fat in your body.

So all that’s left is to wish you luck on your new endeavour, and to be realistic with your goal setting, and give your self time to reach your goals; it’s not a race! Good luck and happy new year!

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