We could all do with some tips when it comes to fitness. Whether you are a little over-weight or obese, losing weight and getting fit can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. It may also be that you need to put on weight to improve your fitness level.
With some sensible changes you can lose and maintain the weight loss – or even increase your weight and become a healthier and fitter version of yourself. Here are some fitness tips to get you started on your journey.
Here is a list of programs that can help you with your fitness goals. (These will open in a new tab)
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Write Down Your Goals
- 2 2. Make a Food Diary
- 3 3. Find Out What Your BMR is
- 4 4. Choose Your Diet
- 5 5. Good Nutrition
- 6 6. Breakfast
- 7 7. Portion Control
- 8 8. Sit to Eat
- 9 9. Include More Protein in Your Diet
- 10 10. Include More Fibre Rich Foods
- 11 11. Hydration
- 12 12. Cut Out The Sugar
- 13 13. Reduce Sweeteners Too
- 14 14. Cut Down The Alcohol
- 15 15. Exercise
- 16 16. Include Weights or Resistance Training in Your Exercise Routine
- 17 17. Walk
- 18 18. Take The Stairs
- 19 19. Positive Mindset
- 20 20. Sleep
- 21 References Used in This Article
1. Write Down Your Goals
Writing down your goals is a good place to start. Make a list of what you want to achieve and put them somewhere visible so that you can see them and remind yourself why you have chosen to make this change in your life.
This will help if you feel that you are going to slip into bad habits or losing motivation.
2. Make a Food Diary
Before you start your diet write down everything that you eat and drink during the day, including the calorie intake for each item. Track this over a week or two.
You will then see what you are actually consuming every day and how many calories you are taking in. This will be really helpful when it comes time to make changes to your diet. This is essential whether you want to lose or gain weight.
3. Find Out What Your BMR is
Your BMR is your Basal Metabolic Rate, this tells you how many calories you need to consume every day for your body to function healthily. It is very easy to use, you enter your age, height, weight, sex, and activity level.
You can use my BMR calculator. Our calculator also includes 11 other calculations. Including the required calories.
Once you have your BMR you can compare the number of calories you should be eating to the number of calories you have been consuming (this information will be in your food diary).
You now have a starting point and can look at how to make changes in your diet. You can recalculate your BMR as you go through your fitness journey, this ensures that you always know how many calories you should be taking in each day.
If you would like to find out more about BMR, I’ve written an article what is Basal Metabolic Rate and how to calculate your BMR.
4. Choose Your Diet
Avoid fad diets if you’re trying to lose weight and avoid binge eating everything if you are trying to gain weight. There are a lot of fad diets out there that promise massive changes in short time frames.
You may indeed lose a lot of weight quickly, but the majority of fad diets are unsustainable and when you start eating again will put the weight back on.
If you are trying to put weight on, you want to eat good healthy calories, not junk calories that will have a negative impact on your overall health. It is much better to choose a diet that is sustainable and allows you to lose weight or gain weight at a steady pace and then maintain a healthy weight.
5. Good Nutrition
Healthy balanced meals are the key to losing/gaining and maintaining a healthy weight. Substituting processed convenience foods with some healthy home-cooked options is not only better for you but it is sustainable.
There are many good reputable diet/healthy eating cookbooks out there to give you ideas on healthy meal options or meal plans.
The Fat Burning Kitchen is an excellent book, which goes into detail about good nutrition. Why don’t you check out my review on The Fat Burning Kitchen?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Your body has been fasting overnight, it needs some good fuel to get it going again in the morning. Starving your body will cause it to go into survival mode and hold onto the calories it has. Which means it wont to burn the fat.
Missing breakfast will also leave you feeling sluggish with a lack of energy for the day ahead. If you don’t have time for a cooked breakfast in the morning then at least try to have a healthy whole wheat cereal with some fruit (berries/ bananas) on it.
The fruit is part of your fiber intake. Having a decent breakfast will also help you not snack mid-morning on some unhealthy sugary snacks.
Another option is overnight oats just make them the night before. You can then eat them when you wake up or take them to work. Check out my overnight protein oats recipe.
7. Portion Control
This is a problem area for many people, especially when so many restaurants have large/supersize options or all-you-can-eat buffets, it’s easy to forget how much food you should put on your plate. It’s very easy to overload your plate and eat too much.
Start weighing and measuring your food before you cook it. There are many reputable diet/healthy eating cookbooks out there to help you.
8. Sit to Eat
Eating on the go is sometimes unavoidable, but if you can, just sit and eat your meal. Mindful eating will help you to listen to your body so that you don’t overeat – you would be surprised at just how little it takes to make yourself full – a lot less than most people think.
Sitting, taking some time to eat lets you appreciate what you are eating and it also allows your body to digest without any stress.
9. Include More Protein in Your Diet
When you start exercising your body will need protein to help it build and repair muscle mass. There are many healthy protein sources to choose from.
A healthy balanced meal for fitness should be 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fat.
10. Include More Fibre Rich Foods
A healthy diet should be fiber-rich. Fiber is a really important part of your diet. Fiber intake can help weight loss, stop constipation and lower your blood sugar levels.
Fruit and veg are great sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Women should have 25 grams of fiber a day, and men should have 38 grams of fiber a day.
Many people forget the importance of keeping hydrated, and some people mistake thirst for hunger – eating when they should be drinking. Living a busy life can be tiring and many people rely on caffeine drinks to keep them going throughout the day.
Too many caffeine drinks aren’t good for your body. Try substituting one or two of your caffeine drinks for water during the day. You will be surprised at how drinking a few glasses of water instead of tea or coffee can really improve your health and your skin.
12. Cut Out The Sugar
Sugar is in most of our pre-made food and drinks, it’s almost impossible to get away from, but for a healthier life, you really need to try to break the hold that sugar has on our society.
Preparing your own food and snacks allows you to cut out the sugar in your diet. Switching from fizzy drinks to water is another way to cut out the sugar.
13. Reduce Sweeteners Too
Diet sodas may seem better than the full sugar versions, but diet sodas can cause bloating. Just plain water is your best bet to fully hydrate your body and improve the look of your skin.
When your body is properly hydrated your brain functions better and you increase your energy levels.
14. Cut Down The Alcohol
Having a glass of wine with dinner isn’t the end of the world, but alcohol is full of empty calories. You will need to include the calories in the alcohol in your daily calorie allowance. And remember they don’t call it a “beer belly” for nothing!
If you want to get fit you need to exercise! It really doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do as long as you do it at least 2 or 3 times a week and you enjoy it! It sounds basic and simple but if you find a type of exercise that you enjoy then you will want to exercise!
Your muscle tone will improve making you look better and muscle burns calories. Your heart and stamina will improve giving you more energy. You will also find that these changes motivate you to keep going.
Your metabolism will increase and you will burn off those calories, whilst increasing your stamina and muscles.
Why not give Zumba a try it is a fun way to exercise. I’ve written an article about Zumba and how it can help you lose weight.
16. Include Weights or Resistance Training in Your Exercise Routine
The fastest way to lose weight and get fit is to build muscle. Many people don’t realize that when you start to lose weight you don’t just lose fat, you can lose lean muscle mass too – and that’s not a good thing!
Muscle burns calories, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Plus weight training and even body resistance training help reduce the loss of lean muscle mass that happens as you get older.
To find out more about muscle loss as age check out my article do you lose muscle mass after 40.
If you are trying to gain weight then building muscle is ideal as muscle is heavier than fat, but you will look and feel so much better.
As well as exercise, walk as much as you can – health professionals suggest at least 30 minutes a day, every day on top of your exercise routine. Walking is great as you get older too, as it helps keep joints supple and can help reduce muscle loss.
Remember the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. By walking every day you will find that your stamina increases, aiding your fitness goals.
18. Take The Stairs
Instead of standing in the elevator to go up a couple of floors, take the stairs! It’s all part of keeping active, it may take a little bit of extra time walking up the stairs but it will improve your stamina. And if you are on the 20th floor, then get out a few floors earlier and take the stairs!
As your fitness levels increase, increase how many flights of stairs you go up and down.
19. Positive Mindset
Perception is everything. Changing how you look at things can make a big difference in how you feel about yourself and the things that are happening in your life.
Try not to look at your new diet as a source of restriction. Try instead, to look at it as the beginning of a journey to a fitter, healthier you!
Sleep is the time when our bodies heal and recharge. Not getting enough sleep has an impact on our daily life. When you are tired you are more likely to hit the caffeine and sugary snacks! As well as feeling too tired to do any exercise.
Try to get 8 hours of sleep every night. The bonus is that the more you exercise the better sleep you will get.
I hope you enjoyed these 20 fitness tips and found them helpful. Please feel free to leave any comments or additional health tips that have helped you, we love feedback