Struggling to get started with losing weight? You’re not alone. The internet, social media, magazines, and nearly every person you meet has advice about what to do and avoid. If you’re unsure of where to start, the process can be overwhelming at best and incredibly frustrating at worst. 

If you’re serious about losing weight, it can be well worth your time to invest in personal training sessions, so you know exactly how to achieve the best results and stay on track with your goals. Personal training isn’t just about having someone walk you through individual workouts and encourage you to lift heavier weights—it’s about education and learning what your body needs and responds to as you exercise.

There are also some fundamentals to be mindful of as you embark on your weight loss journey. While these suggestions may seem very general, they’re tried and true ways to start shedding pounds and, most importantly, feeling more energetic.

  1. Watch your nutrition.

It can be hard to watch what you eat when you’re trying to lose weight. However, one of your best weapons is knowing how to build a healthy diet. If you have a personal trainer who can help create and monitor an effective nutrition plan tailored to your needs, use them! Chances are they’ll provide not only a detailed meal plan but also insight into general workout tips and habits that will make it easier to get started on your journey toward good health.

To get started, log everything you eat and drink for a few days. Don’t judge yourself, but be honest. Afterward, you can review your log either by yourself or with your trainer to see where you can improve and what healthy swaps you can make to jumpstart your weight loss and keep making progress towards your goals.

2. Start resistance training to build muscle.

When it comes to weight loss, building muscle is one of your best bets for getting rid of extra fat. Resistance training, or lifting weights, helps build muscle —which takes up more space in your body than fat does. 

The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, meaning you’ll burn calories faster. Plus, since muscles use more energy than fat does when they contract, adding lean mass can help boost how many calories you burn each day by as much as 30 percent. You’ll also lose a bit of flab around your middle because smaller muscles put less strain on surrounding tendons and joints than larger ones do.

3. Use cardio to burn calories.

Of course, you’ll want to include cardio in your weight loss plan, but not all cardio options work for everyone. For example, if you enjoy running, hitting the treadmill or the pavement is a wonderful option and can offer bursts of endorphins to help you power through your day. But if running isn’t your thing, or if you can’t do high-impact workouts, using the elliptical or recumbent bike to get your heart pumping is a great option!

If you want to level up on your calorie burn, opt for high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which has been shown to burn more calories per minute than other forms of exercise. You can do this by combining brief (30 seconds to 2 minutes) bursts of intense activity, like jumping jacks, squats, or pushups, to keep your heart rate up as you work out. As a bonus, HIIT training can also help build muscle, which increases your metabolism.

Every bit of activity throughout your day adds up. Each time you walk your dog, take a stroll through Downtown Sanford, or even take an extra lap around Target, it’s like racking up tons of small wins towards your weight loss. Plus, since your body continues to burn calories after each workout (even while you sleep), it doesn’t take long before these small wins turn into big victories over time!

4. Hydrate constantly.

Water is your friend. Proper hydration can improve fat metabolism and support growing muscles. Staying hydrated will help flush out toxins and keep you feeling energized. 

To stay properly hydrated, drink about two cups of water before every meal or snack. It’s a good idea to continue drinking throughout your meal as well—but be sure to sip slowly because gulping down large amounts of water at once might cause you to feel nauseous (which isn’t good if you’re trying to eat!). If you find yourself feeling hungry between meals, try sipping on some ice-cold water first! We generally recommend aiming for one gallon of fluids per day, with the majority being water.

Also, remember that everything counts towards your daily intake—including those delicious coffees and cocktails!

5.  Be consistent and committed.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but consistency is often an issue. You can’t expect to lose weight if you don’t commit to your goals daily. Once you develop a routine that works for your body and life, make sure you stick to it!

That doesn’t mean you should do the same series of workouts each week, however. Don’t be afraid to try new things or experiment with new exercises or make changes to your nutrition. When losing weight, many people hit a dreaded plateau where their weight stays the same, or they’re not actively losing fat. If this happens, try a new workout, increase your intensity, and change your nutrition accordingly. A personal trainer can help you adjust and start seeing progress again in no time!

6. Bonus: Remember—you can do difficult things.

Armed with these fundamentals, you can start seeing weight loss results within a few weeks. Though the sheer amount of information on weight loss can make it seem scary and overwhelming, these simple tips can carry you to success. If you’re unsure of where to start or how to build a workout program that’s right for your body, contact a personal trainer for professional advice tailored to your needs and goals.