Pretty informative FAQ, and I'll add a little more details (all coming from an Athletic Trainer). If you have a smartphone, get a calorie counter app or something along those lines. It'll help. If you want to use the net, I know for a fact that sparkpeople.com (I'm not advertising it, just know that it's free and it works. I have 2 friends who used the site to help monitor their progress and they lost a good amt of weight).
As long as you're informed and you know what to do and how to do it (and actually do it), losing weight and getting toned isn't too difficult.
Results are not instant and will take time. Anything that says you can get instant results without any work is not true
(unless you have surgery or things like that).
Your diet is the most important thing. On avg, most people should be eating around 2000 calories a day, about 5 meals a day. Most people tend to have a light breakfast (if they even eat it), a small lunch, then a lot for dinner. Instead, your 3 major meals should be about the same w/ 2 snacks in between.
A sample 2000 calorie meal day to maintain/lose weight
Breakfast - Egg whites, pb sandwhich on wheat bread, 2% milk
Brunch - greek yogurt (has less sugar and more protein)
Lunch - tuna sandwhich on wheat bread w/ some fruit
Afternoon Snack - Protein bar
Dinner - brown rice, grilled salmon, cup of steamed vegies
The reason why you want to eat smaller meals is that it helps keep your metabolism up. Also, you want your diet to be filled with "healthier" options such as
- lean protein - chicken, fish, egg whites, peanut butter
- whole wheat - brown rice, wheat bread, whole wheat pasta
For those who wish to bulk up (like myself), you need A LOT more than 2000 calories. You still need to eat healthy, but you also add in protein shakes and add in a larger serving of each (i.e. instead of just a cup of brown rice, a grilled chicken breast, and a cup of vegies, you up it to a cup and a half of brown rice, 2 grilled chicken breasts, and a cup and a half of vegies along with your protein shake).
Foods to avoid
- Anything high in sugar/high fructose corn syrup. Easiest and harest thing to lose here is soda and energy drinks. If you can get away from those drinks then it's smooth sailing for the most part.
- bleached grains - white bread, white rice/pasta
- fast/fatty/greasy food - nuff said
Now that you're eating healthier (hopefully), you need to make use of the calories that you're taking in. Start off easy and slowly push yourself. Your body eventually gets use to the exercise you do and it plateaus. You then have to push yourself harder to make it work and not get use to what you were doing before. Work out around 4 times a week and make sure you get some rest in between. Make sure you stretch before any workout and drinks lots of water
(Sports Drinks can be helpful, but they're loaded with sugar). Also, if at any point you don't feel comfortable or a pain that isn't from exercising, stop. You know your own limits. You'll have to push your limits, but don't break them.
Cardio - Easiest way to start losing weight. If you have access to a treadmill, bike, rollerblades, great! If not, jog, swim, play some DDR, etc...
Start off easy, a few laps around the neighborhood (10mins). After a week, step it up a notch and add a few more laps (15-20 mins). After another week, add some more time/laps. Cardio is the best way to get your heart pumping and the blood flowing.
Toning - For girls, this is more of your section. The key to toning is low weight, higher reps. Start off simple with 2-5lb weights (milk jugs w/ water work also if you don't have weights) and do 3 sets of 10. For guys, start your weight around 10lbs+. The weight plays a good factor, but your form's even more important. Guys, don't thing you have to prove anything just because you're starting off at 10lbs. Take your time with the exercises you do and make the muscle, not the momentum
, do the work.
Bulking - More so for guys. If you want to look more like Ryu from Street Fighter and not like Dhalsim, you'll have to bulk up first then tone. Bulking up is kind of the opposite of toning. You want higher weights and lower reps. The idea is the max yourself and tear your muscles apart and let new muscle tissue grow on top of what you have already. Make sure you have a friend to spot you if you don't have access to machines that help you. So instead of using 10lbs and doing 3 sets of 10. You might want to push yourself and try 30 lbs with 3 sets of 5.
If you don't have access to any weights or equipment, then the three easiest things to do are jumping jacks for cardio, situps/ab/core work outs, then pushup (try to do 5 a day and work yourself up). Pushups are the easiest way to tone your chest and arms w/o any equpiment at all. If you have to start off easy, lean against a wall and do standing pushups. If you want it easy on the ground and have to do them on your knees, start that way. As long as you make an effort, push ups get easier.
Hopefully this gives you a better idea on what to do. If you have any questions, feel free to msg me! Attached is a picture of me to prove I know what I'm talking about. I'm not ripped like Bruce Lee, but I'm still toned and fit (but still too skinny to be Ryu tho... *sigh*)