By David Jenkins
As a student and personal trainer at the FIU Wellness and Recreation Center—MMC, I understand how challenging losing and/or maintaining weight can be.
Numerous clients come to me seeking advice on how to overcome these weight-related challenges. Here is what I recommend to my clients for weight reduction and management:
Work on your nutrition.
The effort spent in the gym should be reciprocated in the kitchen. I often tell my clients that exercising is just half the battle, the other half is in the kitchen.
If you were to burn an additional 500 calories throughout the week from exercising, in addition to eating 500 calories less through a dietary improvement, then your overall progress has greater long-term effects. Progress would be less dependent upon great workouts, and more on healthy lifestyle changes.
For more specifics on improvements that you can make to your nutritional practices, I recommend scheduling an appointment with a registered dietician at FIU’s Healthy Living Program.
Don’t ignore the little things.
If you were to add up all the condiments you put on your food throughout the week you may be surprised at how many additional calories you’ve consumed.
A single packet of ketchup can have 25 calories or more. Considering you may use 4 packets of ketchup on a single meal consisting of a burger and fries, equating to 100 calories, it’s evident that the little things add up quickly.
As with nutrition, the little things in exercise shouldn't be ignored either. Consider altering lifestyle choices that will increase your physical demand.
Using the stairs rather than the elevator, or parking your car further away from the store can also add up to more calories burned overtime. These subtle yet impactful changes will over time add up and contribute toward your goals.
A flight of stairs burns roughly 10 calories and doing 3 flights a day over the course of a week you will burn 150 calories. Over the course of the year this will aid in tipping the scale in your favor.
Increase your resistance training.
While using cardio machines will help your overall heart health, including resistance training can be beneficial when weight loss is the primary goal.
Since muscle requires more energy from your body, even when at rest, resistance training is a key factor in weight loss. Muscular tissue consumes more nutrients and oxygen than fat and this caloric expenditure can lead to weight loss.
By Increasing overall muscle mass, your body will naturally output more calories throughout the day for the muscle to exist.
When selecting exercises to assist with weight management, consider those with compound and functional movements. Exercises such as deadlifts and overhead presses are viable options.
Be consistent and structured.
Your ambition will likely be highest during the initial phases of your weight loss/management journey. I encourage you to remain consistent and committed in order to see and maintain results.
One way I maintain consistency with my clients is to apply structure to their workout routines. This structure allows clients to train according to their specific goals, needs and interests.
If you’re someone seeking additional consistency and structure in your workout routine, I recommend consulting with one of the personal trainers at the Wellness and Recreation Center. Participation in specialty fitness programs offered such as, “Lose It,” is also a more cost effective option for those who cannot afford personal training. To sign up for Lose It in the Spring semester or for more information, you can contact the Wellness and Recreation Center fitness team at WRCfitness@FIU.edu.
David Jenkinsis a certified personal trainer specializing in weight management and sports skills. He is currently a personal trainer and athletic training intern majoring in sports and fitness at the FIU Wellness and Recreation Center at MMC.