Let’s set aside for now the goal of getting a six pack or a thigh gap. The dedication to achieve those goals are a little too much for regular people trying to survive their jobs as well as day to day errands. I get it. If you have a job, that’s two thirds of your day gone, and when you get home from work, you’ve got to feed yourself, do the dishes and the laundry, spend time with family, and also still have that hour of ‘me’ time. It’s exhausting trying to carve out the extra time for gym.
If you do have a zeal for that perfect body, don’t let me stop you there! Go ahead! Fulfill your dreams! For the most of us who lack that passion for physical perfection, that’s no excuse to let ourselves go either. I mean, staying fit is a lifelong journey. If you slack off when you’re young, you’re gonna have to face the health consequences when you’re older.
So this article is for those who want to know how to get fit fast, shed those extra pounds, feel lighter, healthier and more energetic. Don’t worry, there won’t be any drastic, life transforming routines that you’ll have to incorporate into your life from now on. This is for the hectic working adult, the mum, or dad, those who don’t have much time to spare on attaining fitness, but still want to take a step in the right direction. If that’s you, read on ahead for tips on how to get fit fast and stay that way!
How to Get Fit Fast: Make Your Food Count
What you eat is incredibly important to your getting fit. I might say that this accounts for a greater impact that even exercise, only because I’m a lazy bum in the working out department. If you’re one that doesn’t want to do much exercise, you’ve got to be extra strict on your food intake! That said, let me break it down to you briefly the eating tips and habits that you should pick up to get fit fast, in a healthy way.
How to Get Fit Fast Tip # 1: Careful with those Calories
Rule number one of a healthy diet: DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF. If you’re aiming to get fit the healthy way, trying to lose weight too fast won’t do you much good. When you restrict your caloric intake too severely — fewer than 1,200 calories a day for women and 1,800 a day for men — you risk stalling your weight loss by slowing your metabolism. Very counterproductive and such a waste of effort.
What you should be doing instead is to find the right number of calories to lose at a steady rate of 0.5 to 1 kg a week. To do this, find out how many calories you’re taking in at the moment, then subtract between 250 and 1,000 to get your new calorie goal for weight loss. Now you have a clearer view on what you can eat in a day instead of just eating as usual and hoping for the best. Since part of getting fit is exercising, you might want to go with the lower end of calorie reduction, say, 250 to 500 calories, and burn the rest of the calories through physical activity.
How to Get Fit Fast Tip # 2: Nourishment is Non-Negotiable
This is our number one priority. You are what you eat. So if you eat junk, your body lacks the nutrients to replenish itself, hence leaving you with a weaker immune system. What’s worse is the sugar spike that comes with most junk food. This “post-prandial hyperglycemia” has many long term effects but some of its shorter ones include tissue inflammation and a surge and drop in insulin that may leave you feeling hungry soon after your meal, which leads to more eating and hence weight gain. We don’t want to eat just for the sake of curbing hunger, we should look to make our food count by filling our diet with foods that support our energy needs, muscle growth and overall health development.
So go crazy on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy. If you have no time to cook a hearty, healthy meal yourself, here are 20 Surprisingly Affordable Healthy Food Delivery in KL.
How to Get Fit Fast Tip # 3: The Poison of Processed Foods
A no brainer of course, but this needs to be clearly stated. You don’t know exactly what processed foods have gone through to get on those shelves. The chemicals that have been used to produce them is a mystery to us. One of the most detrimental effects of processed foods is its high sugar levels and the use of artificial ingredients, both of them challenging the body’s natural ability to function healthily. According to a 2011 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, certain types of processed foods are directly linked to weight gain, including potato chips, sweetened drinks such as soda and juice and processed meats such as bacon and pepperoni.
What’s worse is that due it its ‘hyper rewarding’ characteristics, we tend to overeat on these deliciously unhealthy food to even the point of addiction. This is because our appetite naturally gravitates toward foods that are sweet, salty and fatty, as we subconsciously know they contain energy and nutrients that are needed for survival. We’ve all been there, clawing tooth and nail to control ourselves from taking another bite of that sweet, decadent chocolate cake. An absolute torture.
If you’re still not convinced of the danger of processed foods, Thomas Delauer from BeFit breaks it down even further.
Now that you know how detrimental processed food are to our efforts to get fit and stay healthy, avoid them like the plague. Because once you start, you can’t stop. The more you steer clear of them, the less your body craves them as a form of sustenance. Just look at processed food like a smoker trying to quit on cigarettes and that will give you the right mind set. So bid adieu to all these processed foods such as white bread, pasta, sweets and fast food. They are a real hindrance to all our efforts of getting fit fast.
If you MUST snack, snack healthy! Here are 10 Healthy Snack Pack Deliveries in KL. No more excuses!
How to Get Fit Fast Tip # 4: Fight Fat with Fibre
Right, eating your veggies is almost synonymous with going on a healthy diet. And there is a reason for that. Vegetables are low in calorie count which means, there is less excess energy your body has to burn off, leaving it able to concentrate on burning off the fat stored previously by the body. Also, another great thing about indulging in veggies is that it allows you to eat more of it. And when you do that, you’re less hungry. And when you consider that hunger is strongly associated with weight gain, half the battle is won when you’ve defeated the hangry in you.
Here is a video to help you gauge how much fiber you should eat per day.
How to Get Fit Fast Tip # 5: The Subliminal Powers of Sleeping
A lot of people jokingly say that sleeping prevents you from eating, and that in itself is a win. There is truth in that, but the main reason lack of sleep may hinder your weight loss efforts is because when you’re overtired, your brain’s reward centers rev up, looking for something that feels good, hence the comfort food cravings. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when people were starved of sleep, late night snacking increases and high-carb snacks were their go to choice.
Another study showed that a lack of shut eye prompted people to consume larger portions of food, leading to an increase in weight gain. A sleepy brain is highly likely to crave junk food while also lacking the impulse control to say no.
Not just that, sleep is like nutrition to the brain. Getting less than 7 hours may impact your hunger and fullness hormones, mainly ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you lack sleep, you lack leptin. This increase in ghrelin and decrease in leptin are contributing factors to weight gain, making this one of the easier tips to incorporate into your life from now on in your journey of getting fit, which is: Sleep More!
How to Get Fit Fast Tip # 6: Water Aids Weight Loss
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published a study in 2003 stating findings that showed metabolic rate increasing by 30 percent after drinking 2 cups of water. This lasted between 10 and 40 minutes after drinking the water. The causal relationship between water and a boost in metabolism is still inconclusive, but drinking water does fill your stomach up, tricking it into thinking that it’s full and curbing the urge to eat. So that’ll reduce food intake not to mention its crucial role in keeping your body hydrated and healthy.
How to Get Fit Fast Tip # 7: Booze is Bad
At seven calories per gram, alcohol contains almost twice as many calories as protein and carbs. The thought that we drink it like water sometimes, should make you shiver. Imagine the amount of excess energy your body has to burn off or else it gets stored as fat. What’s worse, the calories in alcohol lack the nutrients beneficial for a healthy metabolism and will hence hasten fat storage. To add to alcohol’s hindrance in getting fit, whenever alcohol is consumed, it is the first fuel to burn. While that’s going on, your body pauses the fat burning. This does not stop your weight loss per se, but it definitely postpones it, and you’ll have to spend time and energy to burn it off later. If you must drink, go for wine, and let your last option be beer, because that contains the most calories. A moment on the lips, forever on the hips is clear here. The cruel curse of all delicious things in life.
How to Get Fit Fast: The Element of Exercise
After all the information on what to eat to get fit fast, we need to address the other component of weight loss. Which is exercise, the energy output of the body that we can control. There are two effective ways to get fit fast from exercise.
Bring the Burn!
The first is to burn as much energy as possible during your exercise. My favourite way to accomplish that is to do high intensity interval training (HIIT). These are majorly intense workouts with short breaks in between sets. A HIIT session usually lasts 10 to 20 minutes. Which is perfect for lazy bums aka busy people like myself. Here are some ways to get that body moving to burn as much energy as possible in the least amount of time.
How to Get Fit Fast Tip # 8: Get Fit with HIIT!
As I mentioned earlier, HIIT may help you reach your fitness goals faster than traditional aerobic exercise. That’s because it increases your calorie-burning capacity, even after you’re done working out. You burn 6 to 15 percent more calories those two hours following HIIT. In addition to helping you burn more calories for weight loss, HIIT also helps you lose abdominal fat while retaining muscle mass as well as improves aerobic and anaerobic fitness. Perfect for us who’d kill to get rid of that belly fat around the mid-section.
HIIT alternates between periods of intense aerobic exercise followed by brief periods of recovery or rest. For example, sprinting at top speed for 30 seconds then jogging for 2 minutes, then repeating this for 10 to 20 mins. If you’re just starting off with HIIT, Christine Salus, a fitness badass, is perfect to emulate. Here is one of my favourite HIIT exercises of hers.
How to Get Fit Fast Tip # 9: Give Boxing a Try
If you’re not a fan of HIIT, try this instead. Never underestimate the power behind a punch. Boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, anything that requires constant footwork and punches, do wonders for enhancing strength and total-body conditioning. A 70kg person can burn roughly 300 calories in a 30-minute workout, and because this form of exercise requires total body engagement, as well as lateral and rotational movements as you slide, punch, duck, and twist through the sets, you’re working your body in its entirety, developing your muscles in a very balanced way compared to the more focused workouts.
How to Get Fit Fast Tip # 10: Make Brief That Break
When you’re aiming to burn as much energy as possible during your workout, it’s best to keep your breaks short. Keeping your rests between sets below 45 seconds will boost the overall intensity of your workout, increase calorie burn, and maximize your time in the gym (or at home if you’re doing a home work out). So no playing with your phone or chatting with your exercise partner when you finish a set. Instead, take a sip of water, catch your breath, and start the next set. Focus is key to getting fit fast.
How to Get Fit Fast Tip # 11: Work Out like The Flash
The advantage of speed work, is that you can accomplish more in less time while maximizing cardiovascular gains. A study in 2012 showed participants performing five 30-second sprints on a stationary bike, each sprint separated by four minutes of active rest. After the five sprints were completed (which is just two and a half minutes of actual work), the participants had burned an average of 200 calories. That’s a pretty significant return on investment. So for you busy people, having no time to exercise is no longer an excuse to not work out. If you have ten minutes, you can make yourself stronger, fitter and healthier.
The second way to get fit fast is to start building muscle. Miriam Nelson, author of Strong Women Stay Slim and a researcher at Tufts University in the US, found that women who followed a weight-loss diet combined with weight-training exercises lost 44 percent more fat than women who only followed the diet. “Researchers also discovered something disturbing pertaining to weight loss: when women diet, at least 25 to 30 per cent of the weight they shed isn’t fat, but water, muscle, bone and other lean tissue,” Nelson says. This is horrible! Think of all the struggles you go through to control your food intake, only to lose important components of your body in the process. It really is such a waste. So incorporate strength training into your exercise regime, while keeping your diet healthy and consistent! This combination will helps us lose excess fat rather than vital tissue.
How to Get Fit Fast Tip # 12: Build that muscle to bump up metabolism
Melbourne-based exercise physiologist Trent Malcolm says: “People on low calorie crash diets slow their metabolic rate and their lean muscle mass will deteriorate. Losing weight on these low calorie diets can also exaggerate the sagging and softness of the skin when it’s not filled out with lean muscle mass.”
Malcom says metabolism, for the most part, is determined by the body’s lean muscle mass. “One kilogram of muscle will burn about 627 to 1465 kilojoules per day, while 1kg of fat only burns about 20 to 40 kilojoules per day.” So it makes sense to not just preserve lean muscle mass, but increase it! All for the sake of keeping your body’s internal burner up!
Also, aging comes with loss of lean muscle. If you don’t strength train, you could lose 2.2 to 3.2kg of lean muscle every 10 years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you’ve got to get bulky. You don’t need to. As little as 1.4kg of lean muscle can increase your resting metabolism by about seven per cent. The beauty of strength training workouts is that it continues burning fat for up to 39 hours afterwards. Besides this tremendous benefit, it also helps create stronger bones, prevent injuries, increase balance, flexibility and mobility. So what are you waiting for? Start building some lean muscle today! Here are some strength training workout videos to help you get started on getting fit fast!
16 mins without equipment
17 mins with dumbbells
Now that you’re partially education on the subject of how to get fit fast, get off your bum and do it! No one is going to do it for you! Just start! A HIIT workout only takes 10 minutes off your schedule. You could do a quick one after work or before, and take a refreshing shower prior to your drive to the office, which is what I do. Start incorporating the healthy eating habits I’ve broken down above into your daily diet. If you want to get fit, lose those extra pounds, and get that flaunt-worthy figure, you’ve got to work for it. It doesn’t come without cost, but the price you have to pay is not monumental. It can be done. Trust me, I’ve been there. And it is so so worth it when you do achieve your goals.
Right, so summarizing once again how to get fit fast: Firstly, making your food count by eating healthy, avoiding processed foods and alcohol, drinking plenty of water, and basically keeping a close and watchful eye on your food intake. Second, torch off the excess fats with HIIT exercises and build up lean muscle so that your body burns off the fat for your faster, even when you’re not exercising.
And I’m done. Now it’s your move. All the best!
Comment below which getting fit fast tip do you find hardest to accomplish. And we’ll try to offer helpful advice.
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