The best fitness regime for weight loss is basically anything you enjoy.

That’s it.

Ok, you’re still here? Ok, so you want to know more?

If you truly desire weight loss, then honestly you don’t need to focus on the fitness side of the equation, at least at first.

And when you do focus on the best fitness regime it really should be once you’ve conquered your nutrition AND (that’s a big AND) your behaviours FIRST.

I’m not saying that being fit isn’t important to a healthy lifestyle but I am strictly talking about weight loss here, not cardiovascular health, not being toned, not building muscle, not heart health just weight loss.

Most people hit the gym hard when they’re trying to lose weight and feel the major guilts when they miss a few sessions or don’t have the time to get in their training, but if you’re serious about your weight loss, YOU MUST prioritise your behaviour management and nutrition first. Then can come the fitness.

The reason I say the best fitness for weight loss is to choose what you enjoy is because you want to make fitness fun, and not a punishment, so that you look forward to it. You want it to be fitness  that you’re inclined to make it part of your lifestyle forever or until you find something better that you enjoy.

You enjoy spin classes, so do them. 

You love pilates and yoga so do them. 

You hate cardio but love weights so go lift. 

You prefer to train in group classes then do them. 

You love waterspouts, then do that. 

You love walking for hours on end, then do that. 

You like to mix it up – do that too.

Just don’t over complicate your fitness regime, just ensure that if you’re aiming to lose a substantial amount of weight, that you first focus on your nutrition and behaviours first. Because I can tell you that your inactivity isn’t the reason you’ve gained weight. It’s because you’ve eaten more food than your body needs over time and so it’s storing it as excess fat. Once you have your nutrition and mindset strategies in place and working for you, then you can really start to introduce your favourite work outs and enjoy doing them.

Remember what I said in my previous podcast, when you try to make too many changes to the way you currently operate, you are designed to resist the change. So the more changes you try to make especially all at once, the more resistant you’ll be to making any of these shifts. Unless it’s something you really enjoy and look forward too and don’t want to miss not something you think you HAVE to do.

So what do I mean by behaviours. Well it’s another way of saying mindset – which I feel gets overused a lot, but it’s really important to get your head and habits understood before you should even think about embarking on a new and exciting fitness program. You need to be strategic if you don’t want to fail.

I absolutely look forward to my body pump classes with my friends, because it’s something we do together and have fun doing. Plus another friend is the instructor and he makes us work hard and laugh all class. I also absolutely love the feeling of lifting heavy weights and feeling my strength increase every week, and seeing the subtle differences to my body from this kind of training.  But it’s important to note, I wouldn’t be seeing the muscle tone if I wasn’t eating correctly either. And guess what, I don’t much enjoy regular cardio. So I don’t really do it. I might do it now and then, but it’s not necessary for me to achieve my body goals and I know that I’ve found a form of exercise that I enjoy and can do on the regular without feeling like it’s a chore. I really look forward to my weight training.

I also love love love, any form of exercise dance to hip hop (that’s not the say I am any good at it) but it’s fun and it gets me moving in ways to music I love, so it’s fun.

But let me tell you, two plus years on, and the way I exercise now is completely different to the fitness regime I did for the first 6-twelve months of my body transformation and that’s because I didn’t overcomplicate it, and I focused first on changing my nutrition and behaviours first.

Making changes to your lifestyle is always going to be a challenge, so I was kind to myself and allowed myself the time and space to really understand the basics of nutrition and make modifications to my life so I could manage my stress better, prioritise adequate rest, design the perfect environment for my success and enjoy the process along the way.

The way you eat and behave (not just in the way you move but in the way you think and feel too) will have a more profound impact on your weight loss goals than actually hitting them gym.

The only reason you’ll have lost weight last time you started a new fitness regime was because you would have made significant changes to how and what you ate at the same time, which is common and natural. But did it last? I’m thinking it didn’t and that’s why you’re listening to this podcast.

Why would you be wanting to put all that good hard work in at gym, only to undo it with some bad eating habits?

Listen, I’m not saying having a fitness regime is not going to yield you weight loss results, but what I am saying is your first priority should be observing and understand the basics of nutrition and everything else that makes you behave the way you do, like your stress levels, sleep habits, general activity outside of the gym (that’s what is professionally know at NEAT – non exercise activity thermogenesis).

Working out is just another way to create a calorie deficit, but the technology just doesn’t exist to accurately report how many calories you burn when performing each fitness activity. So it’s really just a guessing game. It’s why I never rely on my fitness activities to create that deficit for me, I manage it all with my diet – and I have to tell you, I never starve myself either.

Evidence has proven that you burn more calories, with your NEAT which is the activity you do when not actually purposely exercising, and this is increased the more generally active you are. For example, choosing the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the furtherest car park to the mall, opting to walk somewhere instead of taking the car, riding your bike to the shops, basically when you’re not sitting still. Even fidgeting can help you increase your NEAT.

So my recommendations are:

If you’re just at the beginning of your weight loss journey or you’ve been trying and failing on and off, then focus first on getting your nutrition and sleep and stress and happiness levels in the healthy range. Educate yourself on the basics of nutrition for weight loss or else listen to next weeks podcast where I share with you what I’ve learnt about nutrition and how I’ve applied it to my own weight loss journey, without the diet jump on and off mentality and still being able to enjoy life.