Paying for a gym membership? Pay for a personal trainer too

Many people as part of their weight loss program include a gym membership in order to add some structure and discipline to their routine. A great idea, but for people like me, I need some extra motivation to push the envelope on the days following a late night out. If you’re paying for a gym membership, make sure you pay for a personal trainer too.

Far too many times, the best intentioned of folks that really want to lose some serious weight start off like gangbusters. They follow every little twist and turn of their diet schedule and they religiously complete their workout routines to the second. All seems to be going well and then suddenly, the wheels start squeaking. Maybe you’ve had a long day at work and feel extra tired, or you had a late night out and can’t quite rise to the alarm at your customary 5.00am. Either way, these are the dark days of weight loss programs. Typically, anyone can follow a diet and exercise plan for a couple of weeks, but when you hit “the wall” for the first time, the boys easily get separated from the men.

It’s for this reason that I highly recommend you invest in a personal trainer when you enroll at a gym. The benefits are huge, and not least, quite simply, you have a motivating force standing right next to you when things start getting tough. For me, being an older male, I’m not able to put the same amount of vigor into my workout routines as I used to say 20 years ago. When I rode the exercise bike at home, the minute I started to get tired, I’d hop off the bike and tell myself that “I’ll make it up tomorrow”. Guess what. You won’t. The situation is very similar to going to school. If it wasn’t for teachers, we might still be walking around with our knuckles dragging on the ground.

If you can find a really dedicated personal trainer, your progress will feel so much more accomplished. Your trainer will set up a plan that is co-ordinated for you, your routine, and your body frame. He or she will monitor your progress and set daily and weekly goals which will add that extra little bit of bite to your routines. There’s no doubt that there will be times where you grow to hate that personal trainer, but it is all part of the focus in getting that weight off permanently. Additionally, you have someone who you can bounce questions off regarding diet, general exercise and any other health matters that don’t require a medical professional.

The extra cost of a personal trainer might be considerable in some cases depending on where you live, and may as much as double the outlay for the gym alone, but trust me, it is worth it over the long haul.

The Great Beer Belly Debate: How to lose it

If you are anything like me, over the last several years you’ve probably put on a few pounds here and there. The problem is that extra weight usually finds its way to your waistband and begins to block the view of your shoes. It’s called the “Beer Belly”. A simple term but how do we get rid of it?

The trick, in my view, is relatively straightforward but sometimes that simplicity gets lost in the mass of information about weight loss and exercising that we’re flooded with every day. There’s a bunch of literature, books, DVD’s giving you all the “easy” fixes to miraculously get rid of the beer belly while sitting on the couch sucking down the third bowl of ice-cream. There are some wonderful weight loss programs out there that will shed pounds in a hurry. However, I’ve learnt that if you want to lose belly fat, you need to bring two qualities to the starting line. Dedication and good ‘ole hard work! If you’re reading this and you say to yourself “I’ve heard all this crap before”. That’s great. Read it again, because if you’re here on my blog, you obviously didn’t listen clearly the first time.

1. Stop drinking beer
This should be obvious but it needs to be said. Beer is full of calories (about 150 per bottle) so 3-4 of these babies will shoot up any gains you might have in other areas. If you’re a regular consumer, halve the intake and drop to lite beer (only 100 calories).

2. Work those ABS
No amount of dieting will get rid of the gut fat unless you work the abdominal muscles. The reason the beer belly got there in the first place is because muscle tissue has declined towards middle-age and so the calorie usage has dropped. If you have a desk job, tighten the muscles to see how long you can hold them. Do that 10 times a day every morning and repeat every afternoon.

3. Eat little and often
Replace those big evening meals and lunchtime fast food specials with 5-6 smaller meals per day. The Nutrisystem diet program has used this principle for years and made millions out of it. No more McDonald’s, Burger King, Steak n Shake etc. If you must eat out, grab a Subway sandwich.

4. Regular cardiovascular exercise
Try to establish a workout plan that involves exercise that gets the heart racing. Walking is fine to start with but the body adjusts the metabolism to compensate after a while so you have to increase the level of fat burning. A minimum of 30 minutes to start with and then step it up to no more than 60 minutes. Try to join a gym as this will force you into a routine.

5. Cut down on the sugar
Sugar is one of the body’s biggest enemies when it comes to weight gain. Processed foods such as hot dogs, cookies, hamburgers, and pretty much anything associated with chocolate should be reduced dramatically.

Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.

If you keep to this regimen, you will see progress but because of our age, it will be slow. The trick is stamina for the long haul. Many of us just accept that we are what we are and don’t think we can lose weight now that we’re a little older. That’s a crock.

Let’s get to it, people! There’s a beer belly out there to get rid of!

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