Fitness Fundamentals: Don’t Run Before You Can Walk


When you make the decision to lead a healthier lifestyle it’s easy to get wrapped up in diet fads, over-hyped supplements and super foods, and advanced workout programs that are really only designed for athletes or at least those who know the boundaries of their body.

As the old adage says: You can’t run before you can walk. And in terms of fitness, we might even want to take that literally.

Before you attempt to run 5 miles a day and gobble handfuls of brightly coloured pill capsules, it’s important to get used to the fundamental weight loss principal of – burning calories.

There are of course nuances to the science behind burning calories, but it is not necessary to understand them to see weight loss results. If you approach calories as a number that must be reduced overall, then your weight will begin to move in the right direction.

Counting Calories

Simply put, everything you eat contains calories and every physical movement you make burns calories. The first goal of any weight loss and fitness routine is to simply reduce the overall amount of unused calories in your system each day.

If you are particularly overweight, cutting out a few basic food or drink sources can dramatically reduce calories and promote weight loss even without lifting a finger. This may involve having no snacks between meals, choosing diet instead of full sugar drinks, or reducing the overall portion size of your meals.

Combining exercise with a reduction in calories forms the basis of every fitness program you will ever come across. For beginners this may simply involve adding a brisk 15 minute walk to your daily routine.

counting calories

Once you get used to the principal of burning calories it’s then time to start counting them. Overweight beginners will see results almost right away if they stick to a reduction in food and a simple form of daily exercise. However eventually this will plateau because they won’t be in a calorie deficit.

This is when you burn more calories than you consume. Utilizing a simple calorie counting watch or app, you can get a good idea how many calories you’re burning. If you then apply this to the calorie content of the food you consume (check the labels), a simple equation can be calculated at the end of the day.

Calories In minus Calories Out

The closer your number is to zero (even better if it’s a minus figure), the more weight you will lose.