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Last Updated on December 16, 2020

4-Week Weight Loss Exercise Plan to Shed Pounds Fast

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4-Week Weight Loss Exercise Plan to Shed Pounds Fast

It happens to all of us: life gets busy, free time is limited, and many of us spend the majority of our days sitting behind a desk. Suddenly, we find we’ve gained a bit of unwanted weight. This can be a discouraging discovery, but luckily, there are steps we can take to get back in shape. Read on to find a weight loss exercise plan that works for you!

How Can I Lose 20 Pounds in a Month?

Is a 20 lb weight loss goal attainable in 1 month? Yes, it can be possible if done safely and correctly. It can be done if you are truly willing to hold yourself accountable and are willing to manifest your vision or goal to its full potential. It will be your mentality that will make or break you here. In short, you will have to make some serious changes all around.

Steps to Take in Your Weight Loss Exercise Plan

1. Set Your Goals

I recommend writing down your end goal, what you plan to do to get there, and when it will happen. Here’s How to Set Goals and Achieve Them Successfully

2. Get Support

Once you have this complete, I recommend notifying your family and/or friends that you are going to make this happen for yourself. It makes things easier if the people around you are aware and understanding of your goals so they can make the journey easier for you and make sacrifices as well if need be.

3. Focus on Food

Once this is established, you need to get to work. Remove all the “junk food” from your kitchen, desk drawers, or wherever you hide those goodies. Remove the temptation altogether. Walk into the grocery store with a list in hand. Spend most of your time in the produce isles. Think fresh and raw.

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Also, you need to be willing to increase your protein intake. Protein such as lean meat and seafood, and fiber such as legumes, nuts, and seeds are very good sources that will satisfy you and decrease the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger.

4. Start Moving

Next, begin or alter your current workout routine. Incorporating strength training and aerobic training is a MUST. I recommend performing 30-40 minutes of strength training and 25-30 minutes of cardio each day. For your strength component, stick to full body or compound movements – movements that will target more than one joint and muscle group. These types of exercises will elevate your heart rate quicker, burn more calories, and strengthen your muscles and joints simultaneously.

For cardiovascular training, I recommend performing a variety of types, such as steady-state at a moderate intensity level on machines such as the stair climber, elliptical or treadmill, and also moderate- to high-intensity interval training using bodyweight, free weights, jump rope, and battle ropes.

Here you will see a variety of compound movements broken down into unilateral and bilateral:

What Exercise Is Best for Losing Weight?

It is nearly impossible to select just one exercise that aids in weight loss. However, if you want to get more bang for your buck here, you may want to look into performing an exercise that won’t just elevate the heart rate.

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It’s not always about cardio for achieving weight loss. It is strength training that will increase your basal metabolic rate, and that means you’re not just burning calories during your workout, but days after as well ( this is known as EPOC – Excess Post Oxygen Consumption or the after-burn effect).

Our bodies require functionality and mobility to make our day-to-day lives a little easier. Therefore, try to perform strength exercises that are multi-functional and multi-compound (targeting more than one muscle group and more than one joint).

Main movements or lifts such as squats, deadlifts, bench, bodyweight push-ups, and pull-ups and their variations should be at the heart of your training. Use your body to its maximum potential, use it effectively, and be more productive with your time.

Try this combination of back-to-back exercises at the end of your workout:

Begin with 5 sets of 5 rounds, with a 15-30 second break after round.

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  • 2 Walking Lunges
  • 2 Romanian Deadlifts
  • 2 Push-Ups
  • 2 Renegade Rows
  • 2 Plank Taps
  • 2 Reverse Walking Lunges

What Exercise Burns the Most Belly Fat?

There is not just one exercise that will burn your belly fat. To get those rock hard abs, you have to put in the work. Unfortunately, there’s no way to get around it. First, let’s break the 80% diet and 20% exercise misconception. Everybody is different, and the weight loss exercise plan that is best for you will depend significantly on your fitness goals.

For example, if you’re looking to lose fat and sculpt abs, you will most likely need to be in a caloric deficit (reducing calories in vs. calories required).

What Should You Eat?

In addition, you will need to focus on eating specific types of foods. Consuming raw, whole, and nutrient-dense foods is a must to aid not only in aesthetics and body composition, but also in the overall process of digestion. In other words, reduce or eliminate your consumption of simple carbs, trans fats, processed and pre-packaged foods. This diet will also help you in achieving hormonal balance, increasing energy levels, and maintaining mental clarity.

Your Go-To Exercises

In conjunction with eating nutritious foods in a caloric deficit, exercise is crucial. We recommend incorporating moderate- to high-intensity aerobic exercise along with a strength-training program. To target the midsection specifically while increasing the heart rate, these exercises may be your best bet:

  • mountain climbers
  • burpees
  • leg raises
  • bicycle crunches
  • flutter kicks
  • high knees
  • front and side plank hip dips.

In terms of frequency and duration of these workouts, it all comes down to your schedule and dedication. However, if your goal is to acquire a 6 pack, you will need to train your abdominals frequently, if not daily. Also, when discussing belly fat, you need to take into account the other vital components our bodies require, such as getting a good night’s sleep, proper hydration, reducing stress levels, and keeping hormones in balance. If these are not tended to, they can be the ultimate trigger for belly fat.

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Is Working out 30 Minutes a Day Enough to Lose Weight?

What most people tend to forget here is that life is unpredictable. It isn’t easy to juggle our obligations, work, family, physical fitness, and our social, emotional, and mental well-being. Sometimes, we can be very hard on ourselves, pressuring ourselves to do and have it all. But that simply isn’t sustainable. If you can only commit to a 30-minute workout each day, then do it. If you can commit to a 15-minute workout, then do it. If you can commit to a full hour, well, that’s fantastic! Regardless of the duration, a workout is a workout. A run is a run. A walk is a walk. As long as you are getting movement in daily, you are ahead of the game.

Use Your Time Wisely!

However, if you have limited time to exercise, you need to make use of the time you have wisely. If you can only make it to the gym 2-3 times per week to perform strength training, that is more than enough. On the days you cannot make it to the gym, or on your off days, perform some bodyweight cardio or stretches such as yoga or mobility training in the comfort of your home. Where there is a will, there is always a way! Remember this the next time you say you never have time to work out.

Be Prepared!

Going into a workout prepared is a definite must if you have a busy or high-stress lifestyle and are pressed for time. Devising a workout plan is essential to see optimal results. Write everything down and be sure that you follow through. Adjust your program as required to ensure that your body is receiving the exercise it deserves and manage your time as you go.

In addition, you can always seek advice from a health professional on what is the best option for you and your situation. Of course, the prescribed workout plan and duration of training may differ depending on the individual. Depending on whether you are an athlete, competitor, beginner, or an elderly individual, the prescribed exercises and/or rehabilitation training and frequency will vary.

The Bottom Line

The prospect of adding diet and exercise to your routine can be daunting, but a step-by-step approach will make it doable. Simply choose a weight loss exercise plan that works with your lifestyle, using the tips above to guide you.

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And remember, once you find time to exercise, the healthy habits you develop will stick with you long after you’ve hit your goal weight!

Featured photo credit: Free To Use Sounds via unsplash.com

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Sergio Pedemonte

CEO and Certified Personal Trainer of Your House Fitness

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Last Updated on October 4, 2021

5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

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5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

With the lines of work and home becoming increasingly blurry, it’s no wonder why we struggle to find the time to prioritize our health. Particularly with weight loss, it’s often difficult to manage the ever-present constraints around work, children, time to exercise, and the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day.

Taking the effects of stress and the rise of remote work and work-from-home situations, we need to be far more tactical in our weight loss pursuits. Quite often, these exercises for weight loss at home aren’t even fitness-related.

Firstly, let’s look at a standard day in the life of a busy professional or parent to really understand the battlefield in which we need to operate.

We all have 24 hours in a day to work with. Knowing how we spend that 24 hours is crucial when learning where time will be best spent for our weight loss journey. Setting unrealistic expectations can be a quick way to end up back at square one.

  • Sleep: 8 hours (parents, if you’re lucky)
  • Work: 8 hours (sometimes more)
  • Children: 2 to 4 hours (includes pickups, drop-offs, and play)
  • Meal Preparation: 1 hour (at a minimum)
  • Household Activities: 1 to 2 hours (because someone’s got to do it, right?)
  • Total: 20 to 22 hours

Taking into account that switching between tasks takes time and cognitive space, we can start to understand why people just want to sit and scroll through social media at the end of a day. We also haven’t factored in the work commute if you have to report to the office.

Just realized you now have minimal time to yourself? This might start to explain why you struggle to gain momentum in your weight loss journey. Let’s work out how to take back the initiative:

  • Automate – Are there any tasks you can automate? If you’re fortunate enough to be gainfully employed, maybe it’s time to hire a cleaner or have ready-made meals delivered to your door. It doesn’t have to happen every night, but removing the decision of “what’s for dinner?” can be a great way to reduce stress and free up brain space and time.
  • Optimize – If you’re time-poor with kids, it’s time to optimize your activities. Turn screen time into playtime outdoors, and get them to join in on your activities. If your children are old enough, it might be time to start offering pocket money for chores and meal preparation. This strategy helped me stay fit as a single parent. By getting out and active with my son, I doubled my return on investment by staying fit and enhancing my relationship.
  • Eliminate – We’re only human. Sometimes, we simply have too much on our plate due to our high expectations. Take a look through your daily tasks and work out what can be removed.

Now, go through this exercise yourself. What potential spare time do you have to work with? If the answer is none, you might want to keep reading.

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Exercise Selection: It’s Not All About the Burn

No equipment? No problem.

So, we’re finally tracking the elements that matter. It’s time to start leveraging exercise to accelerate our weight loss journey. Alongside focusing on individual exercises that help with weight loss at home or caloric expenditure, we’re going to focus on another method to help keep you consistent and accountable for the long term: interest.

Interest has been linked as one of the key motivating factors to maintain consistency towards a goal. By choosing a form of exercise that your body and mind can enjoy, your chances of weight loss success are far greater.

Here’re the 5 best exercises for weight loss at home:

1. Low-Intensity Interval Training (LIIT)

Maybe the body isn’t what it used to be, and intense forms of training simply just aren’t safe anymore. Also considering the body’s response to stress, it might be in our very best interest to choose low-intensity activities that we can repeat daily.

Mobility and movement flows have risen in popularity in recent years. This form of exercise focuses on restoring range of motion (ROM), improving stability, and returning people to activity. Some exercise options include:

  • Quadruped Rocks
  • Frog Stretch
  • Hip Prying
  • Scapula Push-ups
  • Hindu push-ups

Below is a 10minute warm-up flow that shows you how to put all of this together:

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2. Yoga

Yoga is another perfect example of LIIT methodology that can be advanced as your ability improves. Focusing on mobility, stability, and range of movement using only your body weight, it’s a perfect entry-level activity for those that may have lost their way on their weight loss journey.

3. Calisthenics

Strength training at home can be difficult when you lack equipment or experience. An obvious path to building strength at home is calisthenics. Starting with just the following basic bodyweight movements:

You can begin your journey with no equipment and build to quite an advanced level. Here are five movements you can look to master over time are:

Depending on your ability, choose movements that allow you to progress safely over time. There is also gymnastics-based training you can move towards if your body is ready for a more demanding form of training.

4. Aerobic Exercise

Another underrepresented form of exercise, aerobic exercise is often overlooked for its sexier counterparts like strength and HIIT. With the prevalence of obesity nearly tripling between 1975 and 2016 and the major cause in adults being cardiovascular disease, it makes sense to focus on activities that improve cardiovascular or heart health.

Another benefit is that it can be as simple as getting your steps in, going for a swim, or going for an easy ride or run. Phil Maffetone pioneered the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) Method that almost anyone can adopt regardless of fitness level and experience.[1]

Here’s a 30-minute session of aerobic exercises you can try:

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5. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training is a great way to elevate the heart rate and get the endorphins flowing. It can also be super time-effective, giving you a great bang for your buck. Try sequencing some of the movements and exercises above together with minimal rest to keep your heart rate elevated. Be sure to select movements that suit your current level of fitness and ability.

Here’s a HIIT workout that takes little time and is suited for any level:

Chipper 60

Complete all reps of every exercise for time. Exercises can be done in any order and repetitions to complete the workout.

If you can’t do jump squats, regress to normal squats, and don’t be afraid to change the leg raises to a 60-second plank if you need to. Finish up with some light stretching or foam rolling.

What Also Matters: Sleep, Stress, and Stimulants

Sleep, stress, and stimulants, also known as the hamster wheel of death. Tracking these elements gives us the power to finally stop relying on our ever-depleted stores of discipline and motivation to get the job done. It will also highlight the self-destructive habits that sabotage your weight loss journey.

Simply put, stress affects stimulants, sleep affects stress, and the vicious cycle continues.

Sleep

Are you getting enough sleep? It’s well documented that sleep is an important factor in weight loss and recovery.

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“Restricted sleep and poor sleep quality may lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and an increased risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions.”[2]

Start this journey by tracking how much sleep you’re getting. Certain wearables can also track the amount of movement and time you spend awake or in lighter sleep cycles. Getting enough time in REM or deep sleep is critical for weight loss.

Stress

We don’t need to be fancy. A simple daily measurement out of ten indicates how much stress we think we are under. Using this number, we can observe the effects that sleep, stimulants, and exercise have on our stress levels, allowing us to deploy the right strategy for our weight loss goals.

Stimulants

Stimulants can be classified as anything we put in our mouths. Tracking calories, alcohol, and caffeine is a great way to observe, predict, and avoid trends or at-risk periods of overeating and destructive behaviors. Tracking this is aligned with how well we sleep, and our stress response gives us enough information to start forming better weight loss habits.

Work to identify the trigger, observe the response, and then look to adjust.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re fighting fit or returning to activity, the best exercises for weight loss at home are the ones that you can do day in day out that you enjoy. Think of exercise for weight loss as we do for compound interest. Consistently and regularly making deposits may not show immediately, but with time, they give you the momentum you need to reach your goals.

Featured photo credit: Olivia Bauso via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] PhilMaffetone: Maximum Aerobic Function
[2] SleepFoundation.org: Why is sleep so important to weight loss?

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