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Published on February 14, 2020

4-Week Weight Loss Exercise Plan to Shed Pounds Fast

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.

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 September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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