So you’re a big nerd.
If this were an RPG, you’d be an Ogre. If this was Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle, you’d definitely be Hoagie. You weigh 300+ lbs. and this whole fitness thing seems like a lost cause to you. You’re ready to lose some weight, eventually build some muscle, and get strong like a mofo…but you have no freaking cue what you’re doing. Luckily, you found this site, and I’m here to help!
Here are 15 tips for you to get started:
- Realize that your diet is 90% of the battle – You can’t outrun your fork. If you exercise 20 minutes a day but continue to eat like crap, you’re not going to get much accomplished. The first change has to start in your mind, and the second change has to happen with your diet. Without making changes to what you eat, you’re just treading water.
- Keep track of everything you eat – Sign up for a site like dailyburn.com (it’s free), input your stats and start to track every one of your meals. It will tell you if you’re eating too many calories or carbs or not enough protein. You might think twice about that 3rd coke when you know it will put you over the calorie mark for your day.
- Eat breakfast! Read this article about why breakfast is so important. When you eat a high protein breakfast first thing in the morning, your metabolism gets started right away and starts processing those calories. If you don’t eat breakfast, you’re more likely to stuff your face for lunch, and your metabolism (which hasn’t processed food since the night before) will be rusty and inefficient. This is one is non-negotiable.
- Eat more often – If you eat generally three meals a day, instead eat six. Try to eat every 2-3 hours, and each meal needs to be the half the size of what you used to eat. By eating more often, you will keep your metabolism operating at peak efficiency.
- Remember this equation: 500 less calories a day = 1 pound lost per week. Evaluate your diet, and find out where you can knock out 500 calories a day. This can be a small change with each meal, but the calorie deficit will certainly end up more in your favor. If you can burn more calories per day than you consume, you will lose weight. It’s science
- Eat only good things – Taco Bell, Twinkies, and Mountain Dew aren’t getting the job done. You need to use common sense and evaluate your diet. If you don’t think it’s good for you, if you bought it at a drive-thru window, or it came out of a deep fryer, it’s PROBABLY not good for you. You need healthy calories that are loaded with good protein, good carbs, and healthy fats. Be smart.
- Muscle burns more calories than fat – A person with lots of body fat will have a slower metabolism than a person with lots of lean muscle. Work on building more lean muscle, and your metabolism will reward you with burning more calories, even when you’re not exercising. More calories burned = more weight lost = a happier and thinner nerd.
- Protein = building block for your muscles. Chicken, fish, meat, eggs, low-fat milk, almonds, peanuts.
- Not all carbs are created equal – if you must eat carbs, eat good ones! Bagels, muffins, white bread, candy, french fries, donuts, sugary cereals are NOT good carbs, but you already knew that because you’re using common sense. Load up on vegetables and fruits, cut out breads, grains, and pastas and you’ll lose weight, guaranteed.
- Low fat does not mean healthy! Read your labels on those ‘healthy choice’ frozen meals. They all say “low fat,” but if they’ve just replaced the fat with tons and tons of sugar, it will instantly go to your ass/gut. All that added sugar isn’t good for you, so make sure you read your labels!
- Fruits and veggies, go nuts – Want some good carbs? Eat all the vegetables you want! Find ones that you like, and eat them all the time.
- Liquid Calories still Count – Drink water all day long. STAY AWAY FROM sugary sodas, alcohol, lemonade, fruit punch, massive Coolatas from Dunkin Donuts, etc. These drinks will derail your weight loss train faster than anything. Drinking water instead of those two Cokes a day will result in almost 20 lbs lost in a year. Evaluate your liquid calories, and cut them out of your menu. Water!
- Do what makes you happy – If you don’t have a gym membership or you don’t like lifting weights, that’s fine. Ride a bike, play basketball, jump rope, go hiking, live action D & D, whatever you want, just find something active that makes you happy, and do it for at least 20 minutes a day.
- If you do like lifting weights, compound exercises are your friend– All of the compound exercises, like squats, lunges, deadlifts, and benchpresses practically use every muscle in your body. The more muscles you use, the more lean muscle you’ll build and the more fat you’ll burn. Everybody wins. Do you like lifting weights but no gym membership? – Check out this blog on body weight exercises. You’d be amazed what you can accomplish without any equipment.
- Set realistic goals – If you try to lose too much weight too fast, your body will revert back to caveman mode and assume the reason you’re only eating 900 calories a day is because food is scarce and you’re starving. When this happens, your body will start to hoard the food you’re eating and shut down your metabolism, so you’ll burn even less calories and you won’t lose any weight. Then, when you start to eat more, your stays in starvation mode for a while and you gain back even more weight than before. Aim to lose 1% of your body weight per week or less. More than that and it might not be healthy.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, and I’m sure many of these suggestions seem overwhelming. Just take it a day at a time! Pick a few things on this list, and make them a habit. After they become routine and you start to see results, pick a few more and work on those. If you work on getting a little better each day, stay determined and motivated, you’ll see results. Email me at Steve@nerdfitness.com if you have any questions, and I’ll gladly help.
As Morpheus tells Neo, “I can only show you the door. You are the one who must walk through it.” Take the first step today.