I hate the gym. I love food. And there lies the problem...
It might seem crazy to think that you can exercise, eat what you want and lose weight — particularly if you’re eating foods that are generally classed as not healthy AND you’re not going to an actual gym to exercise — but I’m here to call “boulderdash” on that!
As a full-time freelance writer and author, I’ve been working from home for over 4 years. And in that time, I’ve tried to stick with going to the gym and eating the right foods, but it never lasts more than 3 months at most, until something inevitably happens that draws me back to easier ways of living… ie, eating what I want and not exercising at all.
After 18 months of this type of yo-yoing, I’d had enough. I wanted to feel good, but I didn’t want to have to go to a gym to achieve it. I didn’t want to be judged on what I wore to workout, nor did I want to receive weird looks because of how red my face gets when I exercise...
So while I was willing to exercise and review my eating habits, I wasn’t prepared to hit the gym again, and if you read everything online and in health magazines, they always try to steer you towards joining a gym, something that just doesn’t sit right with me.
How about you?
Yes, you can buy weights and exercise equipment to workout at home, but what about if you don’t have the funds to do that, or what if you’re travelling more than you’re home? And what if you just don’t want to do weights at all? What are your options?
This is what I was dealing with when I was trying to figure out what to do.
Enter No Gym Needed and No More Dieting!
In July 2014, it became very clear to me that the answer to what I’d been searching for wasn’t as readily available as I’d like.
It was difficult to find exercise routines that didn’t involve some sort of weight and it was hard to find routines that were less than 30 minutes—something that was important to me because my schedule was tight and if I’m being honest, I don’t really enjoy exercising, so 30 minutes max is about all I’m prepared to put in.
You too? Thank goodness, I thought it was just me who didn’t enjoy exercising...
So, what’s a gal to do?
Create her own at-home exercises instead!
I became so frustrated, that I wrote a book called No Gym Needed: Quick & Simple Workouts for Gals on the Go instead.
I’d love to share with you some of the routines from the book, so that you can kick off your own at-home exercise routine (without needing weights!) and have a resource to refer back to that you can build on and follow for yourself.
You’ll find that all the workouts below will take you less than 30 minutes to complete, and because of this, they are pretty high impact, so you get your blood pumping and lungs filled with air as quickly as possible which leads to faster weight loss.
I know that high impact isn’t for everyone, so you’ll see some low impact options as well.
Ready to get started? Read on...
High Intensity Impact Workout Circuit (HIIT) #1
Complete each exercise below with no rest in between for 5 rounds. Take a 30 second rest between each round and then repeat.
20 x Air squats
20 x Leg lowers
20 x Stationary lunges
20 x Russian twists
20 x Wide leg squats
Complete each exercise below for 3 rounds before moving on to the next exercise. Take a 10 second rest between each round and then repeat.
3 x 10 Knee push-ups
3 x 20 Sit-ups
3 x 10 Chair tricep dips
3 x 20 Russian twists
3 x 10 Leg lowers
3 x 20 Glute kickbacks
Complete each exercise, one after the other, no rest in between. Do this for 10 rounds for an intense cardio workout. Take a 30 second rest between each full round.
40 x Jump squats
20 x Push-ups
40 x Mountain climbers
20 x Russian twists
40 x Grasshoppers
Complete 5 rounds, with 30 seconds rest in between each round. 1 round is a completion of all 5 exercises, one after the other.
20 x Sit-ups
20 x Push-ups
20 x Air squats
20 x V-ups
20 sec Plank hold
Add in 30 minutes of cardio (walking, running, swimming etc) 3 x per week, and you’ll double your chances of increasing your weight loss.
But what a lot of people don’t realize, is that you can do all the exercises in the world that you want — exercise 7 days a week — but if you’re eating the wrong foods, it won’t make a smidge of difference…
Ever heard of the 80/20 rule? Basically, 80% of the work is achieved through 20% of the effort.
So it’s figuring out what 20% is going to make the most impact when it comes to weight loss and feeling good — and for our bodies, we are what we eat.
So if you’re exercising daily but continuing to fuel your body with not-so-great foods, then it is going to be very difficult to move that dial. Sure, you’ll see some weight loss, but then it will plateau and you’ll start to feel demotivated and stop exercising.
But this doesn’t mean you have to go on a crash diet, because that’s not sustainable either and can cause you to add more weight rather than lose it in the long run.
The best solution I’ve found is to implement what is often referred to as “flexible dieting”. This is where you focus on counting macros rather than calories, focusing on macro breakdowns within the foods you eat… fats, carbs and protein.
Now, it might sound hard at first, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it becomes very easy to figure out your macros and then eat accordingly.
What I love about flexible dieting is that I can still eat some of the naughty foods… for me that’s the sweet stuff. Chocolate - gimme!
So how does flexible dieting work? The basics are:
You need to identify what your ideal calorie intake should be. If you’re looking to lose weight, 1700 - 2000 calories is about right. This will largely depend on how active you are each day. This awesome website provides you with everything you need to figure out what your ideal calorie intake should be: http://flexible-diet.co.uk/#how-section
Once you know what your calorie count is, it’s time to figure out the macro portion. The general breakdown for macros that our bodies need is 33% Protein, 38% Fat and 29% Carbs. That is then converted into grams, based on the amount of calories you’re meant to be consuming. If you use the calculator in the link above, this will breakdown your macros for you and show how many grams you should be consuming for each macro.
Once you understand your macro breakdown, you simply start counting them. This means looking at the package your foods come in and looking at the serving sizes. Then you can look at the protein, fat and carb breakdowns from there. I use a simple spreadsheet calculator that keeps track of my macros based on my calories and macro breakdown (see screenshot below).
By counting your macros, it forces you to think about what you’re eating and allows you to see where you can sneak in a few naughty treats here and there.
If you stick with it, you’ll start to see an increase in weight loss that won’t instantly reflect on the scales... Where you will notice it is in your clothing, then it will start to reflect on the scales, which is why it’s really important that you track your progress.
This means that you should be taking note of your weight, but also taking note of your hip and waist measurements, as well as your thigh, bust and arm measurements. You’ll see weight loss there more than you will on the scales, particularly if you’re also exercising and building muscle.
Muscle is heavier than fat!
By doing a combination of macro counting and exercising at home, you can increase the chances of you sticking to a weight loss program, getting healthy and actually losing weight (without having to cut out all the foods you love) compared to if you joined a gym and went on some crazy diet.
Try it for yourself and see what happens! Commit to 30 days of macro counting and at-home workouts, track your progress (including before and after photos) and see just how much weight you lose and how great you feel.
Author Bio: Lise Cartwright is a Freelance Writer, Full-Time Author and Coach on a mission to help others be successful in their side hustle or freelancing career using sites like Upwork, Fiverr, Etsy and Amazon. She is passionate about being healthy, but realistic about in her approach. You can learn more about her author profile here: www.lisecartwright.com/author.