How much weight you lose in a four-month period, going to the gym three times per week, depends on many variables. How much excess body fat you have, what you do at the gym during your visits, your workout duration and your exercise intensity level are all factors that affect your weight loss. In addition, what and how much you eat have a profound influence on weight loss. However, if you follow the right steps you can see a significant difference in your weight and body composition.
1. Weight Loss
To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume, but too few calories will slow your metabolism and create muscle loss. Aim for a calorie deficit of about 500 calories per day for a slow, steady and permanent weight loss. Web MD says a moderately active 31- to 50-year-old woman needs approximately 2,000 calories per day. Two pounds per week is the amount of fat your body can lose on average, so you can lose a minimum of 32 pounds in four months. If you are obese, your weight loss could be much larger.
2. Weight Training
"Women's Health" magazine says you can lose 3 percent of your body fat in just 10 weeks without cutting any calories, and the same is true for men. Visit the gym three times per week for four months, perform 45 minutes of moderate-intensity weight training, and you will see a profound change. Exercise your whole body each visit for the first two weeks, then split your body up so each muscle group gets a workout once a week. Work chest, shoulders and triceps on day one, legs and abdomen on day two, and back and biceps on day three.
3. Cardiovascular Exercise
Cardio sessions can be done after your weight training or on another day. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes four times per week, but go for six if you are trying to lose weight. Remember, the higher your intensity level, the more calories you burn. If you are accustomed to reading a magazine or a book while you're on the bike or stair stepper, you're probably not working hard enough. Get your body accustomed to working harder by upping the intensity level for one minute and then lower it back down for three.
If the plethora of weight-loss information is making you feel confused and overwhelmed, spend some time educating yourself or consider investing in a personal trainer. There are many books available on weight-training techniques, and you can visit professional websites for free. The American Council on Exercise and The American College of Sports Medicine have tons of information available to the public. Weight loss is as simple as consistently moving your body and eating a nutritious diet.
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