How Can I Lose Weight with Only a Treadmill?

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question-icon-newMy fitness goal is to drop some extra weight. I have a great treadmill that my wife and I invested in but we only use it sporadically. Could you offer any suggestions as to the best way to drop approximately 20 pounds using just our treadmill? Going to the gym is hard for me to do with my commitments and after work I spend time with my children and my wife. I work in a physical trade as a carpenter building homes and when I get home I’m extremely tired. Even though I lack energy, I still try to run on the treadmill in the evenings for about 45 minutes. Is that enough to drop 20 pounds and slim down?

answer-icon-newWhile going to the gym is a great way to lose weight, it’s not the only way. In fact, if you have to move heaven and earth just to get there, then you would just be wasting money on membership fees. On the other hand, you already have a great tool to help you lose extra pounds right in the comfort of your own home, so it’s the perfect solution! You mentioned that you and your wife invested in a great treadmill, which I assume means that it has plenty of bells and whistles on it to keep you interested. It’s about time to make your investment work for you instead of letting it gather dust in the garage or in your bedroom as a clothes hanger.

There are many advantages to running on a treadmill. Having one in your house gives you an added edge since you have exclusive use of it anytime you want, day or night. Walking or running on a treadmill is much easier on your knees, shins and feet when compared to running outside on a hard surface like pavement. Plus, you can customize your workouts according to your goals, schedule and overall fitness level. So, let’s step on and get started losing those twenty extra pounds right now!

First off, you need to set a goal. Losing twenty pounds is a start, but try to make it more specific like adding a time frame within which to lose the extra weight. Or, aim to run a 5K after a certain period of time and training. You have a physically exhausting day job so you’re understandably tired when you get home after a long day of work. But if you have a goal, you will have something pushing you to jump on the treadmill other than the needle on the scale.

The next thing is that you need a program to follow. You can’t just get on the treadmill, walking aimlessly and hope to lose those unwanted pounds. The best way to maximize weight loss is to perform intervals which means to constantly change the pace and intensity level throughout your workout. You mentioned that you run for 45 minutes at night. That’s a great start. After your warm-up, try following an interval program and see how it works for you. You can choose to vary the speed or the incline, running fast for five minutes, then recover for 2 minutes at a slower pace. Or, you can increase and decrease the incline at certain intervals. Repeat this technique several times during your workout. You decide which interval you want depending on your fitness level. Push yourself during the fast stage, running at 80-90% of your maximum heart rate. This way you keep your muscles guessing and burn a ton of calories! If possible, do your cardio workout in the morning on an empty stomach. This will allow you to tap directly into your fat stores without relying on glycogen (carbs) for fuel. Drink a protein shake (in water) or sip on a BCAA supplement that contains zero calories and carbs to provide your muscles with important amino acids before and during your morning workout.

Along with implementing all of these workout ideas with your treadmill, you need to make sure you watch your diet which is even more important than doing cardio for losing the weight and keeping those extra pounds off for a lifetime. Try and cut out all starches (rice, bread, pasta) and sugars (even fruit) after 7pm. When you eat excess carbohydrates later at night, your insulin sensitivity is lowered and the carbs you consume have a tendency to get stored as fat versus being used as fuel which happens earlier in the day when your body is primed to transport the nutrients to your hard working muscles.

Finally, running on a treadmill can get pretty boring so you need to take steps to keep you moving. Position your treadmill in front of the television and schedule an interval workout during your favorite program. A good TV series can run up to an hour and make your workout go by much faster. Run at a fast pace while watching the show and then slow down to recover during commercials. This way, you will be too engrossed guessing who the killer is than being fixated at the time. If there aren’t any good shows on at the time you are free, grab your iPod and headphones and jam out to your favorite music during your workout. Just make sure to stay focused on your goals and keep on a strict workout schedule with your treadmill along with watching the foods you eat. You will see improvements in no time and be on your way to a toned and slimmer physique!

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