Cardio

Get Unstuck: Simple Workouts and Tips to Jumpstart Weight Loss

Losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated.

By: Emily Freeman

Your body, schedule, and goals are unique to you. And your weight loss journey will be too! However, if you think a complicated training and nutrition program is the only way to support weight loss and feel your best, listen up. It’s time to simplify. 

These easy tweaks will take your weight loss journey from confusing to simple. Fat loss can be fun, and we’ll show you how to create a simple workout plan that supports weight loss, keeps you consistent, and gets you the results you want, quicker. 

Why Simple Workouts Work 

The most important part of your weight loss workout plan is consistency. If your routine is overly complicated, you are far more likely to throw in the towel. Think about it. The likelihood you’ll choose to exercise goes way up if you know what simple workout routine you’re going to do each day and have the confidence that you’ll be able to execute it. If you don’t feel confident performing your weight loss workout plan, you’ll find excuses to skip a day, or two, or twelve. Rule of thumb: keep it simple, keep it consistent.  

Our Favorite Simple Workouts 

You don’t need fancy exercises or equipment to reach your weight loss goals. These simple workouts are staples in even some of the most conditioned athletes for a reason… they’re effective, easy-to-follow, and, yes, fun! 

Strength Training

Strength training is a form of resistance training that focuses on building muscle. Many people neglect strength training because they think it will be too hard, or they assume building muscle will make them look bulky. Both presumptions couldn’t be further from the truth. Building muscle is one of the easiest ways to lose weight because it increases your metabolism. This means you’ll burn more calories doing absolutely nothing! 

There are also plenty of super simple lower and upper body strength workouts that will help you shed fat and get that toned look you desire. Think squats, lunges, bent over rows, push-ups, tricep dips, v-ups, Russian twists, and planks. The best part — most of these exercises don’t require any equipment and can be easily taken up a notch with a pair of dumbbells. Simple. 

For a variety of strength training workouts, browse the strength category in the FitOn app. 

Walking

Walking is one of the simplest ways to start your weight loss journey. Just because something seems easy doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Studies have shown that people are more likely to adhere to weight loss plans when they focus on walking as a part of their cardio workouts. 

Breaking up your walking throughout the day is just as effective as taking one long walk. Allowing yourself these mini 10-minute walking breaks also helps chop up your busy day and get some fresh air, which makes everyone feel better. 

HIIT 

HIIT workouts can seem intimidating, but they don’t have to be. High-Intensity Interval Training is simply harder work followed by rest. You don’t need to do advanced exercises or keep track of complicated intervals. Pick a couple of simple exercises that get your heart rate up like jump squats, running, swimming, rowing, dancing, mountain climbers, or walking on an incline. Then alternate between 30 to 60 seconds of all-out effort followed by 30 to 60 seconds of rest. Complete 5 to 10 rounds and call it a day (don’t forget to cool down and stretch!). 

Putting forth a little more effort is worth it. An effective HIIT routine can give you a full-body workout that burns more fat in less time!

Yoga 

You don’t need to fold yourself into a pretzel to get the benefits of yoga for weight loss. Yoga not only helps you build muscle and improve core strength, but it also helps reduce cortisol levels, the stress hormone, hindering your weight loss results. 

A simple Vinyasa routine can help bring you into the present moment, which reduces stress. When you learn how to be more mindful, this will transfer into other areas of your life affecting your body composition like sleep, hydration, and nutrition.

For a variety of yoga classes, for every level, browse the yoga category in the FitOn app and get access to unlimited free yoga flows. 

RELATED: Yoga For Weight Loss: What You Need to Know

No-Equipment At-Home Workouts

Bad weather, or would rather get a walking workout done inside? Try this Walking Fitness class with Bree Koegel. By the end of the 17-minute class, you will have walked a whole mile in place! 

What a rush! This bodyweight cardio Tabata workout will have you dripping in sweat.

LUCKY Stands for Lower, Upper, Core, Kinetic Yang; It is a circuit format that features a lower body, then upper body, then core move, and finishes with a Kinetic Yang move meaning a move meant to inspire ourselves with a positive motivational force.

A fun flow that will burn calories and increase your resilience and overall strength.

Simple Tips to Support Weight Loss 

#1 Change Your Mindset

Your mindset is the most important part of your weight-loss equation. Feeling confident that you can reach your goals and finding enjoyment in your routine are the top indicators that you’ll adhere to your plan. As you continue to exercise, you’ll start to notice shifts in your mindset that will keep you going. You’ll feel happier, more focused, and energized, and who doesn’t want that? 

#2 Add Variety

Your body is programmed to find the path of least resistance. So, if you’re doing the same walking routine every day, eventually, you’ll start noticing a weight loss plateau because you’ll actually start burning fewer calories. Adding in other simple workouts, like strength training, will help mitigate disheartening weight loss plateaus. 

#3 Be Consistent by Making Things Fun

Did we mention how important consistency is? Right, let us tell you one more time. Find workouts you enjoy so you’ll actually do them. If you dread going on a run, you’re far more likely to not do it. So try mixing things up with some HIIT classes, hiking, or dancing. As you progress in your weight loss journey, the enjoyment of exercise will only increase, so stick with it! 

#4 Don’t Overtrain

More is not more when it comes to your weight loss workouts. While too much rest can stall your results, so can not enough. Your body uses energy to repair muscles and burn fat. If you don’t give it that time, you may see slower results and can put yourself at risk of injury. Listen to your body and schedule in those rest days, where you focus on stretching, foam rolling, and doing some light cardio to keep your blood moving. 

RELATED: What is Overtraining Syndrome + Why it May Stall Results

#5 Refuel

Your body will never reward you for starving yourself. It needs nourishment, and you’ll see quicker weight loss results if you know how to give it what it needs. 

Focus on pairing complex carbohydrates with lean proteins after your workouts. We love post-workout meals like: 

Oatmeal with protein powder, fruit, and all-natural nut butter. Grilled chicken breast with quinoa and your favorite veggies. Salmon on top of a big bed of spinach with strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Canned tuna drained and mixed with smashed avocado, mustard, and onion on top of whole-grain crackers. Low-sugar Greek yogurt with banana slices, walnuts, and dark chocolate chips. 

#6 Start With Shorter Workouts

Going from no exercise to an hour a day may be too much of a jump. It’s okay to start small and work your way up. If you haven’t been exercising, anything is better than nothing. In fact, even short workouts can be an effective way to start your weight loss workout plan. Ease yourself into your new lifestyle with two 10-minute workouts per day — in the morning and afternoon or evening. Then combine them together for one 20-minute workout. Increase it by 5 minutes every other week until you’ve reached a 45 to 60-minute workout. From there, you’ll want to start focusing on increasing the intensity versus the duration. 

#7 Join a Challenge 

If you struggle with keeping yourself accountable (let’s be real, who doesn’t?), some friendly competition can help. Studies have also shown that when you know a buddy is relying on you to show up, you’re far less likely to bail on your workout plans. So, grab a friend or family member and sign up for a FitOn challenge together. Working out with friends is way more fun!

#8 Measure Your Progress Beyond The Scale

Getting hyper-focused on the scale can be a detriment to your weight loss success. Some weeks you may lose more weight than expected, and others, you may lose less or even none. Luckily, losing pounds isn’t the only way to determine your progress. You’ll also want to pay attention to the way your clothes fit, body measurements around your neck, chest, arms, waist, hips, and thighs, energy levels, quality of sleep, mood, and productivity. All of these are indicators that what you’re doing is working! 

Your Worth is Not Measured in Pounds

Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of your health journey. However, no matter where your weight currently stands, you are worthy of taking care of yourself. Believing this deeply is the first step to showing up for yourself consistently and reaching your goals. Feeling good about you doesn’t have to be determined by the number on the scale. Starting to build a trusting relationship with yourself is the most important part of building confidence and self-worth. This begins when you start doing the things you promised yourself you would — like working out, getting more sleep, and eating more nutrient-dense foods. Simple weight loss workouts will keep you on track, feeling good about yourself, and, therefore, get you those results you are working hard for. You got this!