Getting in shape is probably one of the most searched for phrases on the internet, in some form or other. I’ve yet to find anyone who wants to get in shape slow – and it makes sense: we want to maximize the return for upholding our end of the bargain, and putting in the blood, sweat and tears. It’s human nature.
I’ll get straight to the point and tell you that, if you are pretty out of sorts (several stone overweight) then it’s going to take you a good few months to lose the fat. I’d consider a fat loss plan which takes off 1.5 – 2lb of fat a week a success, so work out how long it’d take you by working out your body fat percentage with body fat callipers and scales. (You’ll then know how much fat you are carrying, as opposed to overall weight such as blood, bones, water and muscle.)
Losing fat is easy if you stick to your plan consistently. It’s all about calories. You need to progressively eat less and less calories for the fat to disappear, just as you progressively ate more and more calories for the fat to materialize. Plus, doing a lot of cardio will help you to keep you in a constant calorie deficit (which is needed for swift fat loss) and boost your metabolism, making it harder to store calories as fat.
I also advocate you begin training with weights straight away. You won’t build any muscle mass whilst losing fat (because muscle building requires a controlled calorie surplus, and you can’t have a deficit and surplus of something at the same time, right?) but it’s a great way to help you lose the fat extra quickly.
Once you’ve taken your body fat percentage down to a sufficiently low amount (that’s your decision to make… though just know once you start building muscle, you are going to put on some more fat, too) then you can begin ‘bulking’, and your muscles will start to grow, changing and re-defining your body shape, and your life in profound ways.
(Losing fat before building muscle is the order I advocate, for the reason I’ve mentioned already: if you are overweight with fat now, you are going to have even more fat if you begin building muscle with the surplus diet, etc. So lose the fat first!)
Check out the rest of the site for in-depth articles on specific workouts, exercises and diets.
On the flipside of this ‘getting in shape fast’ thing, my only concern is this:
We live in a world now where everything has to be instant for us, and if it’s not, we’ll go someplace else to where it is, or we’ll simply drop the idea. My only concern for people who want to get in shape fast is that they may want to do so for the wrong reasons – the reasons being they maybe lack the long term commitment (read: lifetime) it takes to stay in shape, and want the one-off ‘magic pill’ or ‘bullet.’
Everything takes time – but, if you truly want it for life, the time it’ll take to get to your peak condition will be a drop in the ocean. It’s the staying in shape that’s the long-game.
It’s maybe not what you wanted to hear, but, don’t be discouraged by the long game… there is no magic bullet, but it’s well worth it for how good you’ll feel and look. Trust me.