The treadmill in the corner of your room gets used every day. Your husband’s dress shirts hang on the handlebar so nicely, giving you additional closet space for your own outfits. Granted, that’s not what you bought it for, but it sure has turned out to be a multitasking machine. But the time has come for a change; after all, it is bathing suit season, you know! It began with that awkward moment in the dressing room when you were trying on that trendy swimsuit that should have fit perfectly but made you look like a busted can of biscuits.
It is time to clean off the “shirt rack” and go to town, but before you dust off and crank up the trusty treadmill, there are five things you need to do to achieve the results you want. Whether your goal is to lose 5 pounds or 50, 2 inches or 6, follow these steps, and you will achieve your directives. No matter the number you want to reach, success is still the ultimate goal.
5 Treadmill Weight Loss Tips
1. Be Realistic
Set yourself up for success. A big mistake most women make is setting their goals at an unreasonable level, such as, “I’m going to lose 30 pounds the first month by running extra hard.” Not going to happen. A more realistic goal is, “I am going to lose weight on this treadmill at around 3-5 pounds a week and make positive changes to my diet as well.” These two things go hand in hand. When you run or walk, you burn calories. The fewer calories you take in, the better. Here is a pro tip: run or walk first thing in the morning BEFORE you eat anything. Your body is in burning mode. You will burn maximum calories on an empty stomach.
2. Write It Down
It sounds remedial but using a treadmill for weight loss is as much a mental thing as it is physical. If your eyes see your goals on paper, they become real. Write down your goals, document your workout every day, and keep track of your progress from your starting weight point. Make sure to notate your calorie burn. When you see the progress you’re making, it will motivate you.
3. Don’t Go Overboard
Oh, we have all done this. It is certainly the wrong way to lose weight on a treadmill to think you can kick it up a notch every couple of days without burning yourself out. If you keep your intensity strained each time you get on the machine, you will lose your mojo and your workout will not be nearly as effective.
4. When You Do Crank It Up
To my earlier point, when you do crank it up, don’t be shy! This is where you will make the most of your weight loss on the treadmill. The incline is your best friend when you are “upping” your game. You can reserve the incline for strictly the high-performance workouts. When you are comfortable with two intense workouts a week, you can push it up to 3 - but no more. You clearly want variation to maximize your results.
5. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
It used to be that all you could do on a treadmill is run and walk. Now there are so many options for workouts, it’s staggering! Switch it up and add some lunges to tighten up your glutes or maybe some side squats. Just make sure you are stable enough on your feet to pull these off. Granted these are not calorie burning, but they will help you to tighten up those areas we all could use a little help with. My personal favorite, which does, in fact, burn calories and tightens the core, is the walking plank. It’s the same as a standard plank, but you are walking on your hands. You will surely feel it.
In a nutshell, these are the ways to be successful at losing weight on a treadmill. The other component of this equation is your diet, so be mindful of your caloric intake. Try to stay away from foods that will be harder for you to burn off and stick with more protein-rich foods. As with anything, you get out what you put in - if you put in the work, you will achieve the reward. Just remember, it’s about preparation, goal setting and determination. Set your mind to the outcome you want and you shall have it.