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Weight loss…Where do I start?

By starttraining | In Education | on May 16, 2018

Weight loss can seem like a massive hurdle and something that is not achievable. There is so much information readily available at a click of your finger, which is great, but is often overwhelming or lacks the personal touch. The guidelines for achieving weight loss are; 150 mins of moderate intensity exercise per week, or 30 mins a day of moderate intensity exercise, on most days, if not all, throughout the week. Although this seems easy to achieve, there are some very common questions associated with the guidelines. How can I incorporate these recommendations into my life? What kind of exercise should I do? And statements such as “my knee and back hurt when I exercise”. These questions are the ones that need to be addressed on a more personal level.

Here at START Training Brisbane we look to help inform you on how to start making lifestyle changes and to develop the ability to maintain these changes. As Accredited Exercise Physiologists our role is to implement effective training programs to achieve goals. Secondary to this we aim to provide information which allows clients to self-manage and maintain their lifestyle change.

This article will discuss some of the different modes of exercise and how to implement the right strategies for sustainable weight loss. It will also discuss the risk verses reward for each strategy and some of the biggest challenges someone can face when attempting to lose weight, i.e. psychological factors.

One very important notion to remember when talking about weight loss, is that we are looking to change body composition. This means trying to decrease the amount of stored fat within the body and increase lean muscle mass. Fat loss should be the goal.

When implementing fat loss interventions, the quickest method is not necessarily the best. Sustainable interventions are the key to maintaining weight loss over time. Enjoyment is one of the biggest factors which effect the sustainability of exercise interventions. This can be within the exercise selection itself, listening to music, location of exercise, or the people involved.

There are many difference types of exercise. Some examples include:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Cycling (stationary or not)
  • Swimming / hydrotherapy
  • Gym classes


When finding the ideal starting point for a person to commence their exercise intervention, there are many factors to consider. Training history, previous exercise experience, knowledge, and commitment to the intervention are all important principles. For example, if you have never trained before, jumping straight into a high intensity program may not be the best option for you. Potential injury and the ability to recover from the exercise may make the program unsustainable.  Other factors that impact exercise selection are; previous injuries, current weight, work commitments, and personal goals. Once this has all been considered an appropriate and sustainable exercise intervention can be developed.

Weight loss goals differ in perception and understanding. Someone new to exercise may have a goal to just lose a few kilos and set up healthy lifestyle habits. Alternatively, someone who has been through a larger weight loss journey may be wanting to tone up and help with excess skin. A very common goal we see amongst our clients is attempting to overcome a plateau within their weight loss journey. It is important to consult a professional in order to tailor your intervention to your result goals. Therefore, individualised programming is very important when developing exercise interventions.



Psychological Factors

The mind can be a powerful tool to achieve a positive outcome in your weight loss journey. Addressing psychological factors is a key process in breaking down reoccurring barriers to exercise. This is not our area of expertise and it is important for you to consult a professional. In saying this, as exercise professionals we use strategies to help with overcoming aversion and fear of exercise. Psychological factors such as fear, can stop people exercising before they even start. There is an influx of information on “Dr Google” usually sprouting the “best” exercise interventions for drastic weight loss. It can be quite confronting. There is also the stigma around judgement in commercial gyms and being uneducated on using equipment. These factors all play a role in someone’s psychological want to exercise.

When starting an exercise intervention, the “how” is a big issue. Pain can occur after performing exercise, for many reasons such as the intensity of the session being too high. Whether the pain is muscle soreness, joint pain, or even an injury; stopping because of pain is logical. However, exercise can be very beneficial towards alleviating pain, through improving joint mobility and decreasing poor force loading. Losing weight lessens pressure through the joints, this coupled with increases in muscle strength, has a positive effect on joint pain and overall movement. It should be said and remembered that there are always alternative exercise modalities that can be performed. If walking or running is too much, then other forms of exercise, such as cycling or hydrotherapy, may be a more suitable to option.

One of the biggest motivational sentiments to remember about exercise is “something is better than nothing”. When we start walking, we aren’t “Just” walking. Encouraging exercise routine is one of the biggest factors in providing sustainable weight loss interventions. So, start small and be proud that you are doing more than you have been. It is extremely important to make sure we start at a comfortable level, build a habit, and increase the difficulty (time, distance, resistance etc) slowly at a pace our bodies can handle.

The last key point to remember with exercises and weight loss is to set SMART (sustainable, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) goals. If you have a large goal you would like to achieve, make sure you break it down into small progress goals, so you can work towards your larger achievement. These smaller goals are a great way to check your progress and develop positive reinforcement. Having a performance goal such as Bridge to Brisbane, helps develop a positive focus on where you are heading. These goals can be as simple as being able to keep up with your kids when you are playing with them in the garden.


If you are interested in finding out more information, or would like to book in for a consult to help with your weight loss journey. Please don’t hesitate to contact us here at START Training.


Written by

Will Holland

Exercise Physiologist

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