Everyone loves quick results, especially when starting a new exercise routine. Instant gratification is always great but not all the benefits of working out are realized immediately. While exercise does offer the immediate effect of the feel-good endorphin release, most people on their fitness journeys are striving for something a little more concrete and noticeable. Many aim for noticeable results such as fat loss, a smaller waist, a more firm behind, increased stamina, muscle gain, toning, etc.
There are a wide variety of factors that affect how quickly you see results including how fit you currently are, what exercises you’re doing, what intensity you’re doing them at, your age, your genetics and metabolism, gender and much more. These guidelines that we are laying out are just general results and if you are not seeing change as quickly, do not worry. If you are exercising at the proper intensity and frequency and eating correctly, there is no doubt that you will eventually see results.
When will I start to lose weight?
Before you start to understand how your exercise routine is affecting your weight, keep in mind that your weight fluctuates day to day and even during the day. Most of it is water weight which can be lost and gained quite quickly. The best way to combat this is to weigh yourself weekly rather than daily. Also keep conditions during weighing consistent. Experts recommend that you weigh yourself naked in the morning before you eat anything.
With that being said, you can start to see weight loss in around a week, assuming that you are combining a workout routine with a proper diet (quality food without starving yourself). Many people can lose an average of two pounds a week, starting from the first week of their routine. The more you weigh, the more pounds you will tend to lose at the beginning of your routine. The first week will generally exhibit a higher amount of weight loss because of the loss of water weight, so do not be discouraged if you lose less weight in subsequent weeks. Allow yourself at least three weeks to see results before you consider changing your routine.
When will I start to firm up?
Losing weight and firming/toning are not separate processes. Part of the process of toning occurs when you lower your body fat percentage, which happens along with weight loss. To increase the rate of toning though, you should definitely consider adding weight training along with your cardiovascular work. Weight training will build muscle which is more efficient in burning fat and will accelerate your entire fitness process.
While you can’t spot target places to lose weight, you can target areas to tone. Doing exercises that cause you to contract muscles in the targeted areas is what will tighten those areas and create definition. For example, have you noticed that your arms feel tighter and firmer immediately after doing push-ups? The muscles contract in order to make work easier. You can expect to see permanent muscle definition in approximately three weeks. Beware though, if you stop your routine and regular workout, your muscle definition will fade and you will have to repeat the process.
For many people starting their fitness journey, these are the two main questions that are asked. Losing weight and becoming fit are not short-term projects, but rather a change in lifestyle. Starting off is difficult and maintenance is definitely required but a longer and healthier life is more than worth it. Although we have given some general time frames on when to expect results, every body is different so do not panic if your results don’t line up with what we’ve written. Keep pushing and the hard work will pay off.