When I first did my research over a year ago for my own weight loss plan, it was this question that I desperately wanted to answer the most. If you want to lose weight with kettlebells, you have to have realistic expectations. This probably means that a lifestyle change is in order. No more eating junk food or gorging yourself on a whim. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever indulge in fatty foods, but it should be a rare and infrequent occurrence.
For me, maintaining a proper diet is more difficult than sticking to an exercise schedule. Everyone is different, and if you already eat healthy food then you’re off to a great start! However, many people like myself have to break the addiction of eating whatever we want and when we want. Understanding and recognizing that it is a problem is the first step to starting a weight loss journey. Although, if you answer yes to any of the below questions, the odds of staying true to your goal becomes more difficult.
- Am I happy with my current weight?
- Am I an emotional eater?
- Will I lose interest or motivation with maintaining an exercise plan?
The first question might elicit a few eye-rolls. Of course, I’m not happy with my weight! That’s why I’m here. It’s easy to tell yourself that but backing it up with action takes a lot more effort. Trust me, there have been many times in my life where I’ve felt that way, yet contradicted it with my actions. Emotional eating being one of those things. It takes discipline to put your body over your desires first. The same can be said for sticking to a workout routine.
A Commitment On Many Levels
If you truly want to lose weight with kettlebells then you need a motivator. I’m not talking about spur-of-the-moment motivations. Rather, a date and a goal weight that will serve as a reminder of why you’re putting in all this hard work. My motivator was my wedding date. Yours doesn’t have to be this huge of an event but it should be important.
I was fortunate enough to have my wife also serve as a motivator. In fact, we motivated each other to continue and not give up on our weight loss goals. Of course, you can absolutely do this on your own. Although, it helps with accountability if you’re doing it with a partner or friend.
It’s important to realize what your strengths and weaknesses are as it pertains to losing weight. Exercising for me isn’t that big of a deal. My wife, on the other hand, hates to exercise! On the flip side, I still to this day find it difficult to curb my appetite and not revert back to eating crap all the time. Identifying obstacles like these will help keep you on the right path.
I’m Ready, Now Tell Me How To Lose Weight with Kettlebells!
Hopefully, at this point, you have a realistic diet plan. Once you put a halt to unhealthy eating you should easily lose 5-10 pounds within the first 2-3 weeks. I would suggest that you give it at least a month of maintaining your diet before you start exercising. You don’t want to shock your body too much by jumping right into kettlebell workouts.
The next thing I suggest is that you join a kettlebell training group. There is one on Facebook that has a great community of members and trainers. There is no judgment in this group and the moderator is a highly respected instructor who enjoys helping out newcomers. Egos are checked at the door and encouragement among members is a common theme. Joining a group like this one will help keep that motivation going.
Obviously, you’ll need some kettlebells to workout with. I recommend several top brands for women and men that are great for beginners. You’ll probably want to get a set of kettlebells as your body will quickly adjust to the lighter weights before you know it!
Finally, you’ll have to devise a workout schedule that fits into your life. Of course, the more frequently you work out, the faster you’ll see results. Since I work from home, I decided upon 20-minutes a day for 5-days a week. This routine helped me to lose 60 pounds in 10 months. In that time, I’ve progressed from a 15-pound kettlebell to a 35-pound kettlebell. Also keeping in mind that muscle has replaced some of the fat which might skew the perception of total fat (weight) loss.
Make Your Own Schedule and Stay With It
You might be thinking, just 20 minutes a day to lose weight with kettlebells? That’s awesome! And it is awesome. Although, I want to make it clear that these are a hard 20 minutes. You’ll be pushing your body to the limits. The benefit is that you get the most effective workouts in the shortest amount of time. Read the guide I wrote that supports this claim.
Yeah, it’s hard work, but after those 20 minutes, it’s an extremely satisfying feeling. Now, while I personally love my workout schedule, that isn’t to say yours can’t be different. Maybe you prefer longer sessions fewer times per week. Something like 30 minutes every other day. The key is to find a plan that works for you and your time. It’s up to you to stay with it. The moment you tell yourself oh, I’m tired and I’ll work out next time is when your journey starts to crumble. It’s imperative that you remain consistent. I understand life happens and things come up, but you know the difference between a valid excuse and giving in to laziness.
If you’re putting in the effort with both dieting and kettlebell exercises, you can expect to lose a couple of pounds a week. I know a lot of people want to make the process faster, but even the CDC recommends only losing 1-2 pounds a week. Anything more and it could be a health risk. Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Good Kettlebell Exercise and Workout Resources to Help You on Your Journey
There are several exercises on this website that beginners and kettlebell veterans can perform alike. If you want to create a completely random kettlebell workout, check out the stack 52 kettlebell exercise cards. There are dozens of exercises in a playing card format. Each one has a description, along with the muscles targeted, a visual representation, and even a QR code link to a video demonstration. I’ve been using them for months now and still am not bored with randomly drawing exercise cards for 20 minutes.
For those of you looking for a more structured workout plan, have a look at some of these workout DVD’s. I’m currently in the middle of using the Skogg System Kettlebell program. The instructor looks super intimidating judging from the cover. However, I’m finding him to use just the right amount of encouragement and motivation in his speaking with the audience. It’s a challenge, but you don’t have to be a body-builder to follow along.
How about a little more social interaction with your kettlebell workouts? I find Instagram to be a great source of inspiration and workout challenges. You’d be amazed at some of the creativity that Instagram users come up with. There are kettlebell workouts for mobility, strength, flexibility, range, and endurance. There’s a lot of variety. You’ll likely even see celebrities using kettlebells during their workouts from time to time. Try the hashtag #kettlebellworkouts the next time you’re on Instagram.
How Fast You Lose Weight With Kettlebells Depends On You
I know, that’s an obvious statement. However, when it comes down to it, no one else is going to really hold you accountable. What you put in your body and how frequently you work out are completely up to you. Never lose sight of the big picture. Just because you didn’t reach your goal within a certain time frame doesn’t mean you failed.
I wanted to be at my optimal body weight of 165-170 lbs. for my wedding date. That didn’t happen. I came about 25-30 lbs short. There will be plateaus that you hit along the way. That should come as no surprise. Also, when working out with kettlebells, you will gain strength and muscle. This might translate to a higher number on the scale than anticipated. If that’s a concern, try taking measurements in your problem areas. You’ll certainly notice a difference.
I really want to spread awareness about kettlebells and how they’ve changed my life. I believe they can change many other people’s lives as well. If you’re looking for a change I just ask that you really give them a try. It’s not a fad or a phase. They are a real tool that can help you accomplish your personal goals more quickly than ever.