I am a complete beginner. I have started with the cardio exercises in the gym. The treadmill, the elliptical stepper and the cycle.

On the treadmill I run at 10kmph for 10 minutes. On the cycle I burn 100 calories, and on the elliptical stepper with 70 rpm around I burn 100 calories.

That's the regime. I am about 20 kgs overweight (that would essentially make me class 1/2 obese). Since I can't control/change my diet (tiffin service for food, I can reduce the intake of food but can't essentially change it) what changes/additions do I need to make for weight-loss?

  • I'm not that familiar with tiffin food service, but I understand they deliver food to your home. Are there any circumstances keeping you from cancelling it and getting/cooking your own food? Additional information that might help to give a better answer would be your height, weight, further goals (are you only looking to lose weight or do you maybe want to get more muscular too?) and previous injuries that prevent you from doing specific exercises.
    – user8119
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 6:31
  • @LarissaGodzilla Ummm... I don't know how to cook would be the first. And secondly I don't have a functioning kitchen. Would changing/stopping the tiffin service make a huge difference?
    – praxmon
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 6:35
  • It could be a problem. As I said I'm not that familiar with the tiffin service, so I have no idea about quality or variety of food. Your question just made it sound like you're completely at their mercy, which is never a good thing. You will have to see yourself if the provided food hinders you progress in a way that's not acceptable for you. I myself would probably start to buy my own food. Depending on your goals, you might not want to, which is also fine. You just will have to decide if control over your food or the comfort of not needing to cook is more important to you and your goals.
    – user8119
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 6:59

3 Answers 3


As long as it's actually physically taxing (i.e. you get sweaty and winded) and not dangerous, there is really no wrong way to exercise if weight loss is your goal (well, some will tend to replace fat with muscle rather than reducing weight, but I doubt you would mind that).

Your biggest challenge will be to keep motivated in the long run. That's where most people who decide to "exercise more" fail. Instead of what workout is "correct", think about what workout you're most likely to stick to every week, even when you're stressed and unmotivated.

This is different for everyone, but in general: do things that are fun (team sports!) or useful (cycling to work). Eliminate barriers to exercise (a 20 minute drive to the gym = bad), add barriers to skipping exercise (fixed appointments). Inside the gym, regular classes (Pilates, Zumba, whatever the fad of the week is) are good, as is working out with others instead of alone. Gamification may help.

Also, diet is a huge factor in losing weight. If cooking is the issue, you could at least augment or partially substitute an unhealthy diet with fruit and snackable vegetables. If you can change your habits so that e.g. you'll eat an apple, banana or carrot instead of a chocolate bar as a snack between meals once a day, that makes a big difference in the long run.

  • +1 for keep motivated in the long run. It's very essential for any weightloss goal. Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 11:53

Hi Prakhar,

Before addressing your workout regimen, I will talk about your diet. You must take your diet seriously or you'll be wasting your time at the gym. Your calorie intake needs to be controlled.
Cooking your own food is encouraged because it allows you to control what goes in it and the quantity; however, it's not a requirement.

Whether you cook your meal or purchase pre-made, you want to ensure the following:

  • Protein should be a core part of your meal.
  • Fiber should be a core part of your meal; your veggies should be close to raw as much as possible (so, no over-boiling or over-cooking).
  • Endeavor to make your snacks fruits or vegetables; it fills you up while reducing your calorie intake.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Reduce your sodium (salt) intake.
  • Reduce your fats intake.
  • Reduce your carbs intake (unless needed on high-energy exercise days).
  • Many people have lost weight by controlling their diet and just minimal exercises.

    That being said, endeavor to be physically active. The more active you are, the less gym time you'll need to lose weight.

    Your current regimen is too light (it's okay as a beginner); you need to start ramping it up.

    While I'll personally go a different route, here's what you can do to your current regimen:

    • Gradually increase your treadmill to about 20-30 minutes.
    • Gradually increase the cycling to burn about 200-300 calories.
    • Replace the elliptical with skipping . Jumping exercises allow you to burn more calories in a shorter timeframe
    • Endeavor to do this at least 3 days a week.
    • Endeavor to add weightlifting to your regimen; it'll help your short-term and long-term weightloss goals.

    Above all, persevere and continue challenging yourself. Oh, you need to be patient too; otherwise, you might give up fast because the weight isn't dropping as fast as possible. As long as you keep working at it, you'll see results.

    Have fun at the gym, buddy :)

    • Thank you for the well detailed answer. Thank you!! You talk about patience and micheal talks about constantly being motivated. How do I do that? Like you said, it takes time for weight to reduce. How do I ensure that I continue with my regime, ramp it up, and stick to it?
      – praxmon
      Commented May 1, 2014 at 5:26
    • @PrakharMohanSrivastava Well, the first thing to do is change your mindset about exercising. Think of it as similar to bathing or brushing your teeth. If you don't shower/brush, nasty stuff will cling to your body/teeth; if you don't exercise, nasty stuff will happen to your body. So, begin to think of exercising as a natural part of your life. Second, begin to engage in physical activities that you love; having fun while working out or (playing sports) ensures that you'll do it for a long time. Commented May 2, 2014 at 0:41
    • The third is for you to keep challenging yourself at your own pace. If you're increasing the intensity of an exercise at the rate that you can handle, you'll get better and won't be afraid of doing it again. If you're thinking of exercising and you're getting scared, you've pushed yourself beyond your limit. Scale back to a limit you can handle. Fourth, have a realistic goal; it could be 5lbs in a month or even 1lb per month. Go at your own pace. Fifth, try to keep a record of how you're performing; if you performed one more push up than before, that's an improvement to celebrate. Commented May 2, 2014 at 0:49
    • If you say no to doughnuts that you couldn't resist before, that's an improvement worth celebrating. If you lost half a pound instead of 5, celebrate it and try to get better. As long as you keep challenging yourself and continuing with it, you'll see the results. Also, you might need to associate (either online or in person) with other fitness-conscious people; their energies will rub off you. If you don't get any motivation, you can just check out people working out on Youtube; they can motivate you too. These are just examples of things you can do to stay motivated. Commented May 2, 2014 at 0:55

    If you are going to start the workout regime.You thought about the perfect exercise routine.It is not very hard to begin the exercise.There are the few things which you have to follow before starting the workout.First set the time,how much time you will give to your exercise. Join a cardio center or fitness center for the workout.Find out the proper time for the workout it doesn't matter which time it is.Make a proper time table for the perfect workout regime.

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