When you get down to basics, there are 4 keys to weight loss.
I have been a fitness enthusiast for more than 30 years. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s closer to 40 years. I got my first weight set when I was about 8 years old. It was called the DP Junior weight set. It had a short barbell bar, and 2 dumbbell bars and about 20 pounds worth of plates, the old concrete filled plastic ones. But it wasn’t until my freshmen year in high school that the weight lifting bug took hold.
I remember at that time starting to read books and magazines (Muscle and Fitness, Flex and others) trying to learn how to be a body builder through training and nutrition. Even in those early days I saw the importance of trying to eat right and take the right supplements. I learned that there is a big difference between eating to gain muscle and eating to stay fit.
As I continued in my journey of life and fitness, I learned a lot more about the importance of nutrition. I have also been amazed by all the fad diets and wonder pills or shakes that people will constantly buy into to try to meet a weight loss goal.
Truth is, there is no “Magic Pill” for weight loss. You cannot spot reduce fat. There is no safe way to lose 30 pounds in a month.
The keys to weight loss are:
Eating a balanced diet
Consistency over time
No matter what fad diet or nutrition plan you choose to follow, you will not lose weight if you are not in caloric deficit, period. You must expend more calories than you take in. It’s really simple math.
However, it is even more important to understand that you put yourself at risk if you cut your calories too drastically and increase your activity level.
Too many times we hear from our clients or members that they don’t understand why they aren’t losing weight, they had a bowl of cereal or some toast for breakfast and hadn’t eaten anything else until dinner… You are starving your body of the nutrients it needs. This takes a toll on your body. It throws important hormones out of balance, which in turn works against your weight loss goals. This extreme caloric restriction also puts you at risk for fatigue and illness.
Eating a Balanced Diet
It is important to eat a balanced diet with foods from all the main food groups and ensure you are getting all the macronutrients (Proteins, Carbohydrates and fats) throughout the day. The general guideline is still 3 main meals a day plus healthy snack. This helps regulate hormone levels that are important to weight loss.
Even when we do our best to make healthy meal choices it is extremely difficult to get all the nutrients our bodies need from food alone. That is why it is important to add a good quality multivitamin to your nutrition plan.
One of the greatest myths (in my opinion) in weight loss is that you need to do hours of cardio to lose weight. While it is true that cardio typically burns more calories while you are exercising, Strength training continues to burn calories after your workout.
Building muscle through strength training helps to increase your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which is the rate your body burns calories even while resting. Both Cardio and strength training play a role in your overall level of fitness. A great way to balance this is through metabolic conditioning. This combines both cardio and strength training into a single workout, much the way our Team training works at Body Force. You will get some elements of cardio along with elements of cardio.
Consistency Over Time
Finally, let’s talk a little bit about patience and consistency over time. Getting healthy and fit and losing weight is a process. To do it the right way that will have lasting results takes time. How many of you have seen the TV “The Biggest Loser”? Those people go through amazing transformation in a short period of time. However, because the change is so drastic in such a short period of time, many of those participants end up gaining everything they lost and sometimes more after the show ends.
Consistency with diet and exercise will result in lasting change in weight loss, increased strength and endurance and long-term health.
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