How To Lose Fat and Keep It Off
How many times have you heard a friend say, “I am on a diet” or “Cardio is the best for losing weight”. So you think you’ve finally found the answer to permanent weight loss. You go on a strict diet and run your heart out. You drop kilos quickly. But somehow, something is wrong when you look into the mirror in your birthday suit. Yes you have lost some weight, but somehow your body shape isn’t as flattering as you would like it to be. And then suddenly, you hit a plateau.
No matter how strict your diet and cardio workouts are, your weight just simply refuses to drop any further. Then horrors of horrors, you actually start to gain some weight! You get disillusioned because with the unrewarding program and soon you succumb to ‘guilt food’ more often, and the weight comes right back up once again. The program fails and you blame it on your bad genes. What’s gone wrong???Why didn’t it work????? Sound familiar?????
By merely losing weight, you will also lose some muscle mass in the process. By losing muscles, you will lose body tone and your metabolism rate for burning calories will slow down.
Intensive cardio and strict diets cause you to lose muscle mass along with fats. So while you will lose some weight at the beginning, you will look like a smaller version of you without any muscle tone.
As you lose more and more muscles, your metabolism begins to slow down. On top of that, your body will start conserving fats and ‘eat’ your muscles for energy because it is reacting to your strict diet. What happens then is that you will hit a plateau and no matter what you do, you will not reduce anymore weight and your fats will start creeping up again. This, in a nutshell, is the ‘yo-yo’ dieting effect that we hear so much about.
What to do.
You have got to build muscles while losing fat. You may even gain some weight because muscles are heavier than fats.To lose fats and keep them off permanently, you have to combine healthy eating habits, incorporate cardio exercises and lift weights to build muscles. For every kg of muscle you pack, you will burn an extra 70-100 calories per day even without doing anything. Can you imagine the benefits of building up 5kg of extra muscles? You will be burning 350 to 500 extra calories a day even if you just laze around. You’ll be burning a Big Mac everyday! If you burn 500 calories a day because of the extra muscles you have, you will be burning off about 1 kg every 2 weeks simply because of your higher metabolism rate.
Losing fats is simple but not easy. The execution will take determination and discipline. It is a lifestyle change to keep the fats off permanently but you will be glad you did because you will get used to the changes in only a few weeks. By then, it will become a cultivated habit for you, especially when you are rewarded with a fitter and healthier you, together with a glowing complexion to boot!
How to do it.
Simply, losing weight just means you must burn more calories than you consume. Period.
Lift weights with compound exercises – Forget those puny biceps curls and tricep push downs. Go for big muscle groups like legs, back and chest routines. Why? Because you are working with bigger parts with more mass, and that means more body parts are working, translating into more calories being expended.
Here’s an example.
After thoroughly warming up, start with squats, then dip, bench press, barbell row and military press. Sounds simple? Not so. You will be huffing, puffing and sweating. What is achieved? You will have combined a cardio workout with a lifting workout and your metabolism will burn for the next several hours. Do this 3 times a week with at least a day’s rest in between lifting days.
After 4-8 weeks, change the sequence of the exercises. So if you usually squat first, then squat last. Then after another 4-8 weeks, change some of the exercises, like substituting squats with deadlift, or barbell rows with lat pull down. This is to “shock” your muscles so that they continue to adapt and grow.
For cardio, get the body moving first thing in the morning before breakfast. If you are jogging or walking, aim to speed at least 45 minutes. If you are running at 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate (you will be panting and unable to sing or complete a sentence while running), then 20-30 minutes will be enough. You may intersperse the speed with slower jogs in between to catch your breath. Do these 5-6 times a week.
Consider eating habits.
There are lots of different options here, work out what is best for you, or engage a Nutrition Coach to help you – Me! 🙂
One option may be to eat LESS than what you normally eat. For example if you have 2 slices of bread with 2 eggs in the morning, now take just one slice and an egg. Just eat half of what you eat but eat more regularly. Maybe you aim to have 5 to 6 smaller meals a day if that suits you. This can help to keep your metabolism moving along because your body burns calories while digesting the food while also balancing out sugar metabolism. This is just one option.
Another may be to actually eat MORE food but being very mindful of what those foods are. Eating more vegetables and less processed food can actually help you lose body fat because even though it might be more food, there are less calories associated with whole unprocessed plant-based foods. Remove all soft drinks, sugary drinks and stop adding sugar into your coffee and tea. Just by abstaining from sugary drinks, you may already have gotten rid yourself of 200 calories per day. Drink plenty of water instead to flush out the toxins and help support kidney and liver function.
Rest is important too.
It is also very important to include rest and mitigate stress. Pat yourself on the back and reward yourself for passing another week. After all, your body needs to recover too.
As you reach your fat loss goals and you are happy with your muscular development, you can then take things a little easier. Hit the gym less frequently, have shorter runs and even relax a little in your diet. Because of your greater musculature, your body is now a fat-burning machine. You have earned that luxury.
Sure. But do you have the determination (a strong enough reason) to lose those fats and keep them off permanently? Who said you must go on a strict diet to lose weight and keep the fat off forever? With mindful management and consistent habits you can sustain a healthy lifestyle that has you feeling good long term without giving up your treats. It is up to you.
If you need the support and guidance of a caring coach to help you achieve your health and fitness goals quickly and effectively, ultimately saving you time, money and a whole lot of frustration, join the other successful women who have achieved their fat loss goals (and more) with the FEELGOOD Program.
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