But losing weight should not be an event, it is not something you gear up for, do intensely for a period of time, and then think you are done with it. You need to make lifestyle changes that will be with you for the rest of your life.
When you make these changes, step by step, you lose weight at a sensible pace and develop habits you can keep. You will see results that will give you a sense of success which in turn will help you to be able to stick to your plan. Soon your new habits will be second nature and you will be inspired to work at improving your eating and fitness plans until they give you the results you are looking to achieve.
This idea works far better than a drastic dietary overhaul, such as going on a restricted food diet which only leads to deprivation, plummets the metabolism (the body’s engine) and punishes the soul. Coming ‘off’ the diet is only usually a question of ‘when’, and leads to a regaining of any weight lost – often even more than was taken off, which leads to further feelings of failure.
Clearly, this is not a healthy recipe by which to live your life, much less obtain what you really want, which is a strong, lean, shapely, healthy body. Here are 3 solid tips to make some positive changes so that you can start your journey to a healthier and happier place.
1. Maximize your muscle tissue
Muscles are fat-burning furnaces, so be sure to do enough strength training exercise to build and maintain them. Each pound of toned muscle can raise your metabolic rate by up to 50 calories per day. This will super charge your fat burning machinery so that it is working for you 24/7. Don’t worry, you won’t even see this fat burning friend – it will be hidden under your body fat but will slowly but surely chew up that excess body fat for fuel.
No other type of activity can do this for you. So forget the old fashioned, long, slow, steady state activities like walking, jogging and cycling. These activities are simply not intense enough to stimulate your metabolism. Spend your time and energy on what really works – strength training.
2. Don’t starve yourself
Eat 4- 6 small meals a day to avoid blood-sugar spikes and minimize urges to binge. Each of these meals must contain 20-30 grams of protein as the center piece. Add lots of raw and cooked vegetables to balance the meal. Prepare them the night before and take them wherever you go during the day so you won’t be tempted to either miss meals or eat the wrong thing.
If you feed yourself well throughout the day, you will learn to understand when your body is going to need food. You cannot starve yourself and expect to choose well at the next meal. Your eating plan must support your exercise program or you simply won’t be able to put enough ‘effort’ into it to make a difference to your metabolism.
3. Add interval training
Replace any outdated ‘cardio’ with short bursts of all out activity alternated with longer periods of slower activity for recovery. For example, 10-20 seconds of sprinting followed by one minute or so of walking. Repeat 8-12 times, once or twice each week for awesome fat loss results.
The Way Forward
Try these changes to your lifestyle and be amazed at what they will give you. These lifestyle tweaks are things you can easily live with and each one has huge payoffs to take you further on your journey to what you really want – a strong healthy lean and trim body that you can live in and feel happy about for the rest of your life.
If you need a comprehensive overview of the metabolic regulation fat loss strategies discussed in this article, be sure to check out Carolyn Hansen’s excellent new book Hot Metabolism, where she shows you how to take control of your body’s fat burning mechanism for optimum results.