Many people mistakenly believe that weight loss is just a process that begins when you make changes to your eating or activity levels and ends when you have lost the weight.
But this is not the best way to view it as if you do not make lasting changes you will end up back at your original weight or worse you will be on a merry-go-round of “on and off” weight for a very long time.
Here are some strategies that will help you not only lose weight but keep it off for good.
Change: You Start Losing Muscle
Starting in your late 20’s, you begin to lose muscle tissue, the body’s chief calorie burner (especially if you do nothing to keep it). It’s replaced by fat, a relative freeloader. The fat sits in the space left by the departing muscle tissue so it is not seen and not noticed on the bathroom scales as the loss of one and the increase of the other cancels each other out.
Muscle burns about three times as many calories as fat, even at rest. The metabolic downtick from these changes in body composition (muscle/fat ratio) mean fewer calories are used and this small change can add up over time taking you from slim and trim to overweight and if you do nothing to counter it, to becoming obese.
This slow insidious fat gain amounts to around a pound a year. This means by age 60, you may be carting around an extra 20 pounds of unhealthy fat (some of it inside wrapped around major organs) and courting such problems as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Number 1) Strength training exercise works
Nothing fights the loss of muscle mass better than strength training exercise which takes your major muscle groups through their ranges of movement under an adequate load. This makes them work harder than they can do in everyday life quickly toning and even rebuilding them to get them working for you raising metabolism and boosting your fuel/fat burning rate again.
Proper strengthen exercise not only increases muscle tissue but also strengthens bones, which helps you stay active longer and work out harder. People who participate in strength training exercise have an easier time staying active in their daily lives too – walking, carrying groceries, climbing stairs, carrying children – and this activity helps prevent further weight gain.
To burn more fuel (calories) both at rest and when you are active your body needs as much toned healthy muscle as you can get. If your muscles have grown weak they will not be able to burn as much fuel as they should so the most important long-term change is to get and keep your muscles in good shape.
Just two all over body strength training sessions each week with some effort put in will ensure a metabolic boost. Modern (effective) exercise programs focus on what happens “after” the exercise session” and the continuation of more fuel burnt at rest, rather than “during” the exercise session only like we did in the past with long slow low intensity activities.
You can still do these things but they should not be the core of your activity levels. Do your strength training sessions first and foremost and if time is left over then you can do you low intensity activities.
Number 2) Look at making lifestyle changes rather than dieting
When you are looking to lose weight and more importantly – KEEP IT OFF, the “fast” approach is not going to be a long-term fix. You need to look at more permanent changes with your eating and exercise habits in order to ensure that any weight lost stays lost. So the mindset change here is likely to be significant and I discuss it further at the bottom of this article.
Number 3) Ditch the processed food
While you are eating pre-packaged convenience foods you are going to have a near impossible task with losing excess fat weight. The chemicals and additives in these foods throw your hormones “out of whack” and keep your body on a roller-coaster of wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels. This will in turn have you experiencing intense food cravings that make it extremely difficult to make healthy changes to your eating.
Chemicals used in food manifesting and processing confuse delicate hunger regulation hormones so you never know if you are truly hungry or it is the chemically intensified food cravings. Nasty stuff. And to top if off, it’s ALL nutrient-poor food “look-alikes”, which means there is virtually little to zero nutrition in this stuff. If it’s got a food label it’s been messed with by man and you will not lose weight and certainly not keep it off if you eat much of it. Period.
Stick to nutrient-dense foods with just one ingredient (just themselves) like a piece of grass fed beef, fish from the ocean, a bunch of spinach, a carrot, free range poultry and eggs, an orange and so on. Cook these things from scratch so you know exactly what is in your food. Getting your butt back into the kitchen and cooking from scratch will be the very best thing you can do to reclaim or keep your slim, trim, feel-good body.
Number 4) Eat small meals through the day
Eat every 3-4 hours with each meal made up of natural whole foods with each of these meals containing a protein source that supplies at least 20 grams of quality protein. Make up the balance of the meal with vegetables and a small amount of complex carbohydrate.
Getting rid of grains and all forms of sugar (minimal amount of fruit) will hasten fat loss.
Eat more healthy fats and quality protein instead.
For the perfect start to the day check out my breakfast every single day:
Number 5) Think health not weight loss
What you are trying to achieve is getting your body and metabolism healthy again so excess fat weight will be burnt up for energy. If you have become overweight your “metabolic fitness” is not in its best health. You cannot successfully lose weight for the long-term when you are not in tip-top health. So improve that with the suggestions above and your body will more readily give up its fat stores.
Anyone can lose weight, but it is more important to lose it for the long-term and these strategies will make sure that you do.
If you are having trouble getting your head around all of these changes, I have written an eBook that will take you through simple strategies to change your mindset, your inner mind programming. Think of it like a computer software program and from time to time we need to upgrade that software to keep us on the right track.
Once you have done this the rest is easy, in fact, it’s as easy as “not doing it”. Remember the time is going to pass anyway so why not use that time to get and keep your slim, trim body and reduce your health risks at the same time? A very worthy goal wouldn’t you agree?
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