Blog Archives


Upcoming Beta Program

Good Morning!

I wanted to get this link out to you so you can help me tweak a program I am working on. If you are interested, leave me your information and I will be in touch. Oh, by the way, the beta program is completely free for you! Click the title link above to sign up. Thanks again and enjoy your weekend!

Jeremy LaRochester

CPT/IMPACT CI

Advertisements

How To Lose Fat Without Losing Muscle


 

 

About a year ago, I covered how to lose fat. The thing is, there’s a second important topic that always needs to be covered right along with it. And that is: how to lose fat WITHOUT losing muscle.

 

Wait… what?!?!?! Did I just imply that you can lose your pretty hard-earned lean muscle mass while only trying to lose your ugly body fat??? Yup, I sure did. It’s happened to me and countless others plenty of times, and it can definitely happen to you.

 

To understand why and how this is possible and (more importantly) how to prevent it from happening, you first need to understand an important fact…

 

Weight Loss vs Fat Loss: It’s NOT The Same Thing!

 

People often say they want to lose weight. This is sort of a dumb statement, because “weight” can be a few different things. For example… water, glycogen, muscle or fat. Hell, you can cut off a leg and you’ll lose “weight” just fine.

 

In reality however, what most of us want to lose is fat, NOT muscle.

 

Now, despite some of the crazy things you may have heard before about how to lose fat, the truth is that there is just one major requirement… a caloric deficit.

 

As I’ve explained before (for example: Calories In vs Calories Out), a caloric deficit is what happens when you consume less calories than your body needs to burn for energy performing all of the tasks it needs to perform over the course of the day (move, breathe, pump blood, digest food, etc.).

 

When that caloric deficit is present, your body is forced to find some alternative source of energy on your body to burn instead. Ideally, this would ONLY be your ugly stored body fat. However, it can also be your pretty lean muscle tissue.

 

Sure, you might want your body to just burn body fat and not muscle, but your body doesn’t really give a crap about what you want. It just knows that in order for it to survive and function under the current conditions, it will need to pull stored energy from somewhere. And that can mean fat, muscle or a combination of both.

 

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to do everything you can to improve the fat:muscle loss ratio as much as possible and basically signal your body to maintain ALL of your muscle and ONLY burn body fat. But the question is… how? I thought you’d never ask.

 

Here now are what I’d consider to be the 8 best ways to lose fat WITHOUT losing muscle…

 

1. Eat Enough Protein

 

A sufficient daily protein intake is the single most important dietary requirement for maintaining muscle. It’s not meal timing, or supplements, or the exact size of your caloric deficit, or the quality of the foods you eat (more on that nonsense later), or anything else diet related.

 

Nutritionally speaking, losing fat without losing muscle is all about eating enough protein every day. Numerous studies have proven this to be true. Even in the absence of a proper weight training routine, more of the weight you lose will be body fat rather than muscle mass just as a result of an increased protein intake.

 

So, the first step of any muscle-preserving diet is always getting your ideal amount of protein for the day. Just what is “ideal?” Well, the good old “1 gram of protein per pound of body weight” recommendation still remains a perfectly fine starting point for most people with this goal in mind.

 

2. Maintain Strength/Intensity/Weight On The Bar

 

And now here is the single most important training requirement for anyone who wants to lose fat without losing muscle. Simply put, the primary training stimulus required for maintaining muscle is maintaining your current levels of strength.

 

You know how gradually getting stronger (aka the progressive overload principle) is what signals your body to begin the muscle building process? Well, on a fat loss diet, just maintaining your current levels of strength (aka intensity, aka the weight on the bar) is what now signals your body to maintain muscle.

 

If that signal goes away, your body’s need to keep your pretty muscle tissue around goes away right along with it.

 

That’s why the insanely stupid myth of lifting heavier weights to build muscle but then lifting lighter weights (for higher reps) when you want to lose fat, get lean and get toned is the absolute WORSTthing you could possibly believe when you’re trying to avoid losing muscle. In reality, you lift heavy weight to build muscle, and then lift that same heavy weight if you want to actually maintain that muscle.

 

If you start purposely lifting lighter weights while in a caloric deficit, your body essentially thinks: “Hmmm, it looks like we only need to lift lighter weights now. I guess all of that muscle I built for the purpose of being able to lift heavy weight is no longer needed. Time to start burning it for energy instead of body fat!”

 

Not too good, huh? This means that your primary weight training goal is to, at the very least, NOT lose strength. This in turn will allow you to NOT lose muscle.

 

For example, if you currently bench press 200lbs, your goal throughout the duration of your fat loss phase is to end up bench pressing that same 200lbs (or more if possible) when you’re done and all of the fat has been lost. The same goes for every other exercise in your routine.

 

Sure, you can continue trying to get stronger and continue trying to make progressive overload happen while losing fat. It can and does happen (especially for beginners, who should still be progressing consistently even in a deficit).

 

But, if you’re past the beginner’s stage, don’t be surprised if it’s MUCH harder to do (if not borderline impossible in some cases) and the best you can do is just maintain strength rather than increase it.

 

This is fine of course, as just maintaining the amount of weight you currently lift on every exercise is the  key weight training requirement for losing fat WITHOUT losing muscle.

 

3. Reduce Weight Training Volume and/or Frequency

 

A caloric deficit is really an energy deficit, and while this is fantastic (and required) for losing any amount of body fat, it kinda sucks for all things training related (recovery, work capacity, volume tolerance, performance, etc.).

 

What that means is, the workout routine you were (or would be) using with great success to build muscle, increase strength or make whatever other positive improvements to your body under normal circumstances (where there is no deficit present) will often be TOO MUCH for your body to tolerate and optimally recover from in the energy deficient state it is currently in.

 

And do you know what this scenario will ALWAYS lead to? One in which you’re not recovering properly from your workouts? A loss of strength.

 

And do you know what a loss of strength will ALWAYS lead to, especially while in a caloric deficit? A loss of muscle.

 

Like I explained a minute ago (#2 on this list), the key training requirement for maintaining muscle is simply maintaining strength. The problem is, if you’re using a workout routine that you aren’t properly recovering from, the opposite of this is going to happen.

 

This is something that I and so many others have learned the hard way. The workout routine that seemed perfect before when those beneficial extra calories were present is now the reason your workouts are getting harder, you’re getting weaker, reps are decreasing, weight on the bar needs to be reduced, and your fat loss phase (aka the cutting phase) ends with you having lost way more muscle and strength than you should have.

 

Been there, done that.

 

Luckily, It Can Be Prevented

 

How do you avoid all of this? Simple. By adjusting your weight training program to compensate for the drop in recovery that always comes with being in a caloric deficit. That means reducing training volume (the total amount of sets, reps and/or exercises being done), reducing training frequency(the total amount of workouts being done per week and per muscle group), or a combination of both.

 

My Best Workout Routines guide actually contains the full details of a routine I like to call The Maintenance Solution, as it incorporates ALL of these adjustments for this very purpose.

 

It has become my go-to routine for maintaining muscle while I lose fat, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to do the same. You can email me at jeremy.larochester@gmail.com for a copy.

 

I should also note that the possible exception to this are beginners, as they should ALREADY be using an intelligently designed lower volume beginner routine.

 

4. Get Pre & Post Workout Nutrition Right… Still

 

I once read an article on some diet/training website that tried to make the point that pre and post workout nutrition become LESS important when your goal is fat loss rather than muscle growth. I don’t remember the exact reasoning for this (if I did, I’d be making fun of it right now), but whatever it was… it couldn’t be more wrong.

 

As mentioned, recovery, work capacity, volume tolerance and overall training performance in general go to crap as a result of being in a caloric deficit. And if you haven’t heard, the entire concept of pre and post workout nutrition is practically built around improving these very aspects of training and recovery.

 

That makes the meals you eat before and after your workouts JUST as important (arguably even more MORE SO) when your goal is losing fat without losing muscle as opposed to just building that muscle in the first place.

 

5. Don’t Reduce Calories By TOO Much

 

As we hopefully all understand by now, in order to lose any amount of body fat, you need to create a caloric deficit (I figure if I repeat it enough times, it will sink in). And that means you’re going to need to reduce your calorie intake below maintenance level so stored body fat can be burned for energy instead.

 

The thing is, that deficit can be classified as small, moderate or large based on how far below maintenance you go and how much you reduce your daily calorie intake by. Now, while each degree of deficit has its own PROS and CONS, a moderate deficit of about 20% below maintenance level is what ends up being most ideal in most cases.

 

That’s why it’s what I most often recommend: How Many Calories Per Day To Lose Weight?

 

Why not a larger deficit? Why not reduce calories by even more and make fat loss happen even faster? Well, aside from being harder to actually sustain, the other major downside of a large caloric deficit is that it will have the largest negative impact on training and recovery.

 

And that means that reducing your calorie intake by TOO much will increase the potential for strength and muscle loss. For that reason, I’d recommend most people stick with no more than a moderate deficit. Those who are already quite lean and looking to get REALLY lean may do better with an even smaller deficit

 

6. Incorporate Calorie/Carb/Nutrient Cycling

 

I can never decide if I want to refer to it as cycling calories, carbs or nutrients (they sound different but it’s all the same thing), so give me a second while I “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” this.

 

[8 seconds later…]

 

Alright, calorie cycling it is.

 

And what it refers to is eating more calories on certain days (typically training days) and less calories on other days (typically rest days). This is done primarily by manipulating carbs and/or fat, as protein is something we want to be high every day… especially when our goal is to lose fat, NOT muscle.

 

Now, with a more simple and straight forward fat loss diet, you’d consume about the same amount of calories and nutrients every day and be in a similar sized deficit each day of the week.

 

But with calorie cycling, you’d be in a larger deficit on certain days, but then a smaller deficit (or possibly even NO deficit at all) on the other days. However, at the end of the week, the total amount of calories consumed would still be the same. It’s just the method of getting there (eating less on certain days, more on others) is different.

 

The theoretical purpose for doing this is to improve everything from recovery to calorie partitioning by providing our bodies with more calories/nutrients when it’s most likely to need and benefit from them (training days), and less calories/nutrients when it isn’t (rest days). This would then potentially allow us to, among other things, better maintain muscle and strength while we lose fat.

 

Does it actually work? Well, this is something I’ve been experimenting with a lot over the last few years, and I’ve become a HUGE fan of it.

 

Not just for maintaining muscle while losing fat (which I’ve found it works great for), but also for diet adherence, controlling your appetite, and keeping you happy and satisfied. And on the other side of the goal spectrum, I like it equally well for gaining muscle without gaining excess fat.

 

It’s definitely a subject you’ll be hearing a lot more about from me in the future.

 

7. Take Diet Breaks When Needed

 

Can we all be honest for a second? Regardless of how you go about making fat loss occur, the simple fact is that it kinda sucks either way. Your body doesn’t really like being in a caloric deficit, and as anyone who has ever tried to lose any amount of fat already knows, your mind sure as hell doesn’t like it either.

 

The truth is, there are a ton of physiological and psychological aspects of being in the energy deficient state required for fat loss to take place that just plain suck. From the aforementioned drop in recovery and performance to the changes in insulin, leptin, thyroid hormones and overall metabolic rate, the human body (and mind) just run a whole lot better with no deficit present.

 

And that brings us to the concept of the diet break.

 

The exact definition of what a diet break is will vary based on who you ask, but I think of it as a 1-2 week period where you come out of the deficit and back up to maintenance level for the purpose of briefly allowing all of the things that suck about fat loss to recover and go back normal for a little while.

 

There are dozens of potential benefits (some physical, some mental) that come from taking diet breaks like this, but the reason I’m mentioning it here are for its performance and recovery related benefits. Why? Because any improvement there will help with our goal of maintaining muscle and strength while we lose fat.

 

The specifics of when and how often a diet break should be taken would require its own article (consider it added to my to-do list), but the basic point is that while people with LESS fat left to lose will generally need/benefit from a diet break more than someone in the early stages of losing a lot of fat, the fact remains that it can be quite beneficial for many reasons… one of which is preserving muscle.

 

8. Avoid Excessive Amounts Of Cardio (Or Just Don’t Do ANY At All)

 

This all goes back to what I mentioned 100 times already about recovery being reduced as a result of calories being reduced. For this reason, ALL of the exercise you’re doing (not just weight training, cardio too) needs to be reduced or adjusted to some extent to compensate for this and help prevent muscle loss. (Once again, for more about adjusting weight training, email me for The Maintenance Solution)

 

Now, weight training obviously still needs to be kept around as it provides the primary signal that tells our bodies to maintain muscle and only burn body fat. But cardio? That’s completely optional.

 

And honestly, I feel there is no more overrated aspect of fat loss or muscle growth than cardio. Obviously if your goal is endurance or performance related, my opinion would change. But strictly in terms of just improving the way your body looks? 

 

I’d much rather see people create their deficit via diet alone, use weight training to build/maintain muscle, and use cardio as a last resort tool for when you reach a point where lowering calories any further becomes too difficult and you’d rather burn those calories off instead.

 

Here’s why…

 

HIIT (or really any high intensity cardio) will cut into the recovery of both your nervous system AND muscle fibers almost in the same way an additional weight training workout would.Typical steady state cardio (30 minutes of jogging, for example) will also cut into recovery, albeit not as much as HIIT can.

 

When you weigh these CONS against the PROS of cardio (it burns some calories… yay!), you begin to realize that it may not be worth doing for the purpose of losing fat… specifically for people whose primary goal is to lose that fat without losing muscle.

 

Don’t get me wrong here… both HIIT and steady state cardio are useful fat loss tools for sure and I’m definitely not against doing them. It’s just that, considering cardio is IN NO WAY required for losing fat and that doing it could potentially hurt your ability to maintain muscle.

 

Obviously personal preferences and individual differences play an important role here too, but generally speaking… I recommend cardio by default or do much of it myself. And when I do, my first choice is always 30-60 minutes of high intensity cardio. It works excellent for me.

 

What About Eating Only Healthy & “Clean” Foods?

 

After looking over this list of what I’d consider to be the most important/effective ways to maintain muscle while losing fat, some people might be wondering if I forgot to mention one final tip.

 

The “tip” I’m referring to is to eat healthier, cleaner, natural foods instead of unhealthy, dirty, processed foods. Why? Because doing so will supposedly make a significant difference in terms of getting the “weight” you lose to be fat instead of muscle.

 

As nice as that theory sounds, the truth is that with all else being equal (total calorie and macronutrient intake, strength being maintained, etc.), clean vs dirty, healthy vs unhealthy, processed vs unprocessed really doesn’t matter at all in terms of calorie partitioning and whether the “weight” you lose ends up being fat (good) or muscle (bad).

 

Now obviously in terms of things like overall health, appetite control and diet adherence there are some big differences, which is why I’d always recommend getting most of your calories from higher quality foods rather than junky garbage. But the common thought that changes in body composition are directly influenced by a food being “clean” or “dirty” has its merit.

 

Goodbye Fat, Hello Muscle!

 

There you have it… the 8 best ways to ensure you lose fat without losing muscle in the process. The first 2 items (sufficient protein intake and maintaining strength) are BY FAR the most important. It just so happens that the majority of the other items on this list are proven to significantly help make those things (specifically strength maintenance) actually happen.

 

So, if you’ve ever lost any muscle or strength while trying to lose fat or are just concerned it might happen to you in the future… this is how you can prevent it: 

to help you build muscle, lose fat and improve you!

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Cardio Routines To Lose Weight


What’s Up Everyone!
Among the best ways to accelerate weight reduction would be to do cardio routines. Cardio gets your heart rate up, has got the blood flowing, raises body temperature and heightens calorie consumption. Cardio also strengthens your heart and lungs, improve circulation and other bodily functions. If done properly, cardio routines can prove to be a valuable asset in your health and weight loss program.

Wondering which cardio routines might perform best for you?

Here are a few common cardio routines arranged from the most to the least effective when it comes to weight reduction:

1. Running – Running is really a massive cardio routine since it gets all of the body moving. Running can be a high intensity workout simply by itself. If you do run, make sure to swing your arms and really get your system in to the motion. Try not to run should you experience knee or back pain. Try running on a soft surface such as grass or sand and minimize the time you take on asphalt. Should you have suffered any sort of injuries previously, consult your doctor before running.

2. Cycling – Bicycle riding (so long as it’s done outdoors) is a superb cardio routine. Obviously you need to be experienced in riding a bike, but it can definitely get a heart pumping. Ensure that you ride only in safe places. Steer clear of the side of busy roads. Stay with bicycle lanes whenever possible.

3. Row Machine – This  is really a personal favorite of mine as it’s not only a cardio machine but also an excellent strength builder for the back and biceps. The one downfall of this machine is that you’re seated while doing the work. But pumping the rows back and forth gets you sweating in a minute. Of course, rowing a canoe, in the event that can be done for you, is even more effective. (If you don’t have a gym membership for this, email me at jeremy@larochesterimpactfitness.com and I will give you an awesome alternative for this cardio option at home with some resistance bands!)

4. Walking – Walking is another great cardio routine. Don’t stroll, do brisk walking and get your arms into the motion. For additional difficulty, you can try walking with small dumbbells or wrist-strap-on weights. Try combining interval running with walking for accelerated weight reduction.

5. Swimming – Swimming is a great body building cardio routine as it strengthens the entire body. However, it is not easy for normal swimmers to have their heartbeat up while swimming and looking after that heartbeat for a long time.

6. Elliptical – The elliptical is great for people who suffered knee injuries as it doesn’t jar your legs. However, it’s almost zero resistance in most cases does not get your upper body into the motion. It can be incorporated into cool down routines for some added calorie burning.

7. Gym bicycle – I dislike the gym bicycle because you usually relax and just pedal away. The act of seated makes this a much less effective routine.

So there you have 7 routines that are great weight loss exercises. Some tend to be more intense than the others but try the ones you can to determine which routine works best for you. Make sure to enjoy your cardio routines. Enjoying yourself will also accelerate your weight loss.

Thanks for reading and Have A Great Day!

Maintaining Weight Loss


Hey There! Hope Your having a great weekend!

I wanted to continue on the hot topics of weight loss, plateau and maintaining weight loss. While losing weight is difficult for many people, it is even more challenging to keep weight off. Most individuals who lose a large amount of weight regain it two to three years later.

One theory about regaining lost weight is that people who decrease their caloric intake to lose weight experience a drop in their metabolic rate, making it increasingly difficult to lose weight over a period of months. A lower metabolic rate may also make it easier to regain weight after a more normal eating strategy is resumed. For these reasons, extremely low calorie eating strategys and rapid weight loss are discouraged.

Losing no more than one to two pounds per week is recommended. Incorporating long-term lifestyle changes will increase the chance of successful long-term weight loss.

Weight loss to a healthy weight for a person’s height can promote health benefits such as lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, less stress on bones and joints, and less work for the heart. Thus, it is vital to maintain weight loss to obtain health benefits over  a lifetime.

Keeping extra weight off requires effort and commitment, just as losing weight does. Weight loss goals are reached by changes in eating strategy, eating habits, exercise, and, in extreme circumstances, surgery.

The following strategies that encourage weight loss also play an important role in maintenance:

Support systems used effectively during weight loss can contribute to weight maintenance. People who lost weight and continued bi-monthly consultations and group exercise for one year maintained their full weight loss. Participants who did not utilize any sort of consultation or buddy system regained almost half of the weight.

Physical activity plays a vital role in maintaining weight loss. Even exercise that is not rigorous, such as walking and using stairs, has a positive effect. Activity that uses 1,500 to 2,000 calories per week is recommended for maintaining weight loss.

Eating Strategies and exercise are vital strategies for losing and maintaining weight. The National Weight Control Registry has conducted research that suggest that nearly all of 784 study participants who had lost at least 30 pounds, and had maintained that loss for one year or longer, used eating strategies and exercise to not only lose the weight, but also to maintain the weight loss.

Once the desired weight has been reached, the gradual addition of about 200 calories of healthy, low-fat food to daily intake may be attempted for one week to see if weight loss continues. If weight loss does continue, additional calories of healthy foods may be added to the daily eating strategy until the right balance of calories to maintain the desired weight has been determined. It may take some time and record keeping to determine how adjusting food intake and exercise levels affect weight.

A return to old habits does not mean failure. Paying renewed attention to eating strategies vary choices and exercise can help sustain behaviors that maintain weight loss. Identifying situations such as negative moods and interpersonal difficulties and incorporating alternative methods of coping with such situations rather than eating can prevent relapses to old habits.

I hope that this post helps you find smarter, more effective foods for the body as well as getting your physical activity in and plenty of rest.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend!

Weight Loss Difficulty


Happy Tuesday! I decided to write this post up after one of my readers commented on an article that dealt with the difficulty of losing weight. So I decided to fulfill that request.

Difficulty with weight loss is a common occurrence, but planning and perseverance can help you accomplish your weight loss goals.
Figure out what is causing your weight loss difficulty. Is the reason medical, genetic, a lack of exercise or consuming too many calories? If your reason is not medical or genetic, you may need to further reduce your calorie intake and burn more calories through physical activity to lose weight. Keeping a food and exercise log can help you determine the amount of calories to reduce or signal when it is time to change your workout routine.

Know Your Number: Calories
Since there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, make sure that you are reducing your normal calorie intake by 500 calories per day to lose 1 lb. per week. Reducing your normal calorie consumption by 250 calories per day and increasing your physical activity to burn an additional 250 calories per day is an effective strategy to reach your calorie deficit. You can cut 250 calories out of your diet by drinking water instead of most 20 oz. regular sodas. A 185 lb. person can burn an additional 250 calories by exercising on a stair step machine for a half hour.
Exercise and Intensity
Some of the factors that determine the amount of calories a person burns through exercise are the frequency, intensity, time and type of exercise performed. If you are currently exercising regularly and have trouble losing weight, you may need to increase how many days per week you exercise or the length of time you work out to increase your calorie burn. Increasing the intensity of your workouts or trying different exercises may also help you burn more calories. If you are not currently exercising while trying to lose weight, now is a good time to start.
Weight Loss Time Frame
Be patient with your weight loss. You should aim for weight loss of 1 to 2 lbs. per week, which equals 52 to 104 lbs. lost in a year. A slow and steady pace may not be as exciting as losing 30 lbs. in 30 days, but losing weight gradually and developing healthier habits in the process is more likely to result in permanent weight loss than a more aggressive strategy.

Things To Consider
Always check with your health care provider before beginning exercise or modifying your eating strategy. If you are reducing your calorie intake and exercising regularly and still not losing weight, speak to your health care provider, a registered dietician or personal trainer for additional assistance with your weight loss.

While losing weight can be difficult, it is not impossible. Make a commitment, be aware of your portion sizes, read nutrition labels, progressively make your workouts more challenging, hold yourself accountable and don’t let obstacles discourage you from reaching your weight loss goals. People can lose weight using a solid eating strategy as long as they follow it and the strategy provides fewer calories than they normally take in.

I will tell you a little known fact about a major cause for difficult fat loss
In order to properly digest fats, the body needs and enzyme called lipase. Deficiency of lipase can be a contributing factor in obesity. With the proper level of lipase in the body to aid in the breakdown of fats, obesity can be counteracted and regulation of weight management would be attainable for those wishing to lose pounds without drastic steps like starvation strategies that do more damage than good.

Remember:
Lipase is the enzyme responsible for proper digestion of fats and balancing of fatty acids.

For more on Lipase, click here.

Hope you enjoyed and learned a little bit.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Working out but not seeing results on the Scale?


First off, congratulations on getting your weight loss program off to such a great start! You’ve lost both inches and fat your very first week if you have been working at a minimum of 85 percent of your maximum energy output. What? You say you haven’t lost any weight? I didn’t say you lost weight, I said you lost fat, which is even more important. Let me explain a few details about “weight loss” programs, and why you might want to ignore the numbers on your scale, at least for a while.

Although most people say they begin a fitness program to lose weight what they really want to do is change their body composition by losing fat. Losing fat pounds and also replacing a percentage of those pounds with lean muscle. Body composition is your fat to lean mass ratio (lean mass includes muscle). Typically a woman’s body fat ratio should be 22–25% and a man’s should be around 15–18%. Ideally, the majority of pounds you lose should be fat pounds, with only a minimum of lean mass loss. You want to keep your muscle mass — in fact, you should want to add more. Muscle adds strength and is what gives you tone and definition. Also always remember that muscle is denser than fat, so it takes up less space for its weight… which leads us to what you perceive as a problem, but really isn’t.

 

In the short time you have been working out, you’ve lost fat mass but you have also gained the same weight in muscle mass. But because the muscle is denser than fat, you are getting smaller and your clothes are getting looser. This is a good trend. A pound of muscle can burn 25 times the amount of calories as a pound of fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn, even when you aren’t working out. If you keep exercising and sticking to a reasonable diet, you will continue to drop dress sizes, and the lost fat pounds will start to show up as smaller numbers on the scale. That said, there are a couple of things you should watch out for.

Divide your time between cardio and weight training unless you are participating in a boot camp or cross fit programand make sure it’s all quality time. Do your cardio hard enough to put your heart rate in the fat burning zone or higher — most of machines at your gym probably have diagrams that list the proper heart rate according to your age range. As for the weight training, make sure you’re using a heavy enough weight to challenge your muscle. By the time you do 10 or 12 reps of an exercise, you should feel like you can’t complete another one with good form. If you feel like you can still easily keep going, then use a heavier weight. Many women have a bad habit of using weights that are too light and then not fatiguing the muscle. Doing this is a waste of time. Make sure those 30 minutes in the weight room count!

Now for the all important eating strategy! Consuming too few calories will keep you from building any significant muscle mass. In fact your body, in an attempt to survive, will start to eat away at your already existing muscle mass. That’s right — instead of burning fat, it’ll burn the muscle instead and save the fat as emergency fuel. That’s one of the reasons why a person’s metabolism slows down during “dieting”— less muscle mass means less calories burned. Adopting an eating strategy involves balancing your activity and the amount of calories you consume – you do want a calorie deficit, but not so much that your body goes into starvation mode and your metabolism grinds to a halt. You may need a bit of trial and error to get it just right, and once you do you will have to adjust your diet as you go along and your body changes.

If you have any questions about eating strategy, workouts or anything relating to fitness or this post, leave me a comment.

 

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

How To Safely Lose 20 Pounds


Good Morning! So I have some concepts to help your eating and exercise habits to provide a meaningful way of losing weight. Don’t focus on everything at once, but pick a couple of weak areas and work on those. Here are some ways to help you lose 20 pounds. Enjoy!

Check your attitude
Ask yourself whether this is a good time to start a plan or program. Are you really motivated? The people who are most successful at losing weight have a “wow” or “light bulb” moment, when something clicks and they decide they don’t want to live this way anymore. Motivations vary. Some people are worried about diabetes or heart disease. Others are going to a class reunion, attending a wedding or approaching a hallmark birthday such as their 40th or 50th. Some people might have difficulty fitting into airline or movie-theater seats, are not able to wear most of their clothing or are breathlessness when they walk up a flight of stairs.

So you want to lose 20 pounds and you need some extra motivation? Well I have listed below some items that are equal to 20 pounds to give you some perspective.
Twenty pounds is equivalent to:
480 slices of bacon
2.5 bowling balls
24 cans of soda
9,072 paper clips
1,599 quarters

Weigh in
Weigh yourself and have someone photograph you in tight-fitting clothes. This is so you can compare your before and after photos in a few months.

Pick a plan
One diet doesn’t fit all. There’s no shortage of ways to lose weight, but you have to find something that works for you. I tailor programs to individuals for body type and fitness goals.  There are many other commercial programs and diet books that offer help.

How much should you eat?
A general guide to the number of calories you should consume if you are trying to lose a half-pound to 2 pounds a week:
Starting weight (pounds)     Daily calories
Under 180                                             1,500
180-215                                                  1,600
216-250                                                  1,800
251 or more                                          2,000

Write down every bite
Studies show that dieters who keep a daily food record usually lose more weight.  So write down what you eat, how much and the calories, fat grams or carbs.

Pay attention to portions
Some people underestimate the amount they are consuming. Keep in mind that your caloric requirements are related to your size.

Play the numbers game
Count calories, carbs, fat grams or steps, but count something, nutritionists say. You have to burn 3,500 calories more than you consume to lose a pound. If you usually eat 2,200 calories a day to maintain your weight, you need to cut back by 500 calories or increase exercise by that much to create the 500-calorie deficit to lose 1 pound a week.

Plan ahead
Set aside some time every day to decide what you will eat for meals and snacks, when you will prepare them, what you will eat if you go out and when you will exercise.

To figure out ideal portions, let your hand be your guide.
A fist: About the size of a cup of cereal, pasta or vegetables.
Your index finger: One ounce of cheese.
Your palm: About 3 ounces of meat, fish or poultry.
One handful: One ounce of nuts.
Two handfuls: Two ounces of pretzels
Many dieters want someone to hold them accountable, making sure they stick with their program. Commercial weight-loss programs and health care professionals can help. Or simply check in with family, co-workers, neighbors and friends. They can offer support by taking walks with you at work or in the neighborhood. They might be willing to listen to you talk about what you’re eating —— or not eating. Or they can call you daily to see how you’re doing.

Dine out without pigging out
Some pointers: Choose your restaurant with care. Don’t go famished or you’ll overeat. Don’t drink your calories. Order no-calorie or low-calorie drinks. Skip the bread basket. Start off with a low-calorie soup like minestrone or won-ton. And order salad dressings and sauces on the side. Try the “dip and stab” method. Dip a fork in a cup of dressing, then spear your salad.

Plan for a splurge
If you are going to a big party or out to dinner, conserve calories for the big meal without starving yourself. At the other times during the day, eat more low-calorie foods such as simple soups, raw or cooked vegetables and light bread and popcorn

Pile on the veggies
Add vegetables, salads and low-calorie soups to your meal plans. Research shows that people eat the same weight of food each day, so experts believe that increasing fruits and vegetables so that meals are higher in fiber and water will help people lower their calories without feeling deprived.

Move it to lose it
Ideally, people who are trying to lose weight should exercise for 30 to 60 minutes a day. A recent study showed that many types of exercise help with losing, and in fact, walking on your own can be as effective for weight loss as going to the gym.

Pick up the pace
Start making small changes to your daily routine. Take a 10- to 15-minute walk before work in the morning, at lunch and then when you get home at night. Build from there. Or buy a pedometer and try to work up to 10,000 steps a day.

Watch the liquid
Many people consume hundreds of extra calories a day with sodas, juices, alcohol and other high-calorie drinks.

Get a B mentality
Consider yourself a B student when it comes to your diet and follow the 80-20 rule. About 80% of the foods you eat should be lean protein such as poultry, fish and beans; fruits and vegetables; low-fat dairy; high-fiber grain products; and healthier fats such as olive oil. The other 20% can be foods that are not as healthful.

Plan some 300-calorie meals
Some examples: a BLT without mayo; one-half bagel with 1 ounce of cream cheese and a half-cup of orange juice; two poached eggs on an English muffin; a Wendy’s junior cheeseburger. You can use meal replacement bars and shakes to help control calories.

Downsize your dishes
People take less when they use smaller serving dishes and tall, narrow glasses instead of short wide ones, a study showed.

Indulge your sweet tooth
If you allow yourself occasional treats, you’re less likely to feel deprived, nutritionists say. Here are some ideas: a frozen chocolate kiss; cappuccino made with skim milk; individually wrapped mint; bite-size candy bar; gingersnaps.

Keep it off
People who have lost weight and kept it off limit their daily calories to about 1,800 a day and walk about 4 miles a day. A survey of  a group of 5,000 people who lost an average of 73 pounds and kept off at least 30 pounds for more than six years.

 

Thanks For Reading!

%d bloggers like this: