If you feel that your weight loss efforts have been stalled when you don’t lose as many pounds as you want. It’s a common obstacle. It’s very often that you hit a plateau when you have experienced large amounts of weight loss in the past.
You have to know a few things if you want to pass this obstacle.
1. “Diet” Foods
A lot of people think, because of some companies, that they have to eat foods with words like “reduced” or “fat-free” on the label if they want to lose weight. They can ask us if these statements are true but most of the time they are wrong and companies only do that in order to convince people of their products and making money.
Most diet foods are highly processed because most of the time they are packed with sodium and contain a lot of ingredients that are not natural at all. However, the other problem with these type of products is that they are not ideal for a healthy body and often leave people feeling hungry.
Unlike natural foods, they cause you to feel hungry again in no time and can even lead what you just ate being stored as fat because your body quickly breaks down processed foods and It’s not the case with natural food.
You have to focus on eating meals with natural foods if you want the food that you eat help you to lose weight.
2. Being Stressed
You can reduce your quality of life and prevent yourself from losing weight because of stress.
The cortisol is a hormone that produced by your body when you’re stressed and involves your body to hold onto more fat. It’s a vicious cycle because the stress reduces your weight loss and when you realize that you have not lost weight, it causes more stress and the cycle continues.
You have to find a way to deal with the stress if you don’t want it to become a toll on your life and on your weight loss. The sleep is the most important source of stress but many people overlook it. For example, when you don’t sleep enough, even if it’s a minor issue, it can appear as a big deal, comes up during your day and be a source of stress.
To improve your sleep, you have to make a commitment with your weight loss and for example, instead of staying on your computer and pushing back your bedtime for one hour, you stop it and start relaxing when it’s time for you to go to your bed.
Moreover, regular exercises can help you to deal with the stress because challenging yourself and working up involve a release of all the tension that you have. Thanks to regular workouts sessions you also burn calories for your weight loss.
3. Willpower Depletion
Most people think that they have to try a little harder to force themselves into doing something when it concerns weight loss or other challenges. Your willpower is a limited resource and it’s important that you understand this because it doesn’t mean that you lack discipline when you’re unable to force yourself to do something. Several studies shown that everybody has a certain amount of willpower to be used and when we reached it we have to rest in order to replenish it.
You have to change the way that you approach losing weight if you want success and can’t expect to ride yourself 24 hours a day. There isn’t any way to avoid burn out if everything you do, relates to weight loss, seems like a burden. You won’t have to exert as much willpower to keep yourself on track if you change your perception of how you approach weight loss.
You have to find healthy options you like to change your perception. There are many ways to make losing weight a easier goal as for example focusing on nutritious foods that you like or calorie burning activities.
4. Adding Muscle
The muscle is your fat burner and putting it on isn’t actually an obstacle even if you’re a woman because instead of eliminating your feminine figure, adding muscle will help you highlight your best assets by toning them.
Adding muscle involves progress and it’s the reason why we brought it up because people start to mistakenly think they aren’t losing weight. They’re getting rid of fat but adding muscle and it’s a reason why people don’t see big changes on the scale.
You have to regularly keep measuring your body fat and not baseing everything on the number you see on the scale in order to avoid to be mistakenly driven off track.
5. Unrealistic Expectations
You are setting yourself up for failure if you start your weight loss by telling yourself that you need to lose 30 pounds in a month for example.
Our clients are able to lose at least seven pounds a month if you need an idea of a reasonable amount of weight loss to expect. Your goals have to be within reason if you want to maximize your weight loss.
You can put your weight loss goal in the program that you follow and know that you’re on the right track.
When winter approaches, people try to burn those final few pounds off, by adopting healthy eating and starting regular exercise
You just have to create a sensible eating plan by adding the right types of exercises to your routine to get the winter body that you want. You still have plenty of time to lose some weight and tone your physique for the best look.
1. Plan, Plan, PLAN!
It will be nearly impossible to reach your fitness goals if they are too general because you don’t have a set of specifics to use as a frame of reference. However most of the time, because they fail to adequate plan, people don’t get the results that they wanted.
In order to keep you accountable for your fitness goals and reducing your urges to snack, you have to schedule your workouts and prepare healthy meals ahead of time. However, this could be the best way to break a cycle of procrastination. You can take 10 minutes today to write down your schedule for the next few weeks, you have to put specific times to prepare your healthy meals every day and scheduling 3 exercise routines too.
2. Combine Cardio and Resistance Exercises
Most of the time, it seems that the best way to loose weight is to do cardio all the time.
Resistance training is better because it increases your metabolism and is going to allow you to burn more fat than Cardio which doesn’t build up lean muscle. However, for more intense workouts sessions, you will need to build your cardio vascular strength and your heart rate, and those things will be involved by resistance exercises.
You have to split your workout schedule into short sessions, as for example into half cardio and half resistance exercise. This way helps you see the results that you want for your body. However, you have to devote more than half your workouts to resistance exercises for toning up your body if you don’t have to lose a lot of pounds.
You can choose a resistance exercise that you like, such as push up rows, squats or lunges, make it your personal goal to master that exercise at the end of the week.
3. Focus on Intensity Instead of Time
You have to increase the intensity of each session if you want to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. However, you have to move quickly from one exercise set to the next without a break in between if you want your workout session training to be effective.
4. Add Healthy Foods Instead of Depriving Yourself
You don’t have to completely restrict your food intake if you reduce your calories.
This practice can involve that your body may store more fat instead of burning it. Therefore, it can send the wrong signals to your body and slow down your metabolism. You have to replace nutritionally-empty foods by healthy meals like lean meats, vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
You can focus on replacing the nutrition foods that you eat for breakfast or your dinner for healthier options. For example you can change cereal to eggs or a bowl of oatmeal with fruits at the breakfast and replace pasta for spinach for your dinner.
St Johns Wood blog by Imran Ilahi
Many people who do cardio exercises regularly are still struggling to lose weight because they’re not doing any type of resistance exercise and think that they have to do more cardio to continue losing weight.
If you want to be successful in your weight loss, you don’t have to overlook the muscle. Here are 3 reasons for which you have to include resistance exercises in your weight loss plan.
1. Burn More Calories
Numerous products try to increase their sales by saying that you can burn more calories even if you don’t work out. But you don’t need them to do that, the only thing that you have to do is to carry out resistance exercises in order to add more muscle in your body.
Your body has to spend more energy to maintain muscle than it does to maintain fat and it means that it’s really possible to increase the amount of burn’s calories. When you use more energy it means that you burn more calories because calories are a measurement of energy.
2. Look Leaner
Thanks to the density of muscle, because it takes up less space than fat, each pound that you shift is a step towards a leaner look.
Even if you don’t see any progress in weight loss, you could notice a physical change because for example you can exchange 7 pounds of fat for muscle and don’t progress in your weight loss but will see improvements in your appearance. It’s the reason why you don’t have to judge your weight loss progress by looking at a scale. Moreover you can use other tools such as monthly pictures and having body fat measured which will help you avoid getting discouraged.
The muscle is a determining factor for woman who want to achieve the lean and toned look and the impact is not limited to men. Women don’t have enough testosterone to naturally build big muscles. Therefore, lifting weights and adding muscle won’t lead to a bulky figure.
3. Be Healthier
Resistance exercises have positive consequences on your quality of life but also on your health.
A study at the University of California shown that when you add muscle to your body it could directly decrease the risk of diabetes. Loseing weight have some positive consequences on your health and adding muscle.
To deal with medical conditions, another university found that muscle can help people. Indeed, when you suffer a serious injury, it involves a lot of stress on your body and researchers shown that some people were more successful to manage this increase demand because of their important muscle mass. This study found too that it is also true for most of chronic diseases.
Conclusion: How Can You Get the Most Out of Resistance Exercises?
It’s important to make resistance exercises as effective as possible because they play a vital role in your weight loss plan:
Even if you don’t need to keep a track of every details of your workouts, you can use a log which allow you to write your progress and continue to challenge you. Moreover, you can use your mobile to take notes and evaluate much weight you should use during your next workout.
You have to embrace variety to rotating the muscle you work and get enough rest to give your muscle the time to recover between workouts. It will give you the best results and avoid you overtraining.
Where do you start among everything you have already heard about losing weight? weights? Healthy lifestyle? Diets? Cardio? it’s difficult to find the nuggets of truth but I’m here to restore the truth and you will see that it’s not as confusing as it seems.
So what’s the big deal? WHERE ON EARTH do we start?!
We find with of our clients that the hardest part of losing weight is getting started. Because there are so many weight loss programs that it can appear overwhelming for them.
Is it the reason which is holding you back?
A lot of people read books to find the perfect plan to guarantee their weight loss however, it’s precisely these people who struggle to get started because they want to do everything perfect according to the plan they found.
It could be you…
You must considered all the factors related to human nature, as your emotions can effect weight loss, when you start a workout and those elements are not taken in your plan, even if it seems perfect on paper.
Losing weight means you’re going to have great days, but you’re also going to have days when you feel like nothing is going your way.
You need to understand that any perfect plan exists and know that there will always be challenges that go along with weight loss. You must assimilate these two elements to be able to take action.
The best way to get started is to just do something.
There is no magic bullet to weight loss but you can try to make adjustments and see what better works for you.
Don’t wait for…
- The kids to be a little older
- Your body to stop creaking and groaning
- The new diet fad to kick in
- The perfect gym with the perfect equipment
- A positive world in the midst of stress and negativity
You should take a decision right now.
- Make time in your schedule
- Find a way to work out even with the kids around
- Take control of your body
- Start small instead of waiting for the perfect magic diet plan
- Go where they get results instead of where they have fancy equipment and shiny new toys
- Make your world positive
The slogan which should appear on the doors of a gym should be: “half the battle is getting here”. This phrase is true.
It can be very difficult to getting started with a workout. However, most of the time, people really enjoy it and after one or two weeks they are able to stick with a workout. They see the challenge aspect and the consistent results which are involved.
What Happens When You Stop Losing Weight or Getting Stronger?
You can notice results rapidly when you start consistently working out for the first time. You will lose weight if you combine cardio and resistance exercises. Moreover, you will become stronger and more toned.
For people who follow this plan, you can wait for one to two months to see real results but for everyone, there is a point where you stop to progress. At the beginning you think that you had a bad workout and when you continue and you see that there is no more improvements, you start to get concerned.
We speak about a hitting plateau. You need to learn how to manage a plateau so you aren’t totally derailed from working out because stalled progress is extremely frustrating.
You have to understand what a plateau is, if you want to deal with it because your body is not used to the increased actively level when you first start working out. To fuel your workout when you start your body has to burn a lot of calories and because your muscles have not used to being worked, they become stronger.
You can’t obtain the same results after one or two months when you work out: indeed, your body is accustomed to your workouts and it becomes more efficient: it is no longer needed to burn as many calories as before. Therefore, it is not possible to obtain the same results as before.
When you’re doing the same number of reps with the same amount of weight, your body’s going to get strong enough to handle that weight and then stop improving. It is the same problem when you search to get a more toned body by increasing your strength because your body stops improving because you do the same number of reps with the same amount of weight and your body is going to get strong enough to handle the weight.
You have to change your workouts if you don’t want to stay to the fitness plateau which is the result of your body adjusting to what you’re doing during your workouts. This change is going to force your body to work as hard as possible.
You may assume that you simply need to increase the amount you’re doing if you’ve been doing the same amount of cardio.
Conversely, breaking through a plateau by increasing the intensity of your cardio may make you more successful. Whether you try different machines or different structures for your sessions, for example you can experiment with different type of cardio. The main aim is to be ramping up your intensity and adding variety.
Mainly if you’ve primarily been doing machine or isolation exercises, perform different resistance exercises is all you need to break through strength plateaus. Conversely, you should try basic exercises with free weights if your workouts were based on machine resistance exercises. A trainer can help you to teaching you proper form if you’re concerned to the exercises incorrectly.
It could be a good solution if you add compound exercises to your workouts to past your plateau, if you used free weight but that you have mainly been doing isolation exercises because they require you to use more supporting muscles and finally your body will have a much time adjusting.
Do You Really Need to Do Resistance Exercises?
Cardio helps to lose weight because it burns out more calories and many people spend all their workouts doing cardio. However, they have to complete them with resistance exercises. Indeed, they can be a good way to slim down and they aren’t only for athletes or people who want to get big.
Muscles being more compact than fat, for example, one pound of muscle takes up less space than one pound of fat, if you add more of muscle to your body and if you get rid of fat in parallel, it will give you a much slimmer physique. This is the reason why resistances exercises can help you to lose weight.
You can lose weight by increasing the amount of calories that you burn out with another way resistance exercises even if you don’t workout. Indeed, even if the amount of calories that you burn out with the cardio can still be important, when you end a session, you’re not going to burn any additional calories as a result of this workout conversely to the resistance exercise.
You can increase the number of calories you burn on daily basis if you add lean muscle to your body because your body has to burn calories to build and maintain muscle. Cardio and resistance exercises are very different.
If the only thing holding you back from doing resistance exercises is a fear of getting bulky, you can safely let this fear go. Since women’s bodies produce less testosterone than men’s, resistance exercises aren’t going to cause you to pack on mass. Instead, they will give you a lean and toned appearance.
The fear to become bulky is an aspect which can restrict people about resistance exercises but you can safely let this fear go because this type of exercises will give you a lean and toned appearance and don’t cause you to pack on mass.
One of the things you may tell yourself when you want to lose weight is that you need to “get up and get moving”. However, it doesn’t mean, even if this phrase is definitely true, that you should be pushing yourself each and every day. The plan to devote all of your free time to this pursuit can actually backfire even if it’s easy to feel like you’re only going to get result from working out.
Giving your body enough time to recover from your workouts is part of successfully losing weight. There are some reasons which are very important if wondering why sleep and rest are such a big deal:
1. Reduce the Odds of Getting off Track: if you want to get results from your workouts, you have to push yourself because it’s an important part of the final result.
You have to be aware about your immune system. If you ignore sleep and rest, you’re going to take your body to its breaking point. You can push yourself without a weak immune system. It’s better for you to get thrown out of routine for several days than take only one day off from working out.
2. Stay Sharp: if you are aware and you get enough sleep each night, you could avoid your weight loss sabortage.
3. Avoid Sabotaging Weight Loss: if you don’t make sleep a priority you can restrict the progress that you’re able to make from workouts. Indeed, if you don’t get enough sleep, it could involve stress on your body and one of its responses to the stress can be to store more fat than normal.
4. Keep a Smile: If you want to maintain a positive outlook, sleep and rest are essential. Losing weight should be something which improves your quality of life but if you don’t sleep or allow your body to recover, it could be causes of temporary depression.
5. Healthy Heart: If you combine enough rest with challenging workouts you can avoids some negatives consequences, like high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues, and enjoy all the benefits of a healthy heart.
6. Refuel Your Body: Rest and consistently eating with quality foods are important for supporting the time that you spend working out. In fact, when you work out, you deplete your body of a energy known as glycogen, which is stored and your body can’t function properly if it’s running on empty.
7. Keep Your Motivation High: the motivation is also essential to lose weight. Often, when people give up on losing weight, it’s because they are burnt out. You can avoid that by rest and sleep. Motivation and rest are linked.
The foods you eat in your daily diet always have a tremendous influence when it comes to supporting a strong skeletal system.
You would find great difficulty in seeing some solid bone remodelling if you are not getting enough level of calcium and vitamin D.
However, even when your diet is covered, it is essential to realise and understand the importance of an appropriate exercise program that will further boost and improve your overall bone strength and development.
Dieting and exercises go together with pretty much all elements of health, especially building a strong skeletal system and structure which we will talk about. Let’s walk through some of the best exercises to consider performing to help maintain and develop stronger bones.
Primarily, you should regularly be participating in weight lifting. Even though bodyweight training is great for building bone strength, nothing beats free weight lifting.
Adding excess weight – in the form of external weights – will work great for building up bone tissue since it will apply overloading force and tension, resulting in your bones repairing and adapting to become stronger.
Just as how your muscles can only develop to a certain point with regular bodyweight training, so does your bones. External weights are best choice for maximum bone strength.
Pilates and Yoga
These are two other forms of exercise to consider when wanting to increase bone strength. You might think these would do much to enhance your bone strength especially since they aren’t overloading in terms of stress applied to the bones, but they work wonders for developing your tendons and ligaments which in turn develop joint and bone strength as well.
Finally, this exercise should be the easiest one. As far as bone building is concerned, nothing is going to beat walking. Whenever you have the chance, go for a walk, it’s a great weight bearing activity that at the same time wont overstress the bones and not placing far too much tension and strain on them, just enough pressure to keep your joints strong and bones solid.
So take a look at your workout program you are currently taking. Are you incorporating the right exercises to build strong bones?
A lot of studies have been carried out to prove DEVELOPING MUSCLE imposes BURNING FAT.
So we are going to have a look at something that does make you fat… CARDIO.
This is why:
Cardio that is done at a low intensity such as jogging or the cross trainer makes your receptors for muscle building blunt. In the end you will be stopping your body from building muscle.
Not only that, low intensity cardio uses up your muscles to fuel for exercise most of the time. So other than stopping your body from growing and making new muscle, you are actually burning away your current muscle. Think about your arms and your leg muscles decreasing from cardio.
If that doesn’t get to you then here’s another reason:
Your body has an incredible ability to adapt. Cardio can also teach your body to become more inefficient at burning calories. Since your body would have less muscle, your body would adapt by burning less calories, making cardio a lot less affective.
When talking about muscle building, cardio hurts that too.
Cardio actually teaches your body to develop types of muscle fibres that are better at cardio, and that doesn’t grow.
“WHY WOULD THIS MAKE ME FAT?”
In the end, you are going to decrease your body’s ability to burn fat because you are eating away at your muscles and not rebuilding them after you do and you are going to decrease your metabolism.
If your body has less muscle, that means it has less calories to burn, and if you take in the same amount of calories that you usually do, the rest or it will just be stored as fat.
“SO WHAT SHOULD I DO?”
You want to get rid of that body fat and have a slimmed toned body? LIFT WEIGHTS! Build muscle and watch as your fat melt away, even while you rest.
I am NOT saying don’t do cardio. I am saying weight lifting will help enforce losing weight more efficiently AND develop your muscles.
The amount of clients and just people I know in general turn around and tell me they are on the new “21 day transformation” or the new “3 week fat burner” they have ripped out from a random lifestyle or fitness magazine or read online.
Let me just make it clear from now… DO NOT USE OTHER DIETS!
Everyone’s diet needs to be personalised to that person. Everyone is unique; you have a different metabolic rate, exercise schedule, lean body mass, physical and lifestyle activity level and so on. When it comes to diets, there is no one size fits all, so why would anyone think another person’s diet would work for them?!
So, as some people find out, what would happen if you were to follow some of these crazy diets (most of the time aimed at females)? Yes, you lose weight.
“But that is my goal, so how is that bad?”
I am going to give you a really good example from one of my clients who actually went through one of these diets. For the clients protection let’s call her “Karen”, she needs to eat 2000 calories every day to maintain her body weight. This means that if she ate that amount every day she would stay at the same weight.
However Karen is not satisfied with her current looks and wants to “tone up”, so she decided to lose some “bodyfat”. Not the right way, but let us see what happened.She found a plan in one of her fitness magazines and put it to use straight away.
The diet plan that she was working on had her eating only 1000 calories per day. This means she is eating 1000 calories LESS than what her body is burning, every day. This is great in theory, but the bodies anatomy is smarter than that… and you should be too.
So Karen ended up losing 5lbs in the first week, 3lbs in the second and 2lbs in the third. So she in 3 weeks lost about 10lbs. Great right? For now.
Let’s take a little closer look at what really happened.
She first lost a significant amount of weight by dropping 1000 calories out of her diet, most of which were carbohydrates. This means her body had to use up a lot of glycogen to keep her blood sugar levels high. Each of those molecules of glycogen is bound to almost 3x as much water by weight.
If you haven’t figured it by now, she pretty much lost a lot of water weight.
Another thing is that, since the human body is so smart, Karen’s body ADAPTED, yes, bodies do that. (Notice how the numbers started to decrease as the weeks went on)
Her body realised that she wasn’t getting enough calories that she usually does, so it cut out some of the tissue which is the most energy costing to maintain… MUSCLES!
This is hitting two birds with one stone by eating away her muscles to keep her burning less calories since she is taking in less. Efficient and effective.
To satisfy the calorie needs and also cutting out its need for calories in the future, the body is able to “eat up” the muscles to get the aminos it needs.
So ultimately Karen probably lost about 5lbs of muscle, 2lbs of fat and 3lbs of water at the end of her 3 weeks.
The WORST part is, since her body is now accustomed and adapted to a 1000 calorie intake and is also burning that much, when she goes back to taking 2000 calories per day again, that will be 1000 calories MORE than what her body needs now, so she will end up with more fat that when she even started the diet AND less muscle mass.
“SO WHAT CAN I DO TO AVOIDE THIS?”
Gradually decrease your calorie intake moderately while increasing your physical activity. ALSO the more physical activity and training you do, the more calories you will need, so actually over time you will need to eat MORE not LESS, and still burn fat!
You may have been on a fat loss diet in the past or are on one now, and have had a generally good diet, leading to a decent metabolism, with good progress. You may have soon released, as you fade off from your healthy diet, thinking your metabolism can handle it, it is actually running a lot slower than it should be. Consequently you are also not burning as much calories on a daily bases as you should be, leading to progress moving at a slower pace.
For you to really boost up your metabolism and fire it up again, you have to understand what you need to do to correct your slow and sluggish metabolism and how to correct it properly. Here are the steps you should take:
Your Target Calorie Intake
You need to first consider how much your target calorie intake needs to be. What calorie level do you want to reach?
It’s said that for the majority of people doing only a few workouts per week, leading normal lives, your maintenance calorie intake is assumingly around 15 – 16 calories per pound of body weight. For people who are much more sedentary, 14 would be a better number so adjust it accordingly.
Gradually Add Calories
Here you have found out your target calorie intake, what you need to do now is begin to add calories to that number gradually. You shouldn’t add them at the same time or you can risk some excess fat gains because of your slower than normal metabolism.
You should be looking to add about 10 – 15% of your total intake every 2 – 3 days, and keep doing this until you have reached the target calorie level. You should stay at this level for at least a week, two weeks would be better, before you start to go back to dieting.
Get Sufficient Carbs
You have to focus on carbohydrate dense foods when you are trying to make up calories by adding food. Carbohydrates may not have as much calories as fat, but they are broken down a lot easier and are the body’s main source of energy, making dense carbohydrates the ones that have the most significant influence on your metabolic rate, and so it will be what produces your optimal results. You still must be taking in your proteins and fats, but focus on carbs.
There you have it; if you are suffering from a slow and damaged metabolism, try out these steps to boost it up and see faster fat loss.