Healthy Weight is as Easy as 1, 2, 3

Do you really want to know the magic equation for successful weight loss? It’s a very simple 3-prong approach:

1. NUTRITION NOT diet – Unless you are morbidly obese or have health issues that require you to be on specific doctor recommended food and calorie restrictions – you do not need to try one of these fad diets. When considering a “diet” of any type – think long term – are you going to be able to continue these eating habits? If not, it’s really just a fad diet and your chances of actually gaining more FAT weight afterwards is greatly increased. These lose-weight-quick diets result in water and lean muscle (protein) weight loss – NOT the fat weight that you want to lose. You don’t want to be losing ANY of your muscle mass – see below for the reason. Keep it simple and follow My Pyramid or more simply, eat everything with balance, variety and of course moderation.

Take the stairs!

Take the stairs!

2. CARDIO, Cardio, cardio – You HAVE to find the time to get a minimum of 30+ minutes MOST days of the week of moderate to intense cardio activity. While a half hour or more leisurely stroll is great, if that is the extent of your physical activity you will NOT see results. You need to push the edge and get a little uncomfortable to see change. That means sweating, out of breath, heart rate and blood pressure up.

If it’s too difficult to maintain this then do intervals of higher intensity activity (jog or sprint) with lower intensity recoveries (brisk walk or jog). Understanding your Perceived Exertion will definitely help you reach the correct intensities. Now along with this it’s essential that you keep active throughout the day. Even if you follow the above guidelines, but sit on your duff the rest of the day, you’re sabotaging all that hard work. So get up and move around; walk; take the stairs; stretch; just try not to be sedentary for more than an hour at a time.

3. STRENGTH or Resistance Training – Often overlooked by women for fear of “bulking up” (a myth), strength training builds lean muscle mass – our muscle mass is our furnace or calorie burner. If you’re trying to lose weight (fat weight to be specific) you definitely do NOT want to lose any muscle weight (which usually occurs on these fad diets I mentioned above). In fact, increasing your muscle mass will further increase your calorie torching potential during your workouts and while at rest (this is your basal metabolic rate). How great to be constantly using up cals while on the computer, driving or watching TV?  Strength training consists of any type of resistance exercise whether you use weights, bands, water jugs or your own body weight. It will also tone and give definition to those muscles.

These are the three key aspects to unlock the success of long-term weight loss. All three are required equally. If there is an imbalance of these you will not see success as fast or at all. It generally comes down to the amount (and type) of cals taken in or consumed (nutrition) and how much we burn or use up daily (cardio and strength training).

Two notes to remember:

– For lasting weight loss – slower is better. Dropping 1-2 pounds/week will ensure you are losing fat weight and that it will stay off.

– You most likely did not put the weight on over night or even over a month so don’t expect it to come off that quickly.

girls drinking water bottleFor more eating and living well, read Dr Karen Latimer’s post: A Fitness Plan That Works.

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.