If your muscles could talk , do you know what they’d say?
In other blog posts, I’ve talked about fat loss and how it’s influenced by caloric intake and exercise. The examples I’ve given you previously talked about the effects of long term calorie deprivation on your efforts and why it’s not a good thing to cut calories for too long.
- slows metabolic rate (metabolism…calorie burning)
- sacrifices lean muscle for energy production
- causes plateaus in weight loss to happen
- creates a “yo-yo” syndrome when calories are increased
…just to name a few. Now, we’ll focus on the best ways to lose fat while keeping your calories higher while simultaneously losing fat. Sounds good right?
As we’ve talked about before, there are some steps you can do to fire up your metabolism. Steps, that once implemented, turn you into one of those women others snicker about because you could eat a bowl of ice cream and still have set of sexy washboard abs! The only way that this could even happen would be because of your metabolism…and we all want one that gobbles up calories. Am I right?
OK…on to the nitty-gritty.
Pick up some weights. That’s right. Begin a resistance training program. If you’re already training with weights, ditch the pink dumbbells. We’re talking about some challenging weights. You see, when you cut calories and don’t exercise with weights, weight loss has shown to come equally from both lean muscle and body fat. So in essence, you’re taking two steps forward and two steps back. NOT ideal.
My suggestion is to get off the treadmill, for now, and adopt a weight training program that focuses on exercises that work your entire body. Use compound exercises because they utilize multiple muscle groups and involve multiple joints. Basically, you’ll expend more energy and create more demand on your body. By doing that, you’ll get much more bang for your buck on increasing your metabolism.
Ok, let’s move on to # 2.
Protein is your new BFF. We’re looking to stimulate a metabolic increase, provide satiety and control a number of important hormones for optimizing fat loss. And getting sufficient protein is where it’s at! Here’s what fitness competitors and bodybuilders have known for years…
…protein keeps them lean! If you’re not a bodybuilder lifting insane amounts of weight, then your needs are slightly less. Nonetheless, protein has a higher thermic effect (TE) than does carbohydrates or fat.
So what’s thermic effect?
It simply means the amount of energy expended due to the ingestion and digestion of food. Your metabolism increases to process the food. Let me reiterate….your metabolism actually has a two fold increase over carbs or fat that can last for hours after eating. So we know we need to weight train, preferably three or more times per week. We also need to include generous amounts of lean protein in our meals.
Eat! Ideally four or five meals per day. Starving yourself is not sustainable and what we’re talking about here is sustaining a fat loss nutritional program without starving yourself.
Not only does eating nutrient rich meals every 3-4 hours supply your body with a host of healthy nutrients, it keeps thyroid function up, leptin levels normal and insulin levels stable. All of which contribute mightily to an increased metabolism, also known as…your FAT CELL INCINERATOR!
Replace typical cardio with Intervals.
Did you know that the average distance runner has higher body fat levels than an elite sprinter. Interesting, huh!
What’s the basis of an interval? There’s lot’s of ways to work intervals into your exercise program, but let me touch on a couple good ways.
Example of a cardio based intervals:
Pick an exercise such as running, biking, rowing, whatever…really doesn’t matter. After a 5-10 minute moderate warm-up, you’d perform the activity like this:
30 seconds – all out exertion
60 seconds – 0 to 50% exertion
That’s it. You simply alternate 30 seconds of HIGH effort with a recovery phase. Like I said, there are a gazillion ways you could format these effective boogers, but that’s the general basis. One caveat I’d like to give you is to keep the HIGH exertion time to 60 seconds or less. A 2:1 recovery to work ratio is a good rule of thumb, but not set in stone. You could perform the same type of interval training with resistance exercises as follows.
Perform a set of jumping pull-ups for 30 seconds followed immediately by a superman hold for a minute. Dynamic / Static
So there you have it….4 effective ways to explode your fat loss and get your metabolism working in your favor instead of against you.
Let me give you one more thing to chew on…
What I want you to understand is that there is a direct correlation between….
==> Caloric intake, Meal frequency, Exercise exertion and Exercise frequency <==
It’s not a coincidence that our leanest clients are…
- Active 5+ days per week
- Include intervals at least twice per week
- Eat 4-5 protein rich meals per day
- Drink at least 80oz of water per day
- Managing stress well
- Setting and writing out their goals
AND are steadfastly CONSISTENT with all of it!!