Friday, May 6, 2011

Weight loss is simple...

But it's not easy. 

It's simple that you need to manipulate your body to use more of its stored energy (i.e. fat).  But it's not easy because doing this takes work. But here are the nuts and bolts of weight loss. 

Increase fat mobilization through increasing resting metabolic rate. This is everything. Unless you don't care where the weight comes from you just want to see it drop. But most of us would rather lose fat than muscle. So how do we get your resting metabolism up? 
  • Exercise. This is the hard part. You have to work above what you're used to. And this can get pretty uncomfortable. You have to stress your muscles to make them grow!
  • Eat protein. Each time we eat, our body kicks up it's resting metabolism as a response to having to break down food. It takes energy to process food. Protein has a higher resting metabolism than both carbs and fat. So you need to be sure to eat protein with each meal. What has protein in it? Here is a past blog that discusses this in detail.
  • Recover well. When you don't recover from exercise, your body releases stress hormones that tell the body to, among other things, "store more fat because this is a stressful time!" So when you recover well by sleeping 7-8 hours a night, getting to bed before 10pm and drinking plenty of fluids and eating to replenish energy stores and rebuild muscle, your body feels free to use fat for energy. THE WORST thing you could do is to stop eating or go on an extreme low-calorie diet. This makes recovery difficult, slows down the body's metabolism to a screeching halt and causes your body to store fat.
The Fat Burning Zone in action.
Another thing to remember, their really isn't a "fat-burning" zone. The best fat burning zone is when you're doing absolutely nothing. So how can you really kick up the fat burning zone? 

Exercise hard, eat often and recover well. All of these work to increase your resting metabolic rate by up to 50%. The harder you exercise the higher your metabolism is after the workout. 
So if you're sore from this weeks Hi-5 FitCamp go for a 20 minute walk, stretch or attend a yoga class. All of these are low-intensity and will help ease soreness and get blood moving through to your muscles to improve recovery!

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