DO’S AND DON’TS OF FAT LOSS
Losing those few extra pounds after a lot of hard work in the gym and dedication to your eating regimen never seems to be an easy feat BUT your lack of progress during this tough stage of weight loss could actually mean you are the biggest obstacle standing in the way. That’s right! You may be noticing that your body is no longer changing and neither is the number on the scale. Well that is the first sign that it is time to reassess what you may be doing to prevent overcoming that plateau. So do not give up yet! Let’s look at the Dos and Don’ts of Fat loss so you can overcome these common fitness mishaps and fine tune your workout plan.
Don’t go overboard with cardio.
Do mix up your cardio.
Cardio will certainly burn calories which can help you achieve your fat loss goal quicker. However, steady-state cardio like running on the treadmill for 30 minutes 5 times per week can cause your body to get burnt out, making the same ole cardio exercise less effective over time. To continue to lose weight, switch up your cardio workout duration, and type during the week. Try maintaining your steady-state cardio 1-3 days per week and add in 2-3 days of “High Intensity Interval Training” sessions. This will help you maintain a well rounded fitness regime while no longer jeopardizing your fat loss goal.
Don’t skip strength training.
Do add strength training to your current workout.
You may have heard that that a pound of muscle weighs more than fat. Well, unfortunately, a pound is a pound! However, a pound of muscle is more dense than a pound of fat. So, what does that mean? If you look at five pounds of muscle and five pounds of fat side by side, the fat will take up more volume or space than the muscle. So when trying to achieve a lean, fit body, we mustn’t forget the strength training. Exercising with weight machines/dumbbells and performing body resistance exercises like pushups and squats can help maintain muscle, burn fat, and achieve a stronger, toned physique.
Don’t focus on the number on the scale.
Do hone in on muscle gain and fat loss.
Constantly looking at the number on the scale versus your body composition can be another reason why your progress has stalled. The more muscle you have, the more calories you can burn at rest. Adding an extra 5 pounds of muscle will actually help you burn 3,500 calories per week which is in fact one pound of fat. It’s best to weigh yourself weekly just to check in with your overall weight. However, you should also conduct a percent body fat and/or lean body mass composition scan monthly to see that your hard work is actually helping you shed the fat and add some muscle.
Source: Oxygen Mag
Don’t target the calories.
Do pay attention to macro-nutrients.
When it comes to your diet and exercise, you can always begin with what you already know: calories. Once you understand your daily caloric intake goal, try breaking it into percentages for carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Since these macro-nutrients help your muscles, organs, and brain function by providing sufficient energy stores, it is extremely important to know how much of each you should consume while leading an active lifestyle. Protein especially can be an important component of muscle growth and repair, as well as maintenance of lean muscle. To encourage further fat loss, try eating approximately 1 gram of lean protein in your diet per pound of lean muscle in your body.
Do eat enough.
Fine tuning your caloric intake can help during this stage of reaching your fat loss goal. In order to lose weight, you need to expend more calories than you consume, however cutting calories too much may postpone your success. Depleting your your body of calories can hinder proper muscle, organ, and brain function, reduce lean muscle mass, make you feel less energized, and even cause your body to hold onto fat as an energy store thus decreasing your metabolism. So, if you are reaching a plateau with your diet, do not shave off 500 calories immediately. Start shedding 100 calories and allow your body to adjust for 1-2 weeks to notice your fat loss changes.
When PLATEAU has become a go to word to describe your fat loss, simply try to mix up your cardio, add some strength training, hone in on muscle gain and fat loss, pay attention to macro-nutrients, and eat enough!
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Source: Getty Images