One of the biggest concerns and questions I run across with my patients and clients is the topic of weight loss. Not only because carrying excess Body weight is hard on their bodies and quite frankly doesn't look very good, but also many understand that their overall health is predicated on their weight and how much fat to lean muscle they have to work with.
Many of the problems I work with on a day to day basis is the loss of overall body strength from lack of exercise over the years in combination with carrying too much bodyweight.
And of course, the word diet comes up which I steer from as fast as possible.
I have never been an advocate of counting calories or using diets as the word diet for many has a negative connotation with it anyway. And counting calories and weighing food items before each meal may be something that competitive bodybuilders utilize, however, the general public will find it too time-consuming and confusing.
The bottom line when it comes to weight loss and developing a healthy body to help you maintain your energy levels, overall strength and more importantly reduce the chances of developing chronic diseases is to eat smart and exercise, yes it is that simple.
Many like to make it sound like rocket science but it really is quite easy when armed with the right information and mindset.
Eating smart meaning you must begin to reduce your sugar intake and cut back on carbohydrates that you are consuming. Your body will only need so much of the nutrients that consist of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins for repair and replenishing glucose levels and glycogen levels in the muscles for instance and, once the deposit of these foods is sufficient, the rest spills over as body fat.
The problem is many of us continue to eat these foods in excess yet we are not creating a demand for these foods that the body needs. In other words, when you are not following a high-intensity exercise program like strength training where you are using maximum weights that you can lift safely, you're not really creating a demand for the foods to help replenish your body and it simply just gets deposited as fat.
Now I cannot tell you how to tell exactly how much of these foods you can consume before you run into depositing excess body fat, everyone is different and metabolic rates differ for each of us. I, for instance, have had to use trial and error over the years and the mirror because it does not lie and see how my body is retaining the amount of food in the form of fat that I am currently eating.
Along with monitoring my food intake and the quality of the food I am eating, I am also making sure I am creating a metabolic demand for these nutrients. In other words, I am emptying the tank and using up my carbohydrate stores in the muscles in the liver for instance for energy with strength training.
This way when I come to replenish my body, I am making sure the carbs I do consume are going back into the muscle through the help of insulin and replenishing them for future workouts and day to day activities.
The same goes with fats and proteins. And as I said earlier, I had to experiment over time to see what amounts are working without developing excess body fat.
It's healthy to carry some fat, of course, there are numerous bodily functions that need fat to keep us healthy, its used to protect our internal organs and to help with hormone production just to name a couple, it's the excess that is what kills you ultimately.
Unfortunately, too many people are not active in our society and the problem of obesity to continues to rise creating problems not only for the individual ultimately through poor health but also high medical expenses and a drain on the healthcare system as a whole.
Eating foods that are as natural as possible like fruits and vegetables and lean proteins that have not been injected with hormones and antibiotics if possible and staying away from processed junk in a box and at drive-thru windows is an excellent place to start.
When it comes to types of exercise, it's no doubt high-intensity weight training involving exercise that works multiple muscle groups at once. Sitting on a bench doing isolation bicep curls will not get you results.
Sitting on a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill while you are watching your favorite reality TV show is a losing cause as well. Cardiovascular work is good but it does not even come close to strength training when it comes to losing weight and burning body fat.
Remember simplicity is the key it must be or you tend to lose interest and frustration sets in.
Now there are other factors involved that help tremendously as well that I did not mention in this post like your attitude, and your overall lifestyle. That will be discussed in future posts.
Keep your food clean, keep your muscle lean and you will be successful in achieving your goals when it comes to your body weight and your health.
Richard Haynes PTA, CPT