Exercise And Healthy Eating
The aim of an exercise program is to lose fat without losing muscle and without reducing metabolic rate. The exercise needs to be customized to fitness level and to specific goal of fat loss.
Together aerobic exercise and resistance training are the ideal combination of exercise to achieve fat loss and it should be part of your lifestyle.
Aerobic exercise metabolizes calories and raises the metabolic rate. The heart rate needs to be raised to a comfortable level for 20 – 30 minutes at least 3 times per week. By exercising aerobically, calories will be burnt at a rate of 300 + per hour depending on your weight and fitness level.
If you consider that just 1 pound of body fat has approx. 4,100 calories, then you can get a rough idea, of just how long it will take to shed those extra pounds permanently. Look again at how long it took to put them on, normally years or a complete lifetime of your own bodily abuse.
Personally, I recommend that you work at a level that you know that you can maintain for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes. The debate comes in, when various fitness bodies suggest training at a high heart rate 75/90 % of max, for short periods or 55/80 % of maximum heart rate for easier longer periods.
In short try both methods, unless you are a complete beginner to fitness, in which case I would recommend training at a steady pace for as long as comfortably possible.
Aerobic exercise will also raise the metabolic rate for approx. 24 hours after you have finished training. This helps to burn up extra calories and prevents the metabolic rate declining.
Resistance (or weight) Training:
Inactive people lose about 10 % of their muscle mass every 10 years after the age of 25. However with regular resistance training it is possible to regain this muscle mass.
Resistance training should be carried out 2-3 times per week for approx. 30 minutes. Although not generally effective as aerobic training for burning calories, resistance training will still burn about 250-500 calories per hour and will raise metabolic rate.
Weight training will not develop your body to resemble a body builder, but it will create the ability to burn more calories in a 24 hour period. Another important point is that muscle will not turn into fat, if you stop training. The muscle tissue will naturally break down and shrink in size.
Important point because lean muscle tissue weighs more than body fat, your actual body weight may stay the same, during the early stages of your new lifestyle regime. Don’t be alarmed, the weight will come of, however if it does not, your overall ratio of body fat compared to lean muscle tissue, will certainly be in a healthier ratio.
Try and avoid using the scales for this reason, unless they can monitor your body fat as well, instead measure your body at various points e.g. your hips, chest, stomach and thighs.
Using an item of clothing is also a good way to measure yourself, as with a bit of time and dedication, you will find that the clothing fits you properly. You will at a point lose inches and stop losing weight for about a 2-4 week period typically.
Good nutrition is very important for fat loss, and focusing on health and health promoting foods is far more productive than focusing on fat loss and denial of favorite foods. Adopting a whole food diet, avoiding salt, fat, sugar, additives, preservatives, processed and refined foods, needs to become part of a life style change.
By increasing natural foods with a high fiber and water content (fruit and vegetables) more food can be eaten to appease the appetite without gaining weight.
A whole food diet also has a much higher vitamin and mineral content than a typical diet containing processed and refined foods. Dieting is such a negative term – I like to think of it as “eating to lose weight.”
The following charts compare the caloric value and expenditure values of different foods and activities respectively. It is important to realize just how much work is required to burn off certain foods.
For instance, to burn the amount of calories in a chocolate chip cookie, it requires a person to walk vigorously for over 20 minutes. A cookie has a caloric value of 110 calories. A person must walk for a 20 minute time period to burn off that one cookie.
Pre – Post Workout Meals
Before Your Cardio Workout
Before Your Lifting or PT Workout
Carbohydrates – 75 – 100%
Carbohydrates 75% & Protein 25%
Prior to running, swimming, biking etc…at medium to high intensity levels for 30-40 minutes, it is best to eat a small snack to boost sugar levels in your body especially if your workout is before your morning meal.
After a night of sleeping and not eating for over 10-12 hours, you need a boost to help you get through the workout. Fruit or fruit juice is fine 20 minutes prior to workout and during is fine. Foods with small amounts of protein
1-2 hours prior to lifting eat protein foods and carbohydrates so the protein is there for you after the workout. Lifting weights and doing high repetition calisthenics will break down your muscles and require protein immediately after your workout – within 30 minutes.
Foods high in carbohydrates to replace the loss of glycogen stores are needed within this time too. can be eaten pre-workout and will help post workout requirements of protein too. Sample Ideas for pre-workout snack are:
For a great rule of thumb – after you workout eat protein, carbohydrates and minimize fatty foods. Foods that should be considered are:
Bananas, apples, oranges, carrots, juice, Gatorade, (any fruit of choice really).
Before workouts longer than 30-40 minute, add some protein to stabilize absorption rates so you can last longer:
Eat the following about 1-2 hours prior to exercise: Yogurt, protein drink*, milk, boiled egg, slice of meat or cheese, Slimfast meal replacement bar Sip water and carbohydrate drink throughout the workout
*Met-rx powder is highly recommended – I like to take ½ of recommended amount.
Pre-workout ideas for lifters / PTers:
Bananas, berries, boiled eggs, tuna fish, Met-rx Drink / bar.
Protein or carb replacement drinks are great if post workout occurs mid-day or early morning. See above meal options for protein and carbohydrates sources and these below:
Tuna, chicken, boiled eggs, and green leafy salads with tomatoes, broccoli, cucumber, carrots, onions, and light dressing or oil.
It is easy to design a dehydration diet that results in losing 10 lb. of water within several days. Many people are encouraged by these rapid results. Dehydration of only 2-3 % of body weight can result in a drop in physical performance.
Your body is over 75% water and needs this percentage to remain close to that amount in order to function properly. Sweat is not only water, but salt and electrolytes. These compounds help regulate nerve and muscular function.
Without them entire systems start to break down and this can be fatal. Also, once you stop sweating, there is no mechanism in your body to regulate body temperature and you could overheat and die from heat stroke.
Removing additional water from your digestive system by diuretics and laxatives causes the kidneys to overwork and eventually stop functioning.
When this occurs the liver assists the body in excretion waste products (if it can) and it stops with its primary mission of metabolizing fat as an energy source. So in a nutshell, you shut down your entire metabolism and your body tries desperately to cling onto any remaining water and fat.
This actually can cause the opposite desired affect – your body now is retaining water and fat just to survive. I call this camel mode.
This process is a vicious cycle. The true way to burn fat and lose weight for the long term is to actually drink water plus exercise.
I usually drink over a gallon of water a day but I exercise for more than two hours a day usually. I would recommend 2-3 quarts for women and 3-4 quarts for men per day of water to see huge results in weight loss. The equation looks like this:
Fat loss = water + oxygen (from cardio vascular exercise)
Typical and safe weight loss amounts range from 2-3 pounds per week from using this formula. Any weight loss more than that and you are losing water weight – which will come back as quickly as it left.
Adopting a whole food diet, avoiding salt, fat, sugar, additives, preservatives, processed and refined foods, needs to become part of a life style change. By increasing natural foods with a high fiber and water content (fruit and vegetables) more food can be eaten to appease the appetite without gaining weight.
A whole food diet also has a much higher vitamin and mineral content than a typical diet containing processed and refined foods. Dieting is such a negative term – I like to think of it as “eating to lose weight.” Together aerobic exercise and resistance training are the ideal combination of exercise to achieve fat loss and it should be part of your lifestyle.