Elements of Weight Loss Success

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weight loss success
Ensuring calories are below maintenance level can be tricky because the number of calories required varies individually by genetics, metabolism, and activity levels. There is a simple way that each individual can determine their own calorie needs – keep a food log. Keeping a food log can be as simple as writing down everything eaten in a day, or as complicated as calculating food amounts and associated calories, fat, or other nutrients.

Write down everything consumed in a day, including drinks. Once the number of calories consumed each day is known, they can be incrementally reduced to a level which allows for a healthy weight loss of one to two pounds per week, an approximately 500 to 1000 calorie per day deficit.

Cardiovascular Exercise – Putting the Fitness in Fat to Fit

The second element of long-term weight loss is cardiovascular exercise. Exercise that can be maintained at a moderate intensity level for a minimum of 30 minutes helps burn additional calories and is recommended for health benefits beyond weight loss, such as lower blood pressure, decreased cholesterol levels, and increased bone density.

Cardio exercise is beneficial from a health perspective and makes people feel good, but those hoping to lose weight should realize that exercise is not the most efficient means of creating a calorie deficit. A common assumption is that short duration of moderate exercise burns many calories.

In reality, an intensity level achievable by a typical out-of-condition person will burn a maximum of 150 to 200 calories in 30 minutes. It is far simpler and less time consuming to avoid eating 200 calories per day than it is to burn those same calories in exercise.

Weight Training Means Less Fat, More Fit

The final element of long-term weight loss success is weight training. It may seem counter-intuitive to weight train while attempting to lose weight, but weight training has been shown to improve fat loss while maintaining metabolically-active, calorie-burning muscle. People who weight train while losing weight lose more fat, and some studies have show that they lose more unhealthy abdominal fat. Weight training also has the additional benefits of increasing strength and boosting self-esteem.

Putting it All Together

Once a person is regularly doing each of these healthy behaviors, weight loss should be monitored frequently, but no more frequently than once a week. The week-long time frame is great for showing progress and allowing those wanting to transition from fat to fit to make adjustments to diet or exercise and ensure continued progress. As the body adapts to fewer calories and more exercise, adjustments will be necessary to continue to progress in weight loss, or fitness levels.

Going from fat to fit is not easy, but with vigilance and determination, anyone can lose fat and become a fitter, healthier person.

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