Welcome to the kick off of the weekend....glorious Friday! The weather is getting better and better and all our thoughts are turning to SUMMER and fun outside, the lake, hiking, swimming, etc. etc.! There is still plenty of time to work on getting your weight loss goals accomplished in time for your summer activities!
Many of us in the "baby boomer" age bracket know all too well the struggle of keeping our desired figures. It seems sometimes we think we are doing everything right but still, we struggle.
What if I told you there may be hidden factors you are not aware of that are holding you back from accomplishing your weight loss goals? That is what we are going to share with you in a 3 part series. We have identified for you, 15 Secret Tips for Weight Loss that we will break down into 3 separate blog posts of 5 tips each. This way you can really focus on working on each tip and adjusting your health journey to better help you in reaching your weight loss goal.
Tip #1: Do not solely focus on the scale weight! Too much focus on scale weight can undermine your progress in other areas of body adjustment. The weight on the scale is only one measure of how your weight loss journey is moving along. It can vary by time of day, fluid level, and food that remains in your system. It is known that weight can fluctuate around 4 pounds throughout the day, depending on how much you're eating and drinking.
Some women hold more water in their system than others due to hormonal changes and balances. You may be losing fat mass but retaining water. Also, muscle weighs more than fat; if you are working out, you may be gaining muscle! That is a good thing!
One way to really determine weight loss is to notice how your clothing is fitting. Are your waist bands seemingly looser? Great! You are losing weight in all the right places! Despite no changes you may be experiencing on the scale, you are losing unwanted fat around the middle.
One suggestion is to measure your waist and take before and after pictures to really see the fat coming off.
Tip #2: Do not eat too many or even too few calories. Yes, you do need to eat less calories than you will burn for the day. "Old school" rule of thumb was that you needed to decrease your caloric intake by 3500 calories per week to lose 1 pound. But today, new research has determined that this can vary from person to person.
It is a good idea to journal your food intake because we tend to underestimate what we eat and how much. We may think we are eating less calories than we really are. Also, eating healthy foods like nuts and cheeses can be higher calorie. This is when portion control helps out to be sure you're eating a healthy portion of the healthy food.
On the other side of the spectrum, eating too few calories can send us into starvation mode. Research shows that eating fewer than 1000 calories a day can actually lead to muscle loss and a slowing of metabolism---both not good for a healthy body. Another factor in consuming too few calories is that it may lead us to over indulge at our next feeding. This can lead to episodes of starvation that lead to binge eating and the cycle continues as long as you're starving your body of necessary calories and nutrients.
Tip #3: Do not skip exercising or exercising too much. When we lose weight, we will typically lose fat and some muscle as well. How much muscle loss will depend on what exercise we are doing or not doing. If you just restrict calories for weight loss, you WILL lose muscle. This will lead to a lower metabolism, which makes weight maintenance difficult.
Exercise will help you lose fat, build muscle and minimize muscle loss which helps your metabolism. The more muscle mass you have, the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off. This is particularly important for us baby boomers due to age related losses in muscle mass that we are fighting as we progress in age.
On the other side, too much exercise can lead to increased stress and affects the levels of stress hormones. This can lead to the body "hanging on" to the extra weight as a defense mechanism. Trying to over do it with exercise can actually be harmful and counterproductive for weight loss.
A regular weight lifting program combined with cardio several times a week is the best way to work at healthy weight loss and the ability to maintain any weight loss you do achieve.
Tip # 4: Lifting weights. During weight loss, as mentioned above, weight training or resistance training is crucial. As stated, it leads to muscle gain and in turn metabolic rate increases. It helps with overall body physique and belly fat loss. As in Tip # 3, a combined effort of weight training and aerobic exercise is the best routine a person can do to lose weight or fat, build muscle, and maintain a healthy weight and muscle mass.
Tip # 5: Choosing Low Fat or diet type foods can be detrimental. We are encouraged by marketing attempts to eat "low fat" or "diet" foods thinking that we are doing a good thing. In reality, they are not as beneficial as you are led to believe. Many of these products are loaded with extra sugars to make them palatable. You may consume them thinking you are doing a great thing but in turn, they actually make you hungrier and so you end up eating more. That is what sugary foods do to our bodies, they make us eat more. Instead of buying into the fad of the marketing gimmicks, choose fresh,healthy, nutritious, non-processed foods and practice portion control.
(Hat tip to Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE @ Healthline)
These are just 5 of the 15 Secret Tips we will be sharing with you. Within these tips are several health strategies that you may have heard of, but are not sure how to go about accomplishing them. Wouldn't it be great to learn these techniques to help you Jump Start you way to reaching your health goals before summer arrives?
We are offering our Spring into Summer 30 Day Fit and Healthy Jump Start Program for just a DOLLAR a day! It begins May 14th. Gather your friends and join us for a productive way to reach your goals by summer!
To join now, follow the link below!
Health and happiness,
Alicia Williamson RN, BSN, MSNW, CHC
Kylie Glastetter BA, MS, EP-C, CHC