Ever wonder how Obese people on the Biggest Loser can lose the amount of weight you weigh almost in totality and yet, you struggle to just lose 10 pounds? It can be quite frustrating especially when you are active on a regular basis and you make relatively good food choices, and yet, your body just seems to have stopped changing – and is just “maintaining”. I know many of you can probably identify with this.
Most of you probably aren’t trying to lose 50-100 pounds, perhaps you just want to lose 5-10 pounds and tone up a bit.
Well, first, let’s put Biggest Loser in perspective. Physical activity and exercise burns calories. The amount of calories burned depends on the type of exercise, the duration and intensity. It also depends on the weight of the person. For example, a 200 lb. person will burn more calories running a mile than a 120 lb. person. This is because the work of carrying around the extra 80 lbs. on the heavier person helps to burn more calories.
Further, if you take a person who has been eating nothing but junk food, fast food and sodas, and who has been living a rather sedentary life, and suddenly change their diet and start making them move – well, even the slightest of change (like just not drinking sodas and moving more) can help them lose weight. And, of course on a show like Biggest Loser, they are not just dropping the soda, but they are refining their entire diet, exercising for several hours on a daily basis, are removed from their daily work/family responsibilities, and are motivated in the competition setting. Not to mention that they have the support of trainers, nutritionists, and their team.
Assuming most of us aren’t able to ditch our daily life responsibilities, here are some tips you can incorporate right now to start losing that stubborn 10 pounds!
1. Get Calorie Specific: Take your current weight and multiply it by 15. That number is the amount of calories it would take for you to just “maintain” your weight. But we don’t want to maintain – we want to lose right? – So, now, take that number and minus 500 from it. 500 is the amount of calories you should drop from your daily consumption to start losing weight. Just make sure that you don’t drop below a daily caloric intake of 1200. Below that is unhealthy and potentially dangerous. For most petite women I’ve worked with, I would say a range of 1200-1400 cal/day is good for losing weight, and 1400-1600 cal/day is good for maintaining a lighter weight at a petite stature. Dropping 500 calories/day will give you at least a 1 lb. loss each week, which is healthy and easy to maintain.
2. Challenge your body: Depending on what your current workout has been – switch it up. Often the change is what can boost your metabolism and start making those muscles fire again and begin to see change. For example if you have been doing endless hours of cardio at a moderate pace, try doing intervals instead, where you do spurts of sprints versus jogs, or even jogs vs. walks – depending on your level. Intervals are great for boosting metabolism.
3. Be aware of how you are doing: Wear a Pedometer and challenge yourself to take 2,000 more steps every week aiming for at least 10,000 steps/day. If you walked 5 miles, this would be about 10,000 steps. But taking a Zumba type dance/aerobic class might be more fun. Also try wearing a Body Bugg type calorie tracker so you can be aware of what you burn each day. In order to lose weight you must be able to burn more than what you are taking in. Lastly, keep a journal of everything you eat, drink and your exercise too. Write down calories, grams of protein, carbs/sugar/fiber, etc. Know what you are putting in and how it’s making you feel, so you can make the necessary adjustments if need be.
4. Be Balanced in your training: Cardio burns calories which you need, weights burn fat and sculpt the body – and help you to continue to burn fat for hours afterwards – even in your sleep! So be sure to do both cardio and weights. If you are already pretty lean, and just want to tone it up, focus on various types of cardio with light weights and lots of reps.
5. Be balanced in your eating: Don’t try to cut out one whole food group or do drastic things to lose weight. Whatever drastic measure you take to lose, will stop yielding you results once you stop, and it may make it harder for you to lose again the next time because of damage to your metabolism. So, aim for a way of eating that is healthy, balanced and that you can do for a lifetime. Your metabolism will speed up if you take in smaller caloric meals every 2-3 hours as opposed to larger ones less often. You may also try eating an apple before your meal, as apples tend to curb the appetite a bit. Be sure to take in lean proteins (not fatty ones) or try eating a few vegetarian meals throughout the week.
6. Adjust your attitude: How you think about food affects your choices. If you are serious about dropping that weight – then get serious about thinking “what is this food going to do for my body”, not, “how is it going to taste?” And, be sure when you eat carbohydrates that you think “how am I going to burn off this energy that I’m about to take in?”. Once you start having this type of conversation with yourself about food, and answering the questions honestly, you are more apt to make better choices that will in turn yield results. Written by: Jeanene Cannon of Physique Complete
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