My college years have not been kind to my waist size. When I was in high school, I was a jock, and played varsity soccer. However, I did not make the cut in college and my soccer career is over. I admit that this depressed me a little and I let myself go. However, I am trying to make a comeback but really need to shed some serious pounds. I need something to complement my training. Regular diet alone does not really cut it, especially since training makes me hungrier and I end up eating a lot more. What would you recommend I do to boost some weight loss while improving my training?
I’d like to start by saying that I completely understand and have been through similar situations on a few occasions. I ballooned to 250 pounds twice. Once, to prove a point. The second time, because I simply let myself go. The worst part is that normally, adding 100 pounds is easier and more delicious than losing 100 pounds. Let’s get this straight though; there are no simple and quick fixes. There are some ways to increase performance and enhance weight loss. However, it is a simple mathematics equation where you will need to use more calories than what you are consuming.
The Fad Diets
Fad diets are a temporary solution that often makes matters worse. The reason is that health is about lifestyle and includes other aspects such as exercise and sleep. Therefore, diet is only a part of the equation. The other issue is that many times, fad diets cause a loss in water weight, which provides that temporary fluctuation in weight. Long term, these types of diets will not work and may be counterproductive. This is because practically all fad diets deprive the body of essential nutrients to boost short-term weight loss. Since these diets cut out some essential foods, fad diets can cause health issues that include symptoms such as fatigue and weakness, dehydration, headaches, constipation, and malnutrition.
Understanding the Math and the Balance
To understand why people gain or lose weight, you must understand the concept of homeostasis. Homeostasis is the natural equilibrium among independent elements. Organisms look to keep balance. This appears in the human body in multiple facets, including maintaining body temperature. The idea of managing constant body weight is that the body achieves caloric homeostasis. This occurs when the body’s energy intake (food) equals the outflow (energy consumption).
If your caloric outflow is greater than your intake, then you will be losing weight. If your intake is greater than your outflow, then you will gain weight. It is as simple as that. What complicates the math is that every individual’s metabolism works at a different pace. Meaning, even if you are sedentary, your body functions will consume energy. However, the energy consumed by the body’s metabolic process is different for each person and changes with age. Therefore, each individual needs to understand how their body functions. This understanding can lead to the development of adjustments to increase the metabolic rate of the body and thus an increase in the burning of calories so that you burn more energy and lose weight. Remember, the goal is to burn more energy than what you consume.
Tips for Boosting Metabolism
The best way to naturally boost a person’s metabolism is to build muscle. The reason is that the sedentary metabolic rate increases with every pound of muscle. Therefore, even if you are not looking to body build, weight training will help shed fat pounds. Another way to increase the resting metabolic rate is to perform aerobic exercise as the resting rate increases even hours after exercising. The higher the intensity of the exercise the better. So, exercise will not only help you burn calories while performing said exercise, it will also help your body burn calories while your body is recovering and resting. Don’t forget to hydrate though. Your body needs water to process calories and metabolism will slow down if the body lacks an adequate supply of water.
How often you eat can also boost your metabolism in a natural way. For example, eating more often can help lose weight. The reason is that your metabolism is active while processing food and thus, consumes energy. Instead of eating three big meals, cut these down in size and eat more often. Ideally, eating four to six times a day will keep your metabolism active and burning calories throughout the day. Add some spicy food as the natural composition of these types of foods increases metabolic rates. Consider replacing some of the carbohydrates in your diet with lean protein such as fish or poultry. The body consumes more energy trying to process lean protein; therefore, more calories will burn.
There is also another trick that can help boost metabolism and energy. Coffee and tea, both which contain caffeine, help provide a temporary boost of energy that can increase metabolic rates. Other supplements like Synadrene, which also contains caffeine and other natural boosters, can be a great supplement to your weight loss strategy. Supplements that contain Ephedra extracts can also provide a needed boost in energy and an increase in burning fat. Do make sure that the supplements that you take have no negative or unsafe effects when taken together.
Try to avoid looking at the weight scale. This is the most common error committed by people looking to “lose weight.” The idea is not to lose just any weight. The idea is to lose body fat and increase muscle. In the simplest terms, muscle pounds are good and fat pounds are bad. It is quite possible to burn fat while not dropping weight as your body is increasing muscle pounds and decreasing fat pounds. You may become discouraged by wrongly if the process is not working.
Ideally, your body should reach metabolic homeostasis in a body weight range that meets your body type (size and frame) while eating a sensible diet and maintaining a balanced lifestyle. This does not mean that you deprive yourself of foods that you enjoy or incessantly exercise. Remember, keeping the pounds off is more difficult than losing them. However, this should not be the case. Know thyself! Reach a point of equilibrium that you feel comfortable with and understand your metabolism. This way, you will know how to tweak your diet and exercise routine so that you can lose or gain the pounds that you need.
“The toughest part of a diet isn’t watching what you eat. It’s watching what other people eat.” – thedailyquotes.com