When we become overweight the first thing we normally think to do is to cut back on our food intake. This is what we have been programmed to do for the last 3 or 4 decades. Our focus tends to be on our body weight and we think we can just cut back on eating to the point of starvation to solve the problem.
What usually happens and is why 95 percent of diets fail is that is they trigger a kind of 'diet shock' which drops the metabolic rate and the brakes go on fat loss. The body's ancient starvation mechanism has been triggered and the body adjusts and makes do with the food intake however low it is. Systems like energy output are reduced to accommodate the lowered food intake.
Over the last few decades much research has been done in the weight/fat loss area. A very real difference has now emerged that focuses on fat loss not just weight loss. Weight loss is often made up of things other than body fat - muscle tissue and body fluids for example. Our goal should be to only lose the fat and keep the muscle tissue as that is our fat burning machinery.
So, the new way to lose body fat is to change the body from a fat storing one to a fat burning one. This is achieved through a shift in the metabolism by stimulating fat burning hormones through proper exercise (strength training) and a proper eating plan that nourishes the body and supports the exercise program.
An important part of this method is eating nutritionally dense but low calorie 'clean' foods. Foods that have not been processed is critical for fat loss as the chemicals used in food manufacture and processing send the hormones involved in our metabolism 'out of whack' with an increasing weight gain problem the result.
The hardest part of learning to eat this way is getting your head around the fact you need to eat healthily if you want to lose excess body fat. As many as 5-8 small meals need to be eaten every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Macro-nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) need to be balanced for the best fat loss results. And instead of cutting back and always being hungry you will always eating more than you think you should be.
Eating this way increases the work load for the body increasing the metabolism to process the quantity of food and re-balance the hormones that will help you lose the fat.
Add to this a proper strength training program that directly works your muscular system and you have the perfect fat loss program.
There is no need to do traditional 'cardio' activities. They will not increase your metabolism and change it for long term fat loss. If you wish to do these things that is just part of an active lifestyle but your strength training needs to be done first and foremost and never replaced with low intensity endurance type activities.
Next time you are tempted to try and diet your way of those extra pound glued to your mid-section consider this much more effective fitness based alternative supported by quality nutrition and watch it finally get you the results you desire.
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