It has been a while since my last entry. Over the past month, I've been studying for IT exams, and regrettably that has taken up a great deal of time. Now, this has passed, so I look forward to continuing my weight loss blog, which I hope has helped at least some people who have read it. If all goes well, next week I should resume my weekly entries on topics and that I found to help me with my weight loss. Stay tuned...
A common question I hear being asked, how long does it take for the body to enter fat-burning mode when doing cardio. The common answers floating about are 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and I have seen 30 minutes be given as the answer. However, technically speaking, all those answers are wrong. Our bodies are always in a state of fat burning (actually, technically speaking we don't even "burn" fat so to speak, what we refer to as fat burning is actually a process called gluconeogenesis, a process which converts one substance, in this case fat, into glucose, the primary and prefered energy source of the body and especially the muscles).
For decades, it was thought by doctors and scientists that our fat stores were generally immobile and static, except in adverse conditions such as aerobic exercise or famine. But in 1935 the biochemist Schoenheimer using radioactive Hydrogen-2 tracers demonstrated our fat stores are highly mobile and dynamic, undergoing constant turnover. This means we are always burning fat, this is good. However, it means much of our carbs and fats we eat are immediately converted to fat, which is bad. This actually made sense to me when I first read this report. Our 50+ trillion cells constantly need energy, and it seemed to me that what we eat could not constantly supply the energy our cells need to function. I've gone as long as 36+ hours without eating, and still survived. But reading the results of Schoenheimer's research, now I see how. What we think of fat burning during cardio, then, is simply an existing ongoing process that becomes accelerated, triggered by biochemical signals produced during extended strenuous activity, such as cardio. Knowing this information, you can "tease" and trick your body to constantly burn off fat, but without feeling hungry, and without depriving yourself. Eat whole grains, lean meats, and raw leafy vegetables during the day; they have low density in calories and will maintain constant blood glucose levels. Right after a workout, you can eat more liberally thanks to elevated metabolism. In fact, that is a common practice of mine; on a day I plan to go out for fun for the evening, I will perform an extended intensive cardio workout so that I may enjoy the evening without worry that I have jeopardized my weight loss. For more such useful tips on ways to lose weight and effective weight loss plans, please check out my sites.
A very common observation, and trap, I have seen many people trying to control their weight be unduly affected by daily changes in their weight. I've been there myself. Step on the scale one day, weight a certain amount. The next day, weight 2 pounds less, or perhaps three pounds more. Then become joyful, or frustrated. Especially when the weight has gone up. It's easy to become real upset, discouraged, and even to the point quitting. Yeah, I have done that too. But when thought about rationally, there is no reason to be concerned. To gain two pounds of fat in a single day, you must consume 7000 calories more than they burnt off - in one day. Now do you really think that you did that, in a single day? Probably not, not if you have been trying to lose weight and careful about your eating habits.
Daily fluctuations are part of the game. It is not unusual for a person's weight to change a couple pounds a day. The overwhelming cause is fluid changes, e.g., water. Drink a lot of water, you will increase weight. Sweat and urinate without drinking a lot of water, your weight will go down. For that reason, it is better to weigh yourself every week. Doing this will show the trend, hopefully a downward trend. Another tip, try and weigh yourself under identical conditions to minimize variations. I always weigh myself on Monday morning, after my morning workout, after I used the restroom. Weighing weekly while trying to do so under consistent conditions, I have an idea if what I am doing is still getting the results I want. It also keeps my focused on the long-term big picture.
For other tips on ways to lose weight and effective weight loss plans, please visit my site.
In my last post, I have shown how it is possible to strike a balance between losing weight and then maintaining a healthy weight and still enjoying the fattening foods in moderation. This post, I will examine the concept put forth by many people that in order to have a long life and an active and independent life in one's senior years, you must also give up on those foods we love. A lot of these people will tell you that you can only eat leafy vegetables, tofu, etc., everyday for the rest of your lives. For some people, that is what they prefer and that's fine. But most of us, especially me, do like to enjoy other types of food. So, is it true we must eat what most of us consider bland foods every day of our life to reach a healthy and active old age? I looked into this, particularly into the lifestyles of super centenarians, people who made it to 110 or beyond. I also recalled my great grandmother – she lived to 104. My great grandmother loved to eat ice cream, greasy – and fatty – German sausages, and drank coca cola, and she enjoyed baking and eating pies. She ate and drank these items up to and a little beyond her 102nd birthday. There was a French woman, Jeanne Calment, who lived to 122; I took a particular interest in her lifestyle. This woman indulged in 2 pounds of chocolate per week, she ate desserts, and even smoked until she was 119. However she was very active, going for bike rides until she was 110, and still stayed physically active after that. Other super centenarians were not so well-documented, but I still got a glimpse into their lifestyle and noticed some commonalities. One, they were physically active for most of their years, two, they handled stress supremely. It was reported that Jeanne Calment was smooth as ice when dealing with stress. My great grandmother also seemed to let very little get to her. The one thing I did not see was where any super centenarian credited their long life to eating bland but healthy foods each and every day of their life. Indeed, those who feel this is the only way to eat often stress heavily over their meals, or stress about seeing others eating foods they disapprove of, and stress does appear to compromise longevity. However, when it was reported, most of them did include healthy choices most of the time, only most of the time, not all the time. In the final analysis, whether one lives to extreme age or not, whether one has an active old age or not, is going to depend on many factors. Having an overall healthy diet is one of those factors and an important one at that, but it does not mean one must have it 24/7/365 for all the days of their lives. If it is your desire, go ahead and enjoy an occasional treat of your favorite food. Just keep control and don't overdo it. And don't stress out over it.
Please visit my website to see how I was able to still eat my favorite foods and lose weight.
Sorry for the length between my last post, I have been on vacation for the past week. I not only got away from my routine, I even took a break from fitness. What this means is I did not go to a gym, though I stayed active on my vacation. I also took the time to indulge myself in my favorite foods. Again, I did not binge out, but I did enjoy myself. Many people proffering weight loss advice will tell you what I did was wrong and counterproductive to weight loss. They insist you must give up all junk food forever and ever if you ever want to reach and maintain a healthy weight. And they tell you that you must abstain is you want to reach an active old age. However, I tell you otherwise. Realistically, this is not a practical option simply because the vast majority of us enjoy the taste of our favorite junk foods. By trying to deprive ourselves, pretending we want to give up totally these foods. Well, sooner or later, just about everyone caves in and ends up binging. Instead of totally denying myself, my likes, I've decided to strike a balance, a balance between eating clean for most of the week, maintaining a vigorous regimen of exercise, and 1 or 2 days a week partaking in my favorite culinary delights that are not conducive to weight loss. I have successfully maintained an 11 to 12% body fat composition – still quite a lean body and considered athletic – following this plan. Even when I was losing weight, I had one day where I enjoyed myself, and I still lost weight those weeks – even during the time I was losing 6 pounds a week. I feel part of it was that taking in the extra calories, after days of clean eating, jolted my metabolism back up. So, an occasional cheat not only does not negatively affect your weight loss, it can even boost it. It was only when I decided I wanted to become more lean, did I discover it was necessary to totally abstain, in which I did get down to 8.9%. Unless you have the desire to become super-lean, you can still occasionally enjoy your favorite foods and still lose the weight. It is sad that I need to point this out, but some people will read this post as a license to binge and overeat. It is not of course and naturally I am speaking about moderation and self control. It takes knowing when to stop. If this is a weakness of yours, then work on improving that aspect; it not only make losing weight easier, it also will make life in general easier.
For more info on my ways to lose weight and weight loss plans, please visit my site.
It is a well-known fact about weight loss that ultimately to lose weight you must expend a greater amount of calories than what you consume. So how do you know how many calories you consume in a day? Do you guess? Try to track it all in your head? I decided to journal my eating. It was a good thing I did, because I was trying to keep track of my meals in my head before. However, once I started journaling, it became immediately clear I was doing a poor job of watching my eating. I thought I kept my eating under 2000 calories per day, but instantly I saw that I was eating over 2500 calories, some days it was as high as 3000. The good news is that once I saw exactly what I was eating, I knew exactly what to change, what I could cut out. Furthermore, because my zeal to record everything, the journal held me accountable. I simply could not cheat on that snack because I knew I would have to record it and see my weakness. This went far in maintaining my discipline in eating.
There are several ways you can go about tracking your meals. The first is the pen-and-paper method, not recommended. I used Excel and created my own spreadsheet. I not only tracked my calories; I also use this sheet to track the amount of protein I ate. Eventually I began recording the calories I burned from my workouts, and recorded my weekly weigh in and body measurements, so this sheet was like a recording of my progress. The third and now most common way is to use free online tools. The most common ones are http://www.my-calorie-counter.com/ and http://www.fitday.com/. Both are free to register and use, tracks calories, macronutrients, and workouts. Tracking my eating was one of the ways to lose weight that I use and was an integral part of my weight loss plan, visit my website to learn others.
If you want to give a boost to your weight loss, you must watch your thyroid. I did not, for years I failed to pay attention to what I was doing to it. When I was doing my research, I discovered I was abusing my thyroid to no end. Of all the changes I made, perhaps the ones with the greatest impact were the changes I made for the benefit of my thyroid. Your thyroid gland controls your cellular metabolism for your body. Have a thyroid with low output, your daily caloric output is low, you gain weight easy, have a high output, you gain wait slowly, and a very high output can make it so you cannot gain weight to save your life. Scientists liken it to the body's thermostat, but gas-pedal seems to be a more accurate analogy.
The first discovery I came across was the connection of aspartame to thyroid function, or I should say non-function. Yes, the artificial sweetener aspartame has been shown to negatively impact the production of the T3 hormone, the hormone that sets cellular metabolism. Aspartame is found in virtually all diet sodas and in many diet foods. This sucked for me, because I considered diet sodas like my last vice I could have, and now I found out drinking them was compromising my weight loss efforts. Nonetheless, I decided to experiment on myself. Drinking Splenda-based sodas and increasing water consumption, I eliminated aspartame from my diet. I credit many things for my success, but in reality, it was almost three days after I stopped taking aspartame that I began to drop serious poundage.
Of course aspartame was not the only problem with my thyroid. Your thyroid needs two primary components to produce the T3 hormone; iodine and tyrosine. Iodine is an element, poisonous in its pure form, obtained mostly from seafood. I am not a big seafood fan, actually I hate seafood. Neither do I use salt, so I was not getting any iodized salt. Among my research, I also found out that old school body builders used kelp tablets, thyroid extract, and olive leaves to manage fat while they ate to gain muscle mass. Kelp supplies the iodine, while the thyroid extract and olive leaves are reported to boost thyroid output. So I added those supplements to my diet, and tyrosine as well (at the same time I quit aspartame). Tyrosine is an amino acid, chicken breasts contain huge amounts of tyrosine. Doctors in conventional medicine seem mock anything that does not pad the coffers of pharmaceutical companies, so most will tell you these substances will have no effect at all. My personal experience proves this is wrong. Using well known formulas for metabolism (I will elaborate on those later) along with calculations calories burnt from my training, the absolute best case, if I were 100% faithful to my plan - and I was not - I could only lose 3 pounds per week. If I cheated, I would only at best lose 2 pounds per week. I cheated on my plan and I still lost 6, and sustained that loss for six weeks. I find it impossible that I could lose that much per week, feel great, without those supplements having some contribution.
Other tidbits of info I came about thyroid function, but have not verified on myself. Supposedly fruits such as peaches and apricots can affect thyroid function, so too can broccoli. I ate broccoli in moderation, but not a big fan of those fruits. As with anything else, moderation is probably key. Stay tuned as I put together more of my research and share my success with the world.
Taking care of my thyroid was one way I lost my weight, for other ways to lose weight and other weight loss plans, please visit my website.
I need to clear something right from the beginning. My astounding weight loss was the result of hard effort. There were no magic pills I took and the weight went away. I had to watch what I ate, I had to increase my activity levels. My people have asked what I did to lose so much weight, always expecting or hoping I would tell them some no-effort thing I did. Always, they are disappointed when I told them I essentially did the old faithful; eat healthy and exercise. If you are exploring this site looking for easy answers, well I can partially help you. What I did to achieve success was itself not very complicated, the process of doing it required much effort and tasked my mental strength and willpower. With the right attitude, I strongly believe anyone can achieve the same level of success that I did. After all, even when I was at my lowest emotional point, in a state of mind where I would binge eat as if it were going out of style, I mustered the strength and will to embark on a journey to seize control of my weight. That is where the magic comes in, from within you, from your desire to succeed. Without summoning my internal strength, none of the diets, exercising, or supplements would have worked. Bring out your magic today, and soon you can boast your own success. On this site you will find the resources about ways to lose weight and weight loss plans to help you.
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, summer approaches, and in my country, June generally starts the summertime travel season. As we all know too well, gasoline prices are sky high, making people look for ways to be energy efficient.
Interestingly enough, weight loss is about being energy inefficient. Think about it like this; if our bodies had perfect efficiency, 100% of the food we would eat would be used, for energy needs and to be stored as fat. Not only that, our bodies would fine tune and optimize energy production during workouts or other physical activities, so that we would burn the least amount of energy as possible. For running a marathon, this would be a good thing, but when trying to lose weight, this is a bad thing. The laws of physics do not allow anything to be 100% efficient, so neither are our bodies, but they are pretty efficient. But we can eat things and workout in ways that can boost inefficiency a little.
Certain foods, such as whole grains, leafy green vegetables, and lean proteins are low in calorie density and take more work to breakdown, resulting in fewer calories. But these foods will still signal our bodies we have been fed. Fats in the diet signal satiety and for a longer period, leaving you feeling full for longer - just don't over do it on the fats.
Let us compare two airliners, Boeing's 787-3 and the Concorde. Both airliners can make the London-New York flight. The 787-3 is slow and highly fuel efficient, while the Concorde is extremely fast and wasteful of fuel. Our workouts should be the same. A slow, steady cardio workout is just too efficient for our bodies, even with a long duration. Initially, one may still be able to lose weight with this - especially if you have a lot of weight to lose, but it will soon be ineffective. As with the Concorde, the more intense the workout, the more energy inefficient our body is, forcing more fat to be used for energy. That is why it is possible to lose weight with a shorter workout, such as, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). If you are stuck at a plateau, consider intensifying your cardio workout, even if it means you have a shorter workout, it might enough to jolt you out of it. It was in my case, I was stuck at the same weight for months, and decided to try much more intensive workouts. And though they were much shorter duration than what I have been doing, I broke through and dipped below the 10% body fat level. Remember though our bodies are adapting, so as you get use to one level of intensity, you will need to increase it.
Energy inefficiency is just one way to help with weight loss. For more weight loss plans and other ways to lose weight please visit my website.
The other day, I was next to a guy on a cardio machine. We were engaging in the usual small talk that eventually got around to the topic of fitness. I mentioned that whenever I come to the gym, I push myself hard. He said to me when he comes to the gym, he only wants to relax. After he said that, I had an epiphany. For a long time, I wondered why I was not getting any results before from all my efforts at the gym. Additionally, I have observed individuals at this particular gym who have been attending at least as long as I have been going there, since June of 2006. In spite of spending huge amounts of time there, on the treadmill, on the elliptical, on the cycle for all these months, they still look the same. For a long time, I could not understand why this was the case. Then when my companion told me he only wants to relax and take it easy at the gym, it hit me. To get the best results, or perhaps any results at all, one must push their bodies beyond their comfort zones. This means the gym must be the one place we cannot “relax and take it easy”, not in the physical sense. Of course a good workout can emotionally relax you since it is a good reliever of stress. But, when it comes the physical, the gym is a place to challenge your body, for it is the only way for it to improve. Looking back, I must honestly admit during my prior endeavors at the gym, I shied away from discomforting myself, and the results reflected that. It was only when I started at November of 2006 that I was going all out, that I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone, and I started getting immediate results. Now, one must not go to the other extreme and push too hard. Aside from risk of injury, there will not be enough time to recover between sessions, making it hard sustain training. That can cause loss of motivation, and so can being injured. Therefore, balance must be struck on individual training sessions being challenging enough to promote improvement but not to slow recovery or injury.
While a gym is not the place to physically relax, outside the gym one must remember to relax. Recovery is a vital part of fitness; indeed it is almost impossible to achieve muscle growth without proper resting and recovery. So, remember, take it hard in the gym, but take it easy outside of it.
For more ways to lose weight, please visit my website.