The first thing most people do when trying to lose weight on their own is cutting back on all so-called bad foods. However, what most people don't realize is the body adapts to both good and bad and if it detects a sudden change in diet OR lifestyle it thinks you are trying to hurt it. Since the body has a defense mechanism it will begin to shut itself down and weight loss will be impossible once that occurs. For example, if you currently eat a lot of foods that contain sugars like cake, candy, ice cream, and so on, and you suddenly stop eating those types of foods you will find yourself getting flu like symptoms, headaches, nausea, and sometimes even fever, no energy, and the list goes on.
Your body is responding to what it thinks is a negative change when in fact it is a positive change. Your body responds with all of the above symptoms because it is trying to get you to stop cutting back on those foods it has so easily adapted itself to over the years.
In order for you to be successful at losing weight and keeping it off you must reverse the negative adaptation state your body is currently in. Total Body Fitness will show you how to achieve a lifestyle change slowly, but yet effectively so you can lose an average of 2-4 pounds of pure body-fat every 7-10 days. Losing fat and only fat is what leads to an incredible shrinkage in the overall size of your body.
In order for us to improve our health whether it be by losing weight, lowering our cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and so on, we must make a change because things will only get worse before they get better if no change occurs. However, if you don't know how to make that change on your own you can make your current situation worse instead of better.
Let's Talk About Weight Loss
Carbohydrates are the body's preferred source of energy and all that is eaten either gets converted and stored as glycogen in the skeletal muscles and liver or as body fat. A healthy adult will store approximately 500 grams of total glycogen in the body to be used for energy. 400 grams of that glycogen is stored in the skeletal muscles and 100 grams is stored in the liver. For every gram of glycogen there is approximately 3 grams of water stored with it. If your glycogen stores are full, then you would also have 1500 grams of stored water which adds up to approximately 3.3 pounds. Since 1 gram of carbohydrate equals 4 calories, your body has approximately 1600 calories stored in the muscles and 400 calories stored in the liver. Once your body glycogen stores are full, any excess calories eaten from carbohydrates are stored as body fat.
When a person first starts an exercise program and/or eats a calorie restricted diet, the body will deplete it's glycogen stores which results in a loss of weight from the glycogen itself and from the stored water. If you're like most people who get on the scale every morning when you first start a new weight loss program, then you will see very good results the first week or two. However, after a couple of weeks you notice the weight loss begins to slow down or cease, especially if you are not eating and exercising properly.
Getting the body to burn stored fat for energy is not that difficult considering you follow a few simple rules. The first thing most people think of when first starting a diet is to cut their caloric intake. Fact is, you should first take a look at the source of all your calories and make adjustments to the types of foods you are eating. If you are eating lots of pastries, processed foods, soft drinks, and so on, then it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you restrict those foods from your diet you will start to lose some body fat. Why? Because eating all those carbohydrates will have a spill-over effect on your glycogen stores and the excess will end up in fat stores. Not to mention the blood sugar spikes and insulin response from eating those types of foods will keep your body in a fat storing mode. Plain and simple, insulin responds to blood sugar spikes and insulin is not your friend when it comes to weight loss.
So now that you've adjusted your diet and cut out the so-called bad foods and replace them with nutrient dense good healthy foods, you start seeing good results, then at some point your body will adapt and reach a plateu. Once this occurs you will need to take your diet to the next level which can consist of doing several different things.
If you cut your caloric intake you risk slowing down your metabolism and if you slow down your Basal Metabolic Rate, then you just altered your body's fat burning mechanism for when you are at rest. Guess what? Approximately 70% of your stored fat is burned when you are doing absolutely nothing and even while sleeping, so the last thing you want to do is alter that in a negative way. Sure, cutting calories a few days per week is good for your health as it allows your liver to detox, gives your digestive system a break, and there are many other health benefits as well. However, do this long term and your body will adapt and you won't like it I promise you that.
You could however eat a calorie staggered diet where you'd take in 2000 calories one day and then 1000 the next, 1400 the next, 1000 the next, and so on. This works as well, but then again who has the time to count calories all day long.
The only real true way to get your body to burn stored fat for energy is to increase your BMR. This is what you want to shoot for as it's a more practical life long change. Why make a change by severely cutting your calories, when at some point you will more than likely fall off the wagon. If you fall off the wagon a few weeks down the road you can imagine how your lower metabolism will love to store the calories you eat as body fat. How often have you heard of someone dieting and losing 10-15 pounds and then quitting the diet to simply gain it all back and then some? How often have you heard of someone who can eat junk food all day long and not gain one pound, but if you eat one piece of cake the scale will go up a couple of pounds by morning? Yes, that might be a drastic example, but I hope you see what I'm talking about here. It all boils down to metabolism and at some point in your life it got altered and the weight gain began. Some might say it's genetics, while others might say it's lifestyle, sickness at some point, ongoing medical issues, hormones, diet, lack of exercise, and the list goes on.
Whatever the cause may be, you have to find and fix the underlying problem by getting your metabolism back in gear. This is more important than anything you can do because as I stated earlier, reving up your metabolism will account for 70% of all the calories you burn in a 24 hour period and most of those calories will come from stored body fat.
So there you have it. Fix the problem that's causing your slow metabolism and watch the body fat melt away.
So now you're wondering how to fix what's causing your slow metabolism? Every person is different so there is no concrete answer. That's why I help people 1 on 1 so I can pinpoint exactly what their problem is, correct it, and move on. It's really that simple. Like going to a doctor for an illness. He'll diagnose the problem and prescribe the correct medication.
Become a member today and get access to our support forums by meeting other people as well as getting the answers you need from professionals dedicated to health and fitness and no more guessing about your particular situation. Whatever health and fitness goals you may have we are ready to help you succeed!