If you’re like me, on Jan. 1, you resolved to lose weight. Now, four months into the year, the scale isn’t budging (or you even gained a few more pounds thanks to that spring break vacation).
Despite feeling frustrated, don’t give up that long sought-after goal. You are not alone and your lack of success isn’t entirely your fault. In the desire to be healthy and fit, most of us go wrong by lacking a realistic weight loss goal that’s achievable. So lets tweak your perspective and get you back on track.
1 per week
Why is it recommended to lose only one to two pounds a week? Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound, so you need to burn 3,500 calories to lose one single pound.
Your other option is to reduce your caloric intake, such as cutting 500 calories from your diet each day, which would help you lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories). That means you need to jog about 45 minutes every day or cut out some meals every day, for a week, to lose that sad, little pound. No wonder it feels so frustrating. It is!
Remember, 3,500 calories are in a pound. You have three options to lose that one pound: eat fewer calories, exercise more, or do both.
When you lose weight, you lose both fat and muscle tissue, which is why exercise is so important. It helps to build that muscle tissue back up and gives you a better external look. The best way to lose weight is to focus on a cleaner diet (more fresh foods, less sugar and refined/processed foods, and more veggies) and add it with moderate exercise.
It’s not about eating less — it’s about eating better. Veggies are high in fiber, which fills you up and keeps you fuller longer. Protein also keeps you feeling fuller longer. Cut out the restaurants and cook at home with fresh ingredients. Regarding exercise, don’t forget: it’s important for maintaining your weight and not regaining the weight you’ve lost.
Breakfast is key
Skipping breakfast puts the body in starvation mode because the body thinks it is not going to get food for a long time, so it holds onto the calories you have. Once you resume eating, your metabolism burns calories much more slowly, because again, it thinks you are going into starvation mode at any time.
Yes, it’s normal to feel more hungry when you eat breakfast because your metabolism is working properly. The trick isn’t to eat more because you are feeling hungry. Eat smarter. Have eggs and oatmeal for breakfast and small meals throughout the day, which will help reduce that hunger feeling. Pay attention to those days you skip breakfast; you probably tend to go crazy at night snacking.
Muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue to keep up its size. That’s why you see people who strength-train eating all day long. That muscle tissue requires calories to maintain its size and strength. Dropping body fat and increasing your muscle mass will naturally make your body burn more calories — even when just sitting at your desk.
Women often fear bulking up; don’t worry about that. Unless you plan to do some insane strength training and crank up your testosterone injections, you will not bulk up or look like a man. Woman in perimenopause and menopause need to focus even more on strength training, so get those push-ups and lunges in your workout!
If you’ve not made much progress thus far with your weight loss, take a time-out and tweak your goal. Shoot for a pound a week, or even half a pound. It may sound dinky, but in 37 weeks, half a pound equals 18 pounds lost — and that’s something to be proud of. April 22, 2018.