Healthy Weight Loss
So if I eat less or starve myself I will lose weight right?
When focusing on your diet, the minimum caloric intake for a women should be 1200 calories/day or 1500 calories/day if you are a man. If you eat less then you are telling your body to starve itself. So what's the big deal? Well as we all know it's not healthy, but it can actually cause you to gain weight in the long run. When you severely restrict calories from your diet your body goes into starvation mode. Basically, it slows your metabolism down to reserve energy which stores fat and starts to burn muscle away. Muscle tissue is metabolically active and requires a lot of energy to be maintained. So now your metabolism is shot and you're losing muscle (which is not a good thing!). So now the daily calorie amounts that once maintained your weight are a surplus of calories which causes you to gain more weight than what you started with. Thus, the reason crash dieting NEVER works.
A realistic and healthy goal is to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. More than this you are merely losing water weight or muscle tissue. One pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories. Thus, to lose weight you need to reduce calories and burn the calories through aerobic exercise.
Keep in mind too many calories no matter what the food is a surplus.
What is aerobic exercise?
It is exercise that gets your heart rate up for an extended period of time (usually from 30-60 minutes). This can include walking at a brisk pace, running, aerobics classes such as kickboxing or step, swimming, biking, or using an elliptical machine.
So what about strength training?
Strength training is important for a variety of reasons. It will burn some calories, unfortunately not as much as aerobic exercise however it well help to get you toned and will actually increase your metabolism so you burn more calories at rest. It strengthens bone density which helps to prevent osteoporosis. Also, it will help you out in daily activities such as lifting heavy bags or boxes.
So can I do 1000 sit-ups a day and lose that fat around my stomach?
No. The only way to lose fat is through diet and cardio. Spot reduction does not work; however, it will tone those muscles so when you do lose the weight you will have a more fit appearance.
Make sure to send me any other questions you may have!
Article by Becky Fox, www.foxfitness.com