By far the most important key to healthy weight loss is diet and nutrition. Losing body fat is not easy. It takes tremendous energy both mentally and physically. Before the body can increase muscle mass and gain strength, the extra weight must be burned off. There are a few tips to ramping up the body’s metabolism so it will burn calories stored as fat faster. As fat turns to muscle, body metabolism becomes more effective.
A Healthy Diet and Eating Plan is the Key to Healthy Weight Loss
According to a 2008 Gallup poll, 60% of Americans polled said they get some form of regular moderate exercise, 32% said they get vigorous exercise, and 15% said they weight train at least three times a week. However, the occasional brisk walk or mindless jog on a treadmill while talking on a cell phone is a long way from medical standards for physical fitness. If 60% of Americans are doing moderate cardio three times a week for 20 minutes, why are so many Americans overweight?
The biggest key to effective weight loss is a healthy diet and eating plan. Body builders such as Mike Mahler state that fat loss is 90% diet and 10% training. This healthy eating plan has to be “locked down” or the body cannot lose weight. In order to get rid of unwanted fat, the diet should include lots of green vegetables, healthy fats such as avocados and olive oil, plus excellent protein sources. Cravings for sweets are managed with low glycemic fruits such as apples and berries, not doughnuts and cookies. Sugar has no place in a healthy weight loss diet
More Keys to Healthy Weight Loss: Healthy Fats and Weight Training
The second key to healthy weight loss is to understand that healthy fats do not make a person fat. Too many calories, especially “empty” calories, make people fat. Low fat diets are not recommended. Healthy fats are essential to keep joints lubricated, hormones balanced, skin supple, and according to the Mayo Clinic, reduce the risk of heart disease. Thirty percent of daily calorie intake should be from healthy fats. Without adequate healthy fats, the body cannot produce enough testosterone to build muscle in both males and females.
A third key to burning fat is to build muscle. This muscle does not have to be bulky. Rather, a lean body with some muscle definition is healthiest. Women cannot bulk up the way men can without potentially unhealthy supplements. Women should not allow a fear of looking “big” deter them from weight training to lose body fat. Building muscle ramps up the body’s metabolism. Once the workout is over, the body still burns calories while it is in “build mode.” While cardio workouts are excellent for heart health, weight training is better for fat loss.
Healthy Weight Loss Means Taking Sleep Seriously and Being Mentally Disciplined
The body primarily heals and repairs itself during sleep. Many hormones, such as melotonin, HGH and DHEA are produced while the body sleeps. Francesco Cappuccio, head of the Sleep, Health and Society Program at the University of Warwick stated that people who sleep less than six hours in a 24-hour period have a 12% greater risk of premature death than those who sleep eight hours per night. People who are serious about losing weight really do have to get a bare minimum of eight hours of quality sleep every night.
Healthy weight loss requires mental discipline. It is not easy to lose weight at all. It takes a firm commitment to work out when muscles are sore and to decline offers of delicious, sugary treats. It is hard to plan and cook healthy meals when it is easier to go through the drive-through. It is difficult to go to bed early when the rest of the family is watching late night television or friends are ready to chat on the internet. Doughnuts and lattes taste a lot better than salads. However, without discipline, a person will fail at losing body fat.
Gallop.com, “Few Americans Meet Exercise Targets,” by Lydia Saad
Bodybuilding.com, “An Interview With Vegan Strength Coach Mike Mahler,” by Sandra Hannen
Mayoclinic.com, “Dietary Fats: Know Which Types to Choose”
Nlm.nih.gov, “6-8 Hours of Shut-eye is Optimal for Health,” by Robert Preid