You’ve all been there, the family wedding is coming up next month and it seems like you can’t fit in that suit or dress because you put on too much weight. So you have to lose at least ten kilos quickly.
Rapid weight loss is not recommended, as most of the loss will be muscle tissue and water; you gain weight slowly (usually over years), so normally you have to take it off slowly and then you know that most of the loss will be body fat.
But you have a problem here and the clock is ticking, so you will have to diet pretty hard to reach your goal weight. Let’s look at that first, you all know diets don’t work; they send the body into starvation mode, a survival mechanism from a long age when people faced bouts of famine.
When you consume too few calories, the body lowers its metabolism, which means it burns less fat. At the same time, hunger signals increase and you quickly begin to crave energy-dense foods loaded with fats and sugar, the same foods you’re trying to miss.
Research shows that repetitive dieting actually makes it harder to lose weight and easier to put on, because if you ditch the diet and get back to normal eating habits, the drop in metabolism caused by the diet means that your old habits are actually represent an excess of calories. Not only will you get back the fat reserves just lost, but you can also gain an extra bit.
Knowing this, you really don’t want to put yourself through this rigorous process, but for this special occasion you will. But first, you need to boost the metabolism that has been lowered by the diet. To do this, you must perform a “Strength Training” workout to generate that first spike in your metabolism. By increasing the muscle mass on your body by using strength training, your metabolism will increase and you will burn fat along the way.
The strength training technique I use only requires twenty to thirty minutes a week. Gone are the days of the five-day one-week program with 6 to 12 sets per body part that method never worked. A short, vigorous strength workout per week will increase your metabolism more than you ever thought possible.
While the calories expended during exercise are important, the increase in metabolism, especially after strength training, continues long after the exercise is over, simultaneously burning calories.
The two main components of this technique are exercise intensity and post-exercise recovery. Irregular, short, high-intensity training sessions followed by the required amount of time to recover and gain strength is what it takes to increase functional muscle mass and lose body fat.
The way to lose body fat and maintain muscle is to have a lifelong diet. Quality food and increased energy output are the foundation you should go for. Bulk foods that fill you up and are imperfect, foods low in fat and sugar that aren’t refined should be the ideal.
Small, frequent meals should be consumed throughout the day, each with a little protein to maintain lean muscle mass and energy levels. A high quality broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement should also be taken daily.
As before, get the calories from high-quality foods, but if you can’t, use a blender to make concoctions from skim milk with any additives you want to use, just as long as you keep track of the calories for your daily total.
Now use these blender blends and solid foods for your daily feedings. Divide it into many small meals a day instead of the traditional three meals a day. The way to track weight loss is to buy a calorie counter and track your daily calorie intake for a week.
Now calculate how many calories you consume per day using a seven-day eating plan and calorie counter, once you have this figure subtract 1000 calories and this is the target number of calories you are aiming for.
Remember that a pound of fat contains 3500 calories, losing 1000 calories a day is a total of 7000 for a week, which is equivalent to two pounds lost through diet alone. Another low calorie eating technique is to monitor your fat intake as it contains the most calories.
Occasional activity is also very important if you want to lose this amount of weight in this short amount of time, by increasing occasional activity you can burn at least one more pound per week. The best fat loss workout is walking fast, either indoors on the treadmill or outdoors.
Walk until you puff lightly and hold that pace until the allotted time. When you are panting or out of breath from your aerobic activities, when you go too fast, your energy comes from your carbohydrate stores and not your fat stores. Try to walk fast for an hour a day every day of the week.
Well there you have it, as an experienced trainer I would not recommend this type of program to my clients. The weight loss is just too fast and the program would be very difficult to sustain due to the very low calorie intake.
I recommend my clients cut their calories by just 500 per day (and no more) below their maintenance level and they will lose 1-2 pounds of body fat every week, safely, without cravings and without much disruption to their lifestyle.
Remember, think long term here and that’s between 30 and 50 pounds of fat lost in six months. Faster and all you lose is water and precious muscle tissue.