Staying fit and healthy should be one of our biggest priorities when looking to benefit our overall wellbeing. But what if we're struggling to lose weight, and the pounds aren't dropping despite the lifestyle changes we've made?
Many of us think we know how to get fit and stay healthy but sometimes it's not as simple as it looks. We all need to focus on improving our level of fitness, but it's easy to make rookie mistakes and go about this the wrong way. For example, by…
Drastically cutting calories is not the secret to weight loss. If you don't fuel your body properly, you may find yourself struggling when you try to exercise, and that will do you no favours. Furthermore, your body will go into panic mode when it doesn't get enough fuel and slow your metabolism in order to conserve its energy stores, making it far more difficult for you to burn fat.
Intensity is one of the most important variables when it comes to exercise. Pushing yourself is vital to maintaining weight loss and this means running fast, not just frequently. Persistent weight loss means pushing through the pain threshold, even if it's for a short period of time. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, following more than 34,000 women, came to the conclusion that an hour of moderate exercise such as walking at 3mph will help to maintain any weight loss, but not lose further weight.
Many people, especially women, mistakenly think that if they focus on building muscle they will look like Arnold Schwarzenegger – but this isn't true. Muscle is metabolically active and building it burns more calories throughout the day. Strong muscles also minimize your risk of injuries and can give you more shape and tone to your physique. Muscle can improve your posture and may help treat chronic pain.
Cardiovascular exercise is excellent for burning calories but it should be combined with weight training for better results. Cardio and strength training can give you a more thorough workout. Strength training can help you burn an extra 120 calories every day, without having to get out of breath. Cardio and strength training should be combined if you want to increase your metabolism and see more fat loss.
If you're constantly standing on the scales and looking to see if the numbers have changed then you will be disappointed. The numbers on the scales don't take into account your overall body fat, lean muscle mass or water weight. In fact, as you replace fat with muscle your weight is likely to increase. Don't judge your size by the figures on the scale, but instead refer to bodily measurements such as how tight or loose your clothing is, your overall energy levels and how easy or difficult your workouts are over time.