If you’re looking to loose weight, an exercise program should be a vitally important part of your weight loss plan. But, it’s easy to get discouraged if, after a few weeks, you’ve found that you’ve not lost as much weight as you hoped you wold. It’s important to keep in mind that exercise is only one part of a weight loss plan.
Once you’re a few weeks into your exercise plan, you’ll start to notice more muscle definition. You’ll also have a bit more muscle than you had before, which boosts your metabolism, and helps you burn fat. All of this is important not only to your weight loss program, but also to your overall health. So, keep up on those workouts! The bad news is, your body gets used to this. According to research in Current Biology, as your body becomes more efficient through exercise, this also causes you to burn fewer calories during each workout.
For this study, researchers examined 300 men and women. They looked at the levels of physical activity and the number of calories they burned each day. They found that while moderately active people burned about 200 more calories per day than the most sedentary participants, those that were the most active physically didn’t burn any more calories than those who were only moderately active.
This means that if you think that doubling your cardio time will mean double the weight loss – you’d be wrong. All because your body adapts. This is a big part of the reason why you may see some initial weight loss – then a plateau.
But, there are two important, interconnected ways to avoid this. First – is your diet. Second, is to make sure you mix up your exercise program.
If your diet doesn’t change during your exercise program, not only are you possibly not getting the nutrition your body needs to run efficiently, but the calories that your body burned at the beginning, won’t be burned at the same rate a few weeks from now. You need to watch the amount of calories you’re eating – making sure that you’re consuming less calories than you burn. One great way to do this is to use a fitness tracker like a FitBit or an Apple Watch. You also need to cut back on carbs, and load up on protein, as not only does protein take more energy (i.e. calories) to process than carbs, your body uses that protein for muscle growth, which helps keep your metabolism running on high.
The other thing to do is to change up your workout on a regular basis. Think about it like this – “FITT” – which stands for “frequency,” “intensity,” “time”, and “type”. This mix – change 2 of these every four to six weeks. If you’ve been doing long, slow runs on your treadmill, then in 4-6 weeks, make them shorter, faster runs. This impacts both “time” and “intensity”. Or, if you’re doing strength training, change from a flat bench press to an incline press, and lift slowly rather than fast. Or if you’ve been doing long, fast cardio workouts, switch to slow, weight training workouts. Doing this type of change forces your body to work harder to re-adapt to the stress your workouts are putting on it.
Latest posts by Bob Lachniet (see all)
- Healthy Recipe – Ginger Salmon - February 3, 2023
- Product Spotlight: Spirit CRW800 Rower - February 2, 2023
- Protein: Why It’s An Important Part Of Your Fitness Plan - February 1, 2023