It all starts with food. Everybody requires a specific amount of food to meet your metabolic needs. This is called your basal metabolic rate or BMR. Your BMR is how many calories you need to consume on a daily basis in order for your body to perform its daily functions.
When you consume fewer calories than is required, your body goes into starvation mode, slowing your metabolism as a result. Many times dieters believe if they eat less, they will weigh less. This may work for a week or so but after about three days, your metabolism starts to slow and eventually you will stop seeing results. So what does one usually do? They eat less, which in turn slows your metabolism even more! When this happens, dieters are really setting themselves up for fat loss failure. When you're not giving your body the nutrition it needs, it starts to use its own lean muscle mass for fuel. Loosing muscle mass is exactly what you DO NOT want to happen when your goal is to lose fat. You want to increase your lean muscle mass with a combination of proper nutrition and strength training to increase your lean muscle mass. When you increase your lean muscle mass, not only will you be stronger, but your metabolism will speed up as well. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you will burn on a daily basis, which will in turn, result in the loss of body fat when eating properly.
So, if your main goal is fat loss, education is key. Find out how many calories your body is burning - there are many free calculators on-line that can provide you with an estimate of your BMR. Learn how to balance the calories you are consuming with your activity levels to maximize fat loss. Learn how to strength train to increase lean muscle mass, and learn what foods are best for giving your body the nutrients it needs to do its job. Knowledge is power. To find out more on an education based approach to healthy weight loss, please feel free to contact me.
Corinna Maggy is the owner of Corinna Maggy Fitness Consulting, and Women On Weights, a health and fitness program developed specifically for women. She is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. Corinna offers private personal training, small group classes, and both individual and group weight management programs as well as corporate wellness programs. She can be reached at 605-3549 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.