Boost Weight Loss With These Two Tips

Boost Weight Loss With These Two Tips

Weight loss plateaus are frustrating - plain and simple. Unfortunately, the closer we come to our goal weight, the slower the weight comes off. Our body becomes more efficient at using calories as we get smaller. Your body may have needed 3000 calories to maintain a 250 pound frame, but it needs a lot less to maintain a 175 pound frame. Nonetheless, when the scale stops moving for no apparent reason at all, things need to change.

Here are a couple tips that will get the scale moving in the right direction once again.

1) Exercise Less, But More Intensely

Doing lots of cardio is not necessarily going to help you lose weight. Hours spent on the elliptical, stair climber or treadmill at a pace that doesn't truly challenge you will likely do nothing more than burn a few calories. Since permanent weight loss is for the long haul, the focus should be on developing and toning existing muscle, not getting rid of an extra 50 or 100 calories.

I once had a client who would regularly spend an extra 45 minutes  - on top of his usual cardio time - riding an elliptical just so he could burn a couple hundred extra calories that earned him extra "points" so he could eat more later in the day if he wanted. He was following a popular weight loss program that really wasn't working for him. I watched as he would yo-yo up and down in weight for months on end. After a relatively quick ten pound weight gain, I convinced him to change his workouts and watch what he ate in a different way than what he had been doing (see below).  The results were incredibly impressive.

We trained together for an hour, a couple days a week. On those days, about 10 minute was dedicated to a warm up and 10 minutes was dedicated to stretching - both of which were needed. That left us with 40 minutes to use very efficiently. Here is a sample workout that can be done in less than 40 minutes. It's full body and effective. Try it three (3) times this week on non-consecutive days.

SET 1
30 Lunges (alternating legs)
30 Jumping Jacks
60 High Knees (like running in place, but pulling your knees up as high as possible)
*30 – 60 Second Rest, Repeat 3 times

SET 2
20 Push Ups (on knees if necessary)
10 Jump Squats (jump high, land in a squat)
45 – 60 Second Plank (elbows bent)
*30 – 60 Second Rest, Repeat 3 times

SET 3
10 – 15 Burpees
30 Second Wall Squat
45 – 60 Second Plank (straight arm)
*30 – 60 Second Rest, Repeat 3 times

 

2) Eat Clean and Often

If you're one of the millions of Americans who are overweight and overstressed, it's important to eat small meals and snacks regularly throughout the day. Just as important as eating regularly is eating clean. This means eating plenty of healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates. Eating small amounts of food every three (or so) hours not only helps give our metabolism a kick start, but it also keeps us from overeating when we get too hungry.

Another client I worked with had a horrible habit of eating a really small breakfast, followed by a couple cups of coffee. She had a busy job and didn't make time to eat throughout the day. On most days, her next meal wasn't until around 7:00pm. When she did eat, her meals were often processed. After a period of eating like this, she didn't really feel or notice when she was hungry. Despite the fact that her total caloric intake was lower than average, she steadily gained weight. She had a stressful job, which was compounded by the stress she inflicted on her body. Things turned around when she started eating small meals every few hours. She started feeling hungry again and listened to her body's cues.

Here are a few examples of clean and healthy snacks or mini-meals:

  • Mixed Nuts + Dried Fruit
  • Carrots + Hummus
  • Broccoli + Guacamole
  • Apple + Almond Nut Butter
  • Oatmeal + Cinnamon + Coconut Milk
  • Spinach Salad + Olive Oil + Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese + Grapes
  • Cherry Tomatoes + Mozzarella Cheese
  • Chocolate Avocado Pudding (see recipe)
  • Homemade Trail Mix (see recipe)
  • Smoked Salmon + Sprouted Grain Bread (such as Ezekiel)
  • Yogurt (preferably homemade)
  • Lean Protein + Avocado + Shredded Carrots Wrapped in Lettuce

Other options include homemade soups, veggie-based salads with lean protein and homemade smoothies made with a healthy protein powder.

I hope this tips give you what you need to hit the ground running. Have a great week of working out and eating healthy.
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Traci is a nationally recognized health and fitness expert who has been featured on The TODAY Show and Dr. Oz. Traci is available for corporate speaking events and wellness coaching, as well as private training. Contact Traci here.

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