AN ABSOLUTE TRUTH
The main way to lose weight, fat not muscle, is by eating healthfully. How you eat is 80% of how you look and feel. That’s it. That’s the fact. Eating fewer calories than you’re burning will cause you to lose weight.
Eat too much and you gain weight. So first, figure out your diet plan. Check this article: Counting Calories 101 or this one: What I Eat In a Day You MUST eat correctly first.
THEN FOR EXTRA CALORIE BURNING…
Yes, cardio. Add it in for extra weight loss. If you burn 300 calories doing cardio and you do it 5 times a week that’s 1500 calories you’ll burn. A pound = 3,500 calories. Important to know! Exercise is not enough. You must eat correctly.
Burning fat makes us look better. Fat is gross and unattractive. If you believe differently then you should be at a fat people blog where they can tell you where to purchase seat belt extenders. I’m kinda cranky about this whole “love your size” trend people are pushing. Yes, love yourself, but love yourself enough to be healthy so you can live a life of adventure! Whether it’s just chasing kids, grandkids or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, going on long flights around the world to serve on missions, whatever! Being healthy and fit makes so much more possible.
A couple of months ago I went to visit my grandchildren. I took them to the college track and we ran sprints, ran bleachers and had a blast. Had I not been fit I would have just watched. 🙁 I’m fifty-eight years old and I ran sprints with my grandkids!!!
So I’ll get off this really tall soapbox now, (because I can, because I’m fit) and tell you how to best burn fat.
Build muscle. That’s numero uno in my book. Muscle burns more calories than fat, takes up less space, (no belt extenders needed here!) and looks so firm!!!
I lift weights three days a week for one hour each time. I go fast doing my sets and reps in bursts. That burns calories. But if I want to drop some weight (which, yes, my 40th reunion is coming up…so, yes, please) I need to add in some cardio.
Cardio….fast walking, (see this article:Drop Pounds by Walking!) biking, stationary or outside, elliptical machines, rowing machines, treadmills, jumping rope, climbing stairs, dancing, etc. You know what there is and you know what your body can do well, so start something!
Add two cardio sessions this week. Either go to the gym and use the stationary bike or the stair climber, or ride your bike to the gym. Wear a heart rate monitor.
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
220 – your age = your maximum heart rate
multiply that number by 70-85% for your desired heart rate
Lots of machines have handles that will read your heart rate or you can watch the clock and count it yourself. (Feel the pulse in your neck and count while watching the clock for 6 seconds, add a zero to that number, that’s your heart rate.) If your walking, wear your monitor and try to accelerate to 70% of your max for 20 minutes. If you can’t, do your best, set that as your baseline and try to exceed it by 5% next time. Continue to make small incremental goals of 5% until you can add in jogging intervals. Alternatively, you could stop, do 10 jumping jacks, then continue walking. The idea is to gradually push your heart to work more. Doing this kind of walking will lead you to the next paragraph….
High Intensity Interval Training
To really crank out some exertion fluctuate your speed so that your heart rate goes up in intervals. This is called High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT causes your body to continue to burn calories even after you’ve stopped the cardio. One of my faves is sprinting for 30 seconds followed by 90 seconds of walking for recovery. I do this outside and spend about 30 minutes. You can do the same thing with any exercise. I do this same timing on a stationary bike and the elliptical machine. I go full-out for 30 seconds then easy for 90 seconds. These HIIT routines cause my heart rate to go up to 154-158 then drop back to 125 on the rest. My max rate is 164. As you improve your cardio you’ll be able to reach your max heart rate.
If you’ve not been doing any exercise start today by walking. Look at your watch (please get a heart rate monitor) and time yourself for 1 mile. It needs to be under 15 minutes or your just strolling. Next walk try to go faster. Wherever you are in your cardio, kick it up a level, do that for a month, then kick it up another level. But start today!!
GET FIT, STAY FIT!