Most weight gain throughout the year occurs during the months of November and December. Then the first week of January we try to figure out a weight loss program that will put us back to normal fast and easy. An entire industry has been built on letting us know what the best way to achieve weight loss. But what is the best way? All diets that limit your caloric intake and aid in waste disposal work, for a period of time. It’s maintaining weight loss and keeping a stable weight that prove much more difficult. Your metabolism and metabolic rate are just as important. The following are a few pointers to minimize the holidays’ impact on your midsection and make weight loss easier and permanent.
LIMIT YOURSELF – EAT LIGHT
Yes, this sounds like a no brainer but let’s delve further. Indulgence is not a bad thing. To eat pecan pie and ham and turkey is not horrible. Doing so repeatedly is. Eating an extra 1000 calories in a day is not horrible. Eating 300 – 500 extra calories for weeks straight is. Your metabolism will only use the calories it needs to keep your body alive and store the rest. That is where weight gain occurs. The best weight loss programs start by limiting the weight gain. If you have trouble limiting yourself during the holidays, a trick I use is drinking a glass of water or tea before a meal. I still drank another glass during my meal and felt fuller faster. One more good rule is, just because its on your plate doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Many times we feel compelled to finish everything that is served to us and make our weight loss journey much more difficult.
Your metabolic rate is one of the biggest components in any weight loss program. What is metabolism? Metabolism is the process in your body that allow organisms to grow and flourish as well as break other ones down in order to supply energy and life. Simply put, metabolism is what allows you to burn calories and build muscle. Metabolism keeps you alive. Your metabolic rate is dependent on several factors. Three broad ones are age, physical activity, and body make up.
The older you are, the lower your metabolic rate. Once we get past thirty we start noticing how we can’t lose the pounds as easily as we used to. When young, your metabolic rate is high because your body demanded it, with age metabolic rate decreases and inhibits attempts at weight loss. You can increase your metabolic rate to its old speed but it takes physical activity.
With age your body does not burn off calories by just sitting there any more. You’ll have to get up and do something. Depending on your weight loss goals and needs, physical activity does not necessarily mean going to gym two hours a day five times a week. Physical activity can mean more than what you are used to. If you work in an office and sit all day, coming home to sit in front of the computer or TV is not going to remedy your situation. You have to convince metabolism it has to do more to achieve weight loss. Going for a walk, doing a few push ups, anything that is more than what you’ve done before is positive. As your needs and wants increase, so must your activity.
Lastly, your body make up changes so does your metabolic rate. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate because muscle requires more energy. So, as you start to lose fat and gain or retain muscle your metabolic rate will increase and stabilizing your weight will become easier. That is why many times we see a fit person gain many pounds and lose them quickly because their body still has a large muscle mass and they have a higher metabolic rate.
If you keep these items in mind during the holidays and after you will find your weight loss easier but more importantly you will maintain your weight loss for longer periods of time. Understanding metabolism and your metabolic rate are key to your success. Diets work but it takes a daily effort and lifestyle to maintain the body you want.
THE DIET CHANNEL