Weight Loss Strategies
Weight Loss Strategies
John Spencer Ellis (Author, TV Show Host, Trainer and CEO, National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association) gives expert video advice on: What should I do if I cannot lose any weight?; How can I lose weight faster? and more...
What should I do if I cannot lose any weight?
If you feel you've been eating healthy and exercising regularly, and are still frustrated with the results that you're seeing, there could be a couple of reasons. First I would suggest seeing a dietician or clinical nutritionist to assess your current eating habits. Oftentimes people think they are eating properly but they really aren't, or they're eating good things but in too high a quantity. The other thing I would suggest is seeing an appropriately certified personal trainer, because everyone has a coach that's successful, regardless of what it is in life. Your body is no different, so see the dietician, see the fitness professional, and make sure that you're actually doing the right things.
How do I lose weight in a specific part of my body?
What you're inquiring about is often referred to as "spot reduction", and it's simply not possible to lose weight in a specific part of your body, because when your body uses fat as its energy source, it's taking it from a variety of cells throughout your whole body. It doesn't know that you're going to target just your hips or just your abdomen, for example. So what happens is it's taking it from all over, but you may notice it in some areas more than others simply because there's a larger or smaller deposit of fat there, so it may be more or less noticeable in that area.
How can I tell if I have lost weight?
The best way to tell if you've been effective in your fitness and exercise program is to not only weigh yourself, but to get your body fat measured, including having your metabolism tested as well if you have the opportunity to do so. If your metabolism is increasing, it's likely you're putting on lean muscle mass, which will increase your metabolism just by itself. The other thing is the body fat percentage. If you weigh the same, and your body fat is down 5%, that means you've put on muscle. It doesn't mean you're going to be larger because you've put on more weight, it means the weight that you have is comprised of a higher percentage of muscle, as compared to fat, which is desirable. The scale can be used as a reference; it shouldn't be the only reference. Body fat and metabolism are more important, and a better telling sign of the true progress that you're making.
Why do I quickly gain the weight back that I just lost?
If you went on a fitness programme or a diet program and you lost a lot of weight in a very short period of time, and then it came back and perhaps even more, there are two reasons for that. One is that you probably lost a lot of water. One of the first things we lose when we drop weight too quickly is water, and we only need to lose about 2% of our water level for it to be inadequate to the point where it adversely affects our performance in fitness and sports. Only 2%; it's not very much. You have reduced your performance in everything you're doing plus it's unhealthy for you. That's a lot of what's lost. The other thing is that if you lose weight too quickly, you lose muscle, because especially if you're not eating enough protein and quality foods, your body has to have protein. So, it breaks down muscle to be used as energy in a process called gluconeogenesis, which simply means a new formation of sugar from a non-carbohydrate source. You've basically cannibalized your body by doing that too quickly. So if you're not doing enough strength training after you lost the muscle and you lost the water, and you eat more again and you're not doing resistance or weight training, you put weight back on, but if the muscle is gone. What's coming back? It's coming back as fat. Since muscle is a furnace that increases your metabolism, and you've put this fat back on but shrunken your muscle, is your metabolism faster or slower? It's slower, and then the vicious cycle continues again and again.
How can I lose weight faster?
Weight loss that works, takes time. Quick fixes for weight loss, as a general rule, do not work. And it's an unfortunate fact that people get sold on the premise of fast weight loss again and again. If you want weight loss to work, it's going to take time. Think about anything you have in life that's worthwhile; it takes time. Consistency in your approach to weight loss is what will work, and the weight loss - or the fat loss, more importantly - is caused by a combination of eating correctly, strength training and cardiovascular conditioning and consistency in your approach. And also ensuring you're doing the right thing while you're being consistent will help you lose weight fast. Hire a coach, hire a dietician, hire a trainer to help you lose weight fast. Have someone that also makes you accountable for your weight loss. And that person should also be accountable to themselves, because you're a reflection of their behaviour as well. So when you partner with someone to have this accountability for weight loss, to achieve even greater results, make sure you're on the same page together.
Can I lose weight by exercise alone?
It is possible to lose weight by exercising alone without modifying your diet. However, to attain optimal results and optimal health, you must also modify your diet. You must eat whole foods, the whole grains, nothing that's been milled and ground and beaten by a process and put in a box or a package. Whole foods. Organic foods whenever possible and you must be drinking your six to eight glasses of water a day. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables is essential, and minimizing the juices as well. Fruit juice should be minimized because of the amount of sugar in it, although vegetable juice is okay because it has a much lower sugar content. However, exercise alone, you can probably get away with that more when you're younger. As you get older, you're definitely going to have to modify your diet as well. Also, you're going to improve the inside of your body, not just the way you look on the outside.