REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
Don’t be a Hare
The story about the tortoise and the hare is right on the money. Sure, the hare was fast. There’s no denying it. The tortoise, however, was consistent. The hare had the lead in the beginning, but because the tortoise just kept on going, he came out ahead. It’s the same thing when we set out to reshape our bodies. There are so many quick weight loss fads out there. Diet pills that make you jittery and take away your appetite, drastically dropping calories, juice fasts, etc… They all work. Short-term.
Our Fuel-Efficient Bodies
The human body is like an amazing machine with a strong will to survive, and a whole lot of backup plans to enable it to do so. It needs food. If it does not get enough food, it mimics a car going into economy mode. It becomes very fuel-efficient. It starts holding on to everything we eat; burning through fat as slowly as it possibly can. It breaks down muscle to use as fuel.
Allowing your body to breakdown muscle for fuel is referred to as being in a catabolic state and it is the worse thing you can do if you’re trying to lose fat. Think of your muscles as fish. Well, these fish are fat eaters. The big fish eat the most fat, and the little fish eat just a little fat. No fish would eat no fat, but that’s impossible because even the most out of shape person has muscle. So, don’t be discouraged thinking you have none. If you want to lose body fat, you need to build and maintain muscle.
Use Your Muscles
To maintain muscles, you need to use them, and you need to feed them. When I say you need to use your muscles, I’m not saying you need to lift like Arnold. Some people enjoy lifting heavy, some people prefer body weight. I personally, like to mix it up. Some days I like to lift heavy. Some days I go lighter. I personally, never do just body weight for strength training, but I mix some body weight excercises in with my weighted excercises. The main thing is, if fat loss is your goal, strength training should have a place in your routine. Any strength training you do will help build muscle as long as you’re pushing yourself. Building muscle takes effort. It should not be super easy, but it will be worth it.
Feed Your Muscles
Just like growing, teenage boys, growing muscles need to eat. If you don’t feed them, they won’t grow, you’ll lose strength, become frustrated and you won’t reach your goal. Feed your muscles. They like protein. They love it! I find that if I make a conscious effort to eat some protein in all of my meals, my fats and carbs tend to fall into place. That may or may not work for you. Getting my fats and carbs in seems to happen pretty naturally for me, so I don’t have to think about them as much. Plan ahead for when you’re out and about. A lot of times when I’m out I find there aren’t a lot of healthy food options. I keep snacks such as bars, jerky, or nuts in my purse. As the old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” You can’t build muscle while starving your body, and you need muscle to burn fat.
Eat right and excercise. I know you’ve heard it before. I know there are plenty of advertisements for products and diets to cheat the system. In all my failures, Ive learned you can’t cheat the system. I’ve learned not to make any dietary or fitness changes that I couldn’t maintain because the results would not be maintained. I get frustrated, often in fact, that I don’t see more progress faster. I’m constantly having to remind myself to trust in the process. I’m constantly reminding myself where I started out. Believe me! When I look back, I’ve definitely made progress! It’s been slow, but it’s consistent. I’m 30 years-old, and in great shape. It’s because I don’t follow trendy diets or workouts I can’t stand. I’ve found a lifestyle that works for me. My diet is flexible and my workouts are fun. I’ve tried different things and I’ve found what works for me. I haven’t given up and I’m not going to. That’s the key. It’s the key to everything in life, and it’s the key to starting and/or continuing your own healthy lifestyle.
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