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Dieting alone not working? Check out the science of weight gain & loss

June 9, 2016

 

Diets...every three months there's a new one and for some reason people who have been back and forth with weight loss programs always seem to jump into these diets in the hope that it's "The One". I wish I could tell you that there is a diet that caters to the consumer but this unfortunately isn't the case. Metabolism, body type, activity level and calorie consumption are all contributing factors in body weight and the same numbers applied to two different people may yield drastically varied results. So rather than tell you what to do to get your summer body just right, I'm gonna give you the info you need to map your OWN weight loss program.

 

To begin we’ll focus on metabolism. First things first metabolism is not just how you burn fat. It is an adaptive process for turning food and drink into energy. The effectiveness of a persons metabolism varies depending on a number of factors such as how often you eat, how much you eat in one sitting, what you eat, how often you physically exert yourself and how long you exert yourself for. I eat at 4-6 medium sized meals on an average day and yes sometimes that does include fast food, but in this day and age fast food doesn't mean fat food. Eating smaller portions in shorter intervals will increase your bodies metabolic function. Various things that we consume are also capable of stimulating our metabolism such as caffeine, fiber, vitamin D, calcium and iron. There are also a number of metabolic boosters such as green tea, which contains antioxidants known as catechins which boost the effects of caffeine on the fat burning process; as well as coconut oil, which contains special fats called medium chain triglycerides which significantly boost metabolism and in many cases has curbed people’s appetites.

 

Next is exercise. In terms of physical activity, there’s no special exercise that will boost your metabolism or burn fat that is not exhausting. Again weight loss is a balancing act between consumption and usage of calories. However, there is a trick to how you can boost the efficiency of your exercise routine. When exerting yourself, your body burns oxygen in the muscles for energy. Once you’ve finished a strenuous activity that consumes a vast amount of oxygen, your body will work accordingly to replenish the body’s fuel stores. This is known as Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC for short. A work out that induces high rate EPOC, also forces the body to consume more fuel in recovery to compensate for your elevated metabolism. The best way to achieve this is through High intensity interval training, HIIT. A condensed fast paced calisthenics workout that has you transition from one timed set of exercises to the next with no break. This burns up the fuel stores right away and proportionately extends the EPOC as well. This means that your burning fat even after you've stopped working out. This is known as the afterburner effect.

 

Here's an example of a quick and easy 5 minute HIIT warm-up to give you an idea each exercise is done for 30seconds and then you immediately transition to next without stopping.:

 

-Pushups

-Mountain climbers

-Double pump squats

-Burpees

-High knees

-Knee to elbow planks

-Jumping knee tucks

-Wide push ups

-Jumping lunges

-Mountain climbers

 

This warm up can be done right before your regular workout or as a daily regiment to get yourself energized at the start of the day.

 

Small adjustments last longer than drastic changes. Use this info to implement subtle changes in your daily routine. Wake up 10 minutes earlier to do a quick HIIT set before your morning shower. Switch the oil in your pantry to coconut oil. Grab that green tea instead of the Pepsi. Like I said I'm not a diet kinda guy and I do eat fast food when the occasion calls for it, but my definition of fast food is anything I can get on the go. Wawa, Subway and pretty much any supermarket hot bar will offer wholesome, non-fried fast foods that you can grab for a quick bite. Choosing healthy options doesn't mean that you have to go on a strict diet, it just means looking for alternatives to the unhealthy choices that many of us default to on a day to day basis. For more health and exercise tips don't forget to subscribe.

 

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