5 Things You Must Do When You Start Your Weight Loss Quest

5 Things You Must Do When You Start Your Weight Loss Quest

 5 Things You Must Do When You Start Your Weight Loss Quest

5 Things You Must Do When You Start Your Weight Loss Quest

5 Things You Must Do When You Start Your Weight Loss Quest

The weight loss journey is a rewarding one if you reach your goal. If you don’t, it will be a disappointing one. Whatever the case may be, make no mistake that this will be an arduous journey that will take time, effort, persistence and patience.

You will not shed the pounds overnight no matter how frenetically you work out. In the first month, you will see a teeny bit of difference. Most women quit in the first month because they have unrealistic expectations. They expect to see visible changes in just a few days.

It’s not going to happen unless you get liposuction. It will take at least 2 to 3 months before you actually see any visible changes. So, you must keep on keeping on. During this process, there are a few things that you must do. These are of paramount importance.

Most women neglect to do these and inadvertently set themselves up for failure. You will only fail if you quit. Following the tips mentioned below will save you much heartache and give you the strength to keep going when the going gets tough.

  1. Write down why you wish to lose weight. This will always be an emotional reason. Don’t say something boring like, “Oh! I want to be fit and healthy!” Quite frankly, most women don’t try and lose weight to be fit and healthy.

They want to be attractive. They want to look good in a biking. They want their partner to desire them. In some cases, they want their friends to be envious that they look so good. Your why will always have an emotional origin. Write down your why.

  1. Keep a food journal. Write down every single thing you eat and drink for the day. Be honest and do not leave anything out. Write down how you feel after you eat. Feelings of happiness? Guilt? Depressed?

Every bit of information is crucial to guide you so that you can make positive tweaks and changes. For example, if you notice that you eat too many cookies, you can cut down the portion by half. With time, you can eliminate cookies off your daily diet and just make it an infrequent indulgence.

  1. Write down details about your training sessions. How much you did and for how long. How did it feel? Over time you will notice that you can exert more and still feel good. You’re getting fitter. Good on you.
  2. Take a photo of yourself in a bikini or something that exposes most of your body. When you exercise, you may gain lean muscle mass and burn fat. The number on the scale may not change but photos will never lie. After a month of diet and exercise, take another photo. You will most probably notice differences.

After your second month of diet and training, take another photo. The difference will be so visible that it will shock you and motivate you. This is how you stay motivated.

  1. Measure the circumference of your arms, thighs, waist, buttocks, etc. and record them down. Fat takes up a lot more space than muscle. Even if your weight is the same but you’ve burnt fat, you will notice your measurements decrease.

This is one of the best indicators of weight loss. Do not trust the scales. They are not reliable and don’t give a complete picture.

You absolutely must do these 5 things when embarking on your weight loss quest. These will serve as route markers. You will lose your way if you don’t know your bearings. The notes in your food journal, the photos and the measurements will always remind you of where you started and where you should be headed. Comply with the above tips to ensure a successful weight loss journey.

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What It Takes to Develop Six Pack Abs

What It Takes to Develop Six Pack Abs

Six Pack Abs
Six Pack Abs

Six Pack Abs

Six pack abs is one of the most common goals of people who get into body building. Yet it can seem very elusive for most people, as they can work out for weeks and months without seeming to make any progress.

That’s because most people go about building six pack abs wrongly. It’s not just about doing a lot of push-ups and sit-ups. Yes, ab exercises are important, but on their own they’re not going to get you there.

Here’s how to actually get six pack abs.

==> Selective Working Out Doesn’t Work

Trying to just work out one area of your body to develop that part’s muscles doesn’t work. In other words, exclusively doing abdominal exercises won’t get you six packs.

Why? Because your abs have fat covering them. Even if under all the fat you have ripped abs, people won’t be able to see them. Unfortunately, when you’re just doing push-ups and sit-ups that’s what you’re doing: toning your muscle under the fat, without eliminating the fat.

The first step to actually getting six pack abs is to reduce the amount of fat in your abs. Unfortunately, you can’t selectively lose fat. You have to lose fat throughout your entire body for this to work.

==> Removing the Fat

Fat burning essentially comes down to doing cardio exercise regularly. Try to exercise at between 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate for 30 minutes or more three or four times a week.

If you do this, in about a month you’ll start to notice your body overall becoming more toned. If you measure your body fat percentage, you’ll find the amount of fat in your body lowering and the amount of muscle increasing.

As this happens, your abs will naturally become more and more visible.

==> Diet

Of course, in order to burn that fat you’ll also need to make changes to your diet. You can’t just burn fat and then take the fat back into your body.

Eliminate all extraneous fats from your diet. A bit of fat from protein foods or other “healthy fats” is okay, but stay away from anything that’s unnaturally fat.

That means no deep fried foods, no fast foods, no meals that are frozen or microwavable. Read the calorie contents and ingredients of packaged foods before you buy.

==> Building Stronger Abs

The last and final step is to do the exercises that strengthen your abs. You can start the phase at the same time as when you start cardio and start changing your diet, but you’ll only see the results from the ab workouts once you do the rest of the steps discussed in this article.

There you have it. To build abs, you need to burn off the fat throughout your entire body so there’s minimal fat covering your abs. Then you need to change your diet to keep that fat off. Finally, use abdominal exercises to tone up your ab area.

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How to Burn Fat without Losing Muscle

How to Burn Fat without Losing Muscle

How to Burn Fat
How to Burn Fat

How to Burn Fat without Losing Muscle

A lot of bodybuilders still rely on going through bulking and cutting cycles in order to get the incredible physiques that they display on stage.

This makes sense because it is the quickest and most efficient way to add muscle. Adding muscle means being in a calorie surplus. The more calories you consume, the more anabolic your body will be – the more testosterone will be washing around your body and the less likely you will be to burn muscle for fuel. But of course, eating extra calories makes it even harder not to gain any fat – and especially when you’re getting them from sugar ‘weight gainer’ products and the like.

Fortunately, this isn’t a problem for bodybuilders. They simply follow this period up with a period of dieting hard, which causes their body to burn the fat away from the muscle. A tiny bit of muscle is lost but mainly, it’s fat that will disappear. Hence the ‘bulk and cut’.

But you’re not a bodybuilder (probably). You probably don’t want to spend half the year looking overweight. So how can you use cardio to stay lean and add muscle at the same time?

The Problem With Cardio

The reason that most bodybuilders will stay away from intensive cardio when they’re bulking is that it puts the body once again in a catabolic state. When you run using steady state cardio, your body will supply energy by turning to your blood sugar and your fat stores.

Unfortunately, this means your blood sugar drops. And when your blood sugar drops, your body responds by releasing ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Ghrelin release is always followed by cortisol (the stress hormone) and cortisol is followed by myostatin – a molecule that signals the breakdown of muscle. The more myostatin, the more muscle you lose.

Add to the fact that your body will get 15% of its energy from protein and you have a scenario that is not good for building muscle.

The Answer

There are a few solutions.

One such option is to walk. Walking will allow you to burn energy at a much slower rate and avoid completely depleting your energy stores. This means you never get to the point where you have very low blood sugar and you never start cannibalizing that hard-won muscle.

Another option is to use HIIT. This is High Intensity Interval Training, which means alternating between spurts of sprinting and periods of jogging. The good thing about this is that the sprinting portion doesn’t burn blood sugar or muscle and instead relies on energy stored as glycogen. You’ll spend less time in a catabolic state and lose less muscle as a result – and so many bodybuilders will use HIIT ‘finishers’ following a workout.

Finally, you can also use nutrition to protect yourself and reduce your chances of losing muscle. The best way to do this is by consuming BCAAs – branch chained amino acids. These have been shown to have a very positive effect in reducing muscle breakdown during exercise.

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How High Intensity Interval Training challenges the Body and Improves Fat Loss

How High Intensity Interval Training challenges the Body and Improves Fat Loss

High intensity interval training
High intensity interval training

How HIIT Challenges the Body and Improves Fat Loss

If you’ve read just about any fitness blog, magazine or website in recent years, then you’ll likely have come across HIIT.

HIIT: high intensity interval training. Sprinting at maximum heartrate for a short period of time and then switching to a slower form of exercise for a couple of minutes to recover before starting the whole cycle again.

This type of training is all the rage because it is known to burn more calories in less time when compared with steady state cardio. And it’s great for our VO2 max, mitochondrial function and more.

But why? How does it work? What makes it so special?

What Happens When You Push it Hard

When you engage in HIIT, you start out by pushing hard and going at or near to your maximum heart rate. This is what makes all the difference, as now you are depleting your body of all of its readily available energy in order to drive those fast twitch muscle fibers. This is anaerobic training and it relies on ATP stored in the muscles, as well as glycogen.

After this, you then switch to your regular exercise at around 70% of your maximum heart rate. This is a steady pace that you can maintain, that burns fat using the aerobic system and that allows you to recover and reduce the lactate and other metabolites that build up in your blood during intensive exercise.

Welcome to After Burn

Steady state cardio is normally something you can maintain for a long time before you start to tire out and this is why a lot of people will exercise by running at a steady pace for 40-60 minutes.

If you do this after having done high intensity training however, you will be running at a point when you have very little available energy in your muscles and in your blood. All the glycogen has been used up and thus you have to rely even more on fat in order to keep going. Your body becomes more efficient at burning fat and you see greater benefits from the short amount of training that comes after.

But this isn’t even the best bit. What’s so good about HIIT is that this after burn effect continues for hours after you finish training. You’re now going about your usual activities with less glycogen, which means you’ll burn more fat even to do regular things like picking up a fork, or walking across the room!

Athletic Benefits

HIIT is also great for numerous other reasons. For starters, the explosive nature of the training means that you’re involving your fast twitch muscle fibers. This means that you’ll release more anabolic hormones like growth hormone and like testosterone, leading to more growth. And because you’re not completely relying on your blood sugar, you’re not going to go into as catabolic a state and risk burning fat.

Another benefit of HIIT is that it improves your energy efficiency. Because you’re pushing your cells to make energy more quickly, they become better at doing just that – improving your health, fitness and athletic performance across the board!

High intensity interval training
High intensity interval training

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