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Not Losing Weight? Listen Up!

Not Losing Weight? Listen Up!


    You’ve been watching what you eat for weeks, but you can’t seem to get the scale to budge.

    To rev up your metabolism and get the process started of losing weight, you might want to take a better look at what you’re putting in your mouth.

    SEE ALSO: The Top 10 iPhone Apps for Losing Weight and Getting in Shape

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    But it’s not all about the food.

    Let’s dive in and help you shed those unwanted pounds…shall we?

    It’s time to get clean

    While we’ve all been told to check the labels, foods that require labels are processed, and processed foods can be poison to a diet plan. While low-fat granola bars and fuel-packed protein bars might have their place in an emergency (like hiking the Appalachian Trail, where there’s not a salad bar in sight), in the real world eating “clean” is the way to go.

    That means eating foods as close to their natural state as possible is the best for losing weight – fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats and healthy fats. Keep the empty calories of processed foods out of the shopping cart. Instead, opt for foods in their natural state and not in a wrapper.

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    Get Off the Couch

    Are you a couch potato, crashing after a day of work with a marathon session of your favorite TV show rather than a walk around the block?

    The key to successful weight loss is torching more calories than you take in, so couch potatoes will have a tougher time dropping pounds.That’s not to say you need to channel your inner Arnold Schwarzenegger…hmmm, bad example, to successfully lose weight. You just need to recognize that exercise is a great way to burn extra calories and will help you have a better shot at seeing the numbers on the scale drop.

    Take a walk, head to the park for a game of Frisbee or revisit your childhood and tune up that bike so you can hit the road for a burst of cardio your body will appreciate. The biggest perk is that the added activity will likely lead you to try new forms of exercise, and could inspire you to hit the gym to bust some weightlifting moves that will give your metabolism an added boost.

    Keep Your Cool

    Living on the edge with high stress levels and a constant anxiety can wreak havoc on even the best of diets and your process of losing weight.

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    Stress results in a flood of cortisol rushing through your system, an age-old response that began in the cave man era, when our bodies warned us of life-threatening dangers with the flight-or-flight response we now know as stress. The thing is, we now see rush-hour traffic and cranky co-workers in the same way as deadly cougar attacks, and we’re not fleeing the scene to reap the benefits of the response.

    Those elevated cortisol levels lead to attacks on muscles, reduced insulin resistance, and the storage of unwanted fat (just in case that cougar blocks our path to the grocery store for a few weeks).

    Try to find a little more Zen in your life, through yoga, meditation or massages might do the trick.

    Time Your Meals

    An effective way to build the healthy eating habit is to time your meals. Predetermined the day before exactly what time you will be eating. Schedule them roughly four hours apart. So for example; 8am, noon, 4pm, and 8pm would be your meal times for the day. This will keep you metabolism running high, blood sugar stable so your body can stay primed for buying stored fat as fuel, and satisfied to stave off any cravings. Prepare meals ahead of time so that you are ready to roll.

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    Dieting is Outdated

    Really what it all comes down to is lifestyle changes — and seeing a healthy lifestyle as a choice that makes living an adventure.

    If you eat right, you have the energy to head to the hills for a hike, hop on the mountain bike and tackle that challenging new trail or take the dog for a walk around a bigger block. And that opens the door for the life you want to live, not a life you only have the energy to dream about.

    It’s just a matter of making slow, easy-to-manage changes that reflect a new found attention to a healthy way of living, like trading water for soda or a more nutrient-packed veggie place of mashed potatoes.

    (Photo credit: Mature Woman on Scale via Shutterstock)

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    Justin Miller

    Healthy Lifestyle Architect, a Fitness and Nutrition Coach

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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