Why aren’t I losing more weight?
I am nearing the one-year anniversary of my journey to exercise more and lose weight. I started my exercise regimen last summer after coming to the realization that at forty-one years old, I was not in good health. I did not sleep well, I was anxious, could not walk or exercise for long periods of time without feeling exhausted, and a daily nap was an absolute necessity.
One year into my workout regimen
One year later, I am in better shape than I have been in since my twenties. I even bought a two-piece bathing suit this summer. I dropped eighteen pounds, which puts me at only fifteen pounds heavier than I was when I got married in 1991. I am feeling pretty good about my accomplishments, but the journey was not an easy one. I altered my exercise plan considerably after the first few months; I realized that I was not making much progress. My first exercise regimen consisted of exercising by myself, three times a week lifting weights and concentrating on specific body areas, such as “arms and shoulders” one day, “back and biceps” another day, and the third day of lifting weights consisted of a "legs" routine. I would also ride the stationary bike for at least thirty minutes two times a week.
Same workout routine as I did in my twenties
This routine worked for me when I was in my twenties, so I assumed it would work again in my forties. I was making progress, but not as quickly as I would have liked. After all, I was working really hard and had only lost five pounds. So, I decided to join in an aerobics class and loved it so much that I haven't stopped since. That was six months ago.
The schedule varies every day and can include different routines such as a step-class with one-pound weights, an exercise ball or dancing with a weight bar. After thirty or forty minutes of cardio, we usually move on to light weights with high repetitions. Afterwards, there is a lot of Pilate's and stretching. And the music is fun and fuels the excitement. What a difference a few months make. After six months of aerobics only two or three times a week, I have lost fifteen pounds and several inches off my waist. I have a shape that reminds me of my college years. Without sounding too conceited, I actually look good. My husband jokes that I look “stealth”. I am not sure what that means, but I think it is a compliment.
(By the way - this is not me. When choosing a picture, I thought this looked like a good example of someone in one of my aerobics classes.)
I am so excited with my new level of fitness that my enthusiasm actually feeds off itself – making me more motivated to go to more classes. But as I write this, my knee is throbbing from a step class today that pushed me to the limit a little too much. I am going to take the day off tomorrow and put ice on my knee.
Weight lifting still works
I still like the idea of working out with weights in the gym at my own pace, but attending an aerobics class helps me to push myself further and harder than I could on my own. If I miss a class, the next time I show up the other ladies politely say “We missed you on Monday.” I enjoy my new friends and the instructors are extremely knowledgeable. I can’t believe what great shape I am in for an old mom!
I have to remember that my new lifestyle is not something that I should rush into. I plan on taking it slow so I don’t get any injuries which could curtail my future workouts.
Results of twelve months of healthy living and exercising
The results of nearly twelve months of exercising (three times a week) are more than I had expected. I am much happier; I am a much better mother to my children, a better wife to my husband, and I have enough energy to volunteer, which is something that I have wanted to do for a long time. I have completely stopped drinking alcohol and I sleep extremely well at night. My mental attitude is better. I have rid my life of all negative influences, including people that do not have their hearts and minds in the right place. Case in point - as Dr. Phil says, "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior." All the people in my life that are negative and destructive were politely and quietly evaded. No point in having contact with people who are detrimental to my healthy lifestyle.
This video helped me to understand six months into my journey why I was not making the progress I wanted. I hope it helps anyone else that might be asking himself or herself the same question I did: “Why aren’t I losing more weight”.
Take a listen to this video that points out various reasons why people do not lose weight.
Studies Show Exercise May Be the Most Effective Weight-Loss Weapon
Unless you're one of those super-fit types who compete in triathlons for fun, chances are good that you, like most of the rest of us, cringe when you hear the dreaded E-word. Despite decades of expert advice to the contrary, the vast majority of adults still don't make regular exercise a part of their daily routines.
In fact, recent surveys have shown that most people who are trying to lose weight are looking for a solution that does not involve strenuous exercise. Most respondents focus on counting calories or other types of diets as their primary strategy when looking to shed excess pounds.
In the past, diet gurus often did not place a lot of emphasis on the importance of exercise. However, over the last several years, numerous studies have shown that most people who achieve and sustain long-term weight loss success incorporate some form of exercise or fitness regimen. This week, we'll look to the research literature for more information about the ways that exercise can help you in your weight loss journey.
Researchers Develop Super-Effective Fat-Burning Exercise Regimen
All types of aerobic exercise help burn excess body fat, but there are significant differences in the rate at which different types of movements help reduce excess pounds. A leisurely stroll, for example, is a less efficient way to burn body fat than a twenty-minute sprint.
Scientists at the University of New South Wales have developed a technique that helps dieters shed maximum body fat in the least amount of time. Interestingly, the newly-developed method involves several cycles of different rates of exertion, rather than a single, sustained period of exercise.
The technique is a variation of the long-established exercise regimen known as interval training. Rather than exercising for a long-period of time at a constant rate of exertion, this method involves short periods of intense effort followed by "rest" periods of lower effort.
For example, the participants in one study were instructed to sprint for eight seconds, and then exercise at a regular pace for twelve seconds for a total of twenty minutes. Over the course of a fifteen-week period, the participants in this group lost over three times as much fat as the participants who exercised at a steady rate for a stretch of forty minutes.
According to the researchers, the difference can be attributed to a chemical compound known as catecholamines, which the metabolism releases in response to short periods of extreme effort. This, in turn, leads to faster fat oxidation and a greater overall loss of fat. The effect was particularly notable in the thighs and buttocks, areas that are often identified as trouble spots for women seeking to shed excess pounds.
Even Moderate Exercise Reduces Risk of Metabolic Syndrome, Study Shows
An intriguing theory that has been advanced in recent years posits that metabolic syndrome is a major risk factor in obesity. In addition, it has long been known that individuals with metabolic syndrome often develop adult-onset diabetes, a condition that carries with it a wide array of associated health risks.
However, according to the findings of a study conducted by scientists at the Duke University Medical Center, even short daily walks can result in a significant reduction in the risk that a person will develop metabolic syndrome. Even among study participants who made few to no dietary changes, daily walks of thirty minutes each drastically reduced the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. The greatest degree of protective benefits was achieved by the participants who walked for thirty minutes at least six days each week.
Combine Diet and Exercise to Shed Post-Pregnancy Weight
Many new mothers looking to get rid of the extra pounds gained during pregnancy pin their hopes on dietary changes alone. However, according to the results of a recent study conducted by Cochrane Review researchers, a plan that includes both dietary restrictions and an exercise regimen is the most effective way for women to return to their pre-pregnancy weight.
Both diet-alone and exercise-alone regimens proved to be as effective as making no changes at all, according to a meta-analysis of the research literature. However, women who combined elements of both approaches typically saw the best results. In addition, the study found that slower post-pregnancy weight loss was preferable, as those who shed pounds over a longer period of time were more likely to maintain the weight loss.
If you need expert advice about how to incorporate exercise into your weight loss plan, consult your doctor or a licensed exercise physiologist. Be sure to check back each week to get more of the research news you need to succeed in your journey toward better health.
Low Carb Diets and Strength Training
A low carbohydrate diet combined with a consistent strength training (muscle toning) workout regimen is a powerful combination that creates lean, tone muscle.
Low carbohydrate foods are foods like most cheeses, meats, fish and poultry and they are not always low fat and low calorie. Their fat and calorie content is dependent on how they are prepared. They are, however, always very high in protein. Low carbohydrate dieters should limit their intake of fat rich foods and should supplement their diet with large amounts of low carb vegetables and fruits, which are low fat and low calorie.
Processed Foods Should be Limited
Processed foods are full of chemicals and extras that a body does not need. Simple carbs contain sucrose, or table sugar, which is something that you want to avoid while on a low carbohydrate diet. In order to reach the goal of eliminating simple carbs from a diet, you will need to eliminate your intake of processed foods. Processed foods are packed with simple carbs and extra chemicals.
Weight Training - Circuit Training Adds More Fun
Most gyms have stations that are positioned around the facility. A complete a workout schedule includes planned trips to the gym three times a week, with alternate areas of the body trained. A well thought out training routine should include one day of training for each of the following body parts: legs, arms & shoulders, and back. By participating in such a routine whereas each station consists of 9-20 repetitions with low weight, with 45 or so seconds between each routine, one could improve cardio respiratory endurance while at the same time burning fat and building lean muscle.
In conjunction with a low carbohydrate - low fat diet, this weight training routine will jump start a workout program and help one to more quickly achieve an ideal body weight. This is not intended to be a quick weight loss program, but instead is a way of life that should be consistently followed. Within a period of two to three months, significant results will be achieved.
The Muscle Builder - Protein
It's no secret that in order to build muscle, you need to eat protein. Therefore, the low carb diet and muscle toning go hand-in-hand. This extremely powerful fat-loss plan helps to increase the fat burning process and builds lean, strong muscles. Whether you want to lose fat, build muscle or both - the combination of a low carbohydrate diet in conjunction with a strength training workout three times a week will help you achieve the goal of gaining a lean, tone shape.
Low Carb for Dummys - A Review
For those of you that have never researched a low carb diet before, this video can help. There are many low carb recipes on the Internet that will help you to keep your low carb diet routine tasty and easier to maintain. Take a moment to review this video and decide for yourself if a low carb diet is something that will work in your life.
Researchers Explore the Diet-Exercise Connection
Finding the most effective weight loss regimen is a constant struggle for those who are seeking to lose weight. It seems that everywhere dieters turn, they are presented with conflicting information about which approach will yield the fastest, easiest, and most lasting weight loss results.
One issue that is a focus of much debate is the role of exercise in an effective weight loss plan. Most experts contend that you have to break a sweat on a regular basis to achieve lasting weight loss, but a growing group of naysayers contend that it?s what (and how much) you eat that will ultimately determine the success of your efforts to slim down.
Researchers have also begun to focus more attention on the issue of exercise as part of a weight loss regimen. This week, we?ll review what some of the latest studies addressing this always-contentious issue have had to say on the matter.
Exercise Not Required For Weight Loss
Researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana challenged the longstanding assumption that physical exercise is mandatory for overweight men and women who want to shed excess pounds. According to the results of their analysis, it doesn?t matter whether a calorie deficit is created through dietary restriction, increased physical activity, or a combination of both. All three methods are equally effective as part of a weight loss effort.
In their study, the participants who adhered to restricted calorie diets and those who dieted and exercised lost approximately the same amount of body fat. The participants in the exercise-only group lost, on average, much less weight.
Although the researchers affirm the importance of physical exertion for improving overall health, they point out that exercise is not absolutely necessary in order to lose weight. Instead, the only non-negotiable aspect of an effective weight loss regimen is ensuring that you are taking in fewer calories than you are burning on a daily basis.
Even Minimal Exercise Helps Overweight Women Reduce Disease Risk, Improve Health
Obesity is associated with a laundry list of negative health outcomes, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and many other disorders and diseases. However, some people are intimidated by the prospect of initiating an exercise regimen. This is often the case for women who are significantly overweight. For women in this group, lifestyle constraints and physical limitations can make the prospect of thirty minutes on a treadmill overwhelming.
The results of one recent study suggest that even short bursts of exercise may have a sizable impact on the health outlook and overall quality of life for significantly overweight women. According to researchers at the University of South Carolina, as little as ten minutes a day of moderate physical exertion has been proven to have a positive impact.
Among the 427 overweight women who participated in the study, as little as 75 minutes per week of moderate physical exertion was linked with positive health benefits such as increased oxygen capacity, a smaller waist, and reduced blood pressure, although little or no sustained weight loss was reported.
This works out to approximately 10-15 minutes a day of exercise, a commitment that most people feel comfortable making. Furthermore, the researchers underscore the fact that the exertion need not be ?exercise? in the traditional sense -- it?s entirely possible to get one?s daily quota in vigorous housework, playing games with children, or gardening.
Strength Training Less Effective for Obese People
According to the results of a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut, men and women who are overweight or obese get fewer benefits from a program of strength, resistance, and/or weight training than do their non-obese counterparts. In a study that assessed the benefits of strength training for adults aged 18-40, the researchers found that obese and overweight participants gained an average of four to seventeen percent less muscle mass than thin participants.
The researchers hypothesized that some of the same genetic differences that make some people more likely to become overweight could also account for the differences in muscles? response to weight training. However, the researchers contend that this type of exercise is still beneficial for overweight individuals, although the results of such a program won?t be as immediately evident.
Although these study results are varied, most experts continue to recommend daily physical exercise as an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Check back each week for more research news geared to help you fine-tune your weight loss regimen!
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