You have all been through it before, the family wedding is coming up next month and you can’t seem to fit into that suit or dress because you have put on too much weight. So you must lose at least ten or more pounds quickly.
Losing weight quickly is not advisable as most of the loss will be muscle tissue and water; you put on the weight slowly (usually over years) so normally you should take it off slowly and then you will know that the majority of the loss will be body fat.
But you have a problem here and the clock is ticking so you will have to diet pretty hard to meet your target weight loss. Let’s look at that first, you all know that diets don’t work; they send the body into starvation mode, a survival mechanism from long age when humans faced periods of famine.
Going too low in calories causes the body to lower its metabolic rate, which reduces its ability to burn fat. At the same time, hunger signals increase and you quickly start to crave high-energy foods loaded with fats and sugar, the same foods you are trying to do without.
Research shows repeated dieting actually makes it harder to lose weight and easier to put it on because when you dump the diet and return to normal eating habits the drop in metabolic rate caused by the diet means that your old habits actually represent an excess in calories. Not only do you regain the fat stores just lost, but also you may even gain an extra bit.
Knowing this, you really don’t want to put yourselves through this rigorous process, but for this special occasion you will. First though, you will have to boost the metabolism that has been lowered by the dieting. To do this you will have to perform a "Strength Train" workout to generate that initial spike in your metabolism. By increasing the lean muscle on your body by using Strength Training, your metabolism will increase, burning fat along the way.
The strength training technique I use requires just twenty to thirty minutes per week. Gone are the days of the five-day a week program with 6 to 12 sets per body part that, method has never worked. One short intense strength-training workout a week will elevate your metabolism more than you ever thought possible.
While the calories expended doing exercise are important, the increase in metabolism especially after strength training continues long after the exercise is finished, burning calories at the same time.
The two main components of this technique are the intensity of the exercise and the recovery after the exercise. Infrequent, short, high intensity weight training sessions, followed by the required amount of time to recover and become stronger is what is needed to increase functional lean muscle and lose body fat.
The way to lose body fat and maintain muscle is to have a food program for life. Quality food and more energy output are the basics you’ll need to go for. Bulk foods that fill you up and don’t fill you out, foods that are low in fat and sugar which aren’t refined should be the ideal.
Small frequent meals should be consumed during the day each containing a little protein to maintain muscle mass and energy levels. A high quality broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement should also be taken on a daily basis.
As before get the calories from high quality food but if you can’t, utilize a blender to make concoctions from skim milk with whatever additives you want to use, just as long as you keep count of the calories for your daily total.
Now use these blender mixtures and solid food for your daily feedings. Spread it out over many small meals a day instead of the traditional three meals a day. The way to keep track of weight loss is to buy a calorie counter and record your daily calorie intake for a week.
Now average out how many calories you consume a day with the use of a seven-day eating plan and calorie counter, once you have this figure subtract 1000 calories and this will be the target number of calories you will be aiming for.
Remembering that one-pound of fat contains 3500 calories, losing 1000 calories a day will total 7000 for the week, which equals two pounds lost by dietary means alone. Another technique for low calorie eating is to watch your fat intake as this has the most calories.
Incidental activity is also very important if you want to lose this amount of weight in this short period of time, by increasing incidental activity you can burn at least another pound a week The best exercise for the purpose of fat-loss is fast walking either indoors on the treadmill or outdoors.
Walk until you are mildly puffing and hold that rate until the allotted time. If your aerobic activities leave you panting or breathless, your going too hard, your energy is coming from your carbohydrate reserves and not from your fat stores. Try fast walking for one hour a day every day of the week.
Well there you have it, as an experienced trainer I wouldn’t recommend this type of program to my clients. The weight loss is just too quick and the program would be very hard to maintain owing to the very low caloric intake.
I advise my clients to decrease their calories by just 500 per day (and no more) below their maintenance levels and they will be losing 1 – 2 pounds of body fat every week, safely, without craving and without too much disruption to their lifestyle.
Remember, think long term here and that’s between 30 and 50 pounds of fat lost in six months. Any faster and all you will be losing is water and precious muscle tissue.
Gary Matthews is the author of several e-books, including "Maximum Weight Loss in Ten Weeks" - the complete e-book and time-saving solution for burning away unwanted fat, and "Maximum Weight Gain in Ten Weeks" - easy-to-use and follow techniques that serve as a guide to muscle growth without having to "live in the gym".