Features : FITNESS
Lean By Summer: Shed Your Last Holiday Pounds

A recent study followed women average age of fifty over a thirteen year period found that women of normal BMI (25) eating a “normal diet” who exercised moderately for 60 minutes per day maintained their weight.  Moderate activity is typically explained as working at a level where the heart rate is slightly elevated.  Examples include walking with purpose (should be able to talk to a friend but moving at a decent pace) or light biking.  While the heart rate is elevated it is usually not enough to break a sweat.  Wearing a heart rate monitor is a great way to determine your exercise intensity. (see this months favorite picks for more information)  This information tells women that by simply adding a one hour walk each day they can avoid the dreaded weight gain. The ACSM has increased their recommendation for weight maintenance of both men and women to at least 150-250 minutes per week of moderate exercise combined with a modest diet.  In my experience most people are looking for more than just weight maintenance. 

 Knowing what’s required for weight maintenance you now have three options to kick this up a notch and actually lose pounds

 Maintain the moderate exercise requirement and decrease your caloric uptake

  • Increase exercise time or intensity without altering dietary intake
  • Increase exercise time or intensity and alter dietary intake

 While I clearly have a favorite choice of these options the most important thing is knowing yourself and what you can commit to.  Evaluate yourself and what is going on in your life and make a realistic plan. If there is no way you can commit to one hour of exercise per day that doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight.  You can decrease your caloric intake and commit to two days per exercise a week.  If  the results aren’t fast enough for you boost your results by adding some extra exercise sessions. 

In my experience the best option for long term weight loss success is to combine a reduced calorie diet with an exercise regiment involving aerobic activity most days of the week and a strength training regiment 2-3x/week.  The strength training element provides an increased calorie burn at rest which is likely due to muscle recovery lasting up until 72 hours after each workout.  (ACSM 2010) Doing 2-3 strength training workouts per week could boost your metabolism at rest by over 700 calories per week.  That’s a potential ten pound weight loss in one year! 

To find your weight loss strategy honestly ask yourself these questions

How quickly do I need to get this weight off?

  • At what intensity am I willing to exercise?
  • What kinds of exercise am I willing to do?
  • How much time can I commit?
  • Am I willing to restrict my diet?

Everyone can lose weight. The key is figuring out how you are going to lose weight. To ensure you’ll be on the right track seek the help of the reunion diet team.