|Posted on March 6, 2020 at 11:40 AM|
You would think weight loss is simple: Calories in, calories out. Burn more calories than you take in. Simple? Nope. There are plateaus—where our bodies rest, and there are valleys—where we want to give up. Our bodies have self-preservation switches that turn on at the least desired times. Everything in between can be tweaked. When done correctly, these tweaks can help you lose those last few stubborn pounds off your body.
My Boaz learned about this over the past few months. He was concerned about developing type 2 diabetes since his family has a history of this disease. He loves carbs, but the carbs he was consuming also have fiber, so the effects took longer. Too many carbs yield adipose fat added up around his middle. It is also a recipe for developing diabetes in people predisposed to it. When he came home one day, he asked me, “Char, I need help reducing my blood glucose. How can I do that?” I smiled and went to work. First, we cut out bread, pasta, soup, beans, corn, and potatoes. He began losing weight three to five pounds a day. I was concerned that his blood sugar would drop too low, but it didn’t. I looked up the glycemic index and only bought fruits and vegetables for him from the low-glycemic category. Unfortunately for him, his body was so sensitive to sugars and carbs that he needed to stay in the lower half of the low-glycemic category. His foods were extremely limited. Next, I calculated his protein intake, which doubled his previous protein intake. We stayed with lean meats, low-fat dairy, and raw nuts. Those pounds melted off overnight! We also tripled his water intake. Less diet soda, more water. Ta-da! Forty-five pounds vanished over six months. His blood glucose levels are beautiful! He also got back to working out on the elliptical three days a week again. Now he is on maintenance mode.
He learned there are properties to certain nutrients that make a difference in metabolism. He also learned that our bodies have protective mechanisms that keep weight on our bodies for emergencies. Calories in and calories out has qualifiers. This is why I don’t count calories, even though I’ve gained ten pounds due to less physical activity because of autoimmune disease activity. You can tweak calories, but you should never go below base metabolic rate-- estimated at 1,200 in general. If you do, you risk burning your muscle as fuel. Those who are prone to anorexia and bulimia may fall into unhealthy weight loss habits that put their health at risk. You can utilize several other factors and leave your calorie intake at no less than 1,200 calories. You should discuss your weight loss plans with your medical provider to find out what is safe for you to do, and what is not. Health conditions, heredity, medications, and lifestyle needs (i.e., work and family) all play a part in what you can do toward your weight loss.
I don’t recommend doing these tips for everyone. This blog post is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to provide medical advice, nor should you necessarily do these tips without consulting your healthcare provider. Your metabolism and family history is unique to you. If you are struggling to get those last few pounds off, here are seven ways to torch those last few pounds:
1. Cut down, but don’t cut out your carbs. We need carbohydrates to burn initially during our workouts, but too many ruins your hard work. We usually need 45-65% of daily calorie intake from carbs (Healthline). You need to know how many carbs you should consume daily for the best health benefits. For faster weight loss, intake can be between 50-150 grams, but this isn’t a good place to stay for the long haul (Healthline). If you feel shaky during or after your workout, you might need more, so stash a small snack with protein and carbs in case. Stay away from refined carbs like cookies, white bread, etc. Accompany your carbs with a bit of protein to regulate its uptake into your system.
2. Increase lean protein intake. Increasing plant-based proteins may promote fat burn, but animal-based proteins like whey protein from low-fat dairy are helpful, too. These build up your muscle which burns more calories. You get protein from meat, eggs, dairy, legumes (also contain carbs), lentils, quinoa, hemp seed, and soy (Medical News Today). We should consume .73-1 grams per pound of body weight per day for low to moderate exercisers (NASM). If you know how many grams protein to consume, this will help protect your kidneys from damage while promoting weight loss. Consuming adequate protein enables you to feel full longer, which also reduces overeating. Add protein with the carbs you eat for the best steady uptake of your carbs.
3. Incorporate more physical activity into your day. Even though you workout, little things like taking stairs, walking more, and doing physical household and yard chores increase fat burn and build muscle. (CDC)
4. Increase water and fiber intake. Water, tea, and coffee add water without adding calories to your body. Do be careful with caffeine since it acts as a diuretic. Water is utilized by the body all the time. If you work out for longer than an hour, you should consider adding electrolytes by drinking an electrolyte sports drink. If you are dry when you should sweat, you are probably dehydrating.Water also aids the transport of nutrients and, when taking in fiber, helps the digestive tract do its job effectively. Fiber and water help you feel full, making you less apt to overeat. Get most of your fiber from fresh produce and whole grains. (WebMD)
5. Take stress breaks. Cortisol levels peak during stress. If we can’t get away from it or get it to stop, then we pack on the pounds and begin mindless comfort munching (Everyday Health). Step away from your desk or work station periodically. Get up early enough to reduce the morning rush, which is also a great time to read devotions and pray. Consider uplifting Bible passages to read or memorize for your day. Play music you like on your way to and from work.Give yourself a bit of downtime before bed. If you jot notes to yourself for tomorrow, you don’t take stresses or tasks to bed, which interrupts your sleep.
6. Increase your sleep time to 8 hours. This is a tough one for those who commute an hour or more every day for work, but it is doable. My hubby travels 1 hour 20 minutes to work every day, so he goes to bed at 8:30 pm to get up by 4:30 am every morning. He is more alert and feels better than when he was only getting 5-6 hours. You will feel better able to resist cravings, concentrate, and have a better mood with 8 hours of restful sleep (WebMD). Increase your light during the day, and reduce your light level at night to change your circadian rhythm. Give it a week to see the pounds start shedding from your body again. The tricky part is when you have family members who won’t cooperate with your sleep needs. Encourage them to remain quiet when you go to bed if they choose to stay up longer. Children need sleep, so getting them into your routine will help them learn school lessons and aid their growth and development.
7. Change up your exercise routine. Try intervals, Tabatta, HIIT, kettlebells, Spinning, or Functional Training classes. Change how you work out. These forms of exercise rev your metabolism by alternately working the aerobic and anaerobic pathways in your system. Check with your healthcare provider to know if these exercise forms are safe for you. If not, ask about functional training (VeryWell Fit) and what limitations you should observe. It is much like working hard between steady and hard, driving activity (Today). Your body adapts to your exercise within two weeks, so change how you burn those calories to kick your weight loss into gear.
8. Lift more weight. Light, regular weight increases build muscle fiber, which in turn burns the glycogen stores in your muscles. When this happens, you burn fat (Livestrong). Compound sets use more muscle fiber and also burn calories.
9. Hit the pool. Even though your heart rate doesn’t increase as much as on land, the variable, balanced resistance recruits more muscles for the work. This type of exercise helps burn calories effectively (Swim and Sweat).
10. Give your struggle to God. He is the One who created you and knows you thoroughly. There is much more to us than just our bodies. Allowing God to come into your weight loss efforts reduces anxiety over meeting your goals (1 Peter 5:7). Sometimes He points out what is real versus what is not, or He could change your course (Proverbs 16:9).
How Many Carbs Per Day to Lose Weight? by Chris Gunnar. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-many-carbs-per-day-to-lose-weight.
How Much Protein Should You Eat per Day for Weight Loss? by Brad Deiter. https: //blog.nasm.org/nutrition/how-much-protein-should-you-eat-per-day-for-weight-loss.
What to Eat on High Protein Diet? on Medical News Today. https: //www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321522#takeaway.
Physical Activity for Healthy Weight Loss on CDC. https: //www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html.
Sleep More, Lose Weight on WebMD. https: //www.webmd.com/diet/features/fiber-weight-control#2.
How Stress Can Lead to Weight Gain and How to Fight It by Amy Gorin, RDN on Everyday Health.
What is HIIT? This High-intensity Workout Helps You Burn Maximum Fat by Stephanie Mansour onToday. https: //www.today.com/series/one-small-thing/what-hiit-workout-how-high-intensity-interval-training-works-t165208.
Why Functional Fitness Exercises Should Be Part of a Weight Loss Plan by Malia Frey. https: //www.verywellfit.com/functional-fitness-training-for-weight-loss-3495595.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Can You Really Lose Weight by Weight Lifting? by Leah Groth on Livestrong. https: //www.livestrong.com/article/390546-how-fast-can-you-lose-weight-by-weight-lifting/.
5 GREAT BENEFITS OF WATER AEROBICS on Swim and Sweat. https: //www.swimandsweat.com/5-benefits-of-water-aerobics.