Exercise Therapy  |  Personal Training | Healthy Lifestyle Coaching

Free Tips Blog


January 2011 Tip of the Month

Category: General
Sustainable Weight Loss

The vast majority of New Years resolutions have to do with weight loss. If this includes you, how would you like to lose weight for the last time?  Read More:

First, it's actually necessary to redefine your goal: You don't really want to lose weight. You want to lose fat. Because almost everyone is under-hydrated and under-muscled, the real goal is to gain hydration weight, muscle weight and bone density weight at the same time as losing fat weight. So a much better measure of your success in sustainable fat loss is the way you fit in your clothes and inches lost, not how much you weigh on the scale.

Second, embrace the fact that muscle is the engine that burns fat. So it is absolutely key for you to build muscle and protect against the loss of muscle for sustainability of fat loss.

What not to do:
• Don't believe everything you see on TV. For example, losing more than 1% of your total body weight per week is not sustainable and could be dangerous. This business of losing 16 pounds per week on "The Biggest Loser" would be just fine if the contestant's body weight at the beginning of that week was 1600 pounds! For a 200 pound person wanting to lose fat weight, the correct weekly loss would be 2 pounds per week.
• Don't participate in crash dieting or any of the other ‘newly' acclaimed diets. One of our clients went on a crash diet, lost 38 pounds in 43 days, but 12 pounds of this loss was muscle. Because each pound of muscle burns approximately 40 calories per day, her body will now tend to gain approximately 50 pounds of fat per year, every year until she gains back the muscle. Incidentally, this is the origin of body weight rollercoastering.

What to do:
• Get a great night's sleep, every night. Don't sacrifice your sleep to get more exercise. There are reasons involving chemistry, physiology and hormones which cannot be overcome through intellect and will power. Unless you're from another planet.
• Almost everyone in our society is dehydrated, so drink more water. Check out other "tip of the month" blog entries for more detailed info on this.
• Gain muscle with resistance training, also called weight training.
• Get a heart rate monitor (about $60) and learn to use it during your cardiovascular exercise so you can avoid the common mistake of not getting an appropriate warm-up or working at too high intensity levels which end up burning muscle.
• Get support: A personal trainer, a team, the buddy system, join an exercise class... create a structure that lasts year round.
• Eat a bigger breakfast including protein every day. Having your digestive system engage early in the day increases your metabolism and you'll burn more fat. Couple this with eating a smaller supper.
• Engage in cardiovascular activity 4-7 times per week. And by the way, doing something every day is more important than the total number of minutes per workout. It closes a motivational loophole that could otherwise easily grow to Holland Tunnel proportion.
• Pick only one habit to work on and master at a time. It may take 1 to 2 months to master it. Only then work on the next habit. We suggest that you begin with your sleep habits and after that, hydration. These two will fuel quicker and easier progress in forming habits in all the other areas.
• Click on our "Patient Support" tab above and download a free copy of "Your Accountability Calendar of Progress". The leading indicator for success in forming the new habits which will result in sustainable weight loss is using a system such as this on a daily basis. Being diligent in its use, you'll never have to make this New Years resolution again!

"Happy New Year" from all of us here at WellnessWorks.... We're the Habit Forming People!