Effective Weight Loss Strategy
By running 4 km daily I lost only 1.5 Kg in 45 days! This is a common complaint. I had a friend who used to run 16 km for 6 days a week and up to 30 km on Sundays. The maximum distance I ran at a stretch was 8 km. My friend had more body fat than me! Some may be tempted to think that nature had conspired against him! This is a very common problem with a large number of persons. In this blog I have explained sensible long term and healthy tips to effect weight reduction.
Raise BMR to Effect Weight Loss
Most people who are trying desperately to reduce starve themselves. This lowers the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This often is the most common and biggest mistake people make. Raising BMR is the most important strategy to effect weight reduction. Some tips to raise BMR are:
Eat More Meals and Start Breakfast Early
Eating breakfast jump-starts metabolism and keeps energy high all day. Eating more meals keeps your BMR high. As a principle do not allow more than 3 hours to elapse between meals. Do not eat heavy meals.
Foods that Boost BMR
There are several foods which help boost BMR. It will be wise to include them in your diet.
- Fibrous foods like fruits and vegetables.
- Foods containing Calcium like milk and curd.
- Protein rich foods like pulses, eggs and milk.
- Foods having caffeine like coffee and tea.
- Foods containing Iron like apples and spinach.
- Foods having Vitamin D like fish, cheese and egg yolk.
Don’t Allow Body to Get in Comfort Zone
Human nature is to take it easy and get in a comfort zone. The body also likes to cheat and get in a comfort zone. When we run, or exercise we tend to follow exactly the same pattern and pace. This is a big mistake. This is the prime reason why by running the same distance in the same way is a very poor strategy to lose weight and improve endurance. Keep shocking the body by changing your routine regularly and never get into a set pattern.
A sprint will raise the metabolism much more than a jog. The raised metabolism stays for sometime even after the sprint has been stopped. Hence a mixture of sprints and walks will raise the BMR more than a steady run. The same logic favours brisk, vigorous exercise over long and low intensity exercise. Short walks during work hours, rather than continuous sitting on the chair and being fidgety can be quite effective to burn calories and keep energy level up. Thus a 4km run can be split into 20 metres to 400 metres sprints mixed with fast walk or jog. This pattern of exercising is called ‘High Intensity Interval Training’ and is becoming quite popular with gym instructors today.
It is a wrong strategy to use only cardio or aerobic exercises to lose weight. You should exercise to increase muscle mass. A body having a high muscle to fat ratio will burn more calories because muscles burn more calories than fat even at rest. Thus instead of running daily, run only on alternate days and train to build strength on 3 days in a week. This training will increase muscle mass and will effect greater weight reduction than just running.
Sweating to Lose Weight- Is Stupid!
A very popular misconception prevalent among people, promoted by ill educated gym instructors, is to sweat more to lose weight. This is an unhealthy and risky practice. It only leads to dehydration and not loss of fat. Please never do this. I agree it gives a great sense of satisfaction and one feels that fat is melting away with sweat and that is why this idea is popular. It is just a popular stupid myth! Build muscle mass instead.
Conclusion: Effective Weight Loss Strategy
A combination of right eating, muscle building and cardio exercises is the only effective long term strategy to lose weight and retain a healthy body weight. It is quite easy.