Sound familiar? It should. About forty per cent of you have been through this scenario. Another twenty per cent might have only lost fifteen days, but when the diet ended the fifteen days came back. It’s a hard thing to go through. It can be de-motivating, it can cause added stress, and it usually ends with the scale telling you that added pounds have appeared. The summer is almost over, the holidays are coming, and you’re searching high and low in your closet for those pants with the extra room. So what’s a person to do? Let me start by relating a story I once heard.
This guy was walking along, minding his own business. All of a sudden he falls into a giant hole. He looks around and tries to get out but he finds he can’t. He starts to worry when all of a sudden a Priest walks by. The guy asks, “Father, can you help me? I can’t get out.” The Priest makes a sign of the cross, says a prayer and walks away. The guy looks worried now when a doctor walks by. Again, “Hey doc, can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it in the hole and walks away. Now the guy is really scared. Then, he sees his friend walk by. He yells”Hey Phil! Can you help me? I’ve fallen in this hole and I can’t get out!” To his amazement, Phil jumps in the hole with the guy. The guy asks “What did you do that for? Now we’re both stuck!” Phil looks at his friend and says “No, we’re not. I’ve been here before and I know the way out.”
Well, I’ve been there as well. And I know the way out. It’s not easy. It is hard work. But the payoff in the end is worth it. So, if you’ll follow me, I’m going to show you the way out.
The first step is portion control. Understand it, know it, embrace it. Each meal should have no more than four to six ounces of lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish etc.), which is about the size of a deck of cards. Six to eight ounces of carbohydrate (vegetable or salad), and a good fat (avocado, olive oil) in a salad dressing. And that’s it! That’s all your body needs for survival. If you eat at a restaurant, automatically divide the plate and take half home. I don’t know any restaurant that serves controlled portions. Although it’s probably because people wouldn’t eat there.
The next step is moderation. “Don’t eliminate, moderate!” Putting on weight, especially fat, is cumulative. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. So, if you like deserts eat them in moderation. You can still have them, but not every night. If you want a candy bar, have one. But not every day. You don’t have to give up the guilty pleasures. Just cut back on the frequency.
And of course, the final step is exercise. Resistance training two to three times a week is the most effective. You have to build muscle to burn calories. I know quite a few body builders who eat their cheesecake, chocolate covered nuts and cheeseburger and fries. They don’t do it often, but they do it. And the muscle on their bodies just burns it up. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn. Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps eats about twelve to fifteen thousand calories a day during training. And swims about 600 Olympic speed laps a day. And trains in the gym with weights. Speaking of laps in the pool, you also have to put in some time doing cardio training. Thirty minutes a day, three to five times a week. It builds stamina, lung capacity and burns a few extra calories as well. Keep your target heart training rate at about seventy-five per cent of your maximum heart rate. How do you know what your maximum heart rate is? Simple. Deduct your age from 220. That would be your maximum heart rate. And then multiply it by seventy-five per cent. O.K. let’s go through it again. If I’m fifty years old, I subtract 50 from 220 and I get 170. I then multiply 170 by 75 per cent and I get 127.50 which I round up to 128. There you have it. In my thirty minutes of cardio my heart rate should stay around 128 beats per minute. Going to 130 to 135 is okay but no higher. You’ll start to burn muscle. And how do I find my heart rate some of you are asking? Heart rate monitors, fingers on your carotid artery, the silver handles on the treadmill. Call me, we’ll talk.
So, there you have it. You’re out of the hole. Now find your way here to Lanza Fitness and let’s get started on the coming New You for the New Year! I can show you how not to fall back into that hole!
Thanks for listening and have a healthy day!!!