Beginner’s Weight Loss Weight Training

If you are in reasonably good physical condition and need to lose a few pounds, you can check out my high-power fat-loss program. But if you’re starting from scratch with a lot of weight to lose and not much experience with exercise programs, then this program is for you. It’s based around walking and weights, and also includes one weekly session of what’s called a “circuit program.”

Basics Steps in Beginner’s Weight Training Weight Loss

Get a doctor’s clearance. It’s all very well for overweight people to get hammered by personal trainers on shows like “The Biggest Loser,” but you need to be sure you have no underlying medical reasons not to exercise regularly, especially if you’ve been sedentary for many years. Your doctor can reassure you of this.

Move more during non-exercise activity. Studies have shown that overweight and obese people tend to move less during everyday activities. This may be a result of the excess weight, or it may be a cause of it. In either case, it’s likely a vicious circle. Extra incidental movement throughout the day is a key factor in establishing a basis for weight loss.

Continue reading

Questions About Weight Training and Burning Fat

The following questions and answers provide useful information about burning fat with weight training. For a more detailed article, you should read Burn More Fat – Secrets of Exercise Physiology.

Can I Burn Fat Doing Weight Training?

The answer is yes, of course. You will burn some fat as a percentage of total energy expended with any activity, even sitting still. Fat is used as an energy fuel for movement and overall metabolism.

Weight training, performed within an appropriate program, will build muscle, use some fat as an energy source during the weight training, and also burn some fat in the period after weight training when your metabolism is increased, perhaps for several hours.

Body muscle has a higher metabolic rate than body fat, so having more muscle should mean having a higher metabolism. While this is theoretically sound, in practice this does not amount much extra fat-burning.

The main determinants of burning fat most effectively are the intensity and duration of any exercise, including weight training.

Continue reading

A High Power Fat Loss Program

Fast Food. You can have one fast-food meal each week but only small fries and drink are allowed and preferably after a workout. Avoiding fries and sugar drinks is preferable.

Processed food. Restrict packaged and processed food as much as possible and choose fresh food instead. Some canned and frozen foods are fine. Avoid high-salt, high-sugar and high-fat processed foods and canned foods.

Breakfast. It should be eaten each day and consist of a low-fat muesli, oatmeal, or low-sugar commercial cereal plus bran and no added sugar. You can add canned or fresh fruit. Avoid sugary fruit syrups.

Plus, you can have the equivalent of an egg each day, or low-fat cheese slice or cottage cheese on toast or a spread such as ricotta, or low-fat yogurt (no sugar) to provide extra protein. Grilled fish or baked beans are other alternatives.

Instead of cereal, you can have whole-grain bread or toast. But make it high in fiber at 5 grams per slice or higher with only a level teaspoon of butter or margarine if necessary and one teaspoon of honey or jam or fruit spread per slice, or you can include one peanut butter slice with no butter or margarine. Finish with fresh fruit.

Snacks can include fresh fruit and salad vegetables. Or have nuts, avocado, olives and dried fruit to a serving size of a clenched fist. Or grab a high-fiber, low-fat and sugar muffin, toast or crisp-bread with a low-calorie spread. The nuts, avocado and dried fruit are high in energy, so be sensible about them. Avoid commercial cookies, crackers and pastries because many are high in fat and sugar.

Continue reading

10 Weight Loss Myths to Waste Your Time

Losing weight – and most if it should be fat – is important for people who are overweight, in terms of body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. It is also important for athletes, bodybuilders and recreational body shapers who want to get rid of those last few pounds.

With weight loss, it seems as if everyone has an angle, but most strategies are useless or insignificant.

Weight Loss Basics

What works for weight loss is to burn more calories in physical activity than you consume in food calories — an excess of energy used compared to energy consumed. If you doubt this in any way, consider what happens to people on starvation diets in prison or who’ve been lost at sea or in the wilderness for many weeks or months with insufficient food. The body eventually uses all stored forms of energy, including muscle, to support itself for as long as possible. Then you die, mostly in a skeletal state.

Continue reading

Strong Women Still Stay Slim

While weight training has traditionally been a male activity, over the last twenty years women have taken to the weight rooms of gyms and health clubs, and to their own spare rooms at home, with increasing enthusiasm. The benefits of strength training for women should not be underestimated. Although large muscles tend not to be one of the acquisitions women get from weight training, increased strength, balance and bone density are.

Women Don’t Get Huge Muscles From Weights

Strong Women Stay Slim was a best selling book for Miriam Nelson because she was one of the first authorities to make weight training a contemporary issue for women with promises of fat loss, strength increases and bone density benefits as a buffer against the onset of osteoporosis and other age and lifestyle related afflictions.

For men, these issues are somewhat different because men are protected to some extent by the male sex hormone testosterone which tends to enhance muscle and bone growth. Yet even men suffer from age-related osteoporosis and loss of muscle. Exercise, including strength training, is one solution.

Even though women produce testosterone — it’s important for female sex drive — they don’t produce as much as men, and that’s why women don’t grow big muscles under weight training stimulation or at any other time. Yet strength improvements and the stimulation of bone growth through weight training is not necessarily a product of muscle size — one reason why weight training still works for women, and can work for you, even though huge muscles won’t happen unless you take steroids. You can relax about that apect.

Continue reading

Questions and Answers about Fat Loss and Exercise

1. High Intensity Exercise Burns More Fat

Yes, but only if you do enough. When someone tells you in a few words that 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training on a stationary bike or an interval circuit burns more fat than 40 minutes jogging on a treadmill, then they’re not telling you the complete story. This type of training is hard work and you need to do sufficient to see results. Not everyone is up for high-intensity interval type exercise on a regular basis. This type of training, which was studied in a recent trial, alternates high-speed sprints with lower speed rest intervals. The Circuit Fit program is an example of a circuit training program with elements of high intensity.

So don’t believe the hype about ’10 minutes-a-day to a great body’. That person’s trying to sell you something!

2. Low Intensity Cardio Burns More Fat

Yes, but read on. This is the mirror image of the the first item. Generally speaking, low intensity exercise in the zone where you can talk comfortably while exercising is where fat gets burned preferentially as fuel for the body. Higher intensity exercise such as weight training and interval training uses more glucose fuel from carbohydrate. Nevertheless, some fat gets burned at higher intensities so you can probably see that if you exercise hard enough for long enough, you could conceivably burn more, or a similar amount of fat at higher intensity than equal or less work at lower intensity. The post-exercise afterburn also ads to an increase in metabolism after high intensity workouts. This article on fat burning has more information. Ultimately, the body doesn’t care what fuel you burn, the result is the same : what you consume in excess of what you expend gets stored as fat even accounting for a few metabolic differences between fat, carbohydrate and protein. See the next question.

3. You Need to Burn Fat to Lose Weight

True, but you don’t need to directly target fat burning. Consider how the body processes its energy stores. Fat is not a permanent fixture in cells – it comes and goes according to your fuel requirements. When blood glucose is low, say first thing in the morning, fat will be the main fuel. After the first few pieces of toast or muesli, blood glucose will rise and insulin will start storing glucose and fat in cells and you will start burning some blood glucose. Glucose is stored in liver and muscle, and fat in fat cells as triglycerides. When your blood glucose gets low again, or when you do moderate intensity exercise, this fat can be retrieved from fat cells when hormones called lipases break down the fat molecule and send the free fatty acids to the bloodstream to be used as fuel. This is what we call ‘fat burning’. It’s a dynamic process.

The key to understanding this is the ‘sliding scale’ between fat and glucose (carbohydrate). After you burn a lot of glucose, fat gets its turn because blood glucose is low. What happens if you always have glucose to burn? Doesn’t fat just stay stored away and you stay fat? No, because if your food intake and activity output is balanced you always have fat to burn – in the early hours of the morning before breakfast, while doing everyday things like housework, before meals, when you’re active – it just balances out because glucose gets sucked up to replenish muscle and liver stores — and then fat becomes an important fuel. So in a sense you don’t have to worry about fat burning, only food fuel burning and energy balance.

Continue reading

Paleo Diets and Exercise

Often called cave-man diets or Neanderthal diets, Paleo diet principles implore us to return to hunter-gatherer practices of the Paleolithic period of human evolution more than 10,000 years ago. This requires that we refrain from eating grain foods, potatoes, beans, milk, and refined sugars — foods only eaten within the last 10,000 years and which are deemed to be unsuitable for consumption because of an insufficient time for Homo sapiens to adapt to these foods. The Paleo diet is high in meats, vegetables and fruit.

What can go wrong with Paleo diets?

Protein. As with all high-protein diets, the caveats above in the discussion on very low-carb diets apply. However you won’t have a problem getting sufficient protein for exercise on this diet.

Carbohydrates. Although fruit consumption is encouraged, this is still a relatively carbohydrate-restricted diet. Heavy exercisers may find it difficult to consume enough carbohydrate to fuel their activity without some sugar and grain foods. Heavy fruit and vegetable and fiber consumption also has potentially disastrous implications for social acceptability at the gym considering the flatulence that many people are prone to. This is not exactly the savannah or rain forest!

Essential fats. Paleo dieters make a special point about the omega-3 to omega-6 fat ratio, which they say is skewed too much in favor of omega-6 fats found in seed oils and nuts. Omega-3 fats from fish feature strongly in the Paleo diet.

Summing up, the Paleo diet could be a healthy diet with restrictions on red meat and saturated fat and cholesterol accompanied by sufficient fruit and vegetable consumption. For vigorous athletic activity, including weight training, Paleo diets may have to be modified to make allowances for additional and alternative carbohydrate consumption.

Continue reading