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.

Lunch and dinner should conform approximately to the plate-sized proportions and nutrient mix described above — bearing in mind that this could be a sandwich or roll, or bowl of soup and fruit.

Alcohol is limited to one standard drink per day of wine or beer; or a spirit with only half a glass of sweet mixer. Better still, give this up for the time you are on this program. Soda water with a little fresh juice makes a refreshing drink. (Choose potassium bicarbonate soda water and not sodium bicarbonate. Check the label to find this information.)

Summing up the Nutrition Plan

It’s tough but not too tough. Grasp the basic principles. Then apply them to your eating habits. You don’t need to conform word for word, and a few variations to reflect your eating habits won’t do any harm. Eating out is often the most problematic. Find restaurants or fast food chains that can supply you with the basic food types. Low fat and low sugar is the key in your weight-loss efforts. When you reach target weight, then you need to balance your exercise expenditure with energy intake, especially your carbohydrate consumption.

This low-fat, low-sugar eating plan combined with consistent moderate- to high-intensity exercise is a great lifestyle approach to health and fitness — and it works.

Exercise Program for High Power Fat Loss

Here’s how it works.

You exercise for 5 days per week for an hour each day with no more than two sessions consecutively. Thirty minutes of the one-hour session must be at a heart rate at or higher than 70% of your maximum heart rate (MHR). You can approximate your MHR by subtracting your age from 220. If you’re 40, your maximum heart rate estimate will be 180 beats per minute (220 less 40). Seventy percent of 180 is 126. That’s your target heart rate. You can train at a higher heart rate if you feel comfortable with it, but you must reach that 70%.

This is an estimate only and people vary in their heart rate maximum. Another way to approximate this is to see how well you can talk or hold a conversation while exercising. If you can carry on a conversation, yet it’s a bit labored and interrupted by breathing, that’s about right. If you can talk easily or sing The Toreador Song from Carmen, then you need to speed up a little. If you gasp for breath each time you try to talk, that’s likely to be higher than 70% of your highest heart rate.

Here is an example schedule that you can use. Like the eating plan, these are general principles and you can modify them to suit your circumstances as long as you stick to the general principles.

Day 1. Sixty minutes of cardio: Walking, jogging or cycling, with 30 minutes at 70% effort or higher. That means a solid pace for 30 minutes. You should get quite a sweat up. The second 30 minutes can be at a slower pace. You can do either intensity first, depending on how you feel or you can mix high and low intensity in 10- or 15-minute blocks. You can use a treadmill or cycle at gym or home if that suits.

Day 2. Weight training, moderate to hard. Use the Basic Strength and Muscle program or the Dumbbell Program. Put the effort in with these lifts. Do 10 minutes of cardio warmup and cooldown either side of the weights session to get your 60 minutes completed.

Day 3. Rest.

Day 4. Circuit training for 30 minutes moderate to hard, plus 30 minutes cardio at a pace of your choice. The dumbbell circuit can be done at home or at the gym. You can peddle a stationary cycle for the additional 30 minutes as an alternative to treadmill walking or jogging.

Day 5. Same as Day 2.

Day 6. Rest.

Day 7. Same as Day 1.

Summing up the Exercise Plan

Remember, you need to hit that 70% of maximum heart rate for 30 minutes each session and you need to keep moving for another 30 minutes.

Energy expended per hour should be in the range 500 to 700 calories for most people. And importantly, this level of intensity should create some afterburn effect, which will continue to rev up your metabolism for quite a few hours after exercise.

You should refuel with a carbohydrate drink or meal, including a little protein, within an hour of exercise completion. It’s important that you eat well. But eat normally in this phase and don’t overeat to reward yourself, otherwise the plan will fail.

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