Losing weight is as easy as 1, 2, 3
“Sandro, I heard you have a secret to help people lose weight,” Jessica commented. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen my friend, and I saw her yesterday. She looks great; she has a beautiful body. She told me that she is training with you.”
I replied, “You friend is doing all the work. I’m just giving her the tools. Everyone knows the ‘secret’ to losing weight. It is very simple: strength training, cardiovascular training and a healthy diet. The three concepts work perfectly together. Practicing them together will give you optimum results.”
Jessica was interested in the conversation, so I continued explaining what she wanted to hear.
Strength training can be done in many ways, such as plyometrics, calisthenics and weightlifting.
Strength training, when properly done, will increase live tissue, which increases the individual’s metabolism. Live tissue requires energy, and the more live tissue the more energy it needs. In other words, the bigger the muscle mass, the faster the metabolic rate. However this is not the only requirement for losing excess body fat.
Cardiovascular training also helps to speed up optimum weight loss. Practicing such training will increase stroke volume, which is the amount of blood that the heart sends to the body each time it beats. Increasing the stroke volume will increase the amount of oxygen that the cardiovascular system (heart, lungs and vessels) delivers to the body.
Fat burning is an interaction between oxygen and fat. This is called fat oxidation, and it will allow the individual to further increase the metabolic rate. Moreover, by doing any of these two types of training (strength and cardiovascular), the body burns calories, which also contributes to weight loss.
A healthy diet is the base of any weight-loss program.
No one can get to a healthy body weight without a healthy diet. Eating healthily has been defined in different ways, according to the professionals’ beliefs. However, I have found that eating 3 to 5 times a day, eating breakfast, staying away from processed foods, cooking at home, eating fruits and vegetables, cutting down your meat intake, eating organic and drinking only water has yielded results without negative consequences.
Find the right foods for you. A healthy diet will help the individual not eat excess calories.
As is true for the other two techniques, a healthy diet by itself is not optimum. As the body ages, it loses muscle mass and stroke volume. Therefore, the body needs fewer calories, and the individual should eat less to maintain a healthy body weight. To be able to eat healthily and stay healthy, the human body needs to be rejuvenated by exercising.
Strength training, cardiovascular training and a healthy diet are a perfect combination to achieve weight loss.
Strength and cardiovascular training increase the body’s metabolism and will create a caloric deficit. A healthy diet will also create a caloric deficit by avoiding calories the body doesn’t need. It is important to do all three things to achieve a healthy body weight.
“So, all I need to do is lift weights, run and eat healthily and I will look like my friend who is training with you?”
“Yes, it sounds easy, but it requires more than ‘wanting.’ It requires action. However, ‘wanting’ is a great starting point. Now follow these recommendations and get more information to keep you on track. Or you could simply hire me.”
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale, author of the book “Lose Weight Permanently” and a Watch Fit columnist. His column (usually) appears on the second Tuesday of the month in Body & More.
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