Many people have this question as to how to get rid of the perpetually stubborn 5 or 10 pounds of body fat. It's the most difficult and challenging 5 to 10 pounds to lose since your body wants to store fat for emergency use.
People all want to blame their genes, declining metabolism due to natural aging when they cannot lose weight.
These are just excuses.
You can still stay fit even if you're over 40!
I have a few strategies to help you boost your metabolism, kick-start your fat-burning furnace and move beyond your plateau. Follow these simple steps, you may be able to melt away the last pound of body fat and reveal your six pack abs in no time!
What Is Metabolism?
Metabolism is a scientific term that describes the rate of energy conversion - how your body process the foods and metabolize them into nutrients to fuel your body. This comes with a price at caloric expenditure. Although it's true that our metabolic rate drops by an average of 10% for every decade after age 25 to 30, it doesn't have to be this way. The decline is mostly due to reduced physical activities, poor diet and nutrition, bad habits and unhealthy lifestyle.
Our daily caloric intake is consumed through many pathways. Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) takes up approximately 60 to 70% of daily energy consumption. That is the energy consumed while your body is at rest, sitting or sleeping, doing nothing. A good chunk of calories is consumed to support normal brain and body functions. Physical activities and exercises use up about 20 to 25%. The thermic effect of foods is about 10 to 15%.
As you can see, it's most powerful to raise your resting metabolic rate since it takes up a majority of caloric consumption. Increasing physical activies and intensive exercises help consume more calories. A good combination of food intake helps complete the last piece of metabolic puzzle.
What Can You Do to Boost Your Metabolism?
Follow these 5 simple strategies . . .
1. Perform resistance training to build lean muscle. You need to engage in some types of resistance training (free weight, strength machine, tubing/band). You know that by building lean muscle mass, your body burns off more calories even if you're just sitting around, doing nothing. The difference could be 20 to 50 more calories burned for every extra pound of lean muscle mass you build up. In addition, when repairing the damaged muscle tissues from resistance training, your body consumes extra calories to complete the repair and recovery process. So you got additional calorie expenditure. Learn how to change up your training routine when you hit the plateau.
2. Perform High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) cardio exercise. I have covered this topic about H.I.I.T. cardio exercise to effectively enhance your cardiovascular fitness and help you burn fat all day. I have also shown many sample H.I.I.T. cardio routines. You can do H.I.I.T. cardio on the treadmill, elliptical trainer, stairmaster or stationary bike by alternating fast and slow speeds for long/short durations and several repeats. The concept can be applied to other types of cardio exercise and outdoor running - jump rope, cycling, kickboxing, hill running and distance repeat. You can do H.I.I.T. for 30 minutes as a separate workout on days that you don't lift weight. Or better yet, do a quick 15-minute H.I.I.T. at the end of your resistance training session. The "after-burn" will help you keep burning fat for at least 24 to 48 hours afterwards.
3. Add variation and variety to your training program. It's a standard training practice to periodize a training program throughout the year or season. You should at least evaluate and change up a training program every 4 to 6 weeks of mesocycle for many reasons. When you do new exercises, you're in the learning mode. Your body tries to guess how you can handle it. This "inefficiency" helps you burn more calories. After a period of consistent training, your body adapts to the new load and intensity level. Your progress starts to diminish. There are many ways to change up your weight training routine. By doing so, you'll progressively overload your body to make continual strength gain and muscle growth. Adding variety to your training program as a cross training helps you to prevent overtraining burnout and overuse injuries. You can also add different activities or choose your workouts by your personality.
4. Adjust protein intake. Without going into details about specific diet, nutrition and supplements, a higher protein intake will help you burn more calories because it just takes more energy to digest protein. This is the thermic effect of foods. Always eat a balanced meal. You know that you need protein to help build muscle. The idea here is not to overload your diet with protein and accidentally eat high-fat food. A good tip is always have some sources of protein in every meal or snack.
5. Plan your next week. Reserve one hour or two each week to review what you have done this week and plan your workout and nutrition for the coming week. Note any schedule conflict with your workout so that you plan around it. Then you plan your nutrition around your workout. It also helps with damage control for unforeseen social obligations or job demands. Be proactive about your training and nutrition schedule.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!
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