Gay Fitness: How to Lose the Last 15 Pounds
Q: I’m on a quest to lose 25 pounds. I lost the first 10 by skipping breakfast and eating virtually nothing, but I can’t seem to lose the last 15 pounds. Can you recommend a diet that would help?
A: Let’s start with three doses of cold, hard reality:
1) Diets don’t work;
2) Counting calories is basically a waste of time and won’t lead to fat loss; and
3) Skipping meals and eating "virtually nothing" is a surefire way NOT to burn fat.
To accomplish your goal, you will have to increase your metabolism. Metabolism is the number of calories (energy) your body burns to sustain life. Now, muscle burns more calories than fat does, so people who are muscular (low body fat) and exercise have a higher metabolic rate than people who have far less muscle (high body fat) and don’t exercise. The average woman burns about 10 calories per pound of body weight per day while the average man burns about 11 calories per pound.
To simplify a complex subject, there are three components to your daily energy "burn" - known as your Total Energy Expenditure, and understanding this will help to be successful in your weight management.
1) About 10 percent of calories are burned by what is called the thermic effect of eating - quite simply, the act of digesting your food. Far more calories are used to digest proteins than carbs or fats (25 calories for every 100 calories of proteins versus 10 to 15 for every 100 calories of carbs and fats). This is why a nutrition plan with an emphasis on healthy proteins (chicken, fish, lean red meat, cottage cheese, eggs) is recommended;
2) About 30 percent of calories are burned by physical activity and exercise. Adding strength training to build muscle, in addition to a cardio program (walking, running) is essential to increasing one’s metabolism;
3) The majority of calories, about 60 percent, are burned by what is called your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is simply energy used to breathe, eat and maintain bodily functions.
Controlled to some extent by genetics and environmental factors, the rate at which your metabolism runs can be influenced heavily by your diet and level of physical activity and exercise.
Dieting (calorie restriction) without exercising is one of the most common mistakes people make. When you lose weight by dieting, muscle tissue accounts for about 20% of what is lost. Consequently, dieting without exercising to maintain or build muscle actually slows your metabolism and can lead to weight gain in the long term.
TIP OF THE WEEK
Green tea: A powerful antioxidant
Research continues to support the powerful role of green tea extract in weight loss, with one study noting that green tea was preferentially shown to target fat in the belly. The International Sports Sciences Association reports green tea is "perhaps the most potent antioxidant known to man" in its ability to prevent such conditions as lung cancer due to smoking, skin damage and skin cancer due to radiation, antiviral activities and many other maladies. Green tea is also credited with lowering cholesterol levels in the blood. Green tea supplements, taken on an empty stomach, are believed to be more effective than drinking green tea alone.
EXERCISE OF THE WEEK: ONE-ARM DUMBBELL ROW
Place your right knee and right hand on a bench (as shown). Pick up a dumbbell using a neutral grip. Keeping your back flat and looking straight ahead, lift the dumbbell and pull your elbow back as far as it can go, almost parallel with your torso (Photo 2). Pause and squeeze your shoulder blades together before returning the dumbbell to the starting position. Complete 12 reps then switch sides. That is one set. Execute 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps, increasing the weight with each set.