Fat loss can be one of the most challenging and controversial fitness goals that a woman can set for herself. While it isn’t necessarily unhealthy to set a weight loss goal, many women tend to veer their efforts towards unhealthy or “quick-fix” approaches that can ultimately result in more long-term damage. These risky choices include very low-calorie diets, excessive exercise (especially cardio), and potentially dangerous supplements.
Fortunately, there is a better way to get leaner without harming yourself. If you’ve been working out and eating well for months and your progress has stalled, here are a few ideas for busting through that plateau in a healthy way—no crash dieting required.
Know Your Numbers
While many see counting calories to be a demanding chore, it is important to have an understanding of what your body specifically needs to meet your goals. Many times we think we know what we are eating, but when we get a clear picture of our caloric needs (including macronutrient breakdowns), it can be eye opening for many.
For example, are you eating too many calories or too little? Is your diet deficient in protein or maybe you aren’t eating enough carbs to fuel your energy expenditure. These are all extremely important factors to consider when trying to reach a fat loss goal.
Increase Your NEAT Exercise
While exercise is an important form of physical activity that can burn hundreds of calories at a time, other forms of physical activity, called non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), can play a significant role in helping to maximize the total amount of calories burned in a single day.
A few ways to increase your NEAT activity level include standing rather than sitting, increasing your daily steps, walk or cycle for transportation, doing additional tasks throughout your day such as cleaning and cooking, and playing with your kids.
If losing weight is your primary reason for exercising, NEAT is an essential component of that objective. Increasing NEAT by 200 calories (about the equivalent of walking two miles), while also making healthier nutritional choices to reduce caloric intake by 300 calories equals about five hundred fewer calories a day. If you do that seven days a week, you will quickly reach the amount of calories necessary to eliminate a pound of fat.
Ensure You are Getting Enough Sleep
Sleeping at least seven to nine hours per night is crucial when you’re trying to lose fat, especially if you’re training hard multiple days per week. Research shows that sleep loss can increase your risk of weight gain, and can lead to undesirable changes in your metabolic function including insulin resistance and high cortisol, both, which make fat loss extremely difficult.
Even if your diet and exercise approach is on point, you absolutely need to get your sleep and stress habits lined up in order to continue losing body fat in a healthy way.
Set a consistent bedtime and make sure that you get at least seven hours of sleep or more each night. Modify your workout if you’re dealing with excessive stress or adrenal issues. And lastly, to help manage stress better, try adding some yoga or meditation into your daily or weekly routine
Momentum offers two successful programs to help you with your weight loss and body recomposition goals, Motrition Weight Loss and Evolution Meal Planning. Stop by our front desk or call us at 717-737-6362 today to get started!