Metabolism is slowed down by low calorie dieting, making it more and more difficult to lose weight and keep it off. The failure rate of most diets is very high, yet people are more than willing to try them, hoping one of them will hit the mark. However, eating right, rather than eating less will kick start your metabolism.
You cannot overlook the role of an active lifestyle, one that includes aerobic exercise, a good weight training program and a healthy diet. But what constitutes a healthy diet? We are inundated and confused by the abundance of conflicting information.
A healthy diet is based around whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season and lean protein. A healthy diet keeps your metabolism in high gear with 5-6 small meals per day. No food should be considered off-limits but sweets and bad quality fat should be limited to small quantities. A healthy diet should be realistic and permanent, not something you tolerate for a few weeks and then quit. The goal is to consume as many calories as you can while still losing body fat and maintaining a lean body mass.
When nutrition improves, you might find that you are getting smaller but heavier at the same time. This is because muscle is a much denser tissue than fat. A pound of muscle is like a nugget of gold while a pound of fat is like a bundle of soft cotton. Fat takes up more space on your body, making you bigger but lighter. Hence we should not be as concerned with the number on the scale, rather we need to focus on improving our strength, endurance and flexibility. We should rely more on the way we look at our healthiest and the way the clothes fit. Relying on scales alone may be discouraging and misleading.
Our life-time goal of excellent health should be achieved by making strong, healthy, positive changes rather than punishing our body with starvation and deprivation. The goal should be the healthy body of a naturally lean person, rather than the weak, sagging body of a chronic dieter.
The 5 tips to get to your leanest, strongest body are:
- Limit carbohydrates in the evening
- Eat healthy fats
- Minimize sugar intake
- Do cardio training 3-5 times a week
- Muscle burns fat, so lift weights