Summer is right around the corner, so many are rushing to the gyms to get fit. Here's what you need to know to shed those pounds once the sunshine hits.
- Find your BMR
- 1 pound of fat has 3500 calories
- Exercise AND healthy eating habits should both be used to shed calories
- HIIT training over light to moderate exercise
BMR: Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) put simply is the amount of calories you burn if you did absolutely nothing (except breath) for a day. This is important to know because to lose weight you want to base your calories eaten around this number. Your gym may have a device that measures this, so ask the trainers. MyFitnessPal.com also does this, but generally machines that actually measure your oxygen uptake will be more reliable (a few hundred calories off is a lot!).
Fat loss: A safe weight loss goal would 1-2 pounds per week, so make sure you have adequate time to reach a realistic goal. To look at the numbers, 3500 calories equals one pound of fat. If you burn 500 more calories than you eat per day, then you would lose one pound in a week. 500 is quite a lot of food you would be skipping out on, so it's important to monitor your meals AND exercise.
Exercise: By adding exercise, you can increase your lean body weight which will raise your BMR. This is good because a higher BMR means you are burning more calories throughout the day. In addition, you will preserve, if not improve muscle mass, whereas you may lose muscle mass if you decrease your meals only.
HIIT Training: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a type of exercise that has individuals going through vigorous exercise for a short amount of time. This is the superior method of burning calories compared to longer moderate exercise such as jogging a few miles. This is because during and after the workout, your muscle use more oxygen and go through a larger oxygen deficit. More oxygen consumed means the more calories burned. Hate running sprints? Check out one of my HIIT workouts here.
Gillen, J. (2012). Low-Volume, High-Intensity Interval Training: A Practical Fitness Strategy. Wellspring, 23(4), 1-4.
Lunt, H., Draper, N., Marshall, H. C., Logan, F. J., Hamlin, M. J., Shearman, J. P., & ... Frampton, C. A. (2014). High Intensity Interval Training in a Real World Setting: A Randomized Controlled Feasibility Study in Overweight Inactive Adults, Measuring Change in Maximal Oxygen Uptake. Plos ONE, 9(1), 1-11. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083256
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