Do you work out and the pounds still don’t come off? It can be incredibly frustrating. But what you may not know is that certain habits and physical changes can undermine even the most scientifically proven weight loss strategies, especially after 40. Here’s a fat burning gameplan!
Make some muscle! Lift weights three times a week. It’s the fastest way to build muscle and get results when the scale is stuck. Regular strength-training can increase your resting metobolic rate by up to 8 percent. In an eight-week study, women and men who did only cardio exercise lost 4 pounds but gained no muscle, while those who did half the amount of cardio and an equal amount of strength-training shed 10 pounds of fat and added 2 pounds of muscle. (Wayne Westcott, Ph.D,Get Stronger, Feel Younger). Rest less!
If you already strength-train, shorten the time you linger between sets. Studies show that taking a brief, 20-second break after each set burns extra calories and accelerates metabolism more than waiting the standard 60 to 90 seconds. Trade exercises that isolate a single muscle, such as biceps curls, for multijoint, multimuscle moves like chest presses and squats. The more muscles you engage at once, the more calories you’ll burn! EAT! If you’re losing weight (and therefore muscle) by cutting calories, eating five small meals instead of three large ones helps keep metabolism high. Spreading calories throughout the day keeps blood sugar levels even and controls the release of insulin that can cause your body to store more calories as fat. Everytime you eat, your metabolism speeds up to digest the food! And don’t forget to stay hydrated! Plateaus Happen! Ok,so the first 10- 20 pounds came off easy but now you are stuck and so is that scale? As you drop weight, your body doesn’t have to work as hard simply because there’s less of you to move around. That means your workouts produce a smaller calorie burn. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds and lose 35, you’ll melt about 100 fewer calories in an hour-long cardio class—which can slow down further weight loss. And as you get older, injuries or arthritis can make it difficult to do vigorous, high-impact activities that help compensate for this calorie deficit. Raise your heart rate! Watching TV or reading while you exercise can lower your workout intensity—and your calorie burn. Instead, pay attention to your pulse! For best results, stay between 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. Change up those workouts! The more comfortable you become with a routine, exercise class, or fitness DVD, the less effective it gets. To continue to lose weight, you need to challenge your body in new ways. Just replacing one exercise can create enough of a surprise to keep results coming! Try to do a new upper-body exercise; the second week, a new lower-body one; the third, a new abs move; and the fourth, a different type of cardio like bicycling instead of walking. Keep moving!! Just because you’ve workout during the day, don’t stop those daily activities! Little activities such as standing instead of sitting, fidgeting, and walking more throughout the day can add up to an extra 350 calories burned per day, according to Mayo Clinic studies. This also shows a decrease in these everyday actions may shut down an enzyme that controls fat metabolism, making weight loss tougher. And even daily half-hour to hour-long workouts aren’t enough to turn it back on! Motivate yourself, stick notes on your bathroom mirror, microwave, TV remote, steering wheel, and computer that simply say: Move more!