I’ve been in the industry for 22 years, witnessing how people lost and regained weight over time. It takes effort, every single day, every time you eat, and every time you move your body so you can sustain the fitness and health results.
To maintain weight, you still need to work extra hard, exerting almost the same effort as what you did when you were still starting to manage your weight. Commit to your goals for as long as you can to reap the benefits of healthy living, such as feeling good, staying strong, and disease-free.
You need to give your very best to achieve the healthiest body you can ever have, comparable to the all-out efforts you exert for your family and your job. You need to like healthy food and carefully plan your schedule to give enough time for mental and physical recovery. You need to love what you are doing when it comes to exercise.
Setting health goals concerning your energy level, rather than weight loss, can center your attention on achieving balance in eating, movement, and recovery. Instead of being preoccupied with weight loss, start or continue your healthy lifestyle journey by visualizing that type of radiant vibe and overflowing energy you can have every day. Keep in mind that your body and weight do not define you, but how much you can give life to others by being mentally, emotionally, and physically strong.
Aside from focusing on losing belly fat, it would help if you also emphasized gaining muscles and improving your overall physical strength and metabolism. These elements effectively maintain your weight long-term.
Build muscles and lose body fat by working out, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough recovery
Improve your energy level and functional strength so you can do more things effectively by improving your cardiovascular health and overall strength.
You can only build muscles or prevent the loss of strength as you age by moving more daily. You need to stand up and use your walking muscles to sustain your daily tasks. You need to apply resistance to your movements by building muscles, doing strength training even with your body weight, like squats or push-ups.
However, to build more muscles, you need to consistently do weight training at least twice a week and progress your intensity as you go along by lifting heavier weights or doing more repetitions. On top of this, you need to observe a balanced diet and get enough recovery by sleeping seven to eight hours a day for your muscles to develop.
Our bodies respond differently to weight training because of gender, genes, and age. That’s why others need to work harder for food and exercise to achieve muscle gain.
Carrying extra body fat around your body can always put you at risk of developing health problems. Fasting, food deprivation, and extreme caloric restriction will only sabotage your fitness goals. You can gain or maintain muscle mass and at the same time lose body fat by combining strength training with cardio workouts on most days of the week and eating the right amount and quality of food.
Build muscles to improve your metabolism and lose body fat
Recent studies show that an additional pound of muscle can make you burn an extra three to ten calories a day, which doesn’t seem like a considerable amount, but just building a pound of muscle can help you burn extra to 3,650 calories a year (one pound of fat = 3,500 calories). Think about the extra muscles (and extra calorie burn) that you will develop if you stay consistent and progress with your resistance training routine.
The actual significant burn happens when you use your muscles to burn calories during and even after the exercise, which is the exercise post-oxygen consumption (EPOC), often referred to as the “afterburn.”
Afterburn is dependent on the amount of oxygen required for your body to return to its normal resting metabolic state. You can still burn calories right after the workout for up to 24 hours, and the amount and rate of burn will depend on the intensity (not duration) of your workout.
Studies show that high-intensity interval training (HIIT), resistance training using compound exercise movements, and heavyweight training with less recovery in between sets can produce the largest calorie burn even hours after the workout session. It will take longer for the muscles and other systems of the body to perform various processes needed for repair in the next 24 to 48 hours.
You can achieve an additional 50 to 200 calorie burn after an intense workout, but of course, still burn more calories during the actual workout session.
Avoid muscle loss with consistent movement and a balanced diet
Stay consistent with your active lifestyle and healthy living. Muscle loss and atrophy (shrinking of muscles) can happen after a certain period of inactivity. Studies show that you can lose muscle mass in less than a month of taking a break from strength training. Your weight will go down due to muscle and water loss, but your metabolism will also slow down, and body fat can increase, primarily if food intake is not controlled, so weight management results long-term won’t be favorable.
You can still regain your strength and muscles once you resume normal activities, but your body will have significant adjustments. You will experience muscle soreness after a certain period of inactivity. You will exert more effort again to lose body fat, build muscles, and regain your energy level and previous rate of metabolism.
You’ll avoid weight regain and decline in your overall physical strength if you don’t stop moving. You can do bodyweight exercises (or use light weights) or any form of physical activity that can still challenge your muscles while you are on a break.
Depriving yourself of essential nutrients will contribute to muscle loss, the decline in strength and metabolism. That’s why extreme diets will reverse the process of muscle building. Save your muscles by eating right, making sure that you get at least 20 percent (or higher depending on your workout intensity and fitness goals) of protein (seafood, egg, chicken, lean meat, nuts, seeds, and dairy) intake from your total calorie intake to achieve effective muscle repair and building.
You need to eat the right amount (30 to 60 percent) and quality of carbs (whole grain rice, bread, pasta, oats, and noodles) to give you enough energy to move, do cardio, and lift weights so you can build muscles and lose extra body fat.
Eat the right amount (20 to 30 percent) of healthy fats (eggs, avocado, nuts, seeds, salmon, coconut oil). It will help push your body to endure a more extended workout session so you can produce growth hormones essential for muscle building and repair.
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