As a trainer, one of the biggest misconceptions that I see on a regular basis is the mindset that in order to lose weight, individuals must eat less. Although, theoretically, this is correct, by reducing the overall caloric intake, we give our bodies less calories to burn. However, this is not as simple as reducing calories = losing weight.
Our body has a standard BMR (Body Metabolic Rate), which essentially is how much energy you burn when staying still. The higher your BMR, the more energy you will burn when you are resting. When you have a higher BMR your body will naturally be able to process fat faster than if you have a lower BMR.
When you stop eating and you begin to starve your body of nutrients, your body goes into defensive mode and actually begins to slow down your BMR. It thinks that it is being starved and that it needs to preserve its fat sources. This will not get you any of the results that the healthy lifestyle advocates. This type of weight loss is not long lasting and typically, will return once you are off the extreme diet. In addition to this, when you are limiting your intake of food, you reduce the nutrients that your body gets. When you start reducing the amount of nutrients that your body gets, you feel tired, you get restless and feel sluggish.
In order to lose weight, you actually need to eat more healthy foods that provide your body with fuel, nutrients and energy to operate. In addition with this, you should eliminate processed foods and eat wholesome vegetable based foods. Instead of calorie counting, you should focus on getting balanced breakfasts, with a healthy amount of vegetables, oat meal and eggs. In reality, when you start eating wholesome healthy foods, you will end up eating less calories because your body will naturally be fuller off more nutrients. Wholesome foods such as clean protein sources, chickens, beef, or vegetarian options such as beans, tofu etc. are the type of foods you should be focusing on.
In order, to boost your BMR, lose weight and build muscle you need to… build muscle! So the best way to get in shape and lose weight is to eat healthy and perform a combination of dynamic work outs that both use aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. For example, you can do circuit training that incorporate some skipping, or jogging combined with squats and lunges. Another great exercise you can do is any sport related exercise such as kickboxing or boxing. Sports such as boxing and kickboxing are a fantastic way for you to get a short, powerful and effective workout in because they incorporate your whole body. The more muscles you engage, the more muscles you will build and thus increase your over all BMR.