As mentioned in our previous article, gaining some weight during holidays it is common but this can compromise our health and make more difficult to go back on track later on. The former article focused on creating a pre-holidays nutrition mind set, the most important first step to this challenge. This article will tackle a few remaining adjustments aiming to succeed in our maintenance or weight loss goals during this coming holiday season.
It is common to gain some weight during any holiday season. We are, in general, eating any kinds of foods and much more than usually because we tend to socialize more, which give us less time to plan ahead. While it may be tempting to put healthy habits in the "waiting list" and get back on track after holidays, doing so can compromise our health or even making it more difficult to reach our maintenance or weight loss goals later on. With only a few adjustments, it is possible to maintain, or even lose weight, during this holiday season. Here are some useful tips to help you keeping a healthy and "clean mind set" before it is too late!
Nutrients, Micro- and Macro- nutrients (“macros”) are the building blocks of nutrition. Macros (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) are needed in large amounts, providing the body with the calories needed to function correctly. Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), although are essential for health, they do not provide calories but rather the traces needed to function.
While studies show that ~80% of people are not able to keep weight loss for long-term, likely due to lack of motivation over time, a recent study by Virtual Personal Trainer has clinically and scientifically proven that the effective implementation of motivational strategies such as: any choice of food/activity (personal preference vs pre-established diets/routines) and simple rewarding strategies are key for building up positive-thinking and successful habit-formation for weight loss and long-term maintenance.
Aerobic exercise (lower intensity training: jogging, running, cardio) increases your endurance and cardiac health while anaerobic exercise (higher intensity training: weight training, calisthenic) will help you burning a bit less fat than the aerobic one but it will also help you gain lean muscle mass. If you are trying to lose weight faster, Virtual Personal Trainer recommend you to do it the most efficient way, that is, mostly focusing on aerobic exercise. However, if you are intending to gain muscle, the most efficient way is to concentrate on anaerobic exercise. Note: Most fitness trainers try to focus in only one type, aerobic or anaerobic exercises.
Being in good shape is not easy. It requires taking difficult decisions constantly, such as: the time to prepare a healthy breakfast, getting up and exercise, drinking water instead of sugary drinks, getting enough sleep, etc etc. There are many obstacles to becoming healthy and over weight / obesity is one of such problems. Luckily, technology, especially the Internet of the Things (IoT), can help us into becoming healthier and create important habits for a better quality of living.
Virtual Personal Trainer unique method consists of setting different weight and calorie deficit goals at different timings. The reason is to avoid potential "weight loss plateaus" and psychological exhaustion. A weight loss plateau is what happens when an earlier caloric deficit we have created has suddenly stopped to exist.
There are multiple reasons why this might be happening but let's just summarise it by naming the two most important ones:
It is a common strategy from many fitness trainers, dieticians and even doctors to preset people's "weight" near by the normal BMI line. See side graphic; X-axis: weight in kilograms; Y-axis: time in years. They are usually in a hurry, and later on, let people by their own after program completion. This strategy gives people the false impression that they already reached their "goal weight".
Virtual Personal Trainer's uniqueness consists of pre-setting people's ideal weight within the Healthiest Area (HA) of the curve (see graphic), which is key for long-term weight loss success. But what all this really means?
Most people end up eating more than they wanted, and all calories add up. Though it might sound very simple, it is very easy to eat or drink more than what you planned to. If you keep on doing this over time, you can make a big mistake that will express in the form of a big weight gain without you even realizing it. So, if you are planning weight loss, what to do? it's time to apply the right serving/portion size, which is usually smaller of you think.
There are some approaches that may produce better results for you than others depending on your goals and body type. So if your end goal is to lose weight or rather is to gain muscles, this raises the question: what is the best exercise I can do? While there is not a simple answer, aerobic versus anaerobic exercise could help you a lot on how to approach your final goal.
One of the most important steps towards reprogramming metabolism and energy regulation in our body is to apply Calorie Density criteria during daily food intakes. Calorie Density, so called Energy Density or Volumetrics, is the amount of energy (number of calories) in a specific weight of food. Energy-dense foods have a large number of calories per serving (high calorie-density). If you want to succeed at weight loss, you better read more.
Over time, as we lose weight, our bodies might adapt to a lowered calorie levels. This happens because our body becomes more efficient using energy (lower metabolism). If metabolism declines, a fewer calories will be burned compared to when we we were heavier, therefore, burning less fat. Thus, the slower metabolism will also slow down our weight loss, even if we eat the same number of calories that once helped us to lose weight. When the calories we burn equal the calories we eat, then we most likely reached a "weight loss plateau". But do not panic!, If this is your case, this is the right article for you.
So do you want to eat healthier and get back in shape after Xmas? For some people, this means learning how to trick themselves into working out more often. For other people, it means transforming their eating and fitness habits in order to lose some extra pounds/kg. Whether you are looking for a huge change in your life style or just few small changes, just follow the following tips to get back in shape as fast as possible.