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People walk into a gym and start lifting weights or working on resistance machines for all kinds of reasons. Losing weight is a major reason. Indeed, some seriously ripped guys-and gals- began significantly overweight. But keeping off fat is also a goal for those who haven’t had to struggle with obesity. Fat is a problem for any aspiring body builder because muscles simply don’t get cut and become gloriously visible unless body fat is kept to a minimum. Let’s take a look at some things you can do, whether your goal is take off pounds of keep them from coming back.
Nothing is more important than diet, both what you eat and how and when you eat it. Rather than eating the traditional three big meals a day, try eating six small meals throughout the day. Stuffing your body with food makes it difficult for the body to burn fat and to properly utilize the nutrients the foods contain. Smaller meals spread throughout the day will help you lose weight by slowing down your metabolism. You’ll also feel more energetic.
If avoiding eating three big meals is important, don’t go to the other extreme and embark on a crash diet. They’ve been tried, all variety of them over the years, and I the long run they do not work. The main problem is that if you eat much less, your metabolism slows down big time and begins to store fat.
Now, what should you look to eat and what should you keep at arm’s length, if not avoid completely. Carbohydrates can really amp up your body’s fat, so limit your consumption of them. Eat a portion that’s about the size of your fist. Also, eat healthier carbs. Get your carbs from whole wheat breads, beans, pasta, corn, and apples. Just as crucial as what you carb sources you go to are the carb sources you should avoid like the plague. Heavily processed foods and snack foods are the main culprits. If you’re in the mood for a snack, pick up an apple rather than a bag of chips.
Of course, losing or keeping weight off depends on not consuming too many fats. Eat protein rich foods that are low in fat such as chicken, turkey, salmon, and swordfish. To round off a meal and take in valuable vitamins and minerals, eat a salad or vegetable with a meal.
Cardiovascular exercise is a must for those looking to lose weight. Any activity that significantly increases your heart rate for an extended period is beneficial. But do not start any cardio program before you see a doctor.
Even if your heart is fine and you have no injuries, you might want to confine your cardio work to bicycle machines, treadmills, and stair masters. Unlike jogging, they don’t strain the knees and backs.
If you’re overweight and out of shape, don’t a serious cardio workout and weight training on the same days. As for resistance training, work the upper body, mid-section, and upper body on different days.
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