This week, we will be wrapping up this blog series on long-term weight loss.
9. Muscle Mass – Resistance training may sound scary for a lot of people but the benefits for
overall health and for keeping the weight off are incredible. By only doing cardio as exercise, we
risk our metabolism slowing down and usually don’t gain much muscle at all. Muscle mass is
very important for speeding up our metabolism. The more muscle mass you have, the more
calories you burn on average per even at rest. I’m not saying that everyone needs to start lifting
heavy weights and throwing around a barbell but increasing our muscle mass is a way for us to
increase our metabolism. This enables us to be able to eat more food per day and helps prevent
our metabolism from slowing down after dieting for a while. You can just keep eating less and
less as your diet goes on, or you can try adding some lean body mass so that you won’t have to
starve yourself by the end of your diet. Adding muscle mass does not mean that you are
required to have visible muscles if this is something you want to avoid. You can generally add
quite a bit of lean muscle mass before you will be getting comments about your new biceps.
Gaining muscle mass and tone can be achieved through many different ways and the best way
is the one you enjoy and feel comfortable with. This could be weightlifting, Pilates, body weight
exercises, resistance bands at home, machines at the gym, etc.
10. Slow and Steady – If you take nothing else from this series, I will ask that you please
remember that losing weight in a way that will help achieve long-term results is not something
that can usually be achieved by radical dieting techniques. There is a lot of misleading
information out there about weight loss, but there is no magic pill or diet that will lose the weight
for you no matter what brand marketing tells you. Sure, there a medications, supplements, and
programs that will help to lose weight in the short term. The reality is that if you want to lose
weight and keep off the pounds, it must be done by making changes that you can see yourself
committing to in the long run. Maybe you’re someone who drinks multiple full sugar sodas per
day and never exercises, then by cutting out the extra calories from soda and going for a walk
4-5 times per week would be a great starting point. Or maybe you have a sweet tooth and by
just cutting back on the candy you are able to eliminate hundreds of calories per day. These
changes may not give you that rapid weight loss that everyone wishes for but ridding ourselves
of bad habits can be something that will stick with us for years. You can lose 15 lbs over the
course of a year by making small changes in your life or you can crash diet for a month or 2, but
which of these 2 options do you think will have gained the weight back in 2 year’s time and
which one has not?
11. For Those Who Want to Give Up – So what about those of you who have been struggling with
weight loss and weight gain off and on for years? Maybe you’ve tried every single tip and trick in
the weight loss book, but your body just refuses to shed the weight no matter what you do.
Maybe you eat 1,000 calories per day and do cardio 5 times per week, but the weight will just
not leave. Please do not give up. I have talked a lot about how our body adapts to everything,
and that includes you as well. As a diet continues for a long period of time, our body does what
it always does and that is adapt to survive. So how do we beat our body at its own game? We
must change things up. So why do people keep torturing themselves by eating very few calories
and running on the treadmill if they are no longer losing weight? They have backed themselves
into a corner where the options are continuing the drastic weight loss routine or give up and gain
the weight back over time. My recommendation for those of you who can’t seem to get results
any more even when you are doing everything right, is to switch things up. Go in a different
direction with your diet and exercise routine. Don’t let your body get comfortable.
To sum things up, there are many different ways to go about losing weight, but all of them can
be distilled down to a few important points. Be conscious about what foods & how much
you put into your body. Move and exercise regularly. Any type of exercise/activity is better than
none. Losing weight at a steady pace makes it easier to keep off. Resistance training will help
promote muscle gain which burns more calories every day, which allows us to eat more food per
That is it for this series and as you can probably tell it is something I am passionate about. So
many people are desperate to lose weight and that means that greedy people and companies
will take advantage of that desperation to make money. If someone is promoting a diet hack that
sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. My goal of this series was to try and give some
science-based information on weight loss without bias toward a specific method. I really hope
that something in these blogs will help you on your weight loss journey.
Joshua White PA-C