Week 4: Advanced Tips!
After establishing success with new dietary choices and better habits, it isn’t uncommon to hit “plateaus”. Remember our main topics of discussion thus far:
Calories in = calories out. Dieting is both simple and complex. The premise of expending more calories than one takes in is straightforward, however, the body is designed to adapt when exercise patterns or diet (especially calorie intake) remains stagnant. This is why dietitians advocate for “cheat days” or calorie cycling to jumpstart metabolism. Healthy bingeing one or two meals per week will reset the body’s metabolism without weight gain.
Similarly, this is why highly trained athletes “cross train” to reduce risk of injury and promote gains. The body is a highly developed machine… the best ever designed, and can adapt to healthy stress and strain. Muscle strength, balance, bone growth, mindfulness all occur with the body is forced to adapt. Try mixing up exercise routines. Incorporate new challenges. Try integrating high intensity interval training with aerobic and resistance exercises, or add in periods of swimming or yoga. Force yourself out of your comfort zone.
Under the guidance of a personal trainer, physician, or professional medical provider, some supplements might help to achieve goals of muscle building, weight loss, or maintaining an ideal weight. For instance, glutamine or amino acids to preserve muscle gains prior to workouts in a fasting state might help to facilitate additional excess fat breakdown but preservation of muscle tissue. Protein powders might help to reduce between meal cravings. Unfortunately, so-called “fat burners” quite often fail to demonstrate safe, significant weight loss in true medical trials without risk of harm and would be recommended to be avoided.
Intermittent fasting shows promise, and might be integrated intermittently to help promote additional weight gains. This would be recommended only under the guidance of a medical professional or provider, and only after one hits a “plateau”. The general intention is a more accentuated version of altering caloric intake patterns, as mentioned above, in an effort to “trick” the body’s metabolism into an ever-state of cycling.
Glycemic index can be a very helpful tool to help identify sticky points in one’s diet. The premise is identifying certain carbohydrates that promote rapid insulin release. Small dietary changes, therefore, might translate into impactful differences to both sustain energy longer and be less likely to promote excess weight gain. The concept is also simple to adapt— simply choose a common carbohydrate (or any food containing carbohydrates) and compare to similar foods. For instance, choosing a long grain rice over instant rice, or sweet potatoes over white. Consider denser, whole grain breads over white breads. Vegetable “noodles” instead of pasta. Even if the calorie content is exactly equal, one food choice may be less likely to promote fat stores and provide more sustained energy throughout the day.
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This article is general in nature and is intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute medical or health care advice. If you have medical or health care questions, please speak with a professional medical provider.