Following are simple, no duh(!) tips to make weight loss simple, (But it’s not easy!) These tips are a summary from an article in my fave journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
- Don’t eat more just because you are exercising. It is so easy to “treat” ourselves when we work out, that sometimes we eat more calories than we just burned working out! And then we wonder why didn’t lose weight…
- Acknowledge that with out any changes in diet and exercise, we get fatter as we age. (We gain fat mass, and lose lean body mass.) This just bums me out. I feel like I have trimmed out so much “fun stuff” (cookies!!!) that there isn’t much left to trim. (Okay, over dramatization, but man! First I gave up diet coke, then cookies, then breakfast scones, and now cutting back on bread.)
- Focus on lean body mass and fat mass (i.e. what your body composition is), not on BMI. Focusing on BMI (body mass index) is handy but inaccurate. For example, increased lean body mass will not be reflected in BMI.
- Lift weights to really lose weight. The study I referenced above showed that especially in the obese and overweight, lifting weights caused the “over heavy” to lose more weight than doing aerobic exercise. It may be that overweight or obese people can’t get their heart rate up enough to lose weight with aerobic activity, but hey, what ever works!
- Use HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to lose weight. This works best in the over weight, but not obese. This may be because those that are obese can’t get their heart rates up enough to do HIIT (yet!)
- If you are “normal fat” (their word) then resistance training/weight lifting increased your lean body mass with out decreasing fat mass.
Now look, I ‘m not saying it is easy, I’m just saying it is simple. Eat less, lift heavy stuff and do some high intensity intervals and you (me!) will lose weight.