I am trying to remove body fat and gain lean muscle. My workout consists of spinning once a week, weight lifting twice a week and another cardio component once a week. I am happy with the results of my exercise, but the other half is the dieting. I try to eat balanced just from common sense, but have no idea about the real science of measuring caloric intakes and so forth.
I am thinking about starting metrx, does anyone have any information they could share about the supplement?
Met Rx does provide some good whey protein powder suppliments and bars. But can be expensive to use all the time. There are some better powders out on the market (Optimum Plus is a good one) that are just a good and less expensive. If that was what you were wondering about.
If you doing whole body workouts twice a week...that is good. A three day split is better with cardio on the off lifting days or right after. Resistance lifting for strength will force your body to work harder and keep the metabolism up longer. At the same time build lean muscle mass. This conjunction with good nutritious diet and eating 5-6 small meals a day.
If you are eating pretty well now...it is a matter of modifying your diet. Just cut the sugars, up the protein..cut the overly refined carbs (try for more complex ones/veggies) keep some fats and drink plenty of water. Where ever your problem fat areas are, it will take time for these to go down....just as it took time for the fat to be stored there. The body takes fat from all over to burn as energy. There are plenty of calorie counters online or in books to look at. You do not want to get too low with calorie intake or else your body will slow it's metabolism into "starvation mode" and conserve fat. If your exercise is doing some good.....then your commonsense is guiding you well. The idea of spreading your eating over 5-6 smaller meals is keeping the meal calorie count consistant over the day. This will also keep your body fueled and metabolism up to burn the fat. Rather like feeding a fire with small wood chips in a consistant time frame to keep it going and the coals hot throughout the night. Than letting it die down, get cold and put a bunch of wood all at once...and waiting for the coals to heat up again.
Laurie- Thanks for the information.
Spinning is a stationary bike class that is offered at my gym. It's about 50 minutes long and it is the most intense workout I've ever had. They say you can burn up to 700 calories.
Now a few questions. What exactly do you mean when you say resistance lifting for strength? My lifting consists on weight that is challenging but at the same time, manageable enough to work through 10-12 reps and about 3 sets. When I know I will not be able to work through a min of at least 8 reps and 3 sets, I lower the weight. Is that resistance for strength, or do I probably need to change something?
Now about the nutrition-this is where I am stumped. My common sense says for protein: fish, chicken or red meat. Then I eat this with some sort of veggies: steamed broccolli, cauliflower, carrots and recently squash and zucchini...this is dinner, but it gets old real fast. Breakfast consists of a shot of expresso with tons of sugar (I can't help it). Is it ok to have some sugar, like maybe a teaspoon? When I don't have coffee i try to drink a smoothie from yoplait or cottage cheese and crackers (i never measure how much or how many crackers). Then lunch is really unstructured. Sometimes just a frozen entree, sometimes a meatball sub, hardly ever a salad. When I work out a lot, I have a HUGE, HUGE appetite, so a salad never seems to be satiating. Then, sometimes I'll have a banana throughout the day or carrots and dip.
The exercise is doing some good, but I think I've gotten to a plateau because the real significant changes that I want now, in other words the next step is taking longer. Infact, I've gotten a bit discouraged and started eating all sorts of crazy fast foods (yikes!!!).
Interesting name for a stationary bicycling class.....doesnt sound so bland.
Well, "resistance training for strength" I have seen used as another term for "lifting freeweights". Better than saying "Toning for looks" as I have seen it described elsewhere. A lot of women still get put off by the very idea of doing this with anything heavier than those "nice" low weight, colored dumbbells. Very ladylike but dont get you anywhere in a short time. My own college class was called "Women's Strength" with the "lifting" put small print. There is a Summer class trying to start up with the name "Toning for strength" and to lose weight. The problem is, you say "lifting freeweights/use machines to build muscle strength" and that still puts off alot of women because of the misconceptions/myths about women and lifting.
Anyway. The rep count was taken from my basic workout sheet from that class. 10-12 reps was considered as "Strength building" with moderately heavy weights. While 12 to 25 is considered as endurance since you would be using lower poundages to do those that many times. 6-8 is for strength with moderately or heavier. Get to 4-5 reps with heavy and this falls into powerlifting....at least in my opinion. In either case, depending on the exercise.....I generally do 6-8 reps with some and working with 4-5 with others. For rotator cuff exercises, it is endurance reps.
10-12 reps is a good beginning for most newbies at lifting. It will help create the neural connection as well as get the form down doing the reps in a controlled fashion. Once I was able to complete the set of 4 using these reps counts, then I would up the poundage. Start working my way up again.
However, for myself, I had been lifting some heavy weights with lower reps of late as part of a "HIIT" program. I had reached a plateau and needed to change my routine as well as work with my diet. Working out with the higher weights with more intensity helped break through the plateau. Had to tweak my diet abit too. Alot of times, that is all that's needed.
The closer you are to your goal, the harder it gets to lose those few pounds of fat to get there. But worth it.
Here are indepth guidelines "why" the stuff about food:
By increasing your protein intake daily, you increase your metabolic rate and prevent muscle loss during dieting. Lean muscle mass is the active tissue that burns calories and maintains matabolic rate. The idea is to preserve the active stuff we want while encouraging the body to burn the stuff we dont want (fat). So eat high quality, low fat protein sources like skinless chicken, lean red meat and seafood (yep, the ever present TUNA). High quality protein suppliments may used if you are having problems getting enough protein through the diet itself.
Complex, high fiber carbs would also include oatmeal, lentils, beans and brown rice. In moderation of course. With lots simple sugars and highly processed, low fiber carbs causes insulin to store bodyfat and high insulin levels prevents the burning of stored bodyfat for energy. Eating the complex carbs in moderation reduces the insulin output and prevents sugar fluctuations.
Polyunsaturated fats are considered "good fats". So why olive oil and flax oil are good. There has been some research about omega 3 oils from fish like cod, haddock, salmon and tuna help improve health and fatloss. Essential fatty acids are required for best health and fatty acid metabolism. To avoid them would sabotage a fat loss diet and lessen your health.
Fibrous veggies do improve the digestion and improve weight loss. All that broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and other veggies adds minerals/vitamins with very few calories....as you know. They also add bulk while reducing appetite.
The water will not only keep you hydrated BUT will also help release fat stores to be burned as evergy. (learn something new every day, eh?) Especially now that summer is incumen in.....best not to get dehydrated.
The spreading of the meals is to improve nutrient absorption, prevent blood sugar fluctuations and decrease fat storing hormones and fat storing enzymes. By the way, right after you exercise, try drinking a protein shake or eating some protein. The protein will help give you that "fuller feeling" and help muscle being rebuilt. Drink some water...this will put back the water your body used during the exercise and help fill you up. Less likely to over eat or tend to eat something nonproductive because of a huge appetite from exercising.
I like esspresso too but have learned to downplay the sugar. Dont need those particular carbs nor the quick energy "rush" it gives.... only to get hit with the sugar "dumps" later.
Laurie- Again, thanks so much for the useful information.
You should check out a spinning class sometime if you get the opportunity. I try to go every Monday and like I mentioned before... it's a really great (intense) workout. At my gym, the instructors do various routines (strength and edurance rides) and positions. They get some good music going, turn off the lights and off you go to enjoy the ride.