Eating “the superfoods” will not necessarily guard against you gaining weight. How much you eat and how much you move during the day still matters.
Here are 5 ways to keep the weight gain away:
1. If you maintain a caloric surplus (eat more calories than you burn) day after day, you will gain weight, even if you eat the superfoods.
Calories eaten and calories burned will ultimately determine whether you lose or gain weight. Even if you eat healthy food, you will gain weight if you eat too much. Some say the calories in/calories out rule is outdated and substantially incorrect. Don’t believe that! Of course, there are other factors that can contribute to weight gain, but don’t skip over the need for calorie control.
2. Don’t skip your workouts regardless of what you eat. You can easily reach your fitness goals working out at home. I train the majority of my clients at their homes or places other than gyms. About all you will need is a stability ball and some dumbbells.
Building muscle mass will speed up your metabolism because your body has to work harder to maintain more muscle and muscle is metabolically active tissue. Muscle mass will also cause you to lose body fat and inches which is more important than losing weight (the weight loss will take care of itself). This can be done best by doing full body strength training 3 days a week and doing intense interval cardio exercise 2-3 days a week.
3. Your body might have reached a weight loss plateau. Weight often comes off easily at the beginning of a workout program. But then your body adapts to your workouts. When this happens, you need to vary your workout routines and intensity.
Do different lifts for the different body parts, such as substituting bench presses with stability ball dumbbell presses or doing step-ups and lunges instead of leg presses and squats. A shorter, more intense 30 minute full-body circuit weight workout will work better than a 1 hour weight workout when you are trying to lose body fat and weight.
A circuit workout is one in which you do one exercise after the other with little or no rest between exercises. Also, change up your cardio routines such as rotating treadmill, stair-stepper and bodyweight cardio.
4. How much are you eating every day? You need to know your basal metabolic rate-BMR (how many calories your body would burn each day if you did nothing). Base your daily caloric intake on your BMR, activity level and goals. Its important to eat enough to keep your body out of starvation and fat storage mode.
5. Your weight gain could be medically related. Sometimes an improperly functioning thyroid gland causes weight gain. Or, as is the case when you get older, your body doesn’t need as many calories as it did when you were younger.
Keep eating the superfoods but eat and workout smart too.
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES