1. The primary objective in losing weight should be to lose fat and not muscle. Raising your metabolism is the way to achieve this.
2. Intense aerobic activity is the primary tool in forcing your body to dump fat because it “shocks” your body into making changes and also causes it to produce fat-burning (lipolytic) enzymes. These enzymes serve as a “trucking system” in the blood stream carrying fat away from the fat cells and to the muscles to be used for energy.
3. Cutting back too much on the calories you eat triggers your body’s “famine defenses” that fight to store more fat, break down muscle, and shed water.
4. The body tends to retain more water when you first start exercising or increasing the amount of exercise. Typically, there is a water weight gain before or at the same time the body is dumping more fat.
5. The most fat your body can dump in one week is three pounds. Losing more than that indicates that you are losing water or muscle.
6. Plateaus in weight loss are typical as the body has to make many changes in response to exercise. It will release fat on its own schedule.
7. Sometimes the body stays on a plateau because your body’s efforts do not demand further weight loss. Increasing the intensity of your exercise program is often the only way to keep losing more weight or even to maintain your current weight loss. Exercising longer may also help.
8. Drinking four to six glasses of water per day helps your body carry off fatty lipids as well as helping you to feel full and stay hydrated.
9. Never go more than three and one half hours without food since that causes the proliferation of lipogenic or fat-storing enzymes.
10. Work out 30 minutes a day (aerobically) if your exercise is intense (you get pretty out-of-breath and would prefer not to talk although you could). Work out 60 to 80 minutes a day if you choose an activity that isn’t as intense like brisk walking. You should take off one day a week.
11. Working hard is important. When you exercise intensely more oxygen is consumed. Eventually your body is trained to burn calories at a higher rate.
12. Consistent exercise will produce results. It takes at least three months to raise your metabolism.
13. According to trainer Bob Greene a level seven intensity produces more rapid results. This is very difficult for many people and out-of-the-question for beginners. At this level you would feel definite fatigue, and you aren’t absolutely sure you can maintain this pace to the end of your workout. Your breathing is deep and although you could talk, you don’t feel like it.
14. Your metabolism does not have to go significantly lower with age. The primary reason it does is because your activity level decreases.
Note: Check with your doctor before engaging in any exercise program.