The first considerations for planning weightloss are the twin aspects of nutrition and exercise. To acheive the most results over the shortest period of time, I believe that it is essential to strictly control what and when you eat while increasing training frequency/duration/intensity to further calorie expenditure. If you take the eat, sleep, train pyramid and adjust the variables it is possible to create a plan of attack from several different angles. The first thing to do is to honestly reduce or ideally eliminate all useless calories - simple sugars, saturated fats, alcohol, refined and manufactured foods. Secondly to replace some of these calories with food of a better nutritional value - low fat proteins, fibrous carbohydrates and vegetable fats. Thirdly, when overall calories have been reduced a tipping point is reached and the metabolism begins the process of dropping weight. I start by adjusting downwards the amount of food I eat and moving from a maintenance diet to a point where I gradually lose a small number of pounds, say one or two on average a week. Of course what I want to do at this time is hold onto as much lean muscle while losing the bodyfat. One approach I use to do this is to reduce carbohydrates while simultaneoulsy increasing protein intake so that I will hold onto lean bodyweight. This method will work initially due to waterloss and is a good way in the long run to deplete the unwanted glycogen that is stored about the body. Fats should be slightly increased and will be used as an energy source while carbohydrates are low and help to maintain healthy skin, hair and joints when reducing calories. Overall carbohydrates should be reduced as the day progresses to enable their use as an energy source and deter storage. The timing of nutrient intake is also important. I divide my food into several small meals to be eaten throughout the day. The optimal times to ingest complex slowly digesting carbohydrates are with the first meal and about two hours before a workout, from a fibrous source. This is the best way to ensure that my energy levels are regulated during the day, and I have enough strength to be able to train. Before sleep I will eliminate all carbohydrates from my last meal and replace them with slowly digesting casein protein or low - fat cottage cheese, and a vegetable oil or a small amount of nuts and or seeds.
Which brings me on to the next point, training for weightloss. At this time I probably won't make any gains in size and strength but the idea is to deplete the glycogen stored about the body by enough to show tone or definition, simultaneously holding on to the gains I've made. This of course is a balancing act and can take several years of going through periods of cutting, bulking and maintenance phases to get it right. As I neccessarily cut back on calories and begin to lose weight, naturally my strength and ability to train for longer periods will be reduced. This means that I change my training accordingly to more of a maintenance approach until I reach the desired goal. In order to do this I can adjust training variables by: possibly increasing workout duration to just over an hour, or add another short workout during the week, increasing the amount of cardiovascular exercise, or lowering poundages, or slightly increasing repetitions and taking shorter rest periods. As energy will probably be low while in the dieting phase any of this may not be possible, so it becomes more of a case of adhering to the diet while keeping the training at a relatively constant level.
The next question to ask is if there is any assistance to be gained from supplementation. Most weightloss products probably fall into the following categories:
This is a list of some of the stated claims with the active ingredient on some commercially available weightloss supplements:
Below is a guideline of what I would take prior to training to raise my metabolism:
Taking a couple of caffeine and green tea tablets post workout could enhance the thermogenic / waterloss effect. However, I would use this combination sparingly due to the reduced effectivenes from the build up of increased natural tolerance levels.
I would use those supplements for longer term weightloss such as fatty acids, carb blockers, digestive aids and appetite suppressors, at specific intervals throughout the day - morning, mid-day and the evening towards the end of a dieting stage. If they add anything extra I think that this is when I would be able to determine if they had actually worked. I doubt if an overweight person or someone with a lot of bodyweight to lose would see any result from using these products.
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