February 5, 2011

Six Tips to Lose Weight

Body fat caliper and weight loss

Tips to Lose Weight

How much do you currently weigh and how much weight do you want to lose?  If you can’t answer those questions, you probably won’t be successful in losing weight.  Here are 6 tips to lose weight.

TIP 1:

Set a defined goal.  People who set well-defined goals in life are more likely to succeed.  Weigh yourself now, and write it down.  Determine how much weight you want to lose.  Weight loss is more successful in the long term if weight is lost at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds a week, though many times it’s possible to lose a bit more than that in the first week or two.  So 20 pounds of weight loss will take at least 10 weeks.

Tip: 2

Be more concerned about your percent body fat than your actual weight.  In fact, this article should be called “Tips to Lose Fat”.  So be sure to have your percent body fat measured and rechecked periodically as you lose weight.  You want to lose fat and only fat.  Weight loss is no good if you lose water or muscle.  It’s vital to maintain and even build muscle mass.  Why?  Muscle burns more calories than fat.  That’s true even while you are resting.  Having more muscle also makes you more functional.

TIP 3:

To build muscle, start “pumping some iron”.  That goes for women too.  Strength training can burn more calories in a workout of equal duration than can aerobic exercise.  Plus, there’s the added benefit that you are building calorie-burning muscle to improve your metabolism.

Be AWARE:  Improvement in your body fat is more important than the actual amount of weight you lose.  Losing 20 pounds of fat while adding 10 pounds of muscle for a net loss of 10 pounds is better than losing a net of 20 pounds with 15 pounds coming from fat and 5 pounds coming from muscle.

TIP 4:

Be sure to consume protein and drink plenty of water. Protein is necessary for muscle building and foods high in protein are thermogenic, which means it takes more calories to digest protein than other foods.  Eat lean portions of meat, preferably from grass-fed or free-range animals.

Try to consume in ounces approximately half your body weight in pounds.  So if you weigh 160 pounds try to consume 80 ounces of water a day.  That’s a lot of water.  About one-third of individuals mistake hunger for thirst.  If you feel hungry drink some water first.  By staying well hydrated if you feel hunger pangs, you probably are truly hungry.  Water also can flush the many toxins from the body, many of which accumulate in our fat stores.

TIP 5:

Eat low glycemic foods rather than high glycemic foods.  High glycemic foods cause a rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin levels.  High insulin levels convert unused calories into fat stores and simultaneously prevent the breakdown of fats for energy.  Go to www.glycemicindex.com to learn about the glycemic index and which foods are low glycemic.

TIP 6:

Six Tips to Lose WeightHave your hormone levels measured.  Our metabolism slows down more and more each year after age 30 as our hormones levels decline.  This relationship is not fully recognized by the medical community.  Declining hormone levels explains why individuals who maintain a regular exercise program and adhere to a sound nutrition program tend to gain weight as they age despite their very best efforts.

We burn 5 to 7.5 fewer calories per day with each passing year after age 30.  This may not seem like much, but let’s do a little math.  That means by age 40 we’re burning 50 to 75 fewer calories a day.  Multiply that by 365 days and that means by age 40 we are burning 18,250 to 27,375 calories less/year than at age 30. There are 3,500 calories in a pound.  That means we gain 5 to 7.5 pounds in our 40th year.  And each subsequent year we burn fewer and fewer calories – gaining more and more weight.

It is extremely difficult to lose weight in the face of declining hormone levels, despite everything else you might do.

Thyroid, DHEA, testosterone, and growth hormone levels should be measured in men and women.  Women should also have their estrogen and progesterone levels measured.  To control weight hormone levels need to be optimal.  That means they should be in the upper third of normal.  Low normal is not good enough.

Try these tips to lose weight and improve your health and appearance.

Related articles include “How to Lose Weight“, “It’s What is Missing in the Diet that Matters in Weight Loss”, and “Healthy Weight Loss“.

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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