It’s January, a time when many of us re-evaluate some of the nasty habits we’ve acquired in the previous year. We decide to make the new year our fresh start and conquer a few of these downfalls, and for many of us, that means weight loss.
What better time to start Destination Transformation, a 12-week weight-loss challenge? As we start Week 3 of the ultimate RESET™ Challenge, this journey to a healthier, happier you is just beginning.
I know how intimidating the start of a weight-loss journey can be. A year ago, I was in the same position. I weighed myself on the scales here at USANA and was disappointed — OK, a little horrified even — with the number I saw.
How did this sneak up on me? It was on that scale that I decided to make a change. No matter what, I would come back the next year as a different person.
I weighed myself on that same scale earlier this month and was met with a number that represented more than 40 pounds of weight loss. And I’d reduced my body fat percentage by 12 percent. I couldn’t be more proud of myself, and I’m excited for those who are participating in Destination Transformation to have that same feeling of success.
Let me share with you some of the keys to my success and the science behind these healthy tips.
Pack on the Protein
Although it’s key to have a healthy balance of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, most people consume an excess of fats and carbohydrates, causing weight gain. This is why I decided to cut down on saturated fats (desserts, fried foods, butter, and cheese) and carbohydrates (starches, white flour, and highly-processed foods) while increasing my daily intake of proteins (egg whites, grilled chicken, green vegetables, and protein shakes).
The calories we consume from foods high in protein have the greatest influence on our metabolic rate, which can help to increase weight loss. Quality protein also helps you sustain muscle during weight loss, build HDL cholesterol, enhance insulin and leptin function, and improve muscle fitness, immunity, and antioxidant function — all of which contribute to optimal weight management efforts over time.
Cram in the Cardio
I know — cardiovascular exercise (running, biking, and swimming) can seem like your worst enemy at times, but I’ve found it’s a necessity when it comes to burning fat and increasing your endurance during workouts.
For a long time, I thought that if I was shooting for a set of chiseled abs or toned biceps, I could skip the treadmill and focus on crunches, sit-ups, or weight lifting. While these are great exercises that shouldn’t be skipped, you could do hundreds of crunches every day and still not see a toned stomach. You might get a six-pack, but it’ll be hidden under fat if you haven’t included cardio exercise in your daily workouts.
Engaging in moderate to high-intensity cardio workouts uses additional energy to increase your heart rate and respiration. With this, your heart becomes stronger and pumps blood more efficiently, and with each breath you transport oxygen more efficiently from your lungs to your muscles.
Among the transformations that take place are enduring structural changes, such as an increase in capillary density; an increase in the number of mitochondria proteins, which are the energy factories of your muscles; an increase in fatty acid oxidation enzymes, which are chemicals that burn fat; and increases in other regulatory proteins. The overall effect of these changes is that you burn more fat, more efficiently.
Water, Wherever and Whenever
I knew water was key to weight loss, so I made the choice to cut out all soda and highly sweetened juices and sports drinks. Staying hydrated is key to health in general, but especially when you’re engaging in daily exercise or losing weight.
When your body gets dehydrated, your metabolism will slow to conserve energy, as your organs can’t function as efficiently. Additionally, water is effective at flushing the toxins from your body produced during exercise, keeping joints lubricated in order to help prevent injury during exercise, and helping you feel fuller (drink a glass before every meal).
What’s Your Weight Loss Secret?
These were just a few tips that helped me along my weight-loss journey. But what about you? Have you started the Challenge, or are you thinking about joining?
Sound off in the comments and give us some of your suggestions for sticking to a healthy routine.
Results not typical. The average weight loss with RESET is 4.5–5 lb. in five days.References: