A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION
Exercise is a vital component of any weight loss plan. But dieting also plays a big part in your ability to shed pounds. It makes sense that if you exercise and diet at the same time, you’ll increase your chances of success. But it can be difficult to balance eating enough to maintain energy levels through your workouts with restricting calories enough to lose weight. If you’re going to diet and exercise at the same time, there are several things to keep in mind. Consider some of the following:
DON’T DECREASE CALORIES TOO DRASTICALLY
It’s a simple fact that you need to burn more calories than you take in to lose weight. But if you cut calories too much, you won’t have the energy to work out, and in the long run, you may hurt your weight loss efforts. Keep in mind, the number of calories you should eat to lose weight varies according to your age, gender, and height. A weight loss of a half a pound to a pound and half a week is reasonable and should provide you with enough calories to maintain your energy level through your workouts.
KEEP PROTEIN IN MIND
You need protein to build muscle. If you’re restricting calories to lose weight without enough protein in your diet, you could lose lean muscle. Losing lean muscle is not what you want to do when dieting. Each meal you eat both pre and post workout should contain a balance of complex carbs and lean protein.
AVOID SKIPPING MEALS
Some people think if they skip a meal, they will decrease calories and lose weight. But skipping meals can sabotage your weight loss goal. Skipping meals can slow your metabolism and prevent you from having the energy to workout. Instead of missing a meal, eat five or six small meals a day. Make sure you eat a small snack an hour before your workout to give you the energy you need.
DON’T CUT CARBS COMPLETELY
INCLUDE WEIGHT TRAINING
When it comes to losing weight, some people think they have to drastically reduce carbs, but carbohydrates give you energy and if you’re exercising you need energy. It’s important to keep in mind, not all carbs are the same. While you need complex carbs from foods, such as whole grains and veggies, you can live without carbohydrates from French fries, cookies and candy.
When you think about exercise and losing weight, cardio may come to mind. Cardio burns calories, and that’s what you want. But strength training is also important and should be included in a weight loss plan. By building muscle, you will burn more calories, even at rest.
TAKE A DAY OFF FROM WORKING OUT
Being motivated and committed to exercise is great. Although exercise helps you lose weight and keep it off, your body also needs rest. Allowing time for your body to recover from a tough workout and getting enough sleep are sometimes missing from a weight loss plan. But they are vital components. If you over train while dieting, you can lose muscle and feel worn-out. It can also make you more prone to an injury.
CONSIDER HIRING A TRAINER
Dieting and exercising at the same time requires maintaining the right balance of calories. You need to eat enough to fuel your workout while still trying to lose weight. A professional trainer can help develop an individualized diet and exercise plan to help you meet your goals safely and sensibly.
Author: MaryAnn DePietro
Author Bio: A health and fitness writer with 13 years’ experience, MaryAnn has been extensively published in magazines, newspapers and websites. Her work has appeared on websites, such as Healthline, Symptom Find, Livestrong and Modern Moms. MaryAnn earned degrees in both respiratory therapy at American River College in Sacramento and rehabilitation education at Penn State University. MaryAnn lives in northern California where she trains for 10K marathons, plays golf and hangs out with her husband and son.