Post by Emily White
You hear it time and time again, if you are trying to lose fat, the cardio room in the gym is your best bet. Many women avoid weights because they don’t want to get bulky. This is quite possibly the biggest misconception when it comes to the gym. Men find it hard enough to put on size and they have the testosterone levels to support that muscle growth. Women just simply were never designed to be ‘bulky’ and therefore as a woman a normal strength training routine is not going to be sufficient to do so. For example, a study published in the European Journal of applied physiology showed a group of women undergo a 20-week heavy resistance weight-training program focusing on the lower extremities. After the twenty weeks, there was a decrease in body fat percentage, an increase in lean body mass, but no overall change in thigh girth (1).
By the HPN team.
1. Reduce Sugar
Sugar and other highly processed carbohydrate foods drastically raise blood sugar levels, a situation that is considered very inflammatory and is related to a range of health effects including metabolic disorders, cardiac problems and degenerative brain disorders!
2. Avoid Wheat
Wheat containing products like bread, pasta, cookies and crackers, are some of the primary culprits for the blood sugar related problems mentioned above, but beyond this wheat and one of its constituent proteins gluten may be related to a range of immune problems and direct negative effects in the human brain. While most people don’t have Coeliac disease around 1/3 probably exhibit a type of gluten allergy or intolerance.
3. Eat Good Fats
Fats in general have had a bad rap for many years. The reality is that eating fat does not make us fat, nor does it encourage the adverse cardiovascular effects associated with it. On the contrary fat is important to encourage proper modulation of inflammation and immune status within the body and is associated with providing optimal hormone levels. Eating a higher proportion of natural fats (especially in preference to sugar and highly refined carbohydrates) actually encourages the body to lose fat and maintain a lower level of body-fat.
4. Have Protein at Every Meal
Protein is an essential nutrient. There are several essential amino acids that the body requires in order to create all the various structural proteins that make up the cells, tissues, organs and systems of the body. In fact apart from water we primarily consist of protein structures. Eating sufficient protein not only provides for these requirements but also encourages a greater rate of fat-burning. In fact a higher proportion of protein in the diet has been associated with lower body-fat levels.
5. Eat Six Fist-Sized Servings Veggies!
Vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals that act like the ‘keys’ that unlock cellular processes. Without these important factors the body is unable to do much of anything! Beyond that though vegetables also provide bulk to the diet and encourage greater feelings of fullness and satisfaction thereby helping us to stay ‘on track’ with our nutrition more often.
6. Eat More Berries
I like to think of berries as ‘nature’s multi-vitamin’. They are nutrient dense, high in antioxidants and relatively low in calories and carbohydrates. Berries have been shown to help reduce oxidative damage that is associated with a range of health and metabolic disorders.
By Cliff Harvey ND
Part 1: Why We Get Fat: a Brief Intro
Usually when we think of losing fat we immediately jump to the conclusion that we need to eat less and exercise more.
But is this valid and more importantly is it maintainable?
It is absolutely true that if we eat a LOT less then we expend through exercise we will lose weight, however when we exercise more and eat less we are creating a situation of ‘practical starvation’ that does not change the reason why we became overweight in the first place.
Research and popular science articles by the members and faculty of the Holistic Performance Institute.