Summer Balance

How NOT to Let Summer Wreck your Weight Loss

I am not a celebrity (unless you count my daughter declaring me “World’s Greatest Dad”). As a result, you probably will not be seeing my quotes re-printed or posted on social media. I do, however, have a few mottos which I share with our clients and which I feel are appropriate with the summer season approaching. These two quotes stress the importance of understanding the bigger picture and importance of planning or what we like to call here at My Fitness Kitchen the L.E.A.N (Livable Exercise and Nutrition) Lifestyle.

The fist motto, “There is no finish line on the road to a healthy lifestyle”, basically says it all. We all must accept that being healthy is not an event or period of time with an end-point. Rather it is an on-going process of making better decisions about a variety of behaviors that impact one’s health. There are numerous behaviors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle which also play a significant role in weight management. In addition to healthy eating patterns (aka supportive nutrition), they include aerobic activity, concern for muscle, recovery and recuperation – the four ingredients we stress at My Fitness Kitchen.

Although we may, from time to time, establish short term goals (e.g., lose 25 lbs before the 20th class reunion), equally important is the plan for after the goal is met. After the reunion will you go back to the activities and eating patterns that caused the weight gain in the first place? Where will you be before your 21st or 30th reunion?

No one can be perfect each day. Sometimes the hot wings are too good to resist and sometimes the couch is calling you more loudly than the treadmill. The objective of a healthy lifestyle and weight management should be winning the majority. With 7 days in a week, if you focus on exercise and good nutrition 4 of the 7 days, you will win that week. If you can have 3 good weeks in a month you will win that month and if you can have 7 or more good months in a year you can win that year in the battle of a healthy lifestyle and overall weight management.

The second motto, “You can’t run uphill, full speed all year long”, emphasizes that we need breaks in our routine. For the average person, general fitness can be performed year-round.

However, when you are on a program to reach a specific goal and the intensity, volume of exercise and commitment will be near max, it is essential that rest be incorporated into the program design. This will help avoid overtraining and, ultimately, diminished returns. Just remember that taking the break is easy. The challenge is getting back into the regular routine after time off. Professional athletes have scheduled off-seasons to recover. They also have a great incentive (multi-million contracts) to return.

We use these quotes to give our clients some perspective. Unless you have a specific time frame in which you need to hit your weight loss goal, there is no need to stress during times when you may not have as much time to devote as you would like. With that said, it isn’t an excuse to ignore what you need to be doing minimally to either continue with your weight loss goals or manage your weight.

The two most important elements involved in weight loss/management are caloric management and concern for muscle. They are the top two items in the hierarchy of fat loss science and, ironically, the two behaviors that are ignored the most.

I’d like to focus on the Concern for Muscle and its importance in your planning.

Concern for muscle is the combination of resistance training, proper fueling and recovery. At this time of year, it is not uncommon for clients to come in and say they are going to spend less time in the gym and more time outside. While I think it is great that they are getting outside more and getting as much aerobic activity as possible, it concerns me that they are neglecting the number one activity (resistance training) that combats both aging and a slowing metabolism. This is especially frustrating because resistance training requires the least amount of time (minimally 10-20 minutes) and frequency (at least one time per week) to be effective.

We advise our clients rather than going out to walk, jog, bike, etc. every day for 30, 60, 90 minutes, take a bit of time to get into the gym to resistance train. Do not be misled, we encourage as much aerobic activity as possible but only AFTER you have concern for muscle.

What I want you to take away from this article is that when it comes to exercise and weight management, regardless of limited availability or a specific time of year, the last form of exercise your should neglect is progressive resistance training; preferably resistance exercises that are performed on your feet where your biggest ASSet (muscle mass) is in the exercise and not on the bench!

If you are serious about achieving a body transformation goal, then you need a program, as any goal without a plan is really only a wish!

For more information, please feel free to schedule a FREE consult with any of the fitness professionals at My Fitness Kitchen®.

This FREE Consult is a strategy session for us to learn your goals, factor in your availability, interests, limitations (if any) and prepare a personalized game plan following our L.E.A.N (Livable Exercise and Nutrition) Lifestyle while empowering you on the “Hierarchy of Fat Loss”.

With ZERO RISK and ZERO OBLIGATION you have nothing to lose by meeting with us other than unwanted body fat!