Category Archives: Fitness

Beat that Weight Loss Plateau!

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Hitting a roadblock in your diet can be exasperating. You do well in the first few months–and then your progress stops. And all efforts you put into it are not translating onto the scale and you ask “I was doing so well! What happened?”

This Plateau Stage is a normal occurrence for all people following a weight loss program or certain diet plans. At this stage, the body’s weight loss progress stalls even though the person claims to be working out habitually and eating healthily. So what really happened? Let’s actually take some time to demystify this stage in the weight loss process.

lose-weight1.) Physics

Based on laws of physics, a friend that is, say 200 pounds  will require more energy for him to move compared to you at 180 pounds. This translates to your friend using up more calories when you both run at the same speed. And so given that you are getting lighter as your diet process moves along, it will actually take less calories for you to move compared to when you started your diet at a heavier weight,. You would then need to take longer or more intense runs to achieve the same calorie expended, at the beginning of your workout when you still weigh more.

bmr

2.) Basal Metabolic Rate

The same principle applies to your Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR. BMR the rate at which our body uses calories to fuel our involuntary actions and while at rest, such as breathing, cell division, blood circulation, muscle contraction etc. In this case, a the person with more mass to move, the more calories is needed to help support these functions. As a person trims down, calories required for these also decreases.

3.) Water Weight

When a person from a sedentary lifestyle starts to improve his diet and workout, it will seem that weight loss will be rapid in the beginning. But sadly, at this stage, what you lose is not fat yet, it’s water. Since water is easier to get rid-off, it explains why people tend to lose weight fast at the start of their programs. Excess water in our body obviously reflects on the weighing scale, and the heavier our weight (excluding those who are heavy in muscle mass), the more water we will lose.

Now that this is cleared up. Let’s learn what’s the best way to lose weight at this stage and keep improving!

plateau

1.) Keep watching your food intake

Further into your diet, it’s a tendency to be complacent about your food intake.   After losing some weight, some already disregarded the importance of keeping track of their intake on their food diary. Upon reaching the plateau, composition of meals may no longer be strictly observed and therefore limiting the changes in the body. That’s why diet coaches insist that monitoring tasks must be done and checked, constantly. Apps and services such as those of HAPIcoach.com can provide a good tool to help monitor your food intake and have a personal nutritionist take a look at your meals while your at it. 

Another is for you to have an increased amounts of protein in your meals. According to a study done by Smart Foods Centre-School of Health Sciences, and CSIRO Human Nutrition, protein consumed in proper amount can increase your metabolism by about 30%, for 12 hours. But of course, protein intake must not go over to your total energy requirement in day, and must still be within desirable range of your total macronutrient intake.

workout

2.) Reevaluate your workout.

Do you feel that your workout has become leisurely? Afternoon runs feel like  a blissful afternoon stroll in the park? Rule of thumb: if it’s too easy, you’re probably not doing enough. When you reach this stage, increase the intensity or try a new routine. Also, try to include  strengthening routines to your workout to increase your muscle mass. More muscle mass translates to increased metabolism, and faster weight loss.

sleep

3.) Rest. Sleep.

The importance of having enough rest and sleep is for you to give room to your body to do necessary muscle repairs. Workout is for stretching the muscles, protein is for filling the gaps from the stretch, and resting is for healing. Overtraining and ignoring rest days is counterproductive as it leads to muscle wasting instead. The weaker our muscles, the lesser the muscle mass. The lesser the muscle mass, the slower the metabolism. Keeping this in mind will help you get some shuteye and give your body a rest.

There you have it! To overcome the plateau stage, your body just basically needs some adjustments and your focus just needs to be realigned.  So keep at it and you’ll achieve your workout and weightloss goals. We’re excited, for you, too!

The HAPILABS Team

Weight Loss at 50? Yes You Can!

Many are apprehensive to the repercussions of being overweight upon reaching the age of 50. It’s actually a valid concern that we should not take lightly. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, being overweight at 50 years old and beyond can make you more at risk to lifestyle diseases compared to those people with the same dilemma but at a much younger age.

It’s a sad fact that many people of this age range only decide to lose weight, eat healthier, and exercise upon hearing their medical diagnosis. But it’s also great to know that some even hire a one -on-one coach to guide them along the way while taking for consideration their special needs. So how hard is it to lose weight at this age?

Mature Woman on Weight Scale

Slower metabolism

We have to admit, it’s a bit harder at this point to lose weight. But more difficult does not mean impossible. You just need to understand that you need to exert more effort. The most blamed cause of weight gain at this age is slowing metabolism. At this age, muscle mass is also declining due to limited physical activity that usually comes with age. And since muscles are vital to the good and constant flow of metabolism, weight loss can be a bit harder, if done the wrong way.

If you don’t have any serious medical concerns which might limit you to do some moderate physical activities, working out is still essential to healthy weight loss, regardless of age. But since we now understand that good flow of metabolism is the key to weight loss, and muscle mass is one of the most important factors to boost it, it’s completely understandable that weight training must also be added to your workout. However, weight training must be controlled and monitored based on your initial capacity and will only progress eventually as your strength increases to avoid any injuries. It’s not really necessary for you to bulk up in muscles, but weight training is important to increase muscle mass to promote faster metabolism.

Muscle depreciation

Second, cardiovascular or aerobic training must still be done. This is the part that you will increase your energy expenditure to speed up weight loss. Regular jogging or brisk walking is recommended at first, and more intense workouts can be done once your endurance increases. It is recommended that you do it for at least 30 minutes to increase your heart rate to a considerable level.

Changes in daily caloric requirement

chocolatesLast, and the most important of all is, of course, changing your food intake.
Caloric deficit is necessary. At this point, a good nutrition coach will be of great help, since they can help you interpret
your requirements, and assess and validate your food intake. Nutrition coaches usually suggest that you should be cutting down your daily caloric intake to up to 500 calories. This is necessary for you to burn that extra energy that you had consumed without storing them for no immediate purpose.

Though losing weight might be slower in middle age, once you integrate these healthy habits to your lifestyle, know that you are doing something substantial for your general welfare and eventually, your life.

Yes, it’s better late than never. Do it one step at a time and you’ll eventually get that much better, healthier version of you.

Fly don’t Fall – Keeping Fit and Heathy this Autumn

The hot summer days are almost over. Don’t fret if your summer fitness plans didn’t pan out, as fall might just be the perfect time to start fitness routines and healthy habits that stick. For one, it’s the season just before winter when fitness is moot, as weather later turns too chilly. It feels mighty tempting to just curl up inside a warm Snuggie and hibernate. Fall gives you a few months’ head start for making healthy choices, commit to do them regularly until they turn into habits just in time for Thanksgiving weekend and the winter months.

Here are some ways you can take advantage of this perfect season to be a bit more healthy in your choices.

1. Start a fitness routine

BOULDER COLORADO LANDSCAPES

Gone is the uncomfortable heat of summer. You  can now enjoy the cooler temperature and take up outdoor workouts like walking, running or biking. There are few other seasons better suited to these activities;  the air is crisp, leaves are crunching under your feet and the scenery is of the beautiful fall foliage. You’ll be amazed how this time can be a big motivator for you to grab your favorite sneakers and head outdoors.  

2. Indulge in healthy fall meals

Butternut Squash, Apple and Ginger Soup WIth Pumpkin

It is friendly on the budget to eat seasonally and locally. And as much as summer, fall is when a bounty of fruit and vegetables is in season.  Celery, a favorite healthy snack, is in season; as well as other vitamin-packed veggies and fruits as pumpkins, turnips, a variety of mushrooms and berries. Some vegetables tend to be better this season, like cabbage and figs, as colder temperature makes them sweeter. Carrots also have a more robust flavor than in other seasons. As an extra tip, with all produce that’s available to you at a cheaper cost, it is much easier to to plan your meals ahead of time, weekly, for example, so as to avoid to going for unhealthy  “convenient” options  at the last minute.

3. Take a fun physical class

health club

Cure boredom by taking an unusual, fun class that requires you to move and be physically active. Fitness doesn’t always have to come in a serious intimidating package. This time is perfect as fall is when most of these group fitness classes usually start. For parents, much of time is freed up  for new activities, as kids are already starting school. You’ll never be short of fun things to try:  yoga, pilates, and barre are usual choices.  For the terpsichoreans, try tap, hip-hop and some of the latest fitness craze. For the those of you who prefer more intense physical activity, try signing up for team sports. Football is a good choice as the NFL season is upon us, it is a fantastic way to soak up the energy and get into the spirit.

4.  Get help from technology

activity trackerTake advantage of the latest fitness gadgets to assist you in staying on top of your fitness game. At the end of the day, it is your own willpower that will determine if you win the battle of the bulge.  Using activity trackers, which are designed to help monitor your activities and keep you motivated, is a great way to increase the odds for success when cooler days make the bed irresistible during workout mornings.

5.  Don’t get sick

Having a flu

And finally, let us not forget that fall also means fickle weather. It’s not uncommon to have cooler windy days be followed by blistering heat. Getting sick will take you off your precious healthy habit faster than you can say “achoo”.  Be prepared by always dressing appropriately. Have a light jacket ready for sudden cooler change in temperature or when wind gets too excited, and also keep an extra towel to wipe yourself down during unusually hot weather, especially when doing your outdoor activities.