Increase Intensity and Drink Green Tea
It’s well-known that the secret to losing weight is to be active and to burn more calories than you take in. But what happens when that stops working? Ugh! That dreaded word: PLATEAU. That’s what happens.
I’m practically the poster-child for when being active and logging your food no longer works. Last summer, my marathon training helped me to reach a nice healthy weight. Then something changed over the winter. Despite being just as active as I was all of last year, I began to re-gain the weight I had lost. According to my food log the balance between my food intake and energy expenditure was right where it should be. But my long distance running was no longer burning as many calories as it used to. My weight went up and with the added weight I also began running slower, and slower. I became very frustrated.
Unfortunately our bodies adapt to the exercise we’re doing and begin to use calories more efficiently. Initially exercise creates a caloric deficit, but over time that metabolic effect stops. This will cause us to either maintain our weight, or if we take in too many calories without realising it, we’ll gain weight. Thank fully there’s a solution.
A plateau occurs when exercise stops having a metabolic effect on our bodies. To break through the plateau our bodies need to be challenged again which can be done by increasing the intensity of our exercise, and by increasing our metabolism through catechins found in green tea. An exercise plan needs to be changed regularly to continually elicit results. Increasing the intensity is one way to change things up.
Here are a few ways to increase intensity:
- Add hand weights to your daily walk.
- Walk, or run faster.
- Add in speed repeats or hill repeats to your run (this will also help you to become a faster runner).
- Lifting weights with machines? Try using free weights instead. Having to maintain balance while lifting the weight increases intensity.
- Decrease your rest time between sets.
- Do your strength training in a circuit alternating upper and lower body exercises.
- Do full body exercises to increase caloric expenditure.
- Try something new – a new class, a new exercise video, go for a run etc.
- Workout alone? Try working out with a friend for the peer pressure to keep up the intensity.
Green tea has also been shown elicit a metabolic effect through the catechins present in them. One study divided men with similar BMI’s and waist circumferences into two groups. While on similar diets, every day the control group ingested a bottle with 22mg of catechins and the other group ingested a bottle with 690mg of catechins. After two weeks it was found that ingestion of a tea rich in catechins lead to a reduction in body fat.
To break through a plateau and keep losing weight, a caloric deficit needs to continue happening. In my situation, I plan on doing this by adding in an extra day of speed repeats, training with faster running friends and taking in a supplement of Life Brand Extra Strength Green Tea Extract capsules.
For more information about health and Life Brand products,
please visit the Life Brand website at: lifebrand.ca.
Note: This post was originally shared on the Life Brand website.