The real keys to staying lean throughout life

The real keys to staying lean throughout life

If losing weight may prove to be already complicated, there is something even more difficult that is not given so much attention: not to gain back the lost pounds.

Weight recovery is one of the most frequent consequences among those who have been on a diet, and is that there is something more complicated than achieving the ideal weight: maintain it. “Multiple systems in your body conspire against you to regain lost weight,” says Michael Rosenbaum, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University.

There are, however, effective methods for counteracting this hateful yo-yo effect that bodies experience. Analyzing data from the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) – a corpus of data from more than 10,000 people who have lost at least 13 kilos and maintained their weight for at least a year – experts have discovered that there are ways of not going back to Gain weight after a loss. Of course, losing weight and keeping it are two different things.

What are the keys to staying lean?

1. Move each day

According to Holly Watt, associate director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado (Denver), “the most successful dietitians simply moved more.” As the specialist confirms, “when you are active, you fight the tendency of your body to regain lost weight.” Ninety-five percent of the cases that were successful and witnessed by the NWWR practiced an average of 60 minutes of daily exercise.

When you are more active, you feel better about yourself and you better choose what to eat

In addition, physical activity activates biological systems that are of great help: hormones such as epinephrine, which prevents the accumulation of fat, are emitted about 24 hours after exercise.

But there are also psychological factors: “When you are more active, you feel better about yourself and you better choose what to eat, going to healthier foods”, says Wyatt. As a recent Sanford University School study showed, good habits encourage each other.

2. It is important to maintain the musculature

One collateral damage to weight loss is that muscle mass is often lost too. The more muscle you conserve (or more muscle toning), the faster your metabolism will go, and the harder it will be to regain your lost pounds.

If you practice resistance training (using weights or your own body weight) two or three times a week you can increase the number of calories burned, up to 100 more each day.

3. The Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet, which includes fruits and vegetables, wheat, pulses, nuts and healthy fats (such as fish and olive oil) is beneficial for the heart, but it is also vital to stay at the ideal weight. A Harvard University study shows that this type of nutrition can help raise energy levels, so you will naturally burn up to 20% more calories during the course of the day. In addition, it is a very varied diet that is easy to maintain in the long run.

4. The scale

We are accustomed to weighing ourselves while we carry out the diet, but this habit is just as important when we have already reached the desired weight and we want to stay in it. A research by the NWCR showed that dieticians who stopped using the scale again gained up to twice as much weight as those who continued to control their kilos. “You cannot stay in a healthy range if you do not know the numbers in which you move,” Wyatt notes. For this, it is highly recommended to establish a red line, a point from which your weight is unacceptable.

5. The importance of breakfast

It’s a myth, but it’s true. If you’re tempted to start your day with a cup of coffee, keep in mind that 78% of those who managed to lose and maintain their weight never skipped breakfast. “Many people do not eat enough at breakfast,” says nutritionist Angela Lemond, who remembers that breakfast “is a meal, not a snack.”

6. Do not try to eat only healthy foods

An occasional concession, besides keeping you very healthy mentally, distances you from the overwhelming binge. That is why experts advise having a flexible vision with food, and following the rule of 80/20: while the bulk of what you eat is healthy, 20% of your consumption may be more caloric foods. As the old proverb says, there is no poison, but doses.

Stretches: the reasons that ignore and justify their realization

Stretches: the reasons that ignore and justify their realization

We always hear that it is advisable to stretch the muscles before and after training, however, we fail to give the importance this type of exercises deserve. That is why today we talk about stretching and we show you the reasons you do not know and that will justify its realization.

The unknown reasons why we should perform stretching

We tend to know that the stretches enhance the body after the effort and also, that can help prevent injuries, but in addition to these two good reasons, here are some good reasons, which surely did not know, by which you must stretch your muscles every day:

It favors the muscular growth by improving the arrival of oxygen to the tissues as well as nutrients and in this way, contributes to the anabolism and the adaptation that originates after the stimulus, that is to say, the intense effort for there to be hypertrophy. In addition, it has been proven in a study that stretching can also be a stimulus for the growth of body muscles.

It contributes to a performance by improving muscle flexibility and agility; therefore, it can promote good muscle work and thus, as has been observed in some research, improve muscle performance and athletic performance.

Reduces muscle discomfort such as back or neck pain, very associated with bad postures and the stress we suffer each day. In fact, it has been proven that stretching can be just as effective as yoga to reduce muscle pain.

It helps to reduce stress and anxiety as a study has concluded, improving mood and taking care of the emotional health that in these times, is often affected by so many tensions and problems that lurk daily life.

It favors nighttime rest, not only because it can help reduce tension and pain but also because it has been shown to reduce the incidence of nighttime cramps if stretching is performed before going to bed. In addition, you can relax and reduce stress before going to sleep.

As we can see, stretching can not only be a key to relaxing and prevent injury but also can have a positive impact on the health and fitness of our body.

If you want to stay in shape, stay healthy and vital, doing stretches, even if it’s about five minutes each day, can be of great importance.

How and when to stretch

Not only can we stretch our muscles at the end of a routine in the gym or at the end of our running training, but we can also spend a few minutes in the office stretching our muscles, or in the afternoon at the end of the working day.

As per experts, when the atmosphere is warm and in the evening, before the night, the flexibility is superior and therefore, is ideal times for stretching.

But in addition to remembering stretches and choosing the right moments to do them, it’s important to remember some ** valuable tips to stretch properly **:

There should never be pain, but when performing stretching we should only perceive a muscular tension, a resistance, but the pain can be indicative of injury, which is certainly not a sign of doing a good job.

Do not bounce for a stretch, or do the exercises with push or pull, but the movement must be controlled and the tension must be sustained for about 20 seconds, always performing the exercise smoothly and gradually.

Avoid holding your breath, as this practice does not favor stretching, but obstructs it by hindering muscle relaxation and blood circulation.

Always warm up before stretching, that is, we should not stretch if our muscles are cold, but the idea is to perform stretching after a muscle movement that has irrigated and lubricated muscles or in the middle of a warm environment that produces a similar effect.

Take care of the body posture, since like the exercises of bodybuilding, the stretches possess a suitable technique and an incorrect position may not favor the movement but on the contrary, to hinder it, increasing the risk of injury.

With these tips in mind and the reasons given a few lines back, you now have much more reasons to give it the importance it deserves to the stretches.

Remember that not only stretching your muscles can be useful before and after exercise but also at other times of the day to get all the benefits that it can offer.