You diet more than ever, but you don’t weigh any less. You exercise regularly, but still feel flabby. And your once perfectly fitting clothes now seem snug.
If you’re nodding your head in agreement, chances are you’re a member of the over-35 club. Like most members, you probably have a stay-slim formula that no longer seems to work.
Don’t fret yet. There’s plenty you can do to boost the number of calories your body burns every day and thus maintain or even lose weight.
Here are some of the biggest weight-loss mistakes you can make — and their research-proven metabolism fixes. (For more metabolism-boosting tips and tricks, visit goodhousekeeping.com).
Mistake: Relying on Just Your Scale
Basic scales, which only calculate pounds, can’t tell you what percentage of your body weight is lean, calorie-burning muscle and how much is puffy, sluggish fat.
The metabolic difference between a pound of muscle and a pound of fat is dramatic: Muscle burns at least three times more calories.
The Fix: Get an expert to weigh in. Visit your local gym (or a hospital-affiliated fitness center) and ask for a body-fat reading. People who have been certified by the American College of Sports Medicine or who are exercise physiologists should have training in body-fat analysis.
You can eyeball your fat level at home, too. “If you’ve got a poochy tummy or can pinch an inch or more of fat at your waistline or upper arm, you’re probably carrying more body fat than you should,” said Madelyn H. Fernstrom, Ph.D., clinican and health journalist. “Anything over 30 percent should be a wake-up call to make some real changes,” she adds.
Mistake: Crash Dieting
When you slash too many calories, you send your body into starvation mode. “A flat-out fast will drop the average metabolic rate by at least 25 percent,” said David C. Nieman, Dr.P.H., director of the Human Performance Lab at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, North Carolina. “If you’re on a very low-cal regimen, in the 400-calorie to 800-calorie range, it falls by 15 to 20 percent.”
Eating fewer than 900 calories a day also prompts your body to burn desirable muscle tissue as well as fat, which slows your metabolic rate even more.
The Fix: Shed pounds S-L-O-W-L-Y. “If you stay within the 1,200-calorie to 1,500-calorie range, you can still slim down — and you’ll only lower your metabolic rate about 5 percent,” explains Nieman. “What’s more, about 90 percent of the weight you lose will be fat.”
Mistake: Only Doing Cardio
Cardiovascular exercise is great for your health, but it isn’t strenuous enough to build or even preserve much muscle mass. “Only strength training creates the microscopic tears that prompt muscles to rebuild themselves,” explains Stuart M. Phillips, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
The Fix: Pump Iron. You should aim for about 40 to 60 minutes of strength training a week. Use the weight room at your local gym, or exercise with dumbbells or resistance bands at home. And once you’ve been training for a while, you’ll need to increase the weight or resistance you’re using.
The following products and vehicles were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Unless otherwise indicated, discontinue use of the products immediately and return them to the store where purchased for a refund. For more information about the products, call the manufacturer or CPSC’s toll-free hotline, 800-638-2772. Only some cars or trucks recalled are affected. Contact a dealer for your model to see if it is included in the recall. The dealer will tell you what to do.
Jaguar Land Rover 2018 Range Rover Velar
The air inlet door linkages for the ventilation system may detach, preventing the system from clearing fog or condensation from the windshield and windows. If condensation or fog cannot be cleared, the driver’s visibility may be affected, increasing the risk of a crash. Land Rover will notify owners, and dealers will update the vehicle software to control the length of movement of the ventilation actuator arm, for free. Owners may contact Land Rover customer service at 800-637-6837. Land Rover’s number for this recall is N143.
Wild and Wolf Petit Collage musical jumbo wooden xylophones, sold at Barnes & Noble, Patina, Urban Outfitters stores and other stores nationwide and online at PetitCollage.com and other websites from August 2017 through February 2018 for about $24.
The ball on the end of the toy xylophone beater stick can separate, posing a choking hazard to young children. Consumers should immediately take the recalled toy xylophone beater sticks away from children, stop using them and contact Wild & Wolf for a free replacement beater stick. Wild & Wolf toll free at 855-215-5879 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday or online at www.petitcollage.com and click on “Product Safety” or www.wildandwolf.com. Click on “Product Safety News” for more information.
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