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A High Power Fat Loss Program

Bust That Holiday Weight Gain

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Updated November 28, 2011

Updated November 28, 2011

This program is for all those people who like to party at various times of the year and who then struggle to get back in shape. Many of us do it to some extent -– overindulge and under-exercise.

The program features a high-intensity direct route for recovery of fitness and body shape and fat burning. It does take some discipline to carry through, and you need to be sure you have no existing health conditions that preclude vigorous exercise. But I can guarantee that it will work for most people if you stick with it.

I call it High Power Fat Loss and it is a combination of moderate to high-intensity exercise including cardio and weight training plus a reasonably exacting dietary regimen. However, because I don’t like recommending programs that you can’t stick to for life, this program of nutrition and exercise is not so severe that you could not adopt it as a lifestyle program. Of course, I've tested it.

Elements of the High Power Fat Loss Program

The four components are as follows:
  1. Low-fat, low-sugar, high-fiber eating
  2. Cardio at moderate to high intensity
  3. Circuit Training at moderate to high intensity
  4. Weight training at moderate to high intensity.

Who Can Use the Program?

High Power Fat Loss is for anyone who:
  • Is used to exercising but needs to lose weight and regain fitness. If you have not exercised in a while, get a medical checkup and a more gradual approach is advised.
  • Wants to recover from Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or any other period at which feasting and partying has compromised fitness and weight.
  • Needs to step up to fitness and fat loss quickly for pre-season sports training.
  • Wants to lose fat as rapidly as possible and maintain muscle while staying healthy and without very low-calorie dieting.

Nutrition Plan for High Power Fat Loss

The nutrition plan is low in added sugar, low in fat but not too low (20% to 25%), low in energy density and relatively high in fiber. Serving sizes should be adjusted according to your target weight. You will need to judge that yourself. On average, women need around 10 to 11 calories per pound of body weight each day to maintain their current weight and men need 12 to 13 calories per pound of body weight per day to maintain their current weight. (Multiply by 2.2 for kilograms.)

How it Works
To lose weight, you need to create an energy deficit either by reducing your food intake or expending more energy with physical activity. In this weight-loss program, the goal is to create the deficit by eating somewhat less and exercising a lot more. However, you should not undereat too much because that will lower your metabolism and you need to raise your metabolism -– which is what the higher-intensity exercise will do. Also, if you eat too little you will not have the energy to get through the exercise program.

The way this eating plan works is it lets you eat sufficient food to satisfy hunger and to fuel the demanding exercise program while discouraging overeating. The low-fat, low-sugar (low-energy density) and high fiber nature of the diet is the key.

This general eating (and exercise) approach has been proven successful as recorded in the National Weight Control Registry and also at Weight Watchers. The eating plan also borrows from the proven Volumetrics approach of Barbara Rolls, Ph.D.

General Nutritional Principles

How much of each? If you were to divide your dinner plate into four sections, make each plate of food two quarters (one half) low-carbohydrate vegetables or salad (or some fruit), one quarter starch carbohydrate such as rice or potatoes (or some bread) and one quarter lean protein, meat chicken, fish or soy or bean protein. That is also an excellent general rule for lifelong healthy eating. You can adjust the proportions to suit body weight and exercise volume.

Low fat. Cook lean: That means trimming the fat from meat, using a non-stick fry pan or grill and not adding any fat beyond a very light brushing of olive oil, if required.

Don’t add butter or margarine to potatoes, soups, vegetables or anything else other than a small quantity to bread and toast if you find it necessary. No fatty sauces, cheese sauces, mayos or anything like that should be used. Use only low-fat, low-sugar dressing if you must use it on salads.

Drink and eat low-fat, skim or non-fat dairy -- milk, yogurt and cheese. Soy substitutes are fine.

Low sugar. Don’t add sugar or honey to food or drink other than the following small allowances. Don't consume food or drink with large amounts of added sugar.

You can only add three level teaspoons of sugar (cane, beet or corn), or honey, in total, to any drinks consumed each day -- tea or coffee being the obvious ones. One glass of fresh juice each day is allowed.

You can consume a sports drink after each complete exercise session, but only then and only if you complete the 1-hour session. If not, drink water.

You can only have one can of soft drink or pop in a week, low-cal or not. Remind yourself that soft drinks have 10 to 12 teaspoons of sugar in a standard can. Have low-cal if you must, but you’re better off trying to wean yourself off sweet tastes.

Fruit and vegetables. You can eat freely of most fruits and vegetables but don’t make it all potatoes, sweet potatoes and bananas because they are higher in calories than other fruits and vegetables. Remember the plate quarters? These belong in the carbohydrate section and not in the salad vegetable section. However, you may need additional carbohydrate to keep your muscles fueled if you exercise at a high intensity.

Bread and pasta. Choose mostly whole-grain, and if you are completing the exercise recommended in this program don’t be afraid to eat well of protein and starches. Some white bread and pasta will be OK in this case.

Commercial products. Avoid products high in fat or sugar including commercial sweets, cakes, chocolates, pastries, cookies, biscuits, or glazed fruit or canned fruit with sugar syrup. Home baking or canning with substantial added fat or sugar should also be avoided.

Be aware that many fruit yogurts are high in added sugar -- even low-fat yogurts. Low-fat products are not allowed if they are high in sugar. This is often how low-fat diets fail.

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