Managing the Fat Loss Plateau

This article was kindly contributed to agent99fitness.com by Daniel a personal trainer based in Toronto. Thanks Daniel for the great article!

Just before summer, most people (including me), begin thinking about their body composition changes and showing off their half naked bodies on the beach.

As a result, we all get on a mission of a calorie free diet. Within a few weeks, some changes are visible. However, positive changes are not always the case. Sometimes the scale goes up and if you obsess over this, you will end up frustrated.

The truth is that fat loss is never linear. You expect it t be, but it is not.

Fat Loss Is Not Linear

I have tracked my weight loss and it increases and decreases over time. I created a graph for this, and the progression was linear, but not from week to week.

Losing weight is so much more than a number on the scale and there are a lot of factors that are involved. Most people are obsessed with relying on the scale to judge their progress. If the progress is not according to their wishes, they get frustrated and even give up. It is about time you stopped relying on the scale as your reference when it comes to weight loss.

The bigger picture would involve looking into your hunger, your workouts, your sleep, and your energy levels. As a result, you can get a clearer picture of your progress.

How to Get Rid Of the Fat Loss Plateau

Do not misunderstand me, plateaus will always happen. They indicate the fact that your body is maintaining balance and ensuring that you do not harm yourself. Sudden plateaus can actually mean that your body is very healthy. This means that it is ensuring that you do not lose weight too fast and harm yourself in the process.

There are ways to get rid of plateaus and ensure that weight loss is a downward progress. You simply have to play the game that is your body- a complex system that ensures that you have as many energy reserves as possible. Here is how you can smash the plateau:

Method 1: Eat More

This might not be what you expect to hear, but you should consume more. Metabolic adaptation affects your hormone output, and eventually, your ability to burn fat. Avoiding calories for a long time leads to your body fighting for survival. Hormone output decreases, your body mechanisms such as fat loss slow down, and energy release decrease. This is in order to preserve energy.

Unfortunately, reducing your calorie intake will only make your body fight harder. As a result, you will not achieve your body composition goals. This is why you have to control your metabolism by eating more. You should do this through controlled caloric increase.

The best way to increase the calories for someone with a calorie deficiency is to enforce a structured re-feed. This means increasing the calories for24 hours in order to bring the calorie consumption close to or above maintenance. This can be achieved through consuming 50 to 100 grams of carbs (200 to 400 calories).

This results in more hunger, increased temperature, and more hunger the next day. This means that the body has gone back to its normal healthy state. I have found that a controlled calorie intake is better than using cheat meals.

Fatloss plateau, weightloss

Method 2: Manipulate Training Volume

The issues that come up from under eating are the same that result from over training. Such issues can be hormonal. The truth is that going to gym exhausted does nothing for the body. The best thing is to wait until you have rested before hitting the gym.

As much as training is important, recovery is just as important. Doing exercise when you are exhausted affects your adrenal glands hence affecting hormone secretion. Reduction in hormone production will affect your metabolism and eventually affect your desired physique.

Method 3: Understand Your Body

This means that you have to ‘listen’ to what your body is telling you. For instance, you should know how it feels when you are hungry and other triggers. Earning how it feels to be hungry or full helps you to act accordingly. Hunger is an indication of a healthy metabolism, so do not overlook it.

You should also do the same in the case of sleep. Quality sleep signifies recovery. When sleeping, cortisol levels are low and when we wake up these levels increase. Training too hard increases cortisol levels. Therefore, you will sleep poorly.

By understanding your body, you will allow yourself to evaluate whether your nutrition or training is helping or harming you.

The Whole Food Variable

You should understand which foods you are consuming and how they are affecting your body. Training on a whole food diet has a lot of benefits. The kind of food you eat affects your physique and water retention. Additionally, if you react to certain foods, yet you eat them, your performance will be affected.

Patience Is Important

When your weight loss is not progressing as you expect, you should be patient. If patience does not work, then assess what it is that you are doing wrong. Using the methods discussed here, can help you get the progress that you desire. You should also understand your body and keep track of what is happening to achieve great progress.

Author’s Bio

I am Daniel, a Toronto-based fitness coach and yoga instructor. I’ve been helping the people of my lovely city improve their health through healthy eating as well as setting up their home gyms for over a decade. I also write reviews on my website to help people understand how to use various fitness equipment such as rowing machines.

fitness trend

the #1 fitness trend of 2015

the #1 fitness trend of 2015

 Fitness trends come and go but this one is my go to fitness trend of 2015 – I bet you have already guessed it already and if you have read any of this blog. You will already know I am a huge fan of this form of fitness… it’s bodyweight training!
Here are my top three bodyweight training programs that I have bought over the past three years. The first and biggest plus point for these workouts is that you can do them anywhere but more importantly you don’t have to do them for long periods of time, lunch time is plenty of time to squeeze on of these workouts into your daily routine.
CT-50 – One of my favourite trainers is Tyler Bramnet, I have emailed him with questions and he (or his team) was really quick to respond. That deserves a bonus point in my eyes. Although this program isn’t strictly bodyweight exercises there is a full manual of bodyweight only exercises (he adds in some kettlebell or dumbell work in the other manuals).
 CT-50 Manual CoverCT-50 BODYWEIGHT WORKOUTS
The next one on my list is Dennis Heenan 21 Day Summer SHRED or the Superhero ABS workouts
21 DAY SHRED
XTREME FAT LOSS is next on my list the exercises are strenuous without being killer but following along with the video makes me feel like I can’t dip out and keeps me performing each set to the end. If I am out and about have a spare 18 minutes and All I have with me is my phone – I can follow along and watch the workout on my phone which I think is brilliant.
xtreme fat loss
Now within the last week I have just bought Toned in Ten which is also bodyweight exercises. I will hold off doing a review on this product until I have given it a couple of weeks. Although I may have bough these products in 2014 these are still my go to workouts for a quick and effective workout

Your Body, Your Gym

Your Body, Your Gym

Workout Anywhere and Anytime with these 6 Fat burning boosters!

Imagine everyone marvelling at your body transformation and then you tell them you did it all with just bodyweight exercises! No gimmick diets nor driving to the gym, just focused workouts can bring the difference. Why need the gym when you have abundant space all aroud you! Let’s go through some of the best workouts ranging from legs and shoulders, chest and abs. We’ll see as every part of the body can become stronger with just body resistance!

Mountain Climbers

Beginning with your hands and knees, get the left foot forward unswervingly under the chest while straightening out the right leg. Keep the hands core tight on the ground, switch legs as you jump. The left leg should now be stretched behind the body with the right knee forward.

Burpees

Unique and most effective full-body workout around, it’ll begin out in a little squat position as hands are on the floor. Proceed by kicking the feet to a push-up spot, after finishing one push-up, immediately put back the feet to the squat point. Jump up from top to bottom as you can before squatting and getting back to the push-up quota of the show.

Wall Sit

Why need a chair when there’s the wall? Slide you back slowly on the wall till the thighs are equivalent to the ground. The knees must be directly above the ankles while the back remains straight. Each set should take 60 seconds; or however long it will take to turn the legs jelly. If you need more fire you can add up some bicep curls.

Squat

Get up with the feet parallel or spun out 15 degrees- any that is more comfy. Start to crouch slowly by pushing your behind backwards first as if a seat is behind you, then bending the knees until the thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Ensure that the heels don’t lift off the floor. When done, return to a standing position through pressing the heels to the knees.

how to do a squat

Climb Stair with Bicep Curl

You’ll do this by turning your stairs to a cardio machine- no magical wand necessary. Get some dumbbells or household object and vigorously stride up then down the staircase at the same time carrying out bicep curls to work the full body.

Plank

The plank is one of the best exercises because it tightens the deepest core muscles. It’s a static exercise where you use your arms to raise yourself off the floor and hold the whole body straight and rigid, like a plank of wood.

In summary, through using your body, these short, convenient and incredible workouts will all together build endurance and strength while providing you with lifelong fat burning enhancement!

After Workout Stretches

Why After Workout Stretching Is Important For Workout Success

I was never one for stretching when I was younger however now that I am over 40 I am finding a real benefit in stretching. As I will cover in this article it aids recovery, increases flexibility and generally helps with the feeling of well being. I used to devote a high amount of time and energy to performing  cardio and resistance training, but as soon as that’s finished, I was getting out of the gym as quickly as possible – I’m too busy I have a life to lead!

But, if you’re skipping the after workout stretches component of the workout, you’re really missing out on a number of key benefits that it provides.

Let’s take a quick peak at the main reasons why stretching is so important to workout success.

It Enhances Your Range Of Motion

The very first reason why after workout stretching is a must is because it’s going to help to enhance your range of motion so that you can move throughout your exercises better. If you want to see the full benefits that any exercise has to offer, it’s important that you work the muscles through the full movement pattern.

It would be like performing a squat but only going partially the way down. If you really want to see maximum benefits, you must go as low as possible as this is when the glutes will really be called into play.

If you’re very inflexible though, this will be next to impossible therefore you won’t see the benefits you could be.

We do tend to lose range of motion with age, so if you aren’t stretching, it’s only going to get worse from here on in.

It Keeps You Injury Free

The next important reason to add stretching to your routine is because it keeps you injury free. If you’re not stretching after a workout, your muscles are going to be tight and tense and any force that acts upon them could end up pulling or straining a ligament.

Those who are more flexible often find they do suffer injuries a lot less frequently as they are quite limber and able to accommodate to forces acting on them.

An injury will quickly sideline you from all workouts and really hinder your progress – in fact, it’ll put a temporary stop to all progress entirely.

It Reduces Post-Workout Muscle Soreness

Finally, the last reason why you must be sure to add some stretching to your routine is because it will help to control post-workout muscle soreness.

Stretching is going to help remove the lactic acid build-up from the muscle tissues that’s responsible for that high level of pain and discomfort you often experience the next morning when getting out of bed, so by stretching at the end of the session, you can curtail this.

Stretching will allow the muscle fibers to relax and lengthen so that you don’t feel quite so tense and sore later on.

So as you can see, stretching is really a must-do for success. It only takes ten minutes total at the end of your workout but this is some of the best ten minutes you could spend if you want to see success. Get in the habit of doing it now and you’ll never think twice about skipping it again.

 

agent99 mountain climber challenge

agent99-challenge

Mountain Climber Challenge Workout

I personally find mountain climbers to be very challenging and can be a great asset in your workout. This tough little workout will take you minutes but will get you heartrate pumping and your muscles engaged. Please do not perform this workout if you are not totally familiar and comfortable with this exercise. This can be added to the end of a challenging workout or at the beginning to get your heartrate elevated and your muscles warm.

Best Home Workout or Fitness Program

How to find the best home workout or fitness program for you

There are lots of ways to search for best workout programs for you. The best way is to use the internet. Just put the right keywords – like best home workout for weightloss or toning etc in the search engine and you’ll get a huge amount of sources. Also, links that Google, Yahoo or Bing show on top aren’t necessarily the best. It just means that they match your keywords closely and has been placed there because they fully pass the search engine’s algorithm. There are hundreds of videos available on YouTube too just make sure you know how to do the exercises properly before doing them.

Another good way of finding a fitness program that suits you is by asking your friends or relatives. Some of them might also have been in the same situation as you and asking them for help can save you a lot of time. Unlike the internet, your family member or friend can give you specific details and instant feedback on the program they have heard of or experienced.
The last place you should look for a program is a fitness magazine. There you will see some featured programs with all the details and feedback from various people. But you don’t have to buy one you can also view them online if you wish like bodybuilding.com
workout progressOnce you have gathered data from these three sources, you should evaluate all of them. Not all of those suggested will work for you. Some workouts are designed for the avid gym member that has gym equipment in the home, while others are for novices. Gauge first what level you are in and then cross out those that don’t apply. This is essential to save both your time and effort. The next thing to check is the program’s price. Not all programs requiring payment are the best. If there is a free program on the list, try and search the internet for more data about it. You might find testimonials of other people that sound convincing. If you do find some then that program might be worth a try.

Best Womens Fitness Trackers

Best Fitness Bands

Keeping fit is the ultimate goal for most people these days. This is clearly evident in most of the New Year resolutions that were made. Life is becoming more expensive and the best way for a person to cut costs is to avoid the doctor by staying fit. It is easier and less expensive to invest in machines and gadgets that will aid a person in keeping fit bearing in mind the long-term benefits that will be able to achieve. Keeping fit is a sure way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It will enable you to be more comfortable and do different activities with a lot of ease.

This is why innovation and technology has made it possible for people to have the best activity trackers for fitness readily available and affordable as well. It does not matter what your form of fitness is, there is definitely something for everyone. Technology has also made it possible for these gadgets to be fitted with extra features that enhance their overall performance and help the user keep track of their performance. There are various things that you need to look at before purchasing a fitness tracker.

Some of them are;

  • Features available
    The device should be able to do what you expect it to do, track fitness. Anything that does not perform what it is meant to is not worth buying. Some of them have a lot of features that will blend with the kind of activity plan you have in mind go for them. Many sync with your phone or computer via an app. This can be fun or tiresome depending on the interface.
  • Comfortable
    This extends to the design of the tracker. It should be comfortable for you to wear and not interfere with your regular activities.
  • Easy to Use
    It should be easy to use and understand as this will help you know how you are truly progressing. They should be able to read and interpret without you being distracted from your session.
  • Apps
    Nowadays the best fitness tracker is one that comes accompanied by an app. The app will help you in storing information that you review every now and again. We have different options available.

The trackers are categorized into different groups and some of the most common ones are;

The best fitness tracker for cycling

These are ideal for those ones who have chosen cycling as a way for them to keep fit. The trackers can transform any bike into a smart bike with their powerful features. The best one is the Misfit Shine that comes with a Smartphone app. This app gives you a chance to set a goal and monitor your progress. It monitors your progress through checking the steps that you have taken, calories lost, miles travelled and the time spent doing various activities. It monitors you while you sleep and all the activities that you engage in. It is also very affordable. You can wear it as a watch or pendant and it is absolutely waterproof.

The best gadgets for fitness

This is a long endless list with each gadget having its own strengths and weaknesses.
The Fitbit Charge HR has been named the best fitness tracker overall countless times. It is fitted with comfortable straps and has a small OLED display that can show you, who is calling. It is compatible with both android and iOS gadgets. It measures steps, calories, sleep and heart rate all day and night.

best fitness band
The Nike Fuelband is a popular choice because of its simplicity and simple design. It contains motion sensors that track your movement throughout the day regardless of the activities that you are doing.

The other one is the Jawbone UP3. It is the ultimate tracker tracking down your activity while monitoring your heart health. It is waterproof and has a long battery life.

The best fitness tracker watch is the Garmin Vivoactive. It is water proof light in weight and has a built-in GPS tracker. It also gives Smartphone notifications ensuring that you are aware of how you are progressing.


The current market is filled with so many different trackers that it can be confusing to make a good choice. However, once you know your individual needs you can make the right choice based on the features and ratings that the tracker has. Keeping fit is not just about having the best activity trackers for fitness it also requires discipline and commitment from a person. This will ensure that the tracker will do is duty fully in supporting you carry your part of the whole deal.

The Thing About Exercise

The thing about exercise is it needs to be done consistently to get the best results. For someone my age 41 (closing in on 42) I find my best ratio of work and rest is 3 days exercise a week and rest the other 4 days (on the rest days I will still go for a walk or a bike ride). On the days I exercise the aim is to boost my metabolisim, gain strength, muscle tone. OK OK I hear you say what about fat burning, well yes that too but I see that as a bi-product of doing good stuff that pushes you both cardiovascularly, and strengthwise.

My three workouts a week only take between 20 to 30 minutes – at the end of the workout I am exhausted, stuffed but strangly energised and pumped like a superhero. Here is a litlle example: The key here is to go into it with an all or nothing attitude give it all you got and push harder for that extra rep.

HIDT (High Intensity Density Training)

Offset Push-up (Righthand in front) 45 sec

Rest 15 sec

Offset Push-up (Lefthand in front) 45 sec

Rest 30 sec

One arm bungee rows (Lefthand) 45 sec

One arm bungee rows (Lefthand) 45 sec

Walking Lunge 45 sec

Rest 30 sec

Static Hamstring Glute bridge 45 sec

Rest 45 sec

Turkish Get-Up (weight in righthand) 45 sec

Rest 45 sec

Turkish Get-Up (weight in lefthand) 45 sec

Rest 45 sec

Cross body Moutain Climbers 45 sec

and to finish the Plank for 45 secs

Repeat this as many times as possible for the 20 minutes. Keep track of how many reps you can do so you can beat it next time. If this gets you excited have a look at this product that I recommend Super Hero Abs

Enjoy!

For the definition of High Intensity Training and learn more about this old style of training click on the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_intensity_training

Time to Start Over!

I have just deleted many of the posts that I had on this site as many of the videos linked to the posts no longer worked. So it’s back to basics no automation and just good old fashioned plain old work. The trick is to be consistent and it’s the same when you are on a weightloss plan. You won’t get results overnight and it’s unrealistic to expect too. However if you take the play the long game and keep your goals firmly in your mind and work CONSISTENTLY to exercise more and eat healthier, you will start seeing results, even small things like sleeping better or not getting puffed are important improvements.

So keep posted for new stuff coming your way. I have been researching health and fitness extensively for the last two years and it’s amazing how science has turned some ideas on their heads. The things I will be covering are things like: fat loss, muscle toning, eating healthy, and exercise vs movement.

So hoping you are having a great day and check back in the next week for some exciting news.

Eating Habits For Weight Loss

Eating Habits that Enhance Weight Loss or should I say FAT LOSS

Ever heard of the phrase, “You are what you eat”? Without a doubt that is part true, and you should already know that your calorie intake is going to be inextricably tied to your weight loss efforts. By consuming less calories, you’ll force your body to burn through fat, that much is common knowledge.

However losing weight isn’t just all about what you eat, it is about how you eat as well!

What the above statement means is essentially that your eating habits can play as big a role in your weight loss efforts as the actual content of your meals does. Many people don’t realize this, but eating habits can form a powerful weight loss tool, if you channel them correctly.

So let’s start off by learning a few of the best eating habits that you could foster:

  • Eating many regular but “smaller” meals
  • Most people eat 3 main meals a day that are spaced out about 4 to 5 hours apart. As such, by the time they’re done with one meal and ready for the next, they’re pretty ravenous and this can often lead to overeating.
  • If you were to instead eat more “small” meals throughout the day, you’ll find that you’re not exposed to this risk, and at the same time will give your body more time to metabolize the food and use up the energy that it gains from it.
  • Consume lots of water
  • Water is simply irreplaceable and you should be drinking at least a liter or two a day. More importantly though, for weight loss, consuming water is going to ensure that you don’t end up having hunger pangs, and overeating when it comes to meal time.
  • Never eat late at night
  • Wherever possible, try to ensure that your very last meal is at least a whole 4 hours before you go to sleep. That should allow your body ample time to use up the energy gained from it, so that there isn’t any excess energy to be stored as fat when you sleep.
  • Snack on fruits wherever possible
  • Occasionally we all crave a snack in between mealtimes, but if you can avoid fattening chocolate bars and sweets and instead much on an apple or orange, you’re going to find that you’re going to be cutting down on your calories a lot.

Each of these four habits will play an important role in your weight loss regime, if you start to foster them. Not only will you find that your calorie intake is reduced by cutting on overeating and high-calorie snacks, but you’ll also find that your newfound eating patterns allow your body to work through whatever calories you do consume in a more efficient manner.

End of the day, this will add up to a powerful edge in your efforts to lose weight, as you’ll quite literally be helping your body to properly make use of the energy it gains from food.

And that is something that is certainly worth acquiring these habits for!