When you choose to lose weight on a diet you often don’t take in enough calories and lose muscle. The concern is that muscle is a metabolically active fuel burner (helps you burn more calories than fat tissue). You workout hard, cut back on your eating and then find you are waking up between 1-3AM (liver time of day), often feeling:
• Depleted and/or hungry
• Have sore muscles
• Are tired/fatigued
• Are craving sugar
• And most of all, not getting the results you want so you quit.
Each time you do this and lose muscle you decrease your overall metabolic energy.
You need to lift weights, do pilates or yoga to help build the muscle back. When you start doing this, you will notice days that you are hungry. Be sure to properly feed your body with a blend of protein, carbohydrates and fats within 20-30 minutes after a hard workout so you regenerate quickly and correctly. A shake can be an easy way to do this (see the Pineapple Power shake recipe on my blog).
Another helpful tip is when you do weight training is to warm up correctly with at least 10-15 minutes of low zone cardio. Then when you are done, go back to the low zone cardio for 10-15 minutes to flush any lactic acid that built up. This helps flush the muscles and minimize some of the soreness and thickness in the legs.
Get off the yo-yo process of dieting and start eating better choices and working out effectively. Don’t measure your success by only a few weeks, set a long-term goal. This is a lifestyle process not a quick fix. The weight did not come on over night, therefore it will not come off in a snap! As a matter of fact, as we get older it becomes more difficult to lose body fat because of the loss of muscle. Be patient, keep doing the right things such as watching your food choice and exercise and you will be pleasantly surprised.