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Step four in weight loss: you need to move it… move it... move it

If you missed our last articles, Step one in weight loss: Ditch the sugar, Step two: Take a break and Step three in weight loss: it’s very fluid, you can read them [here].

While we are strong believers that weight loss primarily happens in the kitchen and less so in the gym, being sedentary will at the very least hinder your weight loss efforts.

All it takes is a walk 3 to 6 times a week.

As discussed in our introductory article, physical exercise with the specific goal of fat burning must be conducted in a very specific way:

At our Shambhalife weight loss retreat on the island of Koh Chang in Thailand, we encourage our weight loss and detox guests to join us for a power walk on the beach every morning. We conduct this walk at a pace so participants will reach 50 to 70% of their maximal heart rate. (HRmax = 220 - age). This type of exercise is called Medium Intensity Endurance exercise.

Walking in this heart rate range ensures that the energy in our muscles is produced aerobically (with the use of oxygen) instead of anaerobically (in absence of oxygen). This ensures that fat is used for part of the energy needs whereas excise at higher heart rates will produce energy anaerobically negating fat burn. The final step of burning fat in our body (Lipolysis) is called “beta-oxidation”. As we can guess, a process involving “oxidation” probably requires oxygen. Indeed, to burn body fat oxygen is required which is why more fat is burned during moderate aerobic excise than during exercise in anaerobic heartbeat ranges.

The walk at Shambhalife is roughly 45 minutes. 4 times during this walk, we intensify our pace, walking uphill or running for just 20-30 seconds. Just enough to increase our heart rate to 70-90% of HRmax. We call these short intensity bursts “mini HIITs” where HIIT stands for “High-Intensity Interval Training”. With these mini HIIT's, we are not after the actual calorie burn of a 30-second burst which is very little, but we are after the fact that with the incorporation of such mini HIITs our Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), the energy we burn every day without any physical activity, will increase substantially for up to 12 hours after the exercise with mini HIIT's. This rise in BMR burns more calories over time than the whole walk itself.

We know the excuse, been there, done that, convincing ourselves we do not have time for exercise. If you get in the right mindset, you will always find a way to walk 30-60 minutes at least three times a week. This can be done in the city, by speed window shopping, it can be done at a nearby park, or basically anywhere. During the Pandemic, people ran marathons inside studio apartments so surely you can find a place to go for a walk.

It’s not like you are signing up for a boot camp, it's just a walk which you will grow to enjoy and miss if you skip it. Little Lifestyle nudges like this will put you on a solid path to achieving your desired weight and keeping it.

By the way, walking is proven to help avert many other modern, chronic lifestyle diseases, help digestion, strengthen the microbiome, activate the immune system and lessen the chance of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

If you have implemented these four steps:...

1. Ditch the sugar

2. Take a break

3. Hydrate

4. Move it, move it will already be firmly on your way to tipping the scale in the right direction. Keep this up and you will lose weight, slowly but surely.

Every walk starts with the first step. Take it now and join us for the rest of your weight loss journey in our next Shambhalife weight-loss articles where we will look at strategies to speed things up a bit.


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