This time of the year, everyone goes crazy, talking about how they need to lose weight and get in shape. Well, losing weight was NOT one of my New Year’s Resolutions. But it’s definitely not because I’m so fit! Losing weight is a goal that I’ve been working on for a year and a half! The process is long and slow, but then again, it has been 7+ years since my last child. Since having him, my weight has gone up and down, never staying anywhere for too long. Let me share with you what I did that helped the most in losing weight. Keep in mind, what works for me, might not work for you.
The first thing I did was to get metabolic testing. The testing was done at the fitness center I belong to. They offer this service, as do many other gyms and workout facilities. The test can be a fairly expensive test where you are monitored on a treadmill at different speeds with a special mask on to capture your breathing capacity during this short workout. As a side note, there are some insurance companies that will pay for this under certain circumstances. The testing does not take long, in fact, it took longer just to get my background information recorded. It’s just long enough for the person monitoring the testing to get an idea of how your body exerts oxygen and carbon dioxide. Then they will want to get a measure of the sustained oxygen levels during exercise. They also will need a measurement of your body at rest. This is important because your resting body rate accounts for 60-75% of the total energy a person uses.
Now every facility does this testing in a different way, or they may have a different order that they measure your oxygen and carbon dioxide level. But the reason they want all these measurements are to determine your body’s efficiency in burning fat. Some facilities may want a urine and/or blood sample in addition in order to determine how your individual body produces and uses energy. The facility I went to did not need that because I recently had a physical and I brought all those numbers with me.
In my case, I found out through the metabolic testing that I did not have to exercise as hard as I thought I did in order to burn fat. Originally, I was told that I needed to keep my heart rate between 117-127 bpm (beats per minute). After a couple of months, I was not seeing the results I wanted so I talked to my trainer again about how we could change things up to hopefully start seeing results. We reworked my plan so that on one day, I would do weights just for upper body, and I would walk faster on the treadmill…between 127-137bpm. On the days I did lower body weights, my speed on the treadmill would go back to the original, slower speed of 117-127bpm.
Personally, I saw the most results when I walked on the treadmill for an hour, at least 3 days a week, although my goal was every day. Walking for an hour was the equivalent of walking 3 miles and over 300 calories each time. Eventually, I stopped concentrating so much on my heart rate, mainly because I was used to the different paces and it just became my natural walking strides.
By using this method that I learned through metabolic testing, I have lost 40 lbs and still losing. But every person’s results are different. I am thrilled that I finally found something that worked for me in my quest to lose weight and get fit. Every time I go to the fitness center, I feel confident that my workouts are helping me to achieve my goal. I hope that everyone else can find a workout routine that works for them and that they will feel successful in their quest.