Day after day I meet people looking for a simple solution to fat loss. Usually the answers they are looking for are not what they get from me.
It still blows my mind that people think that there is a special pill or program or exercise that is going to “make” them lose weight. Especially in a particular area of their body. Imagine that, an exercise or pill that will remove fat from a specific body part! It’s laughable, but some people are easily led to believe that it is possible and they buy in, on the spot.
I will never understand, out of desperation I suppose. I am going to tell you what it takes and it’s not the easy way either.
First, and this is the most important one of all. You MUST be willing to change the way you live your life. There are many variables that go into making lasting changes but there are a few worth discussing here.
Plan. Set goals and have a plan on how you are going to get there. Planning your day is a critical element if you ever want to see the results you say you are seeking. If you don’t have some type of plan everyday, you are wasting your time. You must have a pretty good idea of whats on the menu for the day. You must also have an idea of what type of activity or exercise you are going to do that day. You can’t continue to wing it and expect to see the results you desire.
Eat Breakfast. Yes, you MUST eat breakfast every single day. If you are unwilling to do this, stop reading!
Eat at least 5 SMALL meals/snacks daily. Notice I said small. Every meal should have a balanced ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Foods like lean meat and fish, fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes are a must as well. These foods should make up the majority of your calories. Keep processed foods to a minimum.
Drink plenty of filtered water. You must be well hydrated to achieve fat loss success. Stay far away from soda, juice, sports drinks and diet drinks. They are ALL junk! There is no need to consume these beverages if you want results.
Sleep 7-8 hours per night. A proper amount of sleep is absolutely imperative for your body to burn fat. Lack of sleep causes a release of stress hormones that will prevent you from shedding unwanted body fat. Not to mention if your following the next couple of steps you will need more in order to recover!
Strength train at least twice per-week. Yes ladies this is also a must. Too many women neglect to incorporate a progressive strength training program into their regimen. I guess you see one crazy looking female body builder and you think that your going to look like a female Arnold Schwarzenegger over night (well the Arnold back in the day anyway). I am here to tell you it’s not going to happen, not even if you really, really tried. There are many reasons why that is highly unlikely to happen that I am not going to get into at this time.
Muscle is the most metabolically active tissue in your body and you do want more of it. Gain 5 pounds of muscle and lose 5 pounds of fat and you have made permanent, noticeable changes in your body without ever-changing the number on the scale. Nice huh?
Interval train. I am not a big fan of the term “cardio” and I hate the idea of walking or running on a treadmill at a low intensity for hours. Just shoot me! You can accomplish a lot more in less time by integrating some interval training into your workouts. You can do short bursts of hard effort for 20-60 seconds followed by a brief recovery for multiple sets on just about any piece of equipment or no equipment.
I prefer to do this in a circuit of strength exercises in combination with running, rowing, biking, rope jumping or plyometric exercises. Hard effort and short rest periods are key. This type of training is sure to burn a ton of calories and ramp up your metabolism for hours.
If you are a beginner, I do suggest you take a couple of weeks to build up your endurance before you attempt interval training. A couple of weeks of longer duration lower intensity work should do it. Be sure to check with your doctor also.
This is just the basic principles that I believe are essential components to an effective fat-loss/fitness program. Of course there are more specific details within these principles that I didn’t get into. I will go deeper in the future.
If pills, fad diets and bogus trendy exercise programs are what your into, good luck! You can continue doing what you think is going to get you to where you say you want to be. Eventually you will come to the realization that every good program contains at least the variables I have discussed.
Strength For Life