Losing fat is no easy thing. There is a difference between weight loss and fat loss. It’s the fat on our bodies that cause our health problems. Fat is the enemy not how much we weigh on a scale. Given the state of the economy, people’s eating habits and the lack of “meaningful” exercise, people need clear and easy directions on how to lose fat effectively.
With so much information out there on diet and exercise, what type of program will give you the “most bang for your buck”? I can tell what doesn’t work, spending good money joining health clubs where people workout with no guidance or direction. Anyone can walk on a treadmill or lift weights, but without clear direction and guidance people will ultimately fail in their fat loss goals. So what is a person to do?
What is the number killer of people in the US today? What is the second? The number one killer in this country is heart disease and the second is cancer. With the rise in obesity, within 20 years, it could claim the lives of more people then cancer. How can this be when this country is rich in information and resources to do something about it? So why are so many people not getting the message.
People equate fat loss with taking pills and buying gadgets and gismos off the internet and late night TV. People like taking the easy way out or finding the easiest solution to a problem. It’s human nature and there is nothing wrong with that, I do it all the time. But when it comes to fat loss, there needs to be a little hard work involved. There is nothing wrong with a little hard work. This hard work will translate into the body that you have always dreamed of. Also along the way, your health will also improve. This can mean the difference between living healthfully into your 80’s and 90’s or a life full of one ailment after another.
With this being said, let’s get started in transforming you into a lean mean fat burning machine. The 5 fat loss secrets are based on current research that shows that losing fat and getting fit doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult and time consuming. This manual can give you the direction and motivation to help you achieve your fat loss goals.
Secret #1: Diet
There is so much talk about eating healthy, eating low fat, eating organic, what really works for people. To have an effective diet for fat loss, it comes down to a simple equation. Calories in = calories out. It sounds so simple but rarely to people adhere to it. In order to lose fat we must take in fewer calories and exercise more by burning more calories. The problem is twofold, we take in more calories than our bodies need and we exercise less then we should.
A simple strategy to help our bodies not take in more calories than our bodies need is to eat 5 or 6 smaller meals throughout your day. The whole to key to increasing our metabolism is to constantly keep our digestive system working. As we do this we insure that we are burning calories as we digest our food. Eating frequently throughout our day always lets our body know that there is “fuel for the furnace.”
With this strategy, metabolism is increased because it takes calories to burn calories.
The biggest misconception that people make about eating correctly is that they try to only eat one or two meals throughout their day. This strategy leads to fat gain instead of fat loss. What this does to our system is that it slows down our metabolism because our bodies sense that as we eat less frequently throughout our day, our body will need to store the food that we eat as fat in order to keep our bodies going. This starvation mode is what keeps us fat and destroys our chances of achieving our fat loss goals.
So let’s recap, eating 5 or 6 smaller meals throughout our day will help rev up our metabolism by constantly keeping our digestive system working and as this happens, we will steadily burn calories throughout our day by just eating and nothing more.
Secret #2: Posture
When you think of fat loss, posture usually is never thought of. But posture can help us burn extra calories throughout our day just by standing or sitting taller. Posture by definition means bodily carriage or bearing. The way posture helps us burn calories is by helping us turn on our CORE muscles. When we talk about our CORE we need to distinguish between our primary and secondary CORE muscle groups. Our primary CORE muscles are our Transverse abdominus, internal oblique’s and the multifudis muscle groups, big words I know but please bear with me. Our secondary muscles are those muscles that we can see, the rectus abdominus, external oblique’s, erector spinae group, the gluteus muscles and our hip flexor muscles.
The way we stand, the way we sit and the way we breathe all can help us burn more calories throughout or day. As we stand taller, we activate more muscle fibers within our CORE musculature. As we do this, more muscle fibers are activated and if more fibers are used, more calories are burned throughout our day.
Remember, the key to weight loss is burning more calories throughout your day.
By standing taller by sitting taller, we force all of our CORE muscles to work and be turned on. Again as we activate more muscles we in turn burn more calories. See the above bold statement to see how we lose fat.
So when you feel yourself hunching over, slouching in your chair, remember to sit up straight. So your mom was right, stand up straight and eats your vegetables. Now it makes sense.
Secret #3: Aerobic ( cardio) Training
Cardio alone will not help with fat loss for our bodies. Cardio is good for helping develop strong hearts and lungs. Aerobic training will aid in fat loss, in the early days of training. The word aerobic means existing or active in the presence of oxygen. Aerobic training is great for early fat loss by helping our bodies utilize oxygen to produce energy for our muscles. This is done by our bodies using the oxidative energy system within the mitochondria of our muscles.
As we becoming more fit, our bodies start to become better fat burners then sugar or carbohydrate burners. As our bodies are better able to take in more oxygen and if the intensity of the exercise is low to moderate and if the exercise is done for a prolonged amount of time, then our bodies are converted to fat burners. But this process can take a long to develop. This type of training is great for people who are just recovering from an injury, the elderly population and other special population groups.
So what are aerobic exercises? Any exercise that utilizes large muscle groups and work continuously for greater than 30 minutes at a time is considered an aerobic exercise. The easiest aerobic exercise that we can do is walking.
Walking at a low to moderate intensity will insure that we use the fat on our body to make energy for our muscles.
The only drawback to this type of training is its time commitment needed. Exercising for 30 to 60 minutes at a time can get boring after a while. And safety can be an issue in the winter and summer months. So how can we maximize our workout time and get results in 6 weeks. That is where secret #4 comes in.
Secret #4: Weight training
This is the nuts and bolts of any fat loss program. There are numerous studies to support the use of weight or resistance training for safe and effective fat loss. The goal with weight training is to work every muscle group hard, frequently and with intensity that creates a massive metabolic disturbance that leaves the metabolism elevated for several hours post workout (1). It’s this metabolic disturbance that creates post exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC.
As your body trains in this full body, all out intensity, it leaves our bodies craving more oxygen post workout. This “thirst” for more oxygen helps to clear lactic acid levels post workout as well as boost metabolism for 24 to 38 hours post workout. This means that while your body is resting or lounging around, your body is continuously burning fat. As we build more muscle mass on our bodies, this also insures that fat loss is continuous. If we can put one pound of muscle on our bodies, this can translate into 50 extra calories being burned throughout your day. Think about this, if one pound of fat equals 3500 calories, how many weeks can we expect to lose one pound of fat if we added one pound of muscle to our body? We can expect to lose one pound of fat in 10 weeks, 50 cal x 7 days/week= 350 per week x 10 weeks = 3500 calories. If we did nothing more with our workout and just maintained, we are burning a pound of fat every 10 weeks. How amazing is that. This is why weight training is the best training method for fat loss that our bodies can utilize.
Secret #5: Exercise Selection and Order
Now that we’ve seen the powerful affect that weight training has on our bodies, let’s discuss what exercises to do and how to sequence them. The exercises that we need to do to help our bodies lose fat are multi jointed or functional exercises. Multi-jointed exercise means that we are using as many muscle groups as we can. So, exercises like squats and lunges with arm movements, push- ups and pull- ups are just some examples of multi-jointed exercise. As we use more muscle groups to work and contract, the more calories we burn and in the end, the fatter we melt off our body. We can also use single joint exercises like bicep curls and knee extension. If we use single joint exercises, just remember to train these muscles in all their planes of movement. Also, with all these exercises, we need to train them in their full range of motion.
The order in which we do these exercises can have a positive effect on your fat loss efforts. Your workouts can include splitting upper and lower body workouts on alternate days. You can also do total body workouts at each session. The key to any fat loss strategy is the intensity or how hard you should workout. It’s the intensity that makes the difference between losing fat or not.
Another key to fat loss is varying the volume of each workout. If you continuously do the same workout each time, the body gets use to it and your efforts will plateau. You need to constantly challenge your system and this is where a personal trainer will come in handy. Personal trainers are professionals who are trained to motive, educate and keep your workouts fresh. This is why store bought or infomercial fitness workouts do not work. The body needs that constant change in order to achieve the goals that you are looking for. Like I said earlier, if you do the same workout each time, the body will not respond appropriately and your fat loss goals will plateau.
I hope that you will use this tips and strategies to aid in your fat loss goals. I guarantee that if you follow these secrets, you will see significant fat loss results with 6 weeks. I would love to hear any feedback that you may have while using these secrets. Lastly, remember to consult with your physician before starting any exercise program.