Im writing this post because a few people have asked me, where the hell do I begin with fat loss? So, Im determined to write this post with the hope people will take it to the next level. I firstly need to make a huge distinction: WEIGHT LOSS is not FAT LOSS. I dont want to lose weight which includes my muscles, I need to lose fat to have my muscles showing. Right, now we’ve made that clear let’s get stuck into it.
Fat loss is split into 2 things: working out and eating healthy. Fat loss is not about bullshit diets and 15 min walks, its a commitment and a dedication to yourself. If you’re not doing this for yourself, you can forget about fat loss.
For me it’s all about consistency and endurance. If you have decided you will do a 4-times-a-week work-out, stick with it and have a routine where you know , for example, 6-7pm is workout time. You dislike the pain when lifting weights or sweating on the bike? It’s a good pain, its the pain that will become your motivator, you will develop endurance. Now, let’s get down to detail. So, you want to do a workout that will help you lose fat; here you want a combination of weights and cardio. Its not one or the other.
Let’s start with Cardio: I would recommend it twice a week for 45-60 minutes each session. There are 2 main types of general cardio: High Intensity Interval training where you go as fast as you can for 30 seconds(example) and rest for one minute. You repeat this 15 times and that’s it, you go home. HIIT is VERY hard to do because most people dont have the ‘mental capacity’ to push their body to go 100%. If thats the case, it will be pointless. The alternative: Low Intensity Training for a longer period of time. This is where you stay at the same level of effort the whole time. So for example, I would get on the cross trainer and go for about 50-60 minutes at about 60% effort. What I mean by 60% is: imagine at 100% you are going as fast as your body will physically allow you, then 60% would be intense but not insane. My recommendation: 2 days LIT alternating machines.
Now, my favourite: weights. The great thing about doing weights properly is that the muscle is maintained AND you burn calories. Hence why I would recommend 3 days weights. To begin with weights you will need a workout. For a 3 day weight and 2 day cardio try this Beginner Workout . Its important to push yourself as hard as you can because if you’re not stressing your muscles you are not giving your body a reason to hold on to your hard earned muscles. If it’s a half ass job, the body will be able to handle it so you will not give it a reason to build beautiful muscles. Also, remember good posture and form, have a look on YouTube or Muscle and Strength for how to do each exercise correctly.
You can go as hard as you possibly can at the gym or run as often as possible but if you eat shit, you won’t see results. “You can never out-train a bad diet”- Unknown Author.
What to eat, when to eat and how to eat all needs to be considered when choosing a healthy lifestyle. Your nutrition is by far the most important factor when losing weight, if its not in check, you can train all day and will never get anywhere! First thing to do is to find out your BMR (basal metabolic rate), this is the amount of calories your body needs just to stay alive. This will give you an indication on how many calories to have per day.
Use the BMR calculator on M&S to find out how much to eat per day AT A MAINTAINING LEVEL (this is the level where you dont wish to lose fat or gain muscles, you want to remain as you are) If you are following the workout I suggested, select the moderate exercise level on the calculator. Now, because you will be cutting (the level at which your body will lose fat), you need to have 500 calories less than what the value works out to be. For example my daily calorie count would be 2235, then I subtract 500 and it works out to be 1735 a day.
So now that we know how much to eat we need to find out when to eat. The easiest way to do this is to split the amount in 6 small meals so you know how much each meal should be. Mine works to be about 280 cals a meal but if I have a 100 cals snack, I will have a slightly bigger lunch, etc. It’s important to know when to eat carbs, protein and fat. If I put it briefly, you would need to have as much protein as possible for lunch, breakfast and dinner.
Carbs are made up of 2 types: complex and simple. Simple carbs are the sugars which you need to avoid. Complex carbs like wholemeal pasta, wholemeal breads, etc will give you slow-release energy so you will feel fuller for longer and more energised. Carbs are needed in the morning, lunch and 2 hours before your workout. At dinner and thereafter, no more carbs because the body slows down and it will not be able to break down the carbs, therefore storing them as fat. Yuck! After dinner, if you’re hungry and it fits with your meal plan, have a protein based food like plain yoghurt or a protein shake.
Finally, the big question I get asked all the time: WHAT DO I EAT? I cant tell you what you eat because I dont know what you like. For example, I know I need to eat tuna for lunch but I don’t like it so I have chicken instead. The best thing to do in deciding what to eat is to have a look at some foods in the categories: Protein, Carbs and Fat. Here is a table from an amazingly helpful article on Losing Fat & Cutting:
Food Groups And Food For This Plan
|Chicken Breast||Baked Potatoes||Broccoli|
|Turkey Breast||Sweet Potato’s||Asparagus|
|Lean Minced Turkey||Yam||Lettuce|
|Salmon||Brown Rice||Green Beans|
|Lobster||Whole grain cereals||Spinach|
|Sirloin Steak||Strawberries||Bean sprouts|
|Lean Minced Beef||Melon||Artichoke|
|Low fat Cottage Cheese||Whole-wheat Bread||Cucumber|
Now you have some ideas, put it all together and try various things. Please, please gain some more knowledge by reading other articles and informing yourself. Here is a great Calorie Counter which provides an easy way to count and track your calories. It also goes into more detail about food. I’ll leave you with the tools you need to design your workout and train hard to achieve your goals. Good luck, email me with any questions, the email link is on my page under the “Socialness” tab.
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Tell me, what gives you motivation?
All the best,