Tuesday, June 9, 2009

5 Simple Fat Loss Guidelines

There is still time to get in better shape for swimsuit season. Use these 5 simple fat loss guidelines. Keep in mind I said simple; that doesn't necessarily mean easy.

1. Good Nutrition. I say it (and write it) over and over. You can't out-train a bad diet. Just accept it.

Eat as much non-processed food as possible. Focus on fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Keep your carb intake lower (especially refined carbs). Ditch the liquid calories; drink water instead.

Make sure you have a caloric deficit. Learn proper portion sizes. Although harder, it is possible to overeat good foods.

The best and healthiest way to create a caloric deficit is through a combination of both diet and exercise.

2. The Right Type of Exercise. Contrary to popular misconception, steady state cardio is not the best exercise for fat loss.

Cardio: Cardio intervals and bodyweight circuit training will give you far more bang for your buck than long bouts of steady state cardio.
Research shows that even hundreds of hours of cardio per year barely make a dent in your belly fat. Replace the cardio with 20 minutes of interval training done at the end of your fat loss workout. Interval training has beat slow cardio workouts in a head to head study for burning belly fat.

Plus, that study tested only 20 minutes of interval training compared to 40 minutes of slow cardio, so you can cut your workout time in half! ~~~Craig Ballantyne

Strength training: Stick to total body strength workouts concentrating on compound exercises; they are not only more functional but will burn more calories. If your goal is fat loss, leave body part split routines to the bodybuilders.
Total-body, integrated movements are more effective for boosting metabolism than exercises that train one muscle group... so get rid of most isolation exercises! You get a lot more out of a squat than you do from a biceps curl! I refer to total body exercises as “big bang” movements... capitalize on them! ~~~Sarah Rippel

3. Be Active 6 Days a Week.

If you combine strength and cardio intervals on the same day, get 30 minutes of activity on your "off" days - anything that won't interfere with muscle recovery. Go for a bike ride, play with your kids, go for a walk, play some tennis, etc. Or, do strength training one day and intervals the next.

4. Mental Attitude.

You must make a commitment to lifelong change and believe in your ability to achieve your goals. Until you believe that you CAN change, it will never happen.

Allowing a constant loop of negative self talk to run through your head will derail you in no time. You cannot beat yourself up over ever little slip; don't turn every minor misstep into major failure.
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. ~~~Thomas Jefferson

5. Consistency

It's not about dieting strictly for a day or a week or a month; it's about eating nutritiously 90% of the time for the rest of your life. It's not about working out for 3 hours in one day; it's about being active 30-60 minutes most days of the week.

Strive for progress not perfection. You are not going to eat perfectly at every meal or never miss a workout. If you screw up, just start again.
If you cheat: get right back on track. A lot of people think after cheating- I've blown it- so I might as well REALLY blow it! Let me ask you- if you get a flat tire do you get out of your car and slash the other three? Hey, you have a flat tire- might as well have four, right? ~~~Alwyn Cosgrove

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