Before I get started just a quick note… Fat Loss is not the same as Weight Loss!
Please don’t get the two confused. Weight loss is “overall” loss of body weight where Fat Loss is based on reducing body fat.
Temptation and Obstacles Effecting Your Attempts at Fat Loss
We are tempted every day with fatty and sugary foods with super deals of quick easy meals involving drive through access and home delivery. These fast food menus are “fast” and often seem “affordable” with meal deals for a family that have you convinced that it’s probably cheaper than going to the shop and purchasing fresh food. Before you know it, it’s the end of the day, the family is hungry, dinner time is upon you and your beat. It’s easy to see why people get caught up in the hype and convenience of it all when our lifestyles are so hectic.
Onto the Fat Loss Tips…
Fat Loss Tip 1. The “Alcohol Social and Relaxation” Temptation
An odd heading for this paragraph, I know, but I needed to draw your attention to the fact that alcohol will not help your fat loss efforts. I know we hear the advice that “doctors say that it’s healthy to have one or two glasses of wine per day”, however this is in regards to the properties of red wine assisting in the prevention of clogged arteries – not a fat loss miracle! If red wine is necessary for medicinal purposes and prescribed by a doctor then obviously your health comes first. However the topic here is fat loss…
If you want to make a genuine effort to lose body fat those couple of alcoholic drinks per day could easily effect your fat loss attempts. So unless yours is the case above (medically prescribed) then I would seriously think about “cutting back”. Just going without those few EXTRA drinks after work or consuming less alcohol at social gatherings can make a considerable difference to how much body fat you lose.
Your body will attempt to burn alcohol off first. If your goal is to increase the expenditure of calories and burn more body fat, but you’re consuming those few extra glasses of alcohol than you need too each day or week, it’s going to make it a lot harder to reach your goals. The energy value for alcohol calories is higher than protein and carbs. And it’s surprising how many folk overlook beverage calories as not really counting, because it’s liquid or drink and not food. At the end of the day, it all counts!
Fat Loss Tip 2. Quit Fooling Yourself
Do not fool yourself by thinking that if you just exercise for one extra session per week you can rid yourself of ALL those extra calorie packed fatty, sugary foods or alcohol. Unfortunately our bodies aren’t that easily fixed. If you’re consuming way over what your body expends – calorie / energy wise – you’re going to need a whole heap more than 1 extra exercise session to whip your metabolism and your body into shape.
Fat Loss Tip 3. Why Most People Don’t Succeed at Losing Body Fat
Other than the temptations mentioned above people tend not to succeed at fat loss because they are either not committed, not well informed on fat loss or they are committed for the wrong reasons. In other words you either aren’t abiding by the rules, or have been mislead by some other belief, OR you are trying to lose body fat because you are trying to keep other people happy rather than yourself.
Make Sure You are Trying to Lose Body Fat to Please YOU, Not Everyone Else.
Think about why it is you want to lose body fat. Make sure you really want to put in 100% effort. You want to feel great about making this decision not obliged to do it. Losing body fat can help increase your self-esteem as well as boosting your health so giving it your best shot with a positive frame of mind is always the “way to go”.
Fat Loss Tip 4. Things that You Should Do Before You Get Started!
Being organised with food preparation is very very important. It is exhausting coming home after a long day and realising you have to then magically put something together for dinner (amongst other things) You can bet the children would jump for joy if you offered them Mac’s – plus the added bonus of no washing up the dishes after dinner either… Sound familiar?
First you may want to make notes on what time of the day, when and where that you will most probably find it the most difficult to stick to your program.
Say for instance, “calling in at the drive thru for fast food on the way home from work or picking the children up” is where you find that you are most likely to go wrong with your eating plan then be prepared for it by making the appropriate changes.
EG.. Having a meal which is already partly prepared (veggies chopped) in the fridge so that it will only take an extra 10 – 15 minutes to cook. If you take a small amount of time out each week to do some food preparation it will take a huge load of your shoulders when it comes time to cook your meals.
Fat Loss Tip 5. Re-orgnanising Your Lifestyle – Don’t Make it Overly Difficult on Yourself!
Re-orgnanising your lifestyle may be quite a challenge for most people and families. But if you want to succeed at fat loss I am sure you want to be able to do it without tearing your hair out. Your goal is to re-arrange and plan your day so that you, your family and your new lifestyle can run smoothly. Such as planning your meals and recipes in a diary.
Planning your grocery shop with a shopping list to prevent you from buying unnecessary junk food is also a great idea. Pre-preparing meals, making appointments for your exercise time slot etc all needs to be written into your diary or planner. You can tick each appointment off as the day progresses. When planning your shopping list remember, that unless you have the time, don’t go getting all creative with crazy banquets etc for lunches and dinner. Choose simple to prepare healthy ingredients and meals.
Fat Loss Tip 6. What Exercise Should I be Performing to Burn Body Fat?
Mostly it depends on your fitness level and if you have any type of injuries, back pain or medical conditions that may affect what you can and can’t do. Make sure you check with your doctor first before starting any type of exercise or eating program, so he / she can indicate and provide you with a letter verifying that it is “ok” for you to start exercising and at what level. One more point… If you’re attending a gym or purchasing gym equipment please make the effort to ensure that your fitness level is suited to the equipment or program you’re performing. If in doubt seek advice from a professional – don’t just assume because your next door neighbour or friend does it you can too.
Fat Loss Tip 7. Different Types of Exercising for Burning Body Fat
There are plenty of ways to exercise to burn off body fat. Sure cardiovascular exercise via treadmills and indoor cycles are great but if you really want to ramp things up a notch then try using cardio machines that use both your upper and lower body. Why?
Because you’re exerting yourself further in turn burning off more calories. If you enjoy being outdoors then walking, jogging, running, hiking – just to name a few – are also great. Finding an activity that suits your body’s needs and fitness level is important.
Weight or resistance training is a huge plus when it comes to cutting back bodyfat. Did you know that the more lean muscle mass you have the more calories you burn? This means that your body can burn more calories day and night – that’s right – even while you’re sleeping!
To maximise your potential to burn off calories much more efficiently include weight / resistance training AND cardio into your program.
I’ve included some examples below of training routines to give you an idea of a typical program to help combat body fat. For those of you who are genetically gifted with lean muscle and a higher metabolism OR who aren’t too keen on getting lean then as little as one or two cardio sessions per week can be ample.
|Full Body Workout||Cardio||Full Body Workout||Cardio||Full Body Workout||Cardio||OFF|
If your metabolism is slow then you will probably need to add an extra day of cardio per week. Remember: if you’ve got your eating plan down pat you’ll find your results will come a lot faster than just relying on exercise.
|Split Routine||Cardio||Split Routine||Cardio||Split Routine||Cardio||OFF|
A sluggish metabolism will require up to 4 cardio sessions per week.
Fat Loss and Lean Muscle “Whip Into Shape” Routine:
|Upper Body||Lower Body||Cardio||Upper Body||Lower Body||Cardio||OFF|
If you’re trying to maintain your fat loss or have a special occasion coming up then once again perform up to 4 cardio sessions per week.
- Vary the time of your cardio sessions from 20 mins through to 50 mins – depending on your fitness and the intensity of your workout. Don’t go getting yourself caught up in the mindset of thinking that you have to perform two hours of cardio each workout – because you don’t. Just keep your body guessing by changing the format of your cardio routines so you and your body don’t become bored. And if you hit a plateau that’s ok, in fact it’s great, because it’s your body telling you need to change it up.
- Do lower intensity cardio after your resistance training, and interval cardio on non-resistance training days.
- Cardio at a steady challenging pace for 45 mins. Do this on non resistance training day. Or first thing in the morning. Don’t do it at the same time as your weight training.
- Higher intensity. Warm up then perform 30 second high intensity, then 60 seconds lower intensity. 10 rounds total. Do this on the days when you’re not performing your resistance training.
- Do lower intensity for no longer than 25 mins directly after your resistance training.
- If you’re feeling a little “bluh” but want to do intervals then do 1 minute higher intensity and 3 mins lower intensity – do this 5 times over. So that’s 5 mins warmup, your intervals, 5 mins cooldown, then stretches
- If you’re really short on time and want to perform cardio on a weight training day but can’t squeeze it in then separate the two eg… cardio in the morning and weight training at night etc.
If you like the “Whip Into Shape” Routine, you’ll love The Comeback Workout – Get Your Body Back On Track in VFT’s Private Members Area.
Fat Loss Tip 8. Common Mistakes that Lead to Lack of Fat Loss
- Your diet is “all over the place”. If you’re skipping meals and consuming foods (and beverages) that don’t support your fat loss efforts then you’re going to keep hitting roadblocks – even if you’re training your ass off!
- Doing lots and lots of cardio and ignoring resistance training. I’ve seen so many people make this mistake. You need to incorporate both components.
Where to go from here…
Save yourself time, don’t make the same mistakes others make. You know the hiccups and roadblocks now of so read these tips and put them into action.
© Mandy Gibbons
Virtual Fitness Trainer