Fat Loss FAQ-10 Truths to Finding Fat Loss Success
Posted Jan 22 2012 10:13pm
I get asked all the time how to lose weight. I mean, that is what I do, isn’t it? I help people lose weight? Not exactly. To me, weight is a number. A number for which many individuals will do anything to reduce. They will buy pills, pre-packaged food, shake weights, workout dvds and books all telling them different ways to “lose weight”.
What if, instead of focusing on reducing a number, you decided that you wanted your clothes to fit better? What if you decided that the number was less important than how your tummy feels? What if you dreamed of trying something hard and working to achieve it rather than counting calories? What if you wanted sustainable, lifelong results instead of a quick fix?? THAT is what I do.
So, people are often curious and ask several of the same questions. So, I thought I would share, from my point of view as a Fitness Nutritional Specialist and health nut and as someone who has finally found what I have been wanting- a healthy, beautiful body and strength to not only try new things, but to achieve them. I am no doctor and I am not claiming these to be true for all people, but in general, this is what I have studied and found to be most effective.
Fat Loss FAQ
1) What is the difference between fat loss and weight loss?
There’s a HUGE difference! Weight loss can mean anything from water/fluid loss to muscle loss. Sometimes it is body fat, but not very often. Fat loss does not show up on the scale very easily (which is discouraging for those who are still conditioned to let the scale tell them how to feel about their bodies) and is harder to achieve. Weight loss can fluctuate 3-6 pounds DAILY while fat loss remains much steadier. Weight loss can be done through caloric restriction, prolonged cardio (5-6 days per week, 60 minutes or more) and cutting carbs. Fat loss can be achieved without caloric restriction, short and intense resistance training (3-4 days a week, 20 minutes or so) and permanently eliminating garbage foods.
2) “They” say to eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
This would be true if people ate more veggies than fruit, which is not usually the case. Fruit, while natural, is still loaded with sugar which will inhibit fat loss. Dried fruit is probably the worst culprit for spiking blood sugar and slowing fat burn. Try the 5:1 ratio, eat 5 servings of vegetables for every 1 serving of fruit. Good luck!
3) How much fruit do I eat?
I try to limit it to one serving a week. I see a big difference in my abs if I eat it more than that. Sometimes, if I am having a sweet craving, I will have a bite or two and give the rest to Tim.
4) But I crave sweets all the time! I can’t possibly just stop eating sugar!
No, you probably can’t. It takes patience to ride out the detox symptoms and cravings that occur when purging your system of fructose and sucrose. These symptoms are similar to those which a drug addict experiences during withdrawal: headache, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, moodiness, sleeplessness, increased appetite, increased urination- the works!! That’s because there is such a strong connection between our brains and the high that we get off of sugar (grains too, for that matter). If you can cut it out for 3 weeks, you will never crave it again. And, when you see what it does to you after you eat it, you will be convinced that you don’t want it.
5) What about nuts?
There is a stigma out there that says “Eat fat, get fat.” This could not be farther from the truth!! You need good fats (oils, avocado, fish, animal meat, some nuts) in your diet for your body to help you lose fat. Nuts are extremely acidic and should be eaten in moderation (2 oz a day at MOST). This includes nut butters. Nuts are not a good option around workout times, but can be a lifesaver if you are hungry after dinner and need something to stave off hunger.
6) What about portion sizes?
There is a great methodology called the Plate Method. This method will help you in any situation whether you are at home, eating out or at a social engagement where there will be food. First, fill half of a small salad plate (not a dinner plate) with greens. Next, fill a quarter with meat. Save the last quarter for fruit or starches if you must have them. If you don’t have to have them, fill it with more greens or protein. You will be stuffed and satisfied.
7) Do I need to count calories?
No. Calorie counting is not realistic and again, shifts the focus to numbers which will only defeat you. The process of identifying how many calories are in a particular food is skewed at best. In layman’s terms, scientists will light the food on fire to see how quickly it heats up water. The faster it heats, the more calories (or energy) that food has. Not to mention the science behind how many calories your body burns is again, skewed. Every BODY is different and burns at a different rate. There are generalizations, but nothing concrete. Instead of quantity, shift your focus to quality. If you are trying to lose fat, you should not be having things like processed foods, shakes, bars, frozen dinners or Subway. These are “calorically acceptable” and may help in weight loss, but not as beneficial for fat loss.
8 ) What about weights versus cardio?
Usually when people realize that they have too much fat, they start running or jump on the elliptical like crazy, thinking this will help. It will not. You not only risk injury to yourself (running is tough on the body and you need to warm up to it) but you risk stressing your body out which causes more production of cortisol which is stored in the butt and gut. To lose fat, you need to do resistance training in short bursts. This should be done with a trainer or in a class for maximum results. Using your body weight, plyometrics and weights can help you shed fat faster than doing long cardio sessions. Not only that, but to lose weight doing cardio, you need to do 5-6 days a week for 60 minutes or more!! For fat loss, short resistance intervals 3-4 times a week for about 20 minutes.
9) How much does nutrition play a role in fat loss?
For most individuals, it is 80% of the battle. You can work out hard, but if you’re not fueling your body correctly, not only will your fat loss be sluggish but your performance will not be very good. You cannot eat 3 slices of pizza then go run it off. It does not work that way. You cannot stock pile workouts and eat crappy. Nutrition is huge for helping detox your body, aid in muscle repair and to reduce body fat.
10) How do you do it?
Years and years of trying and failing. I have finally (after 7 years on this journey) found a place where I am (for the most part) content with my body. I am ready to jump into a swim suit or go jean shopping any day of the week.
-I love eating and do it with gusto, not restriction. I have trained my body to want things that make me feel and look good.
-I keep a food log to help me stay on track (even though I am busy, I make it a priority).
-I study a lot and am always looking for new recipes and meal ideas.
-I surround myself with people who encourage a healthy lifestyle and help motivate me to keep getting and doing better and better.
-I manage my stress and make sleep a priority.
-Aside from coffee, water is the only thing I drink.
-I take multivitamins and fish oil.
-I use the plate method.
-I am consistent in my workouts and always challenging myself to go harder and lift more than before.
You can do it. Does it take discipline? YES. Is it difficult at times? YES. Does it get easier the more you do it? YES. Are you capable of being confident of your body and feeling good on the inside? YES!!!