Nutri-this, diet-that, Atkins, Zone, South Beach, it can all be very confusing - if not overwhelming. Here are some basic principles to start you off in your journey of transformation.
Weight loss or Fat loss?
When we talk about losing weight, we really mean losing fat. Weight loss can be muscle, water (fluid), or fat. Standing on the scales gives you no clue as to your body composition - so don't weigh yourself too much - it can really play mind games. Our weight is always fluctuating (often due to hydration levels). The mirror, clothes-fitting, old photos, etc -- can all provide feedback on our fat loss -- not just the scales. I am being kind here folks. The scale does not tell you what you really are. The mirror tells no lies.
How do you lose fat? In a nutshell, it's a simple law of energy intake and expenditure. Eating more than you are using means you gain weight. Burning more than your eating means you lose weight... Unfortunately the real outworking of this is not so simple. Losing fat (for most people) is hard -- get used to the idea then you won't struggle so much with disappointment. Stop feeling sorry for your lazy ass and stop looking for fix it quick solutions. They don't exist. Here is what works and I am giving it to you for free.
*My Five Fit principles to keep in mind* -
1) Diet (Nutrition- good foods eaten at the correct times centered around your training schedule. Not your need to feed your face)
2) Cardio (Exercise- Without it your just skinny fat! Yuk!)
3) Dedication (Consistency- if you don't have it you will never reach your goal)
4) Goals - Come on you have them right? Your not just going through life with no purpose are you? Of course not. make your goals clearly defined. Believe in them don't let any one stand in your way. Keep yourself surrounded by like minded positive people who will believe in you and will be inspired by you. You can do this.
5) Weight training ( look I will make this very easy for you. Science has proven and documented the following
Increases muscular strength. Increases muscular endurance. Is an outstanding means of body shaping. Increases bone and ligament strength, cartilage thickness and capillary density in the muscles. Improves health and physical fitness. Improves sports performance. Increases flexibility. Increases power and speed. Helps relieve the stresses and tensions of everyday life. Promotes a positive self-image. Teaches discipline and motivation that carry over into all other areas of life. Helps control body weight and reduce body fat. Strengthens your heart, intensifies metabolism levels and normalizes blood pressure. Can increase your longevity. Improves the quality of your life. Helps prevent many medical problems such as osteoporosis. Increases both hemoglobin level and red cell count. Is an appropriate activity for men and women of all ages, can become a valuable couple and/or family activity. "OK I like this one so I added it" Is an excellent form of rehabilitation for muscle and joint injuries; can be used by handicapped individuals who have at least partial use of their arms and/or legs. Has been proven to reduce cholesterol levels.
What's weight training got to do with fat loss?
Weight (or strength) training is not essential to lose fat - but it sure helps. A weight training workout boosts metabolism for the whole day and helps build lean muscle. Muscle is metabolically active - it needs fuel - and therefore helps you burn more calories all the time. Muscle is what gives your body shape. Muscle is what allows you to look good in those jeans or a T shirt. If you are thinking about weight training - think on this Do I want my body to be strong, lean, sexy and useful, or is my body only for people to look at?
Lifting weights makes your body strong, lean, sexy and useful.
Can't I just eat less and skip meals?
It's naturally what we want to do - but it's not quite right. "I must lose weight so I'm gonna starve myself". This is where things get a bit confusing. Starve the body too much, and it gets the hint and slows down, you actually gain more weight as your body goes into self preservation mode - you'll feel irritable, fatigued, cellulite in woman will begin to make it's presence on your body known and you will begin to lose muscle. After clawing your way through hunger pangs and dreams of food, the chances are you will binge, or start eating back how you used to. Guess what happens? The weight piles on and you become huge or worse yet "skinny fat" because your body is still in "slow" mode. Fat loss is all about calorie reduction, but a calorie intake that is too low will cause problems. The answer is weight training & cardio combined with smart eating habits. No fancy pills or supplements will ever do it. You can not convince me otherwise.
Why bother with exercise?
There are few people that have lost fat (and maintained it), without making exercise a part of their life. Cardiovascular fitness has many health benefits - primarily keeping your heart strong. Including some form of exercise as a natural part of your life will give you an even bigger chance of success. Just remember consistency! Cardio exercise could be something like; brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, treadmill, elliptical trainer. However to really reach your goals and change your life, you need to lift the weights guys/girls. There's so much to learn - Help !? There are hundreds of diet books and weight training programs out there. Many of them have terrific claims, but remember There is no one-size-fits-all weight loss program, pill, diet system etc... There are no magic bullets or miracle instant cures. Well sorry not true. None other than hard ass kicking work!! Your not afraid of work are you. Of course not. There is absolutely EVERY chance that you can and will transform yourself. It is completely possible for you to lose the fat build lean sexy muscle and get healthier. Remember a great body is the product of education and hard work. Believe in yourself. Educate yourself, Be dedicated and again Believe in yourself.
Do I have to buy something (book, subscription, etc)?
No. If you have enough nutritional knowledge and a whole lot of motivation you can sort out your own lifestyle change. However most of us don't have the time or know-how to go-it-alone -- so we pay someone else to design, explain, or customize a fat loss program.
Do Online Weight Loss Programs Work?
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) decided structured on-line weight loss programs worked better than "just browsing around". (Vol. 285 No. 9, March 7, 2001). "Participants who were given a structured behavioral treatment program with weekly contact and individualized feedback had better weight loss compared with those given links to educational Web sites."
What's with all the different diets?
There are hundreds of diets. Some diets work for some - others don't. There are other diets that are clearly faulty. Here's some simple guidelines. Avoid extremes (e.g. very-low-carb or very-low-fat). Learn about carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Learn about whole foods and learn how to reduce your intake of processed foods.
Where do I start?
It's possible to get started just by taking some of the higher-calorie items (soft drinks,candy, white bread etc) out of your diet, and trying to get out for some exercise. However you will find that without some serious commitment and identified goals - you will soon lose interest. There's nothing like results to keep you motivated.
The chances are you will need some serious help, and this is where some of the man & woman who have the answers can help you and get you started. My site AbFitt (free) http://AbFitt.blogspot.com , http://gregplitt.com/, friend of AbFitt " http://www.issacertifiedtrainer.com/jleesfitness, http://www.bodybuilding.com/ , are some I suggest you try out. Most of these programs have journals, goal-setting tools, and discussion forums with others to help keep you motivated.
Can it work for me?
Here's the deal - we are all unique. Different physical characteristics, different genetics. This is why each of us will have to do slightly different things to get the fat & muscle building dialed in. Be prepared for a life style change, long-term commitment, a belief in change, and a new way of seeing yourself. Living a AbFitt lifestyle will not only help you to feel emotionally and physically better, but it will also save you money by empowering you and allowing you to have complete control of your most valuable possession. You!
You can do it. Say goodbye to being a victim of the supplement company's and media. Small step by small step, you can achieve your goals. You may trip up, you will trip up, you may have setbacks - but remember - failure isn't fatal ! Live Fit, Be Fit for life with AbFitt-