Almost everyone in wants to know about fat loss! This is a hot subject when it comes to fitness. Why? Because when you lose the excess fat a number of wonderful things take place, like:
-You can see the definition of toned, hard-earned muscle
- A six-pack! Hot abs!
-Your clothes fit a whole lot nicer when you lose weight!
-Ugly and unsightly rolls and bumps are no longer there when you look in the mirror (ugh!-muffin top no more!)
-You feel a lot better. That sluggish and heavy feeling is gone
-And there are lots of health benefits such as reduced risk of cancer and heart disease and avoiding obesity.
Like a lot of fitness subjects, the subject of fat loss has been chewed up and spit out over and over until it's hard to know what advice to follow.
That's how I felt when I was originally searching for information.
I'd find extreme diets or fitness training plans that didn't seem to be something I could realistically do at my stage in the game of getting fit.
Then I tried bodybuilding. I lifted heavy and hard. I measured my body fat a lot. I noticed changes in my shape but fat still hung around on my belly and thighs.
I tried eating clean for awhile...that was hard. I like food a lot. But nothing was really helping me to reach my goals until I was ready to be disciplined about what went in my mouth.
That is, no one way or one ingredient: it has to be a combination of three things that will help you burn the fat off and keep it off.
1. Cardio. You have to have some type of aerobic activity that keeps your heart rate up for a period of time. Now, whether you keep it up for 20 minutes or 60 minutes is going to be up to you.
The best way to determine the time you spend doing cardio is dependent on two things: (1) how hard (intensity) you are doing the activity and (2) how long (as in sessions or weeks/months/ect) you have been exercising.
If you just started exercising, then it makes sense to start out with shorter sessions. Sometimes just 10-15 minutes is enough to start changes in your metabolism. If you are a person that is already doing physical work everyday in your job, then you may be able to handle more.
The body adapts to whatever stresses you put on it and you want to stress your body (but not too much!) for fat loss to start happening and metabolic changes to occur.
If you choose an activity such as walking, then a longer cardio session would be better. If you want to box or sprint, then shorted cardio sessions are in order-like 15-20 minutes.
2. Strength Training. For fat loss to happen faster, building your muscles needs to be a part of the formula. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn-this doesn't mean you have to be a gladiator! This just means that building up your strength will give you that toned, lean look and add all the right curves and help your body's metabolism in it's fat-burning efforts.
3. Clean eating. Should I say 'healthy eating'? Clean eating scares me sometimes because I love food so much but really, there are SO many tasty recipes out there that are balanced and provide the right amount of protiens, carbs and fats for optimal fuel for your hard-working body that it's the best choice!
It is a known saying in the fitness world that "abs are made in the kitchen". And they are!
If all you do is exercise but don't pay attention to what you are putting into your mouth and body, then you will end up wearing the results of too many plates of pasta or juice or whatever it is you are indulging in. Keeping a food diary or journal will help immensely and will be one of your biggest tools in helping you reaching and managing your goals.
4. Supplements. Taking supplements like protein powder or multivitamins can help your diet immensely. When you don't have a handy source of a clean meal, a vitamin-packed protein shake may be just what helps keep you on track.
Knowing how certain food groups affect your fat loss goals will help you reach them much faster than if you don't take your diet into the equation.
5. Weight Loss Pills. I know, I know. Some of you are totally against the idea of any type of pill. But it is a proven scientific fact that caffeine is one of the biggests fat burning aids around! There are some amazing fat inhibitors, energy boosts, and natural fat-burning aids that when ised in conjunction with a clean diet and exercise program, the results are phenomenal.
Again, these types of drugs are to be used on a short term basis and it is a good idea to get your physician's clearance before taking anything.
Again this is just a simple formula of three things that can be pretty complex when you look at them in a technical, scientific light.