Most of the people I help—whether through a fitness program, a nutrition program, or a combination of the two—have the same end goal. People want to lose fat, look good, and feel great! It’s as simple as that. The biggest question they have is the “How”.
The global fitness industry generates more than 80 billion dollars per year. With that comes a lot of marketing ploys that seem attractive, promising a fast and easy way to get the body of your dreams. No wonder people are so confused when we talk about the “how”!
First, you need to determine what your goal is. For most people, the goal is fat loss. The best way to do that is by having a caloric deficit at the end of each day through a combination of eating and exercise. There’s some calculating to do, but it’s not as complicated as you might think.
Many people ask, “Can I burn fat and gain muscle at the same time?” My answer is… it depends. Technically, those are two different processes, so they can’t happen at exactly the same time, but they can happen fairly close together. One method that has proven successful is nutrient timing, but it can be so detailed that the average person will throw in the towel trying to attempt to follow it. It’s a fairly complicated topic to address—perhaps one for another day. For now, here are a couple of simple tips that can help you with reaching your fat loss goals:
If you are overweight, you probably have some fat to lose. That should be your first priority. Fat can lead to many problems down the road. You can burn fat by eating at a gradual daily caloric deficit. Please do not attempt anything extreme, like a severe calorie-restriction diet. That will only worsen your overall health. It’s no wonder that nutrition can be confusing to consumers when food labels are advertising, “Fat-free!”, “Low carb!”, “Eat this and you’ll magically lose fat!” The reality is, eating a variety of whole grain foods, fibrous carbs (fruits and veggies), healthy fats, and lean protein is what will enable you to burn fat. Just remember, too much of anything—even healthy food, will result in fat gain. At the end of the day, we want to avoid putting on fat. Now let’s talk about putting on muscle.
Lifting weights and adding muscle to your body will help you burn fat because muscle burns fat—even at rest. You can add in some cardio to help boost fat loss. Remember, slow and steady will get you the results you want (read my last article, Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day, Neither are You). Too many people just do not do enough weightlifting. Also, doing high repetitions of lower weight probably isn’t what’s going to get you the results you want—whether you’re male or female. Of course, if you are completely out of shape, you don’t want to go attempt a heavy squat and get injured. Hit the machines that provide good form, and then graduate from those before attempting something your body isn’t ready for.
The bottom line is, try to keep it simple. Eat healthily, start a fitness routine, and then give it time. Time is something we all have little patience for, but time is also what will get you the results you want. For any questions regarding weight training or proper nutrition, feel free to reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org