Fat-loss is a highly searched topic, where you will find endless opinions and a variety of “foolproof” methods that your head might literally spin with confusion on where to start.
I can’t make any promises, because there are bright sides to every method, depending on each person, their health, and their bodies. However, I can share what I have seen work, and what I believe in.
Losing fat isn’t rocket science, you just have to be persistent, and honest about your goals and the amount of effort you are willing to put forth in meeting them. That’s without a doubt the most important factor, and quite frankly, a big part of why I decided to give up on personal training. The majority of people want results, but aren’t willing to do the work, put in the time, and trust the process.
I think, for me personally, besides the lack of patience people have in their weight-loss goals, my biggest pet peeve is when people assume going for a run is the best route to achieving their abs, or lean thighs, and better butt.
Though, it is true that running can assist in weight-loss, the type of running matters big time. In addition to the lack of promise steady-state running shows for fat-loss, it happens to have a negative effect on muscle mass.
If you’ve done your research you will know by now that muscle helps burn fat!
Also, you NEVER need to assume you have to supplement or take an additional pill or shake in order to achieve your goals. In my opinion, the majority of supplement companies are frauds, or are full of products I could never trust. It is a waste of money to invest hundreds, if not thousands for products that are in many cases, not needed.
So what is one to do?
Here’s my take.
Most importantly, and at the base of any healthy and fit body is nutrition. Creating a clean diet, full of foods that nurture, heal, and replenish your body after and during exercise. Our family chooses to eat organic, mostly gluten-free (I am 100% gluten-free and have been for over five years), non-gmo, real foods. Sugar isn’t an issue for myself, however my husband has a sweet tooth, so we still have it in the house. Coconut sugar and raw stevia are substitutions we also have available. We do enjoy eating out once in a while, but opt for places who offer grass-fed meats, local vegetables and even then, we tend to order on the safe side…no fatty, or deep-friend platters.
Second, we come to sleep. Rest and sleep are CRUCIAL for not only recovery from exercise, but in general, your health depends on making sure you get enough sleep. Women should be getting 7-9 hours a night, no less. Some men can handle 6-8 and not have any negative side-effects. Some people might say they are “fine” with their routine of very little sleep, and swear it has no impact on their weight gain, health problems, or other areas of their life. Don’t let them fool you.
I used to be a runner. Long-distance. I would rack up 50+ miles a week most weeks. I was also very tiny. I was thin, had no definition, had no butt, had no abs. I was just small. Once I started a more serious weight lifting routine I realized I could have curves, and feel sexy, more womanly. Not only that, I felt strong! Now, weights are my go-to. During pregnancy, weights were my go to. They never let me down. I have seen time and time again the benefit from weight-lifting and strength training, not only personally, but with clients as well as others, and I can honestly say, I’ll never go back to the long-distance running gig.
The best form of “cardio” when it comes to burning fat, without jeopardizing your muscle gains, is interval training. You can use just about any set-up, which benefits both beginners as well as athletes. If you’re just starting out, you can adjust the intervals so that your “rest” period is much longer than your “intense” period. And vice versa for those who may be more advanced. Tabatas are a good example of interval training that you are certainly able to get creative with. Hill sprints, or any other high intensity burst of action can bring you benefits as well.
And at the top of that pyramid, is that darn steady-state cardio. You know, that go out and run comfortably at the same pace for an hour cardio. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll say it again, I have nothing against running. I believe it has it’s place. Just as I believe running is therapeutic, and it can be fun for a challenge now and then. But unless you use it properly, you may be doing your body, and fat-loss goals more harm than good.
And there ya have it.
I’ve just had my third baby, and this is a plan I am sticking to for getting back into shape. It’s a plan I trust, and it’s a plan I feel comfortable with. That’s why I’m sharing it with you.