Before you get too excited, I'm not promising you'll lose weight through a very, very short walk. It would be lovely if it worked like that, but sadly not. When it comes to getting fitter, fat loss is one of the topics I get asked about the most. Everyone wants it to happen quickly, which just isn't possible, but there are ways you can gain the upper hand on fighting the flab.
When it comes to fat loss, it can often seem like it's the sole preserve of women, but losing those extra inches apply equally to both sexes. Let's take a look at four ways you can lose the fat on your way to getting lean.
1. Back To Basics
The more we learn about the body or are tempted by the latest exercise fad, even considering how technology intervenes to help us get fitter, sometimes it's the most basic elements of exercise that work the best. They all have their place, but by sticking to what we know works, we'll get the best results.
Exercises like squats and deadlifts might not be at the cutting edge of physical fitness, but they are incredibly effective when it comes to fat loss. They exercise multiple muscle groups simultaneously which means more efficient fat loss. Don't be swayed by the latest trend, stick with the basics and you won't go far wrong.
2. More weights
Telling you to do more weights and less cardio might come as a surprise to many of you. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying no at all cardio, just favour your weights sessions. Cardio will burn calories no doubt, but then so does walking to the gym or lifting your cup of tea. When it comes to seeing significant fat loss, it's more about efficient fat loss. Burn calories and you'll burn fat.
When it comes to exercising, the focus should be on resistance (or weight) training, rather than cardio. Again, I'm not saying don't do cardio, just don't make it your primary focus. You can do this by either doing your cardio on separate days or AFTER your weight training. By doing it after, your metabolism will be higher, so you'll burn more calories and your hormones, especially insulin, will be better positioned to process the food you'll have later on.
3. You Are What You Eat
If your focus is purely on fat loss, it's too easy to get caught up in the mindset of exercising. Too many people will throw themselves into a training plan without giving that much thought to what they'll be eating. That's never going to work. The two have to be in perfect harmony.
To lose weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit. You need to be taking in less than you're burning. The training at the gym is just one part of a two-piece puzzle, and the other piece, nutrition, is too often forgotten about. Make sure that the food you eat is supporting the hard work you're putting in, otherwise it's going to be a much longer, much less enjoyable project.
4. Get Intense
Fat loss isn't just about the time you spend in the gym. You could spend half the day in the gym and still not have used the time well. When we're talking about fat loss and your gym time, it's about quality, not quantity.
Long workouts aren't always good workouts. What you should be focusing on isn't time, but intensity. When you're training your heart rate should be elevated, the sweat should be pouring and you should literally feel your muscles working overtime. You know when you've worked out to your maximum and not just 'phoned it in'. That's what intensity is.
It's not about just charging head-first into a workout for the sake of it, you need to warm-up and get your body ready. A short workout with a high intensity is always going to be better than a long one with little.
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