Let’s be honest (and pardon the puns) but the emotional weight that so many of us carry in our desire to lose fat is a heavy burden.
But let’s really be honest and recognize that so many of us attempt to remedy our weight (i.e., fat) problems the wrong way. We wake up with the intention of making TODAY a new start and the first day of our new, healthier life…the day where the transformation will begin. “I’ll hit the cardio machines every morning before work this week!” or “I’ll run in the park every evening!”
After about a week or two of these killer cardio campaigns, if an injury doesn’t stop us, the fact that the weight is NOT dropping off as we expected usually does.
The Misguided “Eye of the Tiger” Scenarios
Scenario 1: Treadmill Traci: We’ve seen this scenario so often on the gym floor or on the fitness center advertisements: the gym-goer with her head band and ear buds, and her eyes straight ahead grinding out the reps on the stair climber or miles on the treadmill with a look of absolute conviction. “I’m going to sweat off this darn extra weight!”
Religiously she performs her cardio day after day, faster and faster, like a hamster on a wheel…sweat pouring off her, dropping on the machine and on the floor…this has to be working, right?
And then so often after the gym, maybe it’s a quick stop at the hipster café for mocha latte with "skim" milk (approximately 600 calories) to further boost her energy tank for the day ahead. Maybe too much time at the gym has left no time to prepare a meal, so it turns into a drive-thru dinner night: a “crispy” chicken sandwich, deliciously golden french fries, and a “diet” cola. Then the thought hits, “Boy, I’m going to have to work extra hard tomorrow at the gym to burn off this meal.”
Scenario 2: Deprivation Dan: There’s also the dual-pronged scenario where he attacks the weight gain (i.e., excess fat) with excessive exercise along with suppressing his calorie intake to desolate levels. He’s at the gym, working harder than ever, determined to get back to his youthful self…he can practically taste that found-again transformation.
He eats little to no fat, often skips breakfast, and limits himself to two salads a day with fat free dressing.
He sees the scale dropping rapidly which drives him to work even harder, not considering he’s likely losing that coveted lean muscle mass, losing very little fat, and will inevitably binge eat when he can no longer stomach the calorie deprivation.
Unfortunately, approaches to weight loss like these two scenarios that consist of hard core cardio, no quality performance training of strength and power work, and with little or no change in eating habits (or calorie deprivation) rarely work…and worse can have anatomical, physiological and emotional ramifications.
Ugh…So What’s the Answer?
A realtor will tell you that the three most important factors in selling a home are “Location, Location, Location.” Well, we’ve got a similar “three factor solution” when it comes to losing those unwanted fat pounds: “Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition.” Sure, exercise is pivotal: it often boosts energy levels, increases fitness, provides a sense of accomplishment, can boost metabolism, and can have a profound effect on daily performance levels if programmed correctly.
But, if physical transformation via fat loss is your primary goal, then it’s your diligence “at the dinner table” (aka: the food you consume each day) that will make the most dramatic positive changes in your body composition (along with "properly" programmed performance training).
What if those same folks who were so eager to hit the cardio hamster wheels, applied that same level of conviction to making positive changes in what they ate? What if they shredded their cupboards of junk and processed foods? And what if they conquered each meal with a mentality that food is our “fuel” not our “reward?”
Well, chances are they’d achieve their fat loss goals and then some.
We know battling the temptation of savory, salty, and sweet, 24 hours a day/seven days a week is a huge challenge in this day of “push a button” and it’s at your fingertips world. But the reward is definitely worth the effort; dramatic changes in the way you eat can have a significant impact on fat loss, and rather quickly for that matter.
We’ve seen participants in our programs lose 25, 35 and even 45 pounds of fat in as little as 13 weeks when sticking to our PLAIN Nutrition approach to eating (while implementing a strategic, safe and sustainable training program).
Trying to burn off hundreds if not thousands of excess consumed calories through countless hours of exercise is simply not realistic (and, as we’ve mentioned repeatedly…it’s counterproductive for it will often lead to overuse injuries). Addressing fat loss at the dinner table by consuming the appropriate quantity of calories as well as quality of food, is an absolute must!
Hey, We’re Not Condemning Exercise!
Yes, we understand the adrenaline rush, the sense of accomplishment, as well as the fact that exercise compliments a healthy eating and recreational lifestyle. Not to mention, all the long-term health benefits.
However, it’s important to recognize that we must “earn the right” to exercise.
What does this mean? Simply, it’s critical that when beginning your exercise journey, you adhere to a well programmed training program to reduce your chance of injury and maximizes performance. Your program should start you with a low level of volume and intensity, then gradually, and with in reason, begin to intensify your routine as your movement patterns improve and a base level of conditioning is established.
NEWS FLASH: Without clean and healthy eating habits, exercise will play only a minor role in fat burning!!
Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition!!!
For many of us, it’s in our nature to use brawn (work harder), but we need to use brains (work smarter), and make it our mission to give up the gluttonous foods we so badly desire and have become accustomed to. And there's no doubt eating foods that can be fished, grown or butchered, in an unadulterated state is challenging. But if being lean were easy, "all the kids would be doing it"🤔
Week 9 Quiz:
1) Approaches to weight loss that consist of hard-core cardio, with little or no change in eating habits rarely work and can have ________ ramifications. a) b, c, and d b) physiological c) emotional d) anatomical
2) Fat loss should be addressed:
a) At the fast food drive through b) With killer cardio campaigns
c) At the dinner table
d) None of the above
3) Participants in our programs who have lost significant amounts of fat in as little as 13 weeks applied our PLAIN Nutrition approach to eating: a) True b) False
4) A benefit of exercise is: a) it boosts your energy levels b) it increases your fitness c) it provides a sense of accomplishment d) all of the above
Once you've taken the quiz, click here to see how you did.