If you have tried every popular weight-loss trick in the book, only to find yourself still overweight, then it’s high time to take a reality check. After months or years, if you are still frustrated about your belly, love-handles or wide thighs, then it’s about time to change your life.
Before all the specifics, the first step is to dump everything. Dump the fad diets, the Weight Watchers meetings, the diet pills, the thousands of crunches, the hours on the treadmill and the “low fat” foods. These strategies have proven ineffective for millions, wasting everyone’s time and money.
I have researched how to lose weight for years; I have been down that frustrating road of crunches and cardio, diets and “low fat” foods, and I have corrected my mistakes along my journey. Below you will find the six methods I incorporate into my daily routine to maintain a healthy, athletic body.
Method 1 – What is “Weight?”
What weight do you want to lose? People are often confused when confronted with this question, since the media, experts and gurus have always taught the concept of “weight-loss.” However, in reality, this phrase is inaccurate.
Before you lose the pounds, you must first realize what kind of pounds you want to lose! Every day I remind myself that it is fat I want to lose, not weight. Weight accounts for everything in your body (i.e. – fat, muscle, bone, skin, organs and fluids). You do not want to lose muscle or water weight, correct?
Your perspective on weight seriously affects how you approach your “weight-loss” plan. If you wish to lose the fat from your body, then you must do things daily to make sure this fat is being burned. For starters, rather than typing “how to lose weight” into Google, try “how to lose fat” instead.
Method 2 – What is “Healthy?”
Assuming you are trying to lose fat instead of weight, then work on your diet next. Eat mainly single-ingredient, organic foods (Note: Eat five small meals per day to increase your metabolism).
Stay far away from “30% less fat,” “low carb” and “lowers cholesterol” labels. Processed, packaged foods that are deemed “healthy” or “nutritious” by the media are not actually good for your body. In fact, these foods are responsible for holding onto your fat! Always read labels and avoid high amounts of trans fats, sodium, sugars, starches and especially grain alcohols.
Here is a small list of healthy, single-ingredient foods that should be the center of your diet. These are only to get you started; of course, there are many more healthy foods, but Rome was not built in a day.
- Organic fruits and vegetables
- Grass-fed beef from a butcher
- Poultry (organic eggs, chicken)
- Nuts, seeds, rice, beans
- Home-brewed tea (green, black, white, Oolong)
Method 3 – Supplements
Most of the supplements on the market are not very effective; in fact, many are downright worthless. I have walked the long, painful gauntlet of searching and buying supplements. Out of the fog, I have found several that work to my advantage. These I take on a daily basis, all of which promote fat loss.
- CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid, derived from safflower oil) – A fat loss pill that actually works, CLA attacks the fat specifically around the abdominal area. However, staying below your daily caloric intake is a must. You will not reap the benefits of this pill unless you are burning more calories than you consume. CLA simply speeds up this process and helps eliminate that flab, while supporting muscle mass at the same time.
- Zinc – A supplement that is good for overall health, zinc promotes the immune system, helps prevent cancer, improves athletic performance and supports the reproductive system. Make sure you take Zinc directly after a meal.
- Men’s Multivitamin – It is evident that a daily multivitamin is beneficial to your overall health and longevity. There are many multivitamins available for both men and women.
- Bee Pollen – One of the healthiest, most important supplements on the market, bee pollen has numerous benefits for your body. It comes in capsules or granules; I prefer the capsules because they are easier to take.
- Protein – Essential for growing muscle and burning fat, protein comes in a variety of forms and supplements. Personally, I prefer either whey or hemp protein powders.
Method 4 – Strength Training
Because this article concerns fat loss and not muscle-building, strength training will not be covered in too much detail. However, lifting weights promotes fat loss, as well; the more muscle mass you have, the more your Resting Metabolic Rate is increased, and the more fat you burn! In other words, muscle burns your fat even while you are resting!
If you ask a thousand bodybuilders how to gain muscle, you will get a thousand different responses. There are numerous strategies to try and exercises to learn, some more effective than others. Research the most well-known methods and see what works best for you.
It is important to note that strength training is not only for men; women can also benefit from lifting weights. Some of the fittest, most attractive women I have seen have incorporated weights into their workout routines
Method 5 – Cardio
An hour on the treadmill’s low speed is not going to burn anything to make a difference, plain and simple.
You have to incorporate cardio in new, inventive ways in order to burn fat effectively. Below is a list of activities and workouts I have found useful in cardio training.
- HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) – Also called Sprint Training, HIIT is perhaps the most effective fat-burning cardio routine. It can be done outside, on a treadmill or even on an elliptical machine. Jog at a moderate pace for a minute or two, and then sprint as fast as you can for fifteen to twenty seconds. Repeat this process four or five times. The workout lasts only fifteen minutes; it is an intense routine that shocks your body into a fat-burning state, burning fat up to twenty-four hours afterwards!
- Swimming laps
- Jumping rope
- Tabata Intervals – Another intense way to burn fat, this kind of interval training only takes four minutes of your time. Pick an exercise (i.e. – push-ups, sit-ups, squats). Do as many reps as you can in twenty seconds, and then rest for ten seconds. Repeat this process eight times; you may actually feel the fat melting off!
Method 6 – Motivation
The five methods mentioned above are only half the battle; the other half is motivation. If you cannot stay motivated to get to the gym or eat healthy foods, then there is no point in your efforts. However, there is a secret to being constantly motivated.
You must have a burning desire to get what you want. This burning desire can be getting fit for your loved one, training for a marathon or contest, or simply looking athletic to turn heads at the shore. Keep your desire in mind at all times. Remind yourself that you do not need those Oreos, potato chips, sodas or beers. Remind yourself that you want to look fit and stand out from the crowd; remind yourself of your desire every single hour.
Rome was not built in a day; it takes time and effort to achieve that athletic body you want. These six guidelines continue to work for me; if you follow them and stick with them, your fat loss dreams will become a reality.
Michael M. Griffin, who wrote this article, has been a bodybuilder for three years. He is also a writer and blogger, planning to publish his first science-fiction novel in 2013. The book is titled Mistress, and it combines the two concepts of nanotechnology and religious tyranny. To find out more about him and his novel, please visit his Official Writer Website.