By Gregg Gillies
Let’s face it. Burning off fat can be frustrating, especially those final 5 – 15 pounds. Sometimes, it seems like no matter what we do, the weight won’t come off.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the important aspects of fat loss that you may already be implementing, and some that you are most likely not using. These could make all the difference in burning off those final pounds and giving you the lean, defined physique and six pack abs that you’ve been working so hard to get.
Mental Tips on Getting Started
1. Determine the reality of your current situation. Be honest with yourself about where you are and how far you have to go.
2. Figure out the things you are doing now that you would not have gotten involved with, knowing what you now know. Examples are smoking, drinking sugar laden soft drinks, junk food snacking late at night, spending most of your time on the couch, etc.
3. Do a complete and honest analysis of yourself and your skills regarding health and fitness. What do you do well? Where do you need to improve?
4. Determine a measure that you can use to gauge your progress.
5. Set specific goals for each day, week, and month of what you need to do to move yourself toward your goals and discipline yourself to accomplish these small goals that will lead you to big rewards.
Analyzing Your Lack of Fat Loss Progress
Here’s a short checklist of reasons that your fat loss progress may be stalling.
1) Too Many Carbohydrates.
This doesn’t mean you have to eliminate carbs from your nutrition plan. The right carbs are a vital part of your fat loss efforts, not to mention your health. However, any additional carbs above and beyond those needed have a good probability of being stored as body fat. Weight training does require a higher carb intake. But most people don’t train intensely enough for the amount of carbs that they take in.
2) Stack Your Carbs.
Eat most of your good carbs in your morning meals and in your post-workout meal. This will help to stabilize your insulin levels and help you burn body fat for energy later in the day.
Forego the pasta, potato or rice at your evening meals for lean proteins like fowl or fish, along with a side dish of veggies. Or enjoy your favorite protein shake recipe. Okay, maybe not your favorite if your favorite contains a lot of simple carbs, but you get the idea.
3) Too Much of the Wrong Type of Cardio.
What happens to the guy or gal who performs 1-2 hours of cardio a day? (We know you’re out there!)
They send their body into a tailspin, a state where the “starvation hormones” secreted by the body skyrocket (it’s your body’s survival mechanism, a response to too much exercise!) causing fat cells to try to hoard their energy!
Too much cardio will eat away at muscle tissue, causing your metabolism to slow down and your body to start storing fat. In other words, the exact opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. Substitute shorter duration, high intensity interval training for the slow, long duration cardio you’ve been doing and watch your metabolism get a boost as you burn more fat in less time.
4) Never “Cheating” on Your Diet.
Once in a while you should let loose and give yourself a break from the rigors of dieting and scale watching. In fact, it’s helpful in losing weight.
That’s because continual dieting eventually leads to roadblocks where the body responds by slowing its metabolic rate. Strict dieting also takes its toll on you mentally, and can leave you feeling deprived.
That’s a bad combination! Taking in a couple of high calorie meals once every 7-10 days not only provides a mental break from dieting, but helps you side-step roadblocks by preventing the body from entering a starvation state where the metabolic rate slows.
Another way to approach this is on a daily basis.
Here’s an example. Don’t forget the numbers are for the example only. You’ll need to adjust the calorie number to what’s appropriate for you.
Day 1 – 2,600,
Day 2 – 2,500
Day 3 – 2,400
Day 4 – 2,300
Day 5 – 2,200
Day 6 – 2,100
Day 7 – 2,000
Day 8 – 2,500
Day 9 – 2,400
Day 10 – 2,300
Day 11 – 2,200
Day 12 – 2,100
Day 13 – 2,000
Day 14 – 1,900
Day 15 – 2,400
Day 16 – 2,300
Day 17 – 2,200
Day 18 – 2,100
Day 19 – 2,000
Day 20 – 1,900
Day 21 – 1,800
At this point, I will take a look at my progress (using body fat calipers, the scale and the weight increases on my exercises) and then devise a new plan for the next three weeks.
The cycling of calories in this manner is good both for building muscle and losing fat. How high you start and how low you go depends both on your goals (building muscle or losing fat) and your individual metabolism. If you are building muscle you don’t want to make your low days too low. You just want to have some slightly lower calorie days so that you keep fat gain to a minimum as you add muscle.
For losing fat, you don’t want your high days too high (for obvious reasons) but you also don’t want your low days too low, otherwise you will lose lean muscle and put your body into starvation mode, which will cause it to slow your metabolism down and store fat – two big no no’s. If the weight stops coming off, don’t always go lower on calories but consider increasing your cardio training (or just increasing the intensity of the time that you do your cardio – the more intense it is, the more calories you burn during the same amount of time).
You still need to be careful with the amount of food you eat when you do this. After all, it doesn’t take too much to completely wipe out that week’s progress.
5) Paying Attention to The Scale Only.
The scale is not the “end-all” measurement of progress. You also monitor a couple of other things, primarily body composition, energy and strength.
As I’ve said before, don’t go just by the scale. It can deceive you and frustrate you. Get yourself a nice pair of electronic skin fold calipers and keep track of your muscle gains and fat loss.
Skin fold calipers, along with the scale are a much truer indication of your progress.
6) Eat More Good Fat
Getting enough of the good fats will help you lose fat, build muscle, and recover faster from your workouts. In addition, it has myriad health benefits, including being good for your heart. Good fats include: polyunsaturated ( especially Omega-3’s), such as those from fish and nuts, as well as monosaturated fats, such as those from peanut butter, olive oil, egg yolks, and fish oil.
Bad fats include saturated fats from things such as animal and coconut fats. Then there is the worst kind of fat the man made kind, trans fatty acids which can be found in our typical, of no redeeming value, junk foods such cookies, chips, fries and margarine.
Limit, if not stay completely away from, the bad fats and try to get about 30 – 35% of your calories from the good fats.
“Studies show that higher-fat diets make more sense for fit people than low-fat diets,” says Liz Applegate, Ph.D., author of Encyclopedia of Sports & Fitness Nutrition. “In one study, endurance athletes ran up to 24 percent longer before they fatigued when they ate a diet that was above 30 percent fat compared to one that was below 20 percent,” she says.
More importantly to most readers of this newsletter, researchers are now beginning to realize the fact that a nutrition plan high in the good fats helps the body to burn fat. Omega-3 fatty acids increase the size of your cells’ fuel-burning furnaces so your metabolic rate rises and you burn more calories every minute of every day.
Omega-3’s also help your body’s sensitivity to insulin. This helps your body store less fat. In addition, the fat you do store is more readily and easily converted into energy and burned during activity. This keeps your blood sugar levels stable and keeps you away from those famed sugar crashes and cravings and irritable mood swings.
7) Don’t Get Frustrated by A So Called Lack of Progress.
I received an email the other day from a man who wanted to thank me for the quality information I have provided to him.
He’s lost 100 pounds in the past two years and he didn’t think this was very good progress because of what he’s seen others do.
Stuff like this drives me nuts. He made phenomenal progress and should be extremely proud of himself and what he accomplished. Please people, don’t let the progress of others (especially those in ads) cause you to get frustrated with what you’ve accomplished.
Sure, you can use those outstanding results to motivate you but don’t let them make you think what you aren’t doing isn’t special. Don’t let it derail you from your goals.
Gregg Gillies is the founder of www.buildleanmuscle.com . Want to boost your metabolism, burn more fat with less effort and lose all the weight you want…fast? Grab his free report at www.fatlosssecretsrevealed.com
Interested in gaining 21 pounds of muscle in only 9 weeks? Grab his free report at www.fastmasstips.com
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