6 Practical Fat Loss Tips
I always tell clients to lose bodyfat and not weight. Sure, we want to see the scale go down, but I’ve ran across plenty of clients who have dropped pant sizes and bought new swimsuits without the sale budging all that much. In scientific terms we call this “body composition,” but you may refer to it as getting rock star hot.
There’s plenty of fat loss tips on this website. But rather than indulging into top secret food plans and the very best workouts that are meant to torch fat, I thought it would be prudent to cover the starting point. If you have no idea where you’re currently at in terms of your fitness, how the heck can you figure out if something is working or not. In nearly ten years of experience of doing this for a living, I’ve only come across a handful of clients who have a realistic idea of where they’re at in life.
For many it’s too scary to assess yourself. But I guarantee if you start doing these simple things, your fitness levels will go through the roof in the next three months.
- Take a snapshot – Take a picture of yourself. Get into a swimsuit and snap photos from the front, side, and back. Yes, I know it’s going to be painful but you want a visual of your progress. The smart phone gives you the chance to take the pic on your own if the thought of a photo shoot with a close friend is too much to handle. Take these pictures every 4-6 weeks. We are our own harshest critic, so we’re less lucky to see any changes in the mirror day to day. Taking photos is your visual diary and allows you to compare the old you to the new you.
- Measure, measure, measure – Clients tell me all the time that they need to lose weight but have no idea how much they weigh nor how much they want to lose. If you can’t check your bodyfat regularly – and please don’t spend money on a scale you step on that claims to measure you bodyfat- then step on the scale 3-5 times a week. Wrap a tape measure around your waist. Log your numbers and keep notes. If you go two weeks without seeing anything change, then you know you’re not on the right track. If you see the scale change, then keep doing what you’re doing until it stops working. Tracking allows you to find your own personal fat loss diet.
- Track your water – Everyone knows that water is important but yet no one tracks how much they drink. When I ask, clients always tell me “a lot.” Unfortunately that’s not a number. It’s also not something that we can track. When I get clients on a measurable water intake, pounds start coming off. So grab a water bottle to where you know the exact amount. You know how it works – 8, 16, 24, 32 ounce bottles. Carry it with you and decide how many bottles you’re going to drink. Keep a note of this along with points #1 and #2 and you’re going to lose weight.
- Stop trying to run the weight off- Because of its convenience, and the fact that it’s cheap, everyone wants to run to try and drop weight. Read the articles and blogposts on this site for the peer reviewed research on why this approach doesn’t work. But I’ll sum it up for you here: running makes you more efficient. That means that you have to run farther and more frequently to lose more weight. Runners will drop the weight that they want but they won’t get the body that they want. That’s because with running were burning energy but not focusing on body composition (remember the intro). If you enjoy running, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop. But try intervals, sprinting, stairs, or finding a steep hill in your area to run up.
- Do what you’re not good at- When people usually train themselves, they focus on what they’re already good at. Not only does this stall progress, it also makes you efficient. If you remember from point #4, we want to be inefficient. This means that every 4 weeks you should be learning something new. Start strength training. Do loaded carries. Learn a kettlebell swing. Try the Olympic lifts (with proper instruction of course). We don’t want the body to get comfortable.
- Be done with the extreme workout- I always come across clients who want to take things to the extreme. They want endless squats or they want each set to go to burnout. I’ve met plenty of people who have done tremendous things in one workout. But they fail to replicate that success the next day. In fact, some quit altogether. I’m not impressed with a hard workout. I am thrilled by results…..month after month, and year after year. Focus on the process, not the task.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it. In fact, it may sound “too simple.” But believe it or not, getting in shape is usually a simple process. Try not to overcomplicate it with fad diets or extreme workouts and you’ll be surprised at your results.