TIP 1: EXERCISE EFFICIENCY
The idea here is that we’re all very busy, and I don’t have time to spend hours at the gym or workout nearly every day of the week. I know most people are in the same boat.
So what is needed is an exercise routine that can be performed infrequently and takes very little time, but still gives you great results…
…now the only way to do this is to use a form of exercise that produces fat loss in the time that you’re NOT working out.
Most popular forms of exercise provide most of their calorie and fat burning during the exercise…but this is not efficient because we can only exercise so much…even the aerobic and cardio fanatics out there can only stand say 5-10 hours a week of exercise.
So with 24 hours a day times 7 days, that gives us 168 hours in a week… so even working out 5-10 hours a week still leaves us with 160 or more hours that we won’t be working out…
…it is these 160 hours we should be focusing on if we want maximum fat loss in minimum time…
…and when you can do that, now you’ve got exercise efficiency. So the idea is to get the most fat burning out of those 160+ hours that you’re not working out…
…and the best way to do it that I’ve found is by using a very high level of intensity combined with resistance training exercises performed in fairly rapid succession.
This type of exercise will burn fat for up to 2-3 days after the workout is over, so you can see why just 2-3 sessions a week of this type of exercise can double or even triple the amount of fat loss that can occur with typical type of exercise in the so called “fat burning zone”.
TIP 2: FOCUS ON MICRONUTRIENTS FIRST
Perhaps the most important tip I can give anyone trying to get and stay lean is to look at food from a micronutrient standpoint.
This is not something you’ll hear from most nutrition experts, in fact they’ll tell you just the opposite, to look at your food from a macronutrient view (protein, carbs, fats)…
…this is what most people end up doing, and it is still important for fat loss, but the big turning point in my personal fat loss journey happened when I started to focus on eating most of my calories from foods that are super loaded with nutrients instead of stressing out over my protein, fat, and carb ratios.
The foods I’m talking about are vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds.
Now don’t mistake this for a vegetarian or vegan diet, that’s not what I’m talking about, but a diet that supplies the body with the nutrients it requires to burn fat optimally.
Now, you’ll notice that I didn’t include lean animal meats on this list. Well, that doesn’t mean these foods won’t help you burn fat, they will, but what I’m saying is you need to take your focus off of the whole protein first mindset and instead go with a “nutrient first” mindset.
I was raised, as I’m sure a lot of people are, that any good meal needs to start with a big portion of beef or poultry, and that the nutrient rich foods (like vegetables, fruits, beans, etc.) are a small part of that meal, if at all.
I’m saying you have to flip that equation entirely and that most of your meal should be based in the nutrient loaded foods, with a smaller bit of the animal proteins.
The fact is that these foods have the most nutrients, and when you give your body the required nutrients without overloading it with foods that have little nutrients, fat loss become so much easier because the hunger and cravings that plague dieters almost disappears.
TIP 3: STOP DOING SITUPS AND USING ABS GIZMOS TO LOSE STOMACH FLAB!
OK, so this is a big one because six pack abs are like a status symbol these days on whether or not you’re lean.
I mean back in the 70s and 80s, it was enough just to have a flat stomach, but now it’s all about the six pack…for whatever reason.
It probably has more to do with the fact that people are fatter than ever and things like six pack abs are becoming more rare and of course they are that much more desirable because of it.
So, a lot of people are still mystified by the spot reducing myth that you can do exercise a specific area of the body and create localized fat loss.
I should know because I hammer my newsletter subscribers with this myth several times, but I still get question after question about which abs or belly exercises or gut blaster 3000 will get them a set of six pack abs!
Look, you really can’t lose fat from one area of your body specifically…
…the only way you can lose belly fat, thigh fat, butt fat or any other fat is by lowering your overall body fat percentage. In other words, losing overall body fat.
The reason you have problem areas or body parts is because you simply have more fat cells stored in that area genetically.
And we can’t lose these fat cells, we are stuck with them unless we resort to surgery, but we can shrink them, and that’s what happens when we lose fat. We shrink the fat cells.
So the key here is forgetting about all those abs specific exercises for a while and instead focus on lowering your overall body fat percentage by creating a calorie deficit through the right diet strategies and adding lean muscle to your body.
Truth be told, a good set of barbell squats to muscular failure done a couple times a week will do more for losing belly fat and getting six pack abs than 1000 crunches a week because the amount of calories and fat that will be burned from the squats will far outweigh those crunches.
Yeah, you’ll need some abs specific exercises to build the abdominal muscles, but no one will see them if they’re covered up by layers of body fat.
TIP 4: DON’T JUDGE YOUR FAT LOSS PROGRESS ON A SCALE
Alright another huge mistake people make when determining how successful their fat loss program. First off, we’re talking about fat loss here, not weight loss.
Weight loss is the predominant term, unfortunately, because that’s what we are taught at an early age.
But when it comes to losing actual body fat, we have to look at our body composition, not how much we weigh on the scale, but how much of our body is fat weight.
This is really the only way to know if you’re losing fat or just losing water weight or muscle, which is very common on most crash or fad diets…
…people will end up losing a few pounds really fast and get excit, but they don’t look much better in the mirror!
I mean they could look better in clothes because water loss and muscle loss will make you look smaller in clothes sometimes, but when the clothes come off…
This is the skinny-fat look that a lot of people have…they have high body fat percentages, but because of a small bone structure they look acceptable to people while in clothes.
I know nobody wants to look like that, which is why body fat percentage must be the key measurement for fat loss.
OK, another reason we can’t rely on the scale is because of muscle mass…
…if we’re doing this right, our exercise is going to be geared toward gaining lean muscle as this is the best way to create a calorie deficit almost immediately.
Especially as we age because our bodies naturally lose muscle mass every year once we hit our mid 30s or so… by the way that’s the main reason so many people who were in good shape in their 20s and 30s wake up in their 40s 20-30 pounds of fat heavier.
So if you’re measuring your progress by the scale and you gain 5 pounds of muscle, the scale could show no fat loss or even a small gain because muscle weighs more than fat…
…it’s more dense and takes up less space. This can cause you to freak out and think your efforts are causing weight gain when in reality your creating the perfect environment for 24 hour a day fat burning.
So, easy ways to track your bf% are with a skinfold caliper, which you can find online, some of those body fat scales or hand grippers (though there are some tricks to using those correctly).
I actually have a body fat percentage analyzer available for my newsletter subscribers for free which you can get on my website…this is a great little tool and it’s there for anyone who wants to accurately track your fat loss.
So that’s the idea here… track your body fat percentage, not just your bodyweight! It’s fat loss, not weight loss we’re after.
TIP 5: KNOW YOUR FAT LOSS NUMBERS
I’m talking about keeping score and knowing your numbers here…
…if you don’t know the numbers, you have little chance of success in fat loss and fitness.
Just like anything else in life, if you’re not tracking what works and what doesn’t work, you’ll be using a shotgun approach that will take much longer and not work as well as an approach that includes tracking.
This is especially important in relation to your exercise and fat loss and fitness progress. Let’s look at the business world for a moment. In any business, at the end of the day, results are measured by revenue, or the money that was made.
If the business owner doesn’t know the numbers, they won’t know if they’ve made any money. And thus they literally have no business! It’s crazy and pretty simple, but the most powerful metric a business owner can track.
I’m a big NBA basketball fan, but do you think I’d enjoy watching my favorite team if they didn’t keep score? Of course not!
If they don’t keep score, we don’t know who’s winning, and thus there is no “game” to win or lose. They have to know their numbers to know who wins and who loses.
Again, strikingly simple, but the fact is that most people don’t track their exercise routines at all. How do they know if they’re winning or losing the fat loss game?
In fat loss and fitness it’s all about monitoring a few key numbers, primarily strength gains, inches in your body part measurements, and body fat percentage.
If you don’t know these numbers from week to week, month to month, you’ll have a tough time judging your progress…and thus you’ll second guess yourself, the methods you’re using and have little change of succeeding.
This is also important because with any type of exercise or diet plan, you’ll need to make slight adjustments as you progress, and how the heck are you going to do that if you don’t know what or when to adjust?
So recording your progress on a weekly and month basis is key to getting that lean and fit body you desire… and if you’re not doing it, you’re using the shotgun approach: just spraying bullets and hoping you hit something.
This is a big reason people give up on their programs…
…not measuring their progress accurately. When you do this right, it can also give you that positive reinforcement to work even hard toward your goals.
Once you sniff something that actually is working, I don’t know about you, but I’ll do everything I can do magnify that effect for as long as I can.
So, bottom line, make sure to keep accurate records of your workouts and your progress. Just like in any business or in sports, you won’t know if you’re winning if you don’t keep score.