By: Quinton de Bruin
Having being around sport and sports people for a fair amount of time in my life, you realise that there are times when it is good to carry a bit fo extra weight and then there are competition times when these athletes get into a primed state ready to compete. The bonus for these athletes is that they have a trainer, conditioner and a nutritionist looking after them and ensuring they are shaping up well as the season approaches. What is the season for you? When do you want to look or feel your best?
I have captured some of these strategies for you, ways that are appropriate for non-elite athletes.
1. Stay off the scales
The mere fact that resistance training is likely and probably increasing muscle mass while at the same time reducing fat stores means that the message we get from the scales is not a true reflection of your progress.
2. Reduce your caloric intake slowly
When you are looking to trim down, reduce your calories slowly. If you do this too fast, your body will kick into starvation mode meaning you will store fat rather than burn the stuff!
3. Vary the number of calories you consume
As we have discussed previously, the body is a smart machine. The starvation mechanism is one that we can stay one step ahead of if you vary the number of calories you consume every few days.
Resistance training is in itself an effective exercise to burn fat. It continues to burn fat for hours after your training session.
Even if your goal is to solely lose weight, using weights will help you to maintain the muscle mass you have and ensure the weight you lose is fat and not muscle. Remember also that the higher your muscle mass, the more calories you burn anyway.
5. Do HIIT (high intensity interval sessions)
These are short sharp sessions of intense activity broken up by short rests in between. The result is great outcomes in less cardio time.
6. Eat more fat
By eating more good fats you condition your body to burn fat as fuel as massive quantities of carbohydrates are no longer readily available to burn. The amazing machine that is your body turns to the fat stores in the body as a source of fuel. I have oversimplified this here but hopefully the message is clear.
7. Cut out/down carbs sourced from grains and starches
When your main source of carbs is from fruits (in moderation due to sugar content) and vegetables, the body really doesn't need more carbohydrates. The most efficient source of energy for your body is from fat. As per the point above then, eat it to burn it.
Hmmm no this doesn't mean it a whole chicken by yourself as Dr. Atkins purportedly suggested. The size of your palm is a good guide as to the size of your protein. The sources for quality protein are many.
I am sure by now you have noticed a pattern emerging in these articles. There are certain actions and food groups that, if used correctly, will give you the outcomes you want. One of the toughest challenges I have had over the last 23 days is not to get on the scale and measure progress daily. Although I am more comfortable with this, and due to feeling clothes fitting differently and I am far keener to see how my body fat percentage has changed over time and the after photo compared to the before than what number the scale can come up with. Why, well if they body fat percentage is down the but weight is up or even the same, that means muscle mass gain and fat loss. As my goal was a 6 kilogram fat loss, the number on the scale is only relevant to calculate the amount of fat I have lost. One week today we will have the answers to this and be able to let Abel James know how his Wild Diet performs.
The small print: now is probably a good time to encourage you to have a discussion about your personal situation with your doctor, a nutritionist and the Body and Motion trainers to work out how best to achieve any challenges you have in mind. The thoughts in these blogs are my own personal opinion and shouldn't be taken as direct advice. Some of the choices around what I consume or what activity I partake in may not be endorsed by Body and Motion. However, the team will always be keen enablers of your fitness goals! Talk to us today.