…sound familiar? Unfortunately this is something I hear all too often. I am guessing many of you reading this (especially the women) will have had a similar experience and thought what am I doing wrong! Oh what’s the point…pass the cake!
I hear this almost daily in my work and I aim to smash this problem and relegate it to the archives of fitness history with the rest of its outdated peers! You see I am not interested in weight loss, this may seem like an odd thing for me to say, but I really couldn’t care less what the scales say, I am not a weight loss expert…I am a FATLOSS expert! Those scales hold no power in my sessions and they never will, for me the tape measure is king! However, my biggest challenge is always going to be proving to my clients that weight does NOT matter.
Why are we all so focused on weight as an indicator of our health, beauty and self worth?
We don’t walk down the street with our weight emblazoned on our backsides - no one looks at us and thinks “she’s 10stone 4lb” and if they did they would most likely be wrong.
Surely it is our size and shape that matter to us and how we feel in our clothes? Yet we focus on a number on our scales to tell us how good / bad we are.
Madness! I mean who really cares what the scales say when those Size 10 skinny jeans fit like a glove!? The problem is everything is focussed on “weight loss” those big slimming companies (you know the ones) all focus on how many lbs have been lost telling us that to gain lb or even stay the same is “failure” - its everywhere ITV’s “The Biggest Loser” (don’t even get me started!) is all about lbs lost, with those with the least lbs lost each week being voted off.
With such powerful messages being fed to us on a daily basis it is hardly surprising that we are sucked in to believing it.
Now don’t get me wrong - I too have been victim to these thoughts and feelings in the past, but I have learnt that is makes no sense and there is a better way. Really, there is!
Here are my top tips for reducing Body Fat and not just weight:
1. EAT CLEAN - this is THE MOST IMPORTANT element for successful fat loss - you cannot out train a bad diet! Without the right balance in your diet dropping fat and getting fit is always going to be a struggle no matter how hard you workout. The simple calories in versus calories out theory is outdated - you will never have to calorie count again if you eat clean, non toxic foods that nourish your body. You can work out everyday in the gym but if you come home and eat a poor diet you will never see the results of all that hard work.
2. PROCESSED FOODS - get rid of all processed foods from your diet - they have no real nutritional value - full of scary ingredients such as MSG and Aspartame they actively encourage us to eat more and gain weight.
3. WATER - Being well hydrated is essential for successful fat loss and for many people being dehydrated is ruining there chances. Dehydration makes you feel sluggish and tired, slows your metabolism and creates cravings. Drink 2-4 litres per day for best results.
4. FRUIT / VEGETABLES - Increase your intake of fresh fruits / vegetables to a minimum of 5 a day (ideally triple that!) - full of nutrients they will help reduce cravings, satisfy a sweet tooth and fill you up. Try including green smoothies into your diet as a quick and easy way to boost your intake of leafy greens, a nutritional power house!
5. SUGAR - Cut it out - Sugar is responsible for a huge amount of illnesses such as Diabetes, ADHD and Obesity. When the body has a big sugar hit the pancreas releases insulin which in turn tells the body it has masses of energy available leading the body to stop burning fat and store it instead. Our body does not need it and it is highly addictive, but cut it out and the cravings soon disappear.
6. ALCOHOL - Significantly reduce / cut out Alcohol - it is liquid sugar and has absolutely no nutritional value.
7. EXERCISE - regularly, ideally daily. Do shorter workouts that include high intensity interval training and weigh bearing work to increase muscle mass and boost your metabolism. Workouts don’t need to be long but DO need to be intense - just 10 minutes at high intensity can get better results than 2 hours low level cardio work! When we include weight bearing activity in our workouts, we actively increase our lean muscle mass. Don’t be afraid to gain muscle, it is what stops us being just a “bag of bones”, gives us shape and uses our fat as fuel - yes it BURNS FAT, so forgive it for weighing more it is on your side!
8. GOALS - Be clear about your goals and get the right advice on how to achieve them - if you know what it is you want to achieve it will make the changes much easier - and once you have made these lifestyle changes and realised the success you can have, you won't look back.
YOU CAN get rid of negative patterns of behaviour and start a fresh new move to long term health and well-being. Start to work with your body - if you look after it properly you will not only feel good but look fantastic! Look at what you are doing for your health as a whole rather than focusing purely on one aspect such as weight loss. Aim to be really FIT!