Article By Chris Chew, Singapore based AMFPT Certified Master Trainer|
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Burn The Fats And Keep Them Off Permanently!
Yes you have lost some weight, but somehow your body shape isn't as flattering as you would like it to be. And then suddenly, you hit a plateau. No matter how strict your diet and cardio workouts are, your weight just simply refuses to drop any further. Then horrors of horrors, your kilograms actually started piling on! You get disillusioned with the unrewarding program and soon you succumbed, gave up and blame it on your bad genes. Sounds familiar? Why???
Here's why. Firstly, the heading of the article said "Burn The Fats" and not "Lose Weight". My point is, by merely losing weight, you will also lose some muscle mass in the process. By losing muscles, you will lose body tone and thus your metabolism for burning calories will slow down correspondingly. Therefore, you have got to maintain or even build muscles while losing fats. You may even gain some weight because muscles are heavier than fats. See the paradox?
To lose fats and keep them off permanently, you have to combine healthy eating habits, incorporate cardio exercises and lift weights to build muscles. For every kg of muscles you pack, you will burn an extra 70-100 calories per day even without doing anything. Can you imagine the benefits of building up 5kg of extra muscles? You will be burning 350 to 500 extra calories a day even if you just laze around. You'll be burning a Big Mac everyday! To further illustrate my point, 1 kg = about 7,700 calories, thus if you burn 500 calories a day because of the extra muscles you have, you will be burning off about 1 kg every 2 weeks simply because of your higher metabolism rate! You'll also look good, healthy and well-toned too! Is it any wonder why body builders eat so much but do not put on fats as easily?
Everyone knows that intensive cardio and strict diets cause you to lose muscle mass along with fats. So while you will lose some weight at the beginning, you will look like, well, just a smaller version of you without any muscle tone. That's not what we want isn't it?
As you lose more and more muscles, your metabolism plummets. On top of that, your body will start conserving fats and 'eat' your muscles for energy because it is reacting to your strict diet and is now in the "famine" mode. What happens then is that you will hit a plateau and no matter what you do, you will not reduce anymore weight and your fats will start creeping up again. This, in a nutshell, is the 'yo-yo' dieting effect that we hear so much about.
Losing fats is simple. And notice that I said 'simple' but did not say that it is 'easy'. My pointers will be simple to understand, but the execution will take determination and discipline on your part. It is a lifestyle change to keep the fats off permanently and you will be glad you did because you will get used to the changes in only a few weeks. By then, it will become a cultivated habit for you, especially when you are rewarded with a fitter, healthier, hunkier and sexier you, together with a glowing complexion to boot!
Here is how you do it. Simply, losing fats just means you must burn more calories than you consume. Period.
Lift weights with compound exercises. Forget those puny biceps and triceps curls. Go for big muscle groups like legs, back and chest routines. Why? Because you are working with bigger parts with more mass, and that means more body muscles are working, translating into more calories being expended. If you are fit, do giant sets (4 or more exercises or sets with no rest in between sets or exercise).
Here's an example. Lift only one set of each exercise with no rest in between the exercises. Choose a weight of about 60%-70% of what you normally lift and go for at least 25 reps. Lift more if you can or until your muscles are fatigued, then stop. Leave the gym. The whole routine should not take you more than 40 minutes. But remember to warm up thoroughly and cool down with some light movements and stretching.
After thoroughly warming up, start with squats, then dip, bench press, barbell row and military press. Sounds simple? Not so. You will be huffing, puffing and sweating profusely. What is achieved? You will have combined a cardio workout with a lifting workout and your metabolism will burn for the next several hours. Do this 3 times a week with at least a day's rest in between lifting days.
After 4-8 weeks, change the sequence of the exercises. So if you usually squat first, then squat last. Then after another 4-8 weeks, change some of the exercises, like substituting squats with dead lift, or bar bell rows with lat pull down. This is to shock your muscles so that they continue to adapt and grow.
For cardio, go for a run first thing in the morning before breakfast. If you are jogging at normal speed, sustain the jog for at least 45 minutes. If you are running at 65% to 80% of your maximum heart rate (you will be panting and unable to sing or complete a sentence while running), then 20-30 minutes will be enough. Anything more than that may cause muscle break down. You may intersperse the speed with slower jogs in between to catch your breath. Do these 5-6 times a week.
Eating habits? Just eat less of what you normally eat. For example if you have 2 slices of bread with 2 eggs in the morning, now take just one slice and an egg. Just eat half of what you eat but eat more regularly. Have 5 to 6 meals a day if you can. This is to feed your body frequently so that it will not go into starvation mode and start to conserve fats. At the same time, it will boost metabolism because your body burns calories while digesting the food. Chuck away all soft drinks, sugared drinks and stop adding sugar into your coffee and tea. Just by abstaining from sugary drinks, you may already have gotten rid yourself of 200 calories per day. Drink plenty of water instead and double the amount if you can.
Oh, by the way, all work and no play make Jack a dull tired boy and an exhausted Jill. Do choose a day to relax a week. No exercise on that day. Indulge in your favorite food if you must. Hey, pat yourself on the back and reward yourself for passing another grueling week. After all, your body needs to recover too.
As you reach your fat loss goals and you are happy with your muscular development, you can then take things a little easier. Hit the gym less frequently, have shorter runs and even relax a little in your diet. Because of your greater musculature, your body is now a fat-burning machine. You have earned that luxury.
Simple? Sure. But do you have the determination enough to lose those fats and keep them off permanently? It's your call folks! SFO