- by Liam Crivelli
I talk daily about weight loss with people, and even though I may say it half a dozen times, people still come back to me with the same questions like;
“I need to do more cardio to lose weight.”
“I just need to eat less, then I will lose weight.”
“I put on weight when I lift weights.”
These are all very common myths. Sure, to a degree they all sing true, but overall, they are far from the truth about how to effectively lose fat, and keep it off.
Let’s start here. Weight loss can happen from a variety of sources.
Increased calorie burning, eg. Extra workouts, weight training, high intensity interval training.
Decreased intake of calories.
Decreased intake of empty calories, and an increase in high quality calories that will fuel your new machine.
Increase in weight/resistance training
Decrease in intensity to allow the body to rest and get back to an efficient state where it is more likely to achieve results.
To allow you to see through the smoke, I have broken down these 5 things.
#1 Increase in calorie burning.
This is what most people try to do. They eat a piece of cake, then go straight to the gym to “burn” it off. Incorrect. It doesn’t work like that. You need to be able to differentiate the difference between eating food for energy, and eating excessive food thinking you can just burn it off.
The problem here is that when you overeat, you are just putting yourself over the calorie expenditure level, preventing weight loss. If you consume 2,000 calories per day, but to lose weight, you need to be eating 1,800 calories per day, then that piece of cake will keep you around the 2,000 mark. Even though you’re going to the gym to burn the additional 200-400 calories you have just consumed, it doesn’t outweigh the negative effect it has caused.
If you had of just avoided that piece of unnecessary cake, then you would be at the 1,800 calorie mark, and would well on your way to losing the weight you want to lose.
Doesn’t that sound much better? And easier? And faster?
I thought so. The next time you go to eat that extra snack, or treat, just think about the negative you’re doing rather than supporting the goal you’re trying so hard to achieve.
#2 Decreased intake of calories
This would be a close second for most people when it comes to them trying to lose weight, yet can do more damage and set you back even further than you thought.
A drastic decrease in caloric intake is only slowing down your metabolic processes more and decreasing your ability to effectively burn fat.
When I put people on an individualised meal plan, they always tell me they have never eaten this much food in their lives, yet they can’t stop losing weight, some losing upwards of 6-7 kilos in their first month (yes, from eating more than they ever have!).
Why is this? Simple. When we deprive our body of the proper amount of calories, we simply cannot run as effectively as we can be, hence going into a caloric deficit far beyond ideal. What happens when we are in a strong deficit is our body begins to shut down non-vital processes to ensure the organs and other elements of “life” can be sustained.
The negative from this occurring is that we lose muscular strength, interfering with our ability to exercise at our highest potential and to receive the benefits associated from weight training. Over an extended period of time, when we continue along this path, our body simply can’t sustain it, and we drop into a very defeated state, where the body simply shuts down and goes into recovery mode, not allowing for anything else. Some even choose to push through this and that’s when serious injury, disease and illness creep in, forcing the person to stop dead in their tracks.
You have probably had this occur at some point yes?
How to stop this happening to me?
- Don’t deprive yourself of calories.
- Eat plenty of fresh vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats and essential carbs to allow for a heightened quality of strength, concentration, sleep, and life.
MORAL: EAT MORE GOOD FOOD. CUT OUT THE EMPTY CALORIES. STOP STARVING YOURSELF!
#3 Decreased intake of empty calories, and an increase in high quality calories that will fuel your new machine.
When we do decide that a decrease in calories is necessary, we must do it smartly, and in a manner that best suits the individuals needs.
When a person is already over consuming calories, and in particular, the wrong type of calories (eg. Excess crabs, unhealthy fats, processed foods), then a simple reduction in those types of food, and replacing it for a better quality of calorie will result in a drop in body fat, as the new, higher quality foods chosen will have a lower caloric value, yet will fill the person up more and retrain habits to ensure they stop overeating.
Increasing protein intake is vital for people trying to lose weight as this is the nutrient that helps with muscle repair. Especially now that you’ve bumped up your exercise regime, but it also helps to control appetite, helping you identify when you’re hungry and when you’re not.
- empty calories, like sweets
- added sugars
- simple carbs (bread, pasta, rice, bagels, muffins, croissants)
- packaged and processed foods (cereals, sauces, marinades, chips)
- late night binging (chocolate, ice-cream, chips, biscuits)
- dairy, gluten, grains and other intolerant foods (milk, cheese, ice-cream)
- extra protein at each meal
- healthy fats (avocado, meats, nuts, oils)
- more water (clean, filtered)
- fresh vegetables (colourful, seasonal, organic)
#4 Increase in weight/resistance training
Most people trying to lose weight are always scared to bump up the amount of weight training they are doing because they are scared that they will put on weight. Don’t get me wrong, you may put on weight, but keep in mind this, would you be happy if you were the same weight you are now, but had your ideal body? If you answered yes, then what’s the problem? If you answered no, then you need to read the question again. If you answered no again, I can’t help you.
Naturally, by changing your habits, eating patterns, foods consumed and exercise level and type, then you will naturally lose weight. It may seem slow at times because you are losing fat, while at the same time, adding muscle, so your weight may not change for a while, but you have successfully lost cm’s. So try and go by look, feel and clothes fitting as your guide to success. If you focus on the weight alone, you will be constantly disappointed as you forever chase your tail, resulting in a vicious cycle.
Weight training is not your only option. Proper nutrition is priority #1, weight training and mindset are tied for #2. The old quote “Abs are made in the kitchen” is spot on, and you need to be well aware of that. I can get you better results by following a strict nutrition plan, rather than killing you in the gym 6 days a week! Get your diet right, then focus on your exercise. You will have more energy, the training will then just compliment your new diet, as your new body begins to take shape.
Stick with big movements like squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, pushing exercises, lunges, step-ups etc as these recruit the most muscles, therefore burning the most calories to perform.
All those group fitness classes not working? Yet you’re doing 7 a week?
Ever noticed that the people on the gym floor have better physiques, are generally leaner, and have great energy. It might be time to join them!
Don’t be afraid of weight training, yet embrace it and understand that it will take you from HERE to THERE!
#5 Decrease in intensity to allow the body to rest and get back to an efficient state where it is more likely to achieve results.
Taking a break in life and your training is also a very important step to make sure you’re taking. With a hectic lifestyle, stress can easily build up, causing you to crash and miss more time from a negative rather than choosing to take a break to allow the body to rest, so you can come back, stronger, more driven and well rested!
There is so much stress factors in our lives, and with work, family, and relationships, an intense exercise regime can be the tipping point to an already busy life.
Be sure to take breaks, stick with a challenging, yet sustainable workout program, and enjoy what you do. Going to the gym should not become a chore, yet it should be enjoyable, and you should be looking forward to it. If not, it might be time to change it up. Find something you love doing. Something that challenges you. And something that feels like a good fit to you.
Thanks so much for reading this, and that you take a lot away from it that you can implement into your daily life.
These tips are simple, and VERY effective, if implemented correctly.
I would love your feedback on this so please fell free to contact us with your review, any questions health related, or just to talk about your journey.
I’d love to hear from you!