Happy Thursday to you,
As we are in January and many people have set goals for fat loss this year I thought I would dedicate today’s newsletter to just that.
Fat loss in many ways is very complicated but in other ways extremely simple. It’s simple knowing what to do but not so simple actually getting it done.
Everyone’s fat loss journey is different including both where you start and where you end up.
It’s a common mistake to think that we should all approach fat loss in the same way.
To simplify the process you can split your fat loss approach into 3 categories:
Each category feeds into the other two so you should never feel as if one is exclusive to the rest.
Those under a great deal of stress will struggle to form new habits and make them stick so a primary objective should always be to reduce stress first.
Caffeine, alcohol, sugar, occupation, relationships, and over-exercise all feed into your stress bucket which needs to be kept as low as possible. Having stress reserves means you can better handle situations without your bucket overflowing.
You are, literally, what you eat so if you are trying to build a stronger, leaner body then it cannot be made from dead unnatural foods that come out of a container. Poor food equals poor health it’s as simple as that.
Exercise needs to be well thought out, safe, consistent and productive so as to burn fat when you are not exercising rather than when you are.
You need to take stock of where you are right now and then add one positive change at a time. Think of the process as adding positive layers over the long term. Don’t try and do everything all at once, celebrate the journey.
Exercise for fat loss is often misunderstood.
You can divide it into 2 categories:
- Calories burned during exercise
- Calories burned after exercise
Focus should not be placed on the number of calories burned during each workout because this is very small and will lead to you thinking that you need to exercise all the time. That is exhausting and demotivating.
Instead, think about calories burned after your workout. Shorter more intense weight training workouts will cause 2 important things to happen:
- EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) – basically meaning that your body is so out of balance after your workout that it takes a lot of energy (calories) to restore it back to normal. Healing muscle tissue, replacing energy stores etc. This can last for up to 72 hours depending on intensity.
- Increased Metabolic Rate – adding muscle and tonicity to your body increases your metabolic rate because muscle is very energy-demanding so requires more daily energy (calories) to preserve it.
Standard cardio-based workouts only burn calories during your workouts whereas weight training workouts (if performed correctly) will burn calories both before and after exercise.
You can create enough cardio impact with well planned out weight training workouts that you do not need to add in any extra cardio sessions. Bonus!
Fat loss workouts can be divided into 3 categories:
- Circuits (just like in my newsletter 2 weeks ago)
- Supersets (just like in last weeks newsletter)
- Super Circuits (a combination of both)
Super Circuits mix strength (weight training) with aerobic based exercises (usually bodyweight). The beauty of kettlebells is that they can be used for both cardio and strength depending on the exercise and weight.
Here’s an intermediate workout from my 12 Week Fat Loss Program
- 1A. Two Handed Swing – 15 reps (cardio)
- 1B. Push Ups – 15 reps (strength)
- 2A. Static Lunge – 15 reps each side (cardio)
- 2B. Suitcase Row – 15 reps each side (strength)
- 3A. Alternating Swing – 15 reps (cardio)
- 3B. Side Plank – 30 seconds (strength)
Perform exercise 1A then immediately after 1B, then back to 1A again and so on for 2 circuits. Next, progress onto exercise 2A and perform using the same formula, rest between exercises and sets should be kept to a minimum.
Notice how the workout uses all 5 of the important movement patterns to balance the body and also uses every muscle in the body.
No one can out-exercise a bad diet. If your health is important to you then you have to make progress with your nutrition just as you should with your workouts.
Try to look at the big picture. Good nutrition isn’t just for 21 days or 1 month it’s for life.
One of the biggest mistakes that sets people up for failure is trying to change everything at once. Instead, you should take stock of where you are now, make one positive change and then allow time (2 weeks or more) for it to become a habit.
Here are a few new habits you can adopt:
- Food Diary/journal – research shows that just being conscious of what you eat/drink makes a huge difference
- Eat slower – feel yourself getting fuller and savour your food
- Eat just enough – be conscious of how much you are eating and stop
- Remove snacks – combine your snacks with your meals and stick to only 3-4 meals per day.
- Stop comfort drinking – many use alcohol to unwind at the end of a day and thus create a trigger for drinking. Try replacing comfort drinking with a different activity like yoga, meditation, or exercise.
- Wait out cravings – got a craving for something? Wait it out for 5 minutes and see if it disappears. Challenge yourself!
- Drink water when hungry – often hunger is mistaken for thirst so before you reach for a snack drink a glass of water first.
All habits are linked to triggers. I developed a habit last year of drinking a glass of water each morning when I first entered the kitchen. I leave the glass and filtered water out ready each evening.
What triggers your bad habits each day? Could you create a replacement habit?
Don’t try and take on too much, just choose 1 habit and really master that habit for 2+ weeks before adding another.
Click to see 9 of my most effective nutritional tips
Here are a few things that can help you with your fat loss journey:
- Kettlebells – you only need 1 kettlebell to get started. Here’s a complete guide to buying kettlebells for both men and women.
- Food Diary/Journal – there are lots of apps etc. available online. Personally I like to use a special notepad, like the What I Ate Notepad.
- 50 Kettlebell Circuits – for a progressive collection of 4-minute fat loss workouts with 21 follow-along videos for beginners.
- 12 Week Fat Loss Program – if you have mastered the basics then this program uses all 3 of the workout formats mentioned above.
Obviously fat loss is a huge topic but I hope this has helped to clarify a few things and help you get started in 2020.
See you next week.
P.S. Missed last weeks newsletter? Read it here
[I’ve included a link above that is an affiliate link, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission will not affect the original price or the price you pay.]