Updated: Nov 14, 2019
For many of us, there has been a time in our lives where trimming down and losing those extra kilos seems impossible. Whether you’re an athlete looking to cut down your skin folds, a social warrior wanting to look good with your shirt off, or your everyday household parent wanting to rid the excess fat… the process is the same. You may have read many articles giving you the FASTEST way to lose fat! Or how to get a 6 PACK in 6 WEEKS!!! These articles are a load of sh*t.
There is plenty of jargon out there and usually there is money behind it. I am writing this article right here in my living room with the aim to cut out any of the crap and give you the reader real advice. The truth is, losing weight is hard, it's a lifestyle and mindset change and it’s not something that you can just trial for a week or two.
So, weight loss. Where do we start?
The old “calories burned over calories consumed” is still THE most important variable for anyone wanting to shed the fat. How do we find out the number of calories you should be eating? My Fitness Pal is a great tool to manage and calculate your daily intake Click Here to download the free app. Once you have your calorie number, you now have a target. You could eat chocolate cake up until this number without anything else and still lose weight. But… why doesn’t everyone just do that? Because there is some serious health issues and lack of essential nutrients missing from the chocolate cake diet.
Before we start, calories are energy. Remember that and this article becomes a lot easier to digest. Ok, so exercise, do we need it for weight loss? Technically, no. Should we? Absolutely. Exercise is a fundamental part of weight loss. Resistance training is super effective as it stimulates muscle growth and positive hormonal influxes which play a role in energy utilisation. With bigger muscles, we have more muscle to feed, meaning instead of consuming excess energy and creating fat, we actually use it to fuel our muscles. Food becomes fuel rather than storage!
Cardio? Do we need it, technically no. Should we? Absolutely. Cardio exercise is a fantastic way of increasing your total calories burned. Plus it has phenomenal advantages for cardiac and respiratory capacity. This makes walking up the stairs, playing with the kids and competing in sport much easier! If you have the capacity to work for longer, you can burn more calories. If you burn more calories and stay consistent with your number, you lose weight. Every. Single Time.
So a quick recap. Resistance training improves your resting metabolism, cardio improves your aerobic capacity meaning you can exercise for longer. Eating a healthy and nutritious diet up until your assigned calorie number + these two types of exercise means you are giving yourself a very confident shot at achieving those body goals.
This might be easier said than done. Where people struggle with weight loss is actually applying all of this knowledge. Resistance training and Cardio exercise sounds like a fantastic idea until you are currently doing it for the first time in months. Cardio after time off is awful, and this is where the weight loss plan all goes south. When you go too hard, too early then drop off rates and retention to a program dramatically decrease. Who wants to feel nauseous and unwell after every session? Not me, and you don’t have to. Let's start off your program light, remember what it was like to exercise. If you need to run/walk, or even just start walking, then that's a fair start. If you are an athlete, then let's look at adding 1x extra session, cut something from the diet or maybe its the weekends which are taking you 2 steps back every Saturday night. If you are looking to lose fat, do yourself and your bank account a favour, don’t get $200 out at the ATM on Saturday morning and spend it all on food and beverages within a 5 hour window.
As I mentioned at the start, weight loss is a lifestyle change. Minimising the damage on the weekend is a big one which people struggle with. If you are the person that takes the escalator when theres a set of stairs next to it, stop doing that. Don’t park at the closest car park and use your 30-60min lunch break to move. Don’t sit at your desk for lunch. If you have some sort of step counter, put it on for a few weeks and track how many steps you are walking every day. If you are struggling to reach 5000, that's why you aren’t losing weight. If you are hitting over 15000 daily, chances are, food is an issue. Some of the most active people might still find it hard to lose weight. However if we truly dig deep into their eating habits, cracks are formed and realisations are made.
Weight Loss is not an overnight process. It’s also not a 4 week process. It also shouldn’t be the norm to drop 12 kilos in 8 weeks in an 8 week fitness challenge! It’s not healthy + its a waste of money as 9/10 times, you put all the weight back on because no one can sustain a dramatic drop in calories + a huge increase in exercise forever. Setting yourself a goal of 500 grams a week is really achievable, finding an exercise routine which you are happy to perform consistently is perfect! Keeping your food variable with an array of delicious meals and not being afraid to treat yourself every now and then will keep you on track to lose that weight. If you struggle to fit the foods you love within your number then thats where a dietitian can help. Check out the girls at Resistance Nutrition. If you struggle or don’t know where to start with your exercise plan, then get in contact with an Exercise Physiologist/Scientist at Resistance SS. You know have the framework, let's put it into practise!