It depends. It depends on how fat you are, how mobile you are, how much exercise you can do and not break, or get bored, or how well you can stick to a modified eating pattern. Many will need to start more moderately than this. But if you’re up for it, you can lose weight, rapidly, with this basically simple exercise and nutrition approach. No doubt.
In any case, here is the ultimate fat loss strategy — no ifs, no buts, no pussy-footing around. Get a medical to ensure you’re up for this. Can you do it?
Exercise for Fat Loss
- Exercise 6 days each week.
- Walk fast or jog or stationary cycle at around 70% of maximum heart rate for at least 30 minutes on 4 days of each week. You can even break this up into 15 minute sessions but make sure you hit the 70% of maximum heart rate for a full 30 minutes. If you don’t want to calculate heart rates, it’s about the intensity at which you are starting to sweat and have to talk with a few huffs and puffs.
- Do at least 2 weight sessions at the gym or at home for at least 30 minutes per session, which should include at least 8 exercises for 3 sets of 10 repetitions. Put some effort into this. Don’t lift too light: you should struggle somewhat with the last repetition of each set. If you don’t, increase the weight.
- Do 2 sessions per week of high-intensity running/cycling intervals. Example: treadmill or stationary bike, or running at the park or oval. Go very hard for 15 seconds, jog/walk/spin for one minute. Repeat at least 15 times. If you can’t make it, increase the rest between sprints but try to keep the intensity the same. You don’t have to use gym technology, the local sports field will do.
That’s 8 exercise sessions per week. Not for the faint-hearted but not out of reach. Some days you will need to double up and do a cardio and weights or a sprint interval session on the same day. It’s best to separate them — one in the AM, one in the PM. If you need to double up in the gym, do the cardio or intervals first, down some sports or recovery drink in between, then do the weights last. More on the reasons for this another time.
Eating for Fat Loss
And here’s what goes with the exercise: eating well, and less.
- Eat most of fruit and vegetables, with some lean meats and whole grains and breads, beans and a few nuts — nothing new there.
- Keep the fat intake down to around 20% of calories — any sort of fat, good or bad — using non-stick frypans, grilling and using only non-fat dairy and mostly avoiding fatty fast foods and take-aways.
- Screw the refined carbs and sugars down to almost zero. That is, no sugar drinks, juice, added sugar, cookies, pastries, plates of fluffy white rice, candies, cakes, sweets, donuts, mounds of pathetic white bread or fried potatoes.
- You do need carbohydrate to successfully fuel your exercise. Make it root vegetables, wholegrain breads, fortified breakfast cereals, oats and other wholegrain cereals like brown rice and barley. Some pasta is okay.
- Avoid fatty, salty, sugary, processed and packaged foods like noodles, pasta, rice, soups and canned and containered snack meals and desserts.
- Always eat a substantial, high-fibre breakfast with some protein.
- Manage portion sizes: a calorie is a calorie whether it’s nutritious or not. Don’t overeat, especially after exercise.
Motivation and Lifestyle Change for Fat Loss
- Talk to yourself about your goals each morning you wake up. Gee yourself up. Make fat loss a project or hobby.
- Don’t overeat or snack when you’re not hungry, or eat for comfort — even the good stuff. Even so, don’t go on a very low calorie diet. That’s counter-productive.
- Don’t buy goofy food for rewards, or for later, or for visitors — just don’t have it in the house.
- Try not to eat alone, but don’t eat out if it means limiting your choices for low-fat and high-fibre foods.
- Prepare meals to take to work so that you don’t succumb to fast-food lunches and morning teas.
What I’ve done here is cut the crap and provide you with the short version of what many web sites, books and blogs take 50,000 words to do . . . tell you how to lose weight that works.
This approach is essentially verifiable through the < a href="http://www.nwcr.ws/">US National Weight Control Registry, which has shown that successful weight losers use this approach, yet not necessarily my detail. You don’t need fancy diets or extensive and expensive programs. If you don’t lose at least a pound a week on this challenging but achievable regimen, then I’m a monkey’s uncle.