Exercise Versus Nutrition - The One Thing You Must Know When it Comes to Weight Loss and Fat Loss

Three things you must know for rapid, safe fat loss:

1.  The MOST important thing in a weight loss program is NUTRITION. Yes, nutrition... not exercise. You simply cannot "out exercise" a poor diet. You can do all the exercise in the world but if your eating is terrible, you are going to be greatly disappointed with your results (or lack thereof). If you are looking to lose weight, you must start by cleaning up your diet. Now when I use the word diet, I don't mean that you go ON a diet. Diets are dreadful and don't work in the long run. We know that. And you probably know that from your own past experience with diets. Instead you want to improve the way you eat day in day out for the rest of your life. Diet is simply a word to describe what you consume. If I asked you "what did your diet consist of yesterday?", you would tell me what you ate and drank yesterday. It doesn't mean that you were on a diet yesterday. Unfortunately we tend to associate the word "diet" with an extremely calorie restricted, fad way of eating and so the word "diet" now carries negative connotations. Ideally you would let go this idea of dieting and just think about having a good, daily diet.

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How do you go about doing this? Well, it's actually not that difficult. Start by having a really close look at what you are eating now and see how you can make changes to improve the QUALITY of your food. For example eating wholemeal bread instead of white bread; brown rice rather than white rice; tomato based sauces rather than cream based sauces; using avocado or olive oil as a spread rather than margarine. When you go shopping, spend most of your time (and money) around the perimeter of the store rather than in the aisles where all the processed food is kept. Make little changes each week and over a year they will add up to massive changes in terms of your body and physical appearance. You might start by having a sandwich for lunch instead of a fast food hamburger. The next week you might introduce water in place of your can of coke. The third week you might have an apple for morning tea instead of a muesli bar or muffin. Gradually make changes that you feel comfortable with.

If you are struggling to lose weight, start to look at how you might decrease your daily calorie intake by approximately 10%. 10% isn't much. Most people make the mistake of trying to cut back too drastically and of course they end up very hungry and cannot keep up with their new "diet" for more than a few days. Instead of having a treat every day, you might have one every second day and then try to stretch it out to once every third day. You won't need to cut back any more than that. A couple of treats a week will stop you from feeling deprived but still enable you to lose weight. These foods are very calorie dense so even a small amount contains a lot of energy therefore it is important to not have them every single day.

2. Do regular strength training exercise. Nutrition is important but that doesn't take away from the role of exercise. Exercise helps you burn off excess body fat. It also enables you to resculpt and reshape your body and improve the areas you are not happy with. This is how you tone up and add some sexy lean muscle. Strength training should be done using free weights and body weight exercises. Exercises should be supersetted together or performed in a circuit for optimal fat burning. I guarantee that strength training will help you lose body fat. Aim to do 3 weights sessions per week. Always allow one or two rest days between weights based workouts.

3. Interval training instead of steady state cardio Interval training can be done in as little as 15-20 minutes and research shows that it burns more body fat than steady state cardio. Why run on the treadmill for 40 minutes when you can obtain better fat burning results in half the time? If you are not already doing intervals it's time to start. Have fun with them. Try a variety of exercise - cycling, skipping, sprinting, jumping, swimming, walking, anything else that gets the heart pumping.

When it comes to nutrition, use your common sense. Avoid processed foods and try to get back to eating food the way mother nature intended. In other words, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, low fat dairy, grains and nuts. Exercise is a little more complicated because there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it if fat loss is your goal. If you want to lose fat safely and quickly then you really need to be following a properly structured program. You can get a personal trainer to write one for you.  Bear in mind that not all personal trainers are created equal!  Be sure to ask your potential trainer lots of questions such as their personal experience and speciality, how long they have been in the industry, what kind of clients they mostly train, whether they are mostly interested in fat loss or muscle building etc.  If you can't afford a personal trainer then there are some really great programs on the net, but, there are some really dreadful ones too so be careful.  If you would like to find out a little more about an exercise program that is sensibly structured for minimum time and maximum results then click here.  

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