Anyone who has spent a sleepless night changing TV channels or examined the magazine rack in the store can not help but see the number of ads and articles claiming to be “best” to win “the battle against the bulge”.
Apparently everyone claims to have the hidden secrets to weight loss (whether followed by an “x” diet or an “and” exercise routine).
Unfortunately these sales ads have an opposite effect on us. On the one hand, the more we see and read and scrutinize the avalanche of information, the more hopeful we are to realize weight loss goals.
On the other hand…
Deep within us we also feel paralyzed because we know that it is not as easy that.
If these endless circle of television shows, stories in the news, Websites, books, magazines and DVDs tell us how we can become more attractive … why is the weight loss still a multibillion pound industry with many trying and failing to lose and keep off the weight?
Well, it turns out that there are only two important aspects regarding losing weight. That’s right, two. It’s just that they are usually forgotten. So what are they?
Key To Weight Loss No 1: Calories Count More Than Exercise
Let’s be clear here: when we talk about losing weight, calories count. Obviously.
Yes, you’ve heard it before. You’ve heard it 10,000 times before, from Oprah, Dr. Oz, your partner and the personal trainer of your best friend’s cousin’s mother.
Everyone says the same, so why do you feel like the only exception in all human history because it does not apply to you?
Habits are hard to change, and it can be argued that the hardest to change are what you eat and drink daily, but as the well-known resistance trainer and co-author of the bestseller “The New Rules of Lifting For Life” , Alwyn Cosgrove says;
“you will never train on a bad diet”.
There is no magic pill (or training regimen) that will compensate (much less triumph) a moderate intake of food.
To burn body fat, it is very important to cause some type of calorie deficit (the calories absorbed must be less than the calories consumed, either through diet, exercise or a combination of both).
Exercises can make this problem worse. How? Many people, as soon as they decide they want to lose weight, go looking for the latest trend in sport in an effort to finally get into their thin (or someone else’s) jeans.
Does it sound familiar to you?
Well, doing the super-duper-red-hot-naked-metabolic-yoga-insanity-pilates-extreme exercises really does not matter if you’re the kind of person who escapes to your Starbucks after every training session to order a Frappuccino The size of a Mini Cooper.
This is the truth: when it comes to achieving a calorie deficit, which leads to an increase in weight reduction, the diet plays a much larger role compared to exercise. While the exact figures vary depending on the person in question, for simplicity use the concept that 1 pound of fat equals 3,500 calories ingested in excess. So let’s say you’re trying to cut 500 calories a day to lose 1 pound of weight in a week.
If you’re really struggling in the gym, it usually takes 45 to 60 minutes of vigorous “your heart is exploding” type exercises to burn 500 calories. Compare that effort with what is required not to eat that Snickers bar you normally have as a mid-afternoon snack, or perhaps a late night cocktail, or stop by a McDonalds stop. What is a better job of your time: 60 minutes of masochism in the gym, or just not eat those 500 calories you do not need every day?
It does not matter how many days a week you train, nor how often you do it, or even for how long; When it comes to a battle against fat, your day-to-day nutrition is going to be the “x” factor. It’s as simple as that.
Forgotten Weight losss Key # 2: Exercise Counts, But Not In The Way You Think
Go to any gym and you’ll see people connected to treadmills walking, running many miles, attending many kinds of group exercises or perhaps going to the weight room, lifting, pushing and pulling every dumbbell or whatever you can reach.
This is something magnificent….
Exercises, regardless of type, help your body in many ways.
But here’s the problem: many people think that more is better; That somehow the amount of the exercises increase the amount of fat consumed.
In fact, the opposite is true: increasing the volume of training, especially in the long run, only makes you hungrier. More exercise equals greater appetite. Mix that with an already calorie-restricted diet, and bad things are sure to happen.
In a short time you will feel weak, tired and down. Progress stops. And compulsive eating begins.
According to Mark Young, CSCS;
“when we look at research, it seems that adding exercise to an already effective diet produces very little (if any) additional weight loss. If you are trying to lose weight (or fat), the diet will be the baldness for your success. Adding ANY type of exercise will not make a big impact on weight loss. “
Before you cancel your gym membership, remember that exercise (in any form) is never a waste of time. Simply understand that many people do it the other way around. Start an exercise program with the sole purpose of losing weight or burning fat is counterproductive.
As we pointed out above, exercise is an inefficient mode that requires a lot of time to reduce weight. It is part of the equation, of course, but many people have the idea that adding more and more exercises (particularly on a resistance basis) is the key.
What we need to do is change the reason (and as a result, the motivation) by which we perform the exercise.
Try this: exercise to maintain muscle mass.
Keep the muscle and you will reap a multitude of benefits.
What Creates a Muscle, Maintains a Muscle.
The muscle is a metabolically active tissue. Muscle helps your body burn calories. Helps regulate the sugar in your blood. Keep your body in shape, curves and contours. It allows you to perform daily physical activities like lifting a bag of vegetables, changing the wheel, or spending the nights fighting crime without hurting you.
Muscles help you stay fit and avoid diseases and allow you to recover from injuries faster. And, of course, the muscles make you look better naked.
But there’s more (and this is the most important part): Keeping your muscles and increasing health through strength training will make you feel formidable and motivate you to be disciplined in nutrition. Feeling good is addictive.
Equally it is to see the results. Exercise (lifting an appreciable weight) will be a great psychological effect as well as a physiological one. Leaving your path and losing it (restricting calories too much, for too long, and focusing on amount of exercise rather than quality) is exactly the opposite of what you want to do.
If all you want to do is ongoing cardiovascular activity, continue to do so. But add a small amount of strength training and watch as your results go up. You will feel better and stronger.
If you are already performing some strength exercise, continue to do so. And change it. Always challenge your muscles with different routines and exercises. Maintain and develop that musculature. The results will be surprising.