Setting Priorities for Health and Fitness
A lot of information swirls around the internets (plural) debating the best ways to lose fat. Let us give you a hint.. it's not a cleanse, wrap or a 30 day fix.
By combining small nutritional changes with effective exercise strategies, fat loss will happen over time.
Check out this quick clip from Coach Ed on what to prioritize to improve your health and fitness.
How can you apply these concepts to your journey? Alywn Cosgrove broke down the research in this article, and it's the basis for why we train the way we do. Here are further detail to help you get started.
1 & 2: Correct Nutrition
It's so important it had to be listed twice. Correct nutrition, to us, means: eating frequently, having protein, vegetables and healthy fats with every meal, limiting starchy carbohydrates and vegetables and drinking enough water.
Like Ed mentioned, we don't expect anyone to go from where they are now to "eating clean" in one day, but actively making changes is a MUST. Like the old adage goes, "You can't out train a poor diet."
3: Activities That Burn Calories, Maintain and Promote Muscle Mass
Blah blah blah... what does this mean? Increasing lean muscle mass is important. To lose fat, you will need to be in a slight caloric deficit, meaning you burn more than you take in. Muscle is metabolically active tissue, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn per day. Participating in Activities That Burn Calories, Maintain and Promote Muscle Mass is important for that reason. It increases the likelihood of creating this deficit, which over time, will promote fat loss.
How do you do this? Follow RD's guidelines on exercise. In our Small Group Training classes, we pair an upper body exercise, a lower body exercise and a core exercise. You will work the whole body this way, and as you become more proficient, you can increase the weight you lift, increasing muscle mass.
4: Activities That Burn Calories and Elevate metabolism.
Buzz term: Metabolic resistance training. This is where you combine weight lifting with high intensity interval training (timed work:rest periods) to burn calories and elevate the metabolism. It differs from #3 in that, this is not the best way to create muscle mass, however, it's still an effective way to burn calories.
Stacked against traditional cardio, this style of training will burn an equal amount of calories during exercise. The "after burn" effect is where the magic is. Resistance training (#3 or #4) will elevate your metabolism for up to 36 hours after your workout. Traditional cardio's effects on your metabolism stop when you do.
What should you do? Set a timer for periods of work and rest. Perform an exercise, with good form, for 2 minutes, then take a minute break. Choose 5 exercises you like, do them in a circuit, and you're done.
5: Activities That Burn Calories, But Don't Necessarily Maintain Muscle Mass or Elevate Metabolism.
This is your traditional, steady state cardio. 40 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical. It's not that these are "bad choices," it's just that it's not the most effective one. You only have so much time each week to get fit. Choose styles of exercise that are going to be most beneficial to meeting your goals.