One of the most common questions I get is – why am I not losing fat? “I am exercising /fill in the blank/ and doing /fill in the blank/ six days a week doesn’t seem to be working! Help!”
What’s the /fill in the blank/? Typically it’s a lot of cardiovascular exercise and an untargeted and inconsistent routine in the gym. It varies but I think you get the drift. Then I ask them about what they eat and their eating habits. This is where the truth comes out.
The current model that many people follow to lose weight is ineffective : they do lots of cardiovascular exercise and do not see results. And they wonder why. I used to be one of these people.
Starting at a pretty young age, I chose to exercise partly because I wanted to lose weight and reshape my body. I LOVED exercise too – it really made me feel good and alleviated stress. However, no matter how much I exercised (whether I was running 20 miles per week or riding my bike 20 hours per week) my body looked the same. I did notice more muscle but it was not the look I was going after. I was looking to get leaner and tighter.
“Insanity : doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results!” – Albert Einstein
Okay, so according to a very wise man – I was insane ;-)!
THEN A BIG SHIFT HAPPENED!
About five years ago, I started working with a nutritionist for the first time and that changed my life. It changed everything. I started to lose fat and maintain lean muscle. The number on the scale started to drop and it eventually started falling off so fast that I couldn’t “keep up” :-)! And ya, I started to lift weights too!
The lesson I learned, and that many chronic over exercisers need to learn, is that nutrition is by far the most important factor when it comes to weight loss and body recomposition.
You can exercise for days upon days but if your nutrition isn’t right – your scale is not going to change much. However, your body composition could improve (for example you could be losing some fat and gaining some muscle).
Exercise is very important to a healthy body and well-being, but if you are trying to reduce those inches it is vital that you manage your diet too. Research has shown (1) that exercise on its own is not likely to lead to significant weight loss.
Proper diet combined with exercise is the key to success if you are trying to lose weight.
Are you ready to stop the insanity and do something to change your life?
Then it’s time to do something different. Your life will improve in so many ways you can’t even begin to imagine.
The secret? Eat clean foods and eat less food than you expend in energy! More on this in a later post!
It may not be easy – in fact it may be damn hard. It’s a journey.
But if you stick with it – day in and day out….you will see results.