Hello My Friends
Welcome to The Vitality Project.
In keeping with the latest theme, I am going to tackle a very important subject and one which continues to be misunderstood to the point of being almost worrisome.
Most people that I see wishing to loose weight (excess body fat) have wish lists….ie…they have an excessive amount of body fat accumulated on their abdomen, back of their arms, back, thighs and hips.
This issue really becomes manifested in the gym where I have seen so many people try and spot-reduce areas of body fat accumulation by using various resistance training exercises (weights, ball, core or mat-floor work) all in attempt to focus on the areas of the body where most of the superficial body fat has been distributed.
If you look at how and why body fat is stored on the human body, it may become clear why any attempt to spot reduce will be proven to be fruitless.
Body fat storage and accumulation is influenced by your genes, metabolism (diet, hormonal and insulin response) activity levels, stress and body type. The location and extent of body fat storage on any given human body is quite unique and individualized.
There is no simple and universal method to rid yourself of this body fat accumulated in areas which effect the way you look, function and feel.
I have see so many people that have attended the gym, hiring a personal trainer and performing exercises specifically targeting muscle groups under the stored body fat with the hope that this type of muscle activation will selectively target the body fat stores over top of it….nonsence!
If you don’t address your diet directly and change it dramatically, it won’t matter who is training you and what you do in the gym….you will just become frustrated with your lack of progress.
How many people have told you that they joined a gym, hired a personal trainer and it “didn’t work for them”. It’s only after I ask a few simple questions do I quickly realize why this person was wasting their time.
In order to lose body fat…you firstly have to stop storing it. Secondly, you have to eliminate (yes eliminate) all of the foods and drinks that have caused you to accumulate this degree of body fat to date. Sugar, refined carbohydrates, soda, sweets, baked goods, bread products, noodles, pasta, white rice, condiments loaded with sugar and cereals….which are one of the biggest offenders all must go. Consume 5-6 complete meals per day consisting of protein (poultry, eggs, fish, yogurt, turkey, game, meat, cottage or ricotta cheese), fat (avocados, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil), legumes, vegetables and whole grains.
Do not count calories but eat clean and every 3-4 hours. Do not weigh yourself but measure your waist, hips and arms. Also your resting heart rate. Do this 3 times per week and keep a log of your results.
For the first 2-3 months, walk or cycle for 45-60 minutes per day (yes every day) at a moderate pace and stretch.
The next step is to go to the gym if you wish to. Here is the best approach to take when you decide to do this. Start with 20-30 minutes of cardio…I suggest the stationary bike or treadmill. Use this training method when you perform cardio….60 seconds moderate pace followed by 30 seconds of more intense pace. This interval training is the most efficient method of performing cardio and will give you a better degree of caloric expenditure.
Weight-training must take the form of real circuit training….I say real circuit training because most people and personal trainers have no idea what that really entails.
When performing a circuit routine, choose 8-10 exercises that activate your entire body’s muscle mass. Perform 15 repetitions at each station at 60% IRM (the amount of weight that you can safely lift once) to muscular failure. Proceed from one station to the other without any rest other than the time it takes for you to move between each station. After you have completed your circuit, jump on the bike for 10 minutes and perform cardio at the 60 second/30 second method. Repeat another circuit and then another session of cardio. You can do this up to three times when you have reached that level. Make sure you stretch for at least 15-20 minutes after each work-out.
Try this at least 3 times per week….the other 3 days you can just perform cardio, a fitness class or power walk.
Your body will use the stored body fat on every area of your body for the fuel required to supply your muscles with the energy to move you. No spot reduction is going to occur. Remember, you also have to stop body fat accumulation from occurring.
Depending upon how much body fat you have accumulated and many other factors…give your self 6-12 months to reach your goals!
Be realistic….work hard and be determined..if you change your thinking to extent required to accomplish this….empowerment and much better health will be yours!
Dr. Kevin J. McLaughlin
The Vitality Project