If you follow my advice, you will lose fat. Clients who haven't over the years simply can't give up or cut back on their vices. Here are some of the key features which have enabled me to help clients lose fat over the years.
Nutrition. It is no good training hard then spending the next few days ruining it with high GI and high saturated fat foods. Keeping your insulin levels under control is one of the main factors which will help you lose weight and sustain a weight loss programme. Most processed foods and cereals are higher GI than their whole food cousins. Some 'health foods' such as health bars can also raise blood sugar and estrogen levels which make you fat. Alcohol also raises estrogen levels. It is pretty hard to overeat when eating the right kind of foods so learn what your body needs. Eat right for 4 days and have a day off or stick to the 80/20 rule (80% foods that are good for you, 20% treats). Make sure an expert determines what food is good for you.
Protein is crucial to your fat loss plan. Protein needs to be consumed first thing in the morning to ensure you kick start your metabolism. Skipping breakfast is a non-negotiable for my clients. Protein helps to regulate appetite as well as balancing out hormone levels. Protein helps to burn calories through the day as your body expends energy breaking down protein. The scientific name is called DIT (dietary induced thermogenesis). For your body to obtain energy from dietary protein, it must give up almost 3 times more energy than it needs for either fat or carbohydrates. Most people don't eat enough and miss out on these benefits.
HIIT. High intensity interval training is the main cardio that should be performed. HIIT raises EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) is what turns you into a fat burning machine after your workout. During your recovery period, your body will burn fat more effectively than same pace cardio and also balance out hormone levels. EPOC can still be present up to 48 hours after your workout, so if you did it every other day, imagine the fat furnace you will create.
Resistance training (metabolic workout). Using weights is still the most effective way for your body to control weight. Some people may claim that the amount of calories burnt during a weight session is lower than that of a cardio session. These people should do one of my weights circuits or try German Body Composition training. Even if you are concerned with the amount of calories burnt during your exercise session, you will continue to raise EPOC through weight training more than through same pace cardio. Not to mention driving up testosterone levels, increasing lean tissue which increases resting metabolism and decreases muscle breakdown. Your body will also look better than if you tried to lose weight by doing same pace cardio.
Same pace cardio has a place. It is pretty low down the list of priorities for weight loss. We should be exercising at a moderate intensity for 20 minutes everyday. If we didn't use public transport or cars, we would easily hit this target. However, as we don't, we need to ensure that we get some light cardio in. Don't go mad thinking that the more you do, the more fat you burn (while partly true) there are a whole list of chemical reactions going on which will make it harder to continue to burn fat during a same pace cardio session.
Be consistent. People start and stop their health and exercise programme and say the programme didn't work. You don't get fit, burn fat or change shape in one session. It is multiple sessions combined with all the above elements that determine success. The days you need to focus on are the days you can't be bothered. The success of your programme will be dependent on your successful days outweighing your less successful days. A personal trainer, training partner or a regular bootcamp holds you to your intention and keeps your momentum. Weekend warriors are just as bad. These are people who try to burn off an over-indulgent weekend with an extra long training session. This is why gyms are at their busiest on a Monday and Tuesday. It simply doesn't work.
Know your areas of attack. Some people walk blindly through life unaware of the subtle subconscious attack they receive which makes them put on weight. The default in the UK is fit and healthy people get ridiculed. You need to develop a thick skin or find a new social group to have a successful weight loss programme. Recognising who are the key conspirators will enable you to ignore their derrogatory comments. You will be surprised the amount of clients I have trained who were constantly put down by their partners or family members.
Times are changing as marathon and triathlon participation is on the increase. Here is evidence of positive peer groups pressure. People feel more able to use marathon training as an excuse for avoiding the Friday night binge. So maybe training for an event will assist you in your quest to be fitter and leaner.
These are the basics. There are advanced combinations (sleep, time of training, size of meals e.t.c) which I need to use if clients are weak in certain areas. It might seem complicated but this is because we have moved so far away from what our body actually needs. Work on the areas you are weak, and be consistent.