What does it take to lose weight?
When it comes to losing weight there is so much conflicting information out there that a lot of people just are not sure where to begin. There is an old saying that states “if you want learn how to get rich then hang out with rich people” Well, that old saying can also be applied if you want to lose weight. The bottom line is, if you want to lose weight follow the advice of those that have successfully done so. When it comes to reducing body fat, Bodybuilders are the Kings and Queens to losing weight. Although many of their practices are too extreme for most people, there are some great secrets that should be used by everyone. Before we begin we should first cover a few basic rules.
Rule number 1, there is no such thing as a magic pill! Yeah, I know that stinks but the facts are the facts. Although there are diet supplements and diet pills/ patches that will assist with weight loss they are not the magic solution. You will still need to add in a good diet and exercise program, which leads us into Rule Number 2.
Rule number 3 encompasses both rules 1 and 2. For most people they just need to take the steps to safely increase their metabolism. Most people have slowed their metabolism down so much that they seem to not be able to lose weight even if they eat only once or twice a day.
Steps to increase your metabolism and burn unwanted body fat
Step 1: Drink a gallon water everyday
Most of us are already aware that our bodies are mostly made up of water. So much of it that approximately 65 percent of our bodies is water. The brain uses it, the organs, the skin, bones and even the way nutrients and waste are passed in and out of the cells. Drink too little water and you may be at risk for headaches, muscle cramps, dizziness, constipation and other nasty symptoms. However, if you drink an adequate amount of water you gain some great benefits such as a clearer mind, more energy and even help your body metabolize body fat.
As a general rule I try to start out at a gallon a day and move up from there. Yes it is difficult at first but in a short amount of time your body will adapt. I have also added an extra step to my water consumption by drinking it ice cold. You not only get the benefit of metabolizing body fat by drinking a gallon of water a day but you also get an extra benefit with cold water by expending more calories trying to warm it up.
How to prepare – get an empty one-gallon plastic milk carton (or water jug) and fill full of water and put it in the freezer the night before you need it. The next morning a wall of ice will form inside the milk carton. Take a butter knife and punch a hole through the top layer of ice. You now have an ice-cold water jug that you can carry with you throughout your day.
Step 2: Eat six (6) small meals a day
I know this sounds all wrong but I am going to paint a little picture for you to help you grasp this concept. Your body is a very adaptable machine that is going to adjust itself to survive as efficiently as possible. If you only eat one meal a day, large or small, your body will make adjustments according to your current caloric intake. In other words, if you are only eating once a day your body will want to store calories as fat so that it has an ample supply of energy to live off of before the next feeding. The less you eat the less your body is going to burn therefore slowing down your metabolism.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can eat six servings of fast food or junk throughout the day and lose weight. You need to live on a well-balanced diet that is full of protein, fruits and vegetables and good carbohydrates (yams, brown rice, oat meal, etc…). Does this mean you have to give up junk food and sweets? Nope, this leads us into our next step.
Step 3: Add a cheat meal to your diet
As stated earlier your body is an amazing machine. Not only is your body going to do what it can to insure its survival, it will also try to maintain balance by adapting to its environment. In other words, if you eat the same thing day in and day out your body will eventually adapt to your current caloric intake by adjusting your metabolism. For example, if you were eating 2000 calories a day and dropped down to 1500 calories a day, your body will eventually adjust your metabolism to efficiently run on 1500 calories a day.
The key is to trick your body and keep it guessing. One of the greatest, and most fun I might add, tricks used by bodybuilders is to add a cheat meal to their diet. For one meal a week you can go hog wild and eat whatever your heart desires, whether it be pizza, ice-cream or a meal full of Snickers. Now I understand there are those that would prefer to eat a cleaner diet so for them I recommend that they just double their carbohydrate intake one to two full days out of the week (this is what I actually did when preparing for bodybuilding contest)
The real asset of the cheat meal is that it keeps you honest with your diet. If your cheat meal is on Saturday and Wednesday your getting a really bad pizza craving, you can simply convince yourself to stay on track by reminding yourself that in three more days you can have whatever you want. Pushing your cravings off to your cheat meal date becomes a little goal for you to achieve while allowing you to maintain your sanity.
Step 4: Change diet later in day
As your day progresses you will want to shift your diet from the more complex carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes and bread to more fibrous carbohydrates such as broccoli and other vegetables. The fibrous carbohydrates take longer to burn and you will not have to worry about spiking your insulin levels before you go to bed. Once exception to this rule is if you are working out in the evenings. In this case you will need to take an adequate amount of carbohydrates for your workout.
Step 5: Cardio in the morning
A successful weight loss routine involves both diet and exercise. If you are looking for long-term results, one does not go without the other. If you avoid doing either one or the other, you may experience some short-term success followed by long-term frustration. A great example of this is to watch people who are always doing the yo-yo diets. They lose weight one week only to gain it back plus some a few weeks later. Hey, we have all done this so keep in mind that both exercise and diet is the key to long-term success.
One trick that I have found works is to do your cardio workouts in the morning. Ideally I would walk on the treadmill or stair stepper at a moderate pace for 45 minutes in the morning (moderate pace meaning that I was breaking a good sweat but could maintain a conversation if necessary (Too fast of a pace and you will burn carbohydrates instead of fat). The benefits to this are that you not only increase your metabolism for the day you also will feel better too.
Even though I appear to have been stressing the benefits of a good cardio program, it would be irresponsible of me to not also point out the benefits of weight training. Simply put, the more lean muscle mass you have the more calories your body will burn. I highly recommend you consider adding a weight resistant workout to your body fat reduction arsenal.
Step 6: Supplements
I would like to stress that diet supplements are a tool to help you reach your goal. Supplements alone are not a magic pill that will give you instant results. However, that being said, a good diet supplement added to a solid diet and workout program will help accelerate your results.
Tying it all together
I have personally used these six weight-losing principles to help me reduce unwanted body fat to win several bodybuilding contests. For example, I applied these exact principles to reduce my body fat from 28 percent to less than five percent in a six and a half month period. Although some of the diet practices applied for a bodybuilding show may be extreme, these six principles can be applied and adjusted for everyone looking to reduce body fat. In conclusion and to recap, the six basic steps to weight loss success is to drink a gallon of ice cold water a day, eat six small meals a day verses the traditional large three, add a cheat meal to your diet program, adjust your carbohydrate intake towards the end of the day, do cardio workouts in the morning and finally add supplements as a tool to your diet and workout program.