Are you having a hard time getting rid of unwanted fat? Weight loss often isn’t as easy as that super model on tv promoting the latest diet fad makes it out to be. Here are nine things that might be preventing you from getting the results and the body you want…
#1: You are trying to out-exercise a bad diet
Does your breakfst consist of a high calorie breakfast cereal, washed down with a Mocha Frappucino? You would need to do a 30-45 minute workout just to burn those calories.
If you are working out really hard, using a proven fat loss program, and you’re not seeing any results… the first thing you should look at is your nutrition. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
The absolute best way to start losing unwanted fat is by switching from calorie rich processed foods to natural ones. A great resource on how to do this is The Fat Burning Kitchen
#2: You’re not setting clear goals
Before doing anything important, set goals on exactly what what it is you want to achieve. You can’t reach a destination if you don’t know what that destination is in the first place.
Write your goals down! Researchers say that writing down your goals makes you 80% more likely to achieve them. Goal setting is like a laser pointer for the mind.
Set ‘SMART’ goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound). You can learn more about this here
#3: You are relying on steady state cardio
Do your workouts only consist of steady state cardio, like jogging? Try adding some high intensity interval training (HIIT) to your routine.
According to research, not only is doing intervals in your training up to 9 times more effective in improving your cardiovascular abilities… it also burns fat much faster.
Intervals boost your metabolism and elevate what’s know as your “EPOC” (post exercise oxygen consumption). Simply put, intervals turn your body into a fat burning furnace for up to 36 hours AFTER YOU HAVE FINISHED YOUR WORKOUT.
#4: You’re not doing resistance training
It is true that aerobic training burns extra calories, and that you must have more calories OUT then calories IN to burn fat. However, tt is NOT true that aerobic training is an efficient way to burn off extra energy.
The biggest problem with Aerobics is that it will NOT build any amount of muscle to increase your metabolism. For that you NEED resistance training, either through weights or through challenging bodyweight exercises.
If you are a woman and you are worried about ending up looking like She Hulk… don’t worry! Resistance training will NOT make you bulky, just nice and toned.
See, muscle is four times denser than fat. So, if you lose 5lbs of fat and gain 5lbs of muscle, even though on the scale you will weigh the same, you will be leaner and firmer. You will also have a faster metabolism which will help you continue to get even leaner and firmer.
You can make your resistance workouts even more effective by using 3-second negatives. See: Simple Workout Method That Supercharges Fat Loss
#5: You’re trying to burn belly fat with sit-ups and crunches
Spot reduction is a myth! In other words… you don’t burn belly fat by doing ab exercises. Performing crunches will only serve to strengthen your abdominal muscles, not flatten to it or reduce abdominal fat.
You have as much chance of making your waist smaller by doing 500 crunches as you would of making your arms smaller by doing 500 bicep curls… it just ain’t gonna happen!
The real way to get rid of belly fat is to:
1: Reduce overall body fat through a slight caloric deficit (abs are made in the kitchen)
2: Start doing resistance exercises (weight training) to stimulate your metabolism
3: Add cardiovascular exercise to burn additional calories.
#6: You’re not being intense enough
You can’t expect to lose fat at a rapid pace if you half-ass it during your workouts. You should be pushing yourself constantly to break past your plateaus and into that new body. This doesn’t mean you should be reckless (an injury could set you back for weeks). Just try for that extra rep at the end of your sets.
The great thing about cranking up the intensity is that your workouts become shorter. If you do 10 exercises in 30 minutes, your intensity is much higher (and your workout more effective) than doing those same 10 exercises in an hour. So make it a habit to get as much done in as little time as possible.
#7: You’re spending too much time on machines
Machines should comprise no more than 10% of your exercise program. The other 90-100% of your workouts should consist of free weights and/or bodyweight exercises.
The truth is that machines are terrible when it comes to fat loss. This is because the main reason they exist is to make it ‘easier’ to exercise OR to fully isolate a certain muscle.
Using free weights, like dumbbells, barbells or kettlebells is the way to go. Not only do you use more muscles, you also use your core to stabalize yourself as you lift the weight.
The best exercises for high intensity workouts are compound exercises like squats, bench presses (or push ups), bent over rows and deadlifts. These allow you to hit more major muscle groups with a smaller number of exercises.
Not only do compound movements burn fat faster than single jointed exercises… they are also more effective in building muscle mass and strength.
Personally I’m a huge fan of the moderate weight/high fatigue F4X exercise protocol taught in Old School New Body.
#8: You are focusing too much on quantity
You should always focus on quality over quantity when you are working out. Although you should aim for intensity, form is always more important than banging out more reps.
It’s always better to get less reps and better form than more reps with horrible form.
First of all proper form makes the exercises much more effective. Let’s say you do a squat, but you just go down half way so you can make it easier. You would be decreasing the effectiveness by half.
Secondly, paying attention to proper form greatly decreases the risk of injury. Doing exercises (especially resistance exercises) incorrectly over a long period of time can lead to lasting joint problems. That certainly can’t be the goal of any exercise routine!
So, always remember… quality over quantity!
#9: You are not taking action
The people who are most successful in achieving their goals have one thing in common. While others are complaining and thinking up new excuses for skipping their workouts or not sticking to their diets, they are the ones who TAKE ACTION.
If there is one thing you take away after reading this, make sure it’s TAKING MASSIVE ACTION. Action creates momentum and it is critical to be successful in anything you set out to achieve. Of course, if you want to burn fat as quickly as possible, you also want to be taking the RIGHT type of action.
Once you have this momentum, it becomes much easier to keep it going. Stop taking action and you will lose momentum, which means you’re back to square one.
Take action! Build the habit! There’s no better time to start than NOW!