FIT TIP: Around 70% of your weight loss will come from the changes you make to your diet. Exercise is about 30%. HOWEVER it’s a very important 30%!! The problem with just dieting alone is that your body shrinks all over, so you lose fat (the bad stuff) but also muscle, bone density, water content… which is the good stuff and keeps you looking and feeling great!
Often, dieting will turn you into what I term ‘skinny fat’, or a smaller version of your fat self! And if the diet is too extreme and the weight loss is too fast, then the body goes into ‘starvation mode’ and you will ONLY lose water, muscle and bone… and NO FAT at all! This is because fat is a fantastic source of energy for the body to survive on if it’s starved.
Exercise is the key to changing your body shape. With the right exercise regime you will firm up and densely pack your muscle tissue. You will strengthen your bones. You will increase your stored water content. And you will ONLY LOSE FAT! How cool is that?
Many people, in the race to lose weight, lose track of why they’re actually doing it – to look and feel better – and instead focus on that number on the bathroom scales. I have a much better tool than that: Tanita Innerscan $450 body composition scales.
For example, I had one client who only lost 2kg, but dropped 7% body fat and gained 4kg of lean muscle (along with increase in bone weight and water content). If that client only focused on weight, they would have lost motivation a long time ago. But they look great and feel so much better now.
If you’d like to know how your body composition stacks up, I’m happy to offer you a complimentary reading and analysis of the results in my studio
FIT TIP: If you’re fat, you ate it. Sorry if that’s hard to hear, but it’s the simple truth. Our body stores excess energy from the food we’ve eaten as fat. To lose fat, we need to provide our body with less energy than it requires. Our body will then use the stored fat as an energy source to fill the energy deficit. That means eating less, and that means portion control.
How much is a ‘portion’ of food anyway? A good tip is to use your hand. A serving of meat should be as big as your palm. A serving of nuts is a handful (how many you can hold in your cupped palm).
Some good portion sizes to follow:
Breakfast: no less than 3 portions
Lunch: 3-4 portions
Dinner: 3-4 portions
Snacks: 1-2 portions (twice per day)
This gives you 5 meals, between 11-15 portions of food. Of course the type of food matters, you can’t scoop out 15 handfuls of icecream and expect to lose weight! The key is variety. Colour is your friend. We all know the sort of things we should be eating, but not many of us know how much.
What you’ll find is that dinner is the hardest to change. Generally, we stack our energy intake towards the end of the day with dinner being the largest meal. That needs to change. Here’s 2 techniques to help you out:
1) Use a physically smaller plate, and you will naturally fill it with less food
2) Use your normal dinner portion but split the plate in half and eat in 2 sittings, one at say 6pm and one at say 7:30pm.
Use these basic guidelines to structure a daily eating plan and stick to it! Your body won’t be happy for 1-2 weeks as it adjusts to the new routine, but after that it’s smooth sailing towards your fat loss goals
Warm up vs Training prep
FIT TIP: When you’re about to challenge your body physically, it’s very important to conduct the right preparation. Tradionally, a bit of a jog and some static stretches was about it. And this was the same right up to high level sports teams!
Training prep should look to involve all of these key components:
• Raise core body temperature to competitive levels
• Increase soft tissue compliance
• Expose the muscles and joints to the ranges of motion and speeds that they will encounter
• Complete any specific individual corrective exercises that may have been prescribed such as glute or shoulder stability
• Switch the mind onto “ready” mode, priming you for high quality learning or performance expression
There should be a consistency in approach dependant on your activity, so that if you play soccer, for example, the warm up should reflect the functional demands of that sport – running, jumping, lunging, tackling, kicking, dodging, weaving, twisting and bending and progressively increasing intensities.
The ‘warm-up’ should also be used as a mental ‘switch on’, a time where focus is narrowed to the aims of the exercise session.
This is why the warm-up should be varied and involve some decision making drills. If it is the same old drills, it’s very easy to switch off and for it to become a mindless task which reduces performance in the exercise session.
In many cases, there is still a belief that prolonged static stretches are critical to warm up. My belief, grounded in research, is that prolonged static stretches are fine, but are best left to after the session or performed at a time separate to explosive activity. The reason being is that they can decrease the force-to-failure point of a muscle, meaning that the muscle itself is easier to tear for a period of about 30 minutes afterwards – clearly an undesirable outcome from exercise!
So next time, when you’re planning on some warm-up drills, think about making them progressively more taxing both physically and mentally and see if you perform better during the exercise session.