It is a quest as old as time, or at least as old as people in western society have been obsessed about their bodies. So much of what “tastes good” is bad for you, and the natural result is a build-up of body fat.
To make it worse, toss in the fact that many of us live cubicle-bound lives these days. Getting rid of fat is absolutely vital, but there is no magic way to learn how to lose body fat. You have to eat right, exercise, and keep away from tempting things that can knock your training flat on its back.
First off, let’s look at diet. We all know what we should be eating: lean meats, green vegetables, fruit as snacks, and drinking lots of wonderful water. We’ve been told this since we can remember, but many of us would still rather pop a TV dinner in the microwave when we get home from work.
If you are serious about losing weight, you just can’t keep this behavior going.
Since we are looking at losing weight over the long term and keeping it off, you don’t have to go cold turkey (which, by the way, is good for you) on your favorite things like pop, beer, sweets, and fatty foods. You do, however, need to cut down on these things drastically and make them a special treat instead of something you have twice a day, every day.
Expecting people to give up chocolate forever or a brew after work is absurdly unrealistic. Expecting people to cut way down and replace those items with healthier alternatives is sensible. If you don’t have the willpower to change what you eat, which is far and away the easiest step of getting in shape, then you are most likely a hopeless case.
Next, you need to work on your cardio and your overall endurance. Here is where the hard work comes in. Cardio exercises can be fun, but they take time to build up stamina. The key here is to choose a cardio exercise that you like.
For me, it is bike riding. In the summer, I ride outside on bike trails and in the winter, I ride an exercise bike. There is never a drop-off in the kind of cardio I’m getting. For you, cardio could be in the form of swimming laps at the pool or running around a track at your local gym.
Even jogging can be great cardio exercise. If you have a gym membership, you can even use one of those elliptical trainers. They are zero impact on your joints and they are a blast to do if you are new to that kind of exercise. Cardio burns fat better than any other single exercise, but you have to keep with it.
Finally, it is important that you try to build muscle. There are a million and one ways in which you can build muscle. Everything from sit-ups and push–ups can build muscle, so exercise using barbells, dumbbells, and Nautilus machines.
You can even incorporate weights into your other exercises, like when you perform aerobics or when you go to spinning class. Weight work doesn’t have to be hard, and it can be fun if you find exercises you enjoy. They key here is to not give up. Try everything once and then stick with the exercises you can do over the long term.
If you are really committed to learning how to lose body fat, check out my review of Tom Venuto’s Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. He will teach you how to lose body fat, tone your body and speed up your metabolism.