Baby Steps to Fat Loss – Powerful Things You Can Do to Lose Fat Now, Without Changing Your Life
By Steve Faber
There’s no question about it, losing weight, or more specifically fat, can be hard work; possibly one of the most difficult things you’ll ever undertake. Sometimes, it feels like you’re at the bottom of a rocky peak, struggling to find a foothold on your first step to the top.
It’s not all doom and gloom however. There is hope. You can lose that fat you’ve been so desperately trying to shed for so long now. The key is, just like with so many other endeavors in life, is baby steps. You aren’t going to jump in and lose 20 lbs in a week.
Sure, they show the contestants on The Biggest Loser pulling off feats like that, but for most people, that just isn’t realistic, and in fact, may be downright unhealthy. For one thing, those Biggest Loser contestants have a personal trainer, perfectly engineered meals, medical observation, and the best fitness equipment available 24 hours a day. After all, the show is sponsored by 24 Hour Fitness. Suffice it to say, they have several advantages the average person just doesn’t enjoy. If you have a real job, a family, and other commitments, you’ll be happy to discover that there is another way to lose weight that does not include moving to a So Cal ranch for 3 months.
The fat loss results you’re looking for are slow and steady, and there are some great ways you can take baby steps to get there. You won’t have to make any major life changes, but you will have to make a commitment to achieving your goals, and persevere until you get there.
Fat loss is all about two things. Stop me if you’ve heard them before; fewer calories in and more calories out. It’s that simple. Although that may seem like saying “Getting to the moon is simple, just leave the earth and go there.” in reality it is nowhere near that difficult. Once again, baby steps.
You know that there are two ways you can attack the problem, take in fewer calories, and burn off more of them. As with many problems, the solution is much more effective if you attack it from both ends at the same time, so that’s just what you are going to do.
First of all, let’s look at burning a few more calories each day. The key here is to look for little ways in your daily life that can add up to the extra activity you need to make some of your extra fat melt away. Luckily, there are countless ways you can make that happen. Examine every facet of your daily routine, and you will come up with scores of ways that you can inject a bit of extra activity.
Every time you can take the stairs instead of the elevator, do it. Now I’m not talking about going up to your office on the 22nd floor 8 inches at a time, but starting smaller. For the first week, just go up to the 2nd floor using the stairs, then hop in the Otis for the rest of the trip. The 2nd week, catch the car on the third floor, and so on.
Maybe you can park on the far side of the lot and walk to the store, work, or school, instead of driving around for 10 minutes looking for a spot close to the door. The irony of doing this at the gym isn’t lost on me, as I used to find myself driving 3 times around the parking lot to save myself a 100 foot walk so I could go work out!
The point is that there are a multitude of ways that you can find to increase your daily activity level. Do this for a month or two, you’ll notice a difference on the scale, but only if you do not increase your caloric intake to compensate. None of that “Wow! That was sure a long stair climb. I’m famished. Better grab a bagel and cream cheese.” That would be counter productive, no?
Once you’ve done that successfully for a month or two, adding an actual workout would only speed things up and get you in even better shape. Once again, baby steps to fat loss are the recipe for success. For one thing, all too many people think that an hour long aerobics session is the best way to lose fat. Those are too long and boring for me. Fortunately, they are wrong, and there a more effective ways you can exercise to lose weight that take far less time.
Many studies have now demonstrated the effectiveness of high intensity resistance training as a tool for fat loss. Here is where it is important to differentiate between weight loss and fat loss. One of the reasons that high intensity resistance training is so effective is actually because it makes you gain weight. It doesn’t make you gain just any weight however, but lean muscle.
Do you know what the great thing about lean muscle is? No, not that it will make you look like Ahnold, pre-Governator days, but that the extra muscle you gain actually burns more calories every second of the day, even when you’re sleeping! That’s why resistance training is so very powerful. It builds lean muscle, so your fat loss extends beyond the calories you burn when you are actually exercising.
Guess what, it gets even better! Not only do you burn more calories from the added muscle mass you’re developing, but you burn more from the metabolic rate increase generated during the exercise session itself. In fact, several studies have shown that this post exercise increased calorie burning effect can last over 24 hours in many circumstances.
Do you have to grunt and groan under heavy iron for an hour? Heck no, you don’t, which is another reason I love weight workouts. If you do the proper exercises, a mere 20 minutes, 3 times a week will be more than sufficient to to really turbocharge your fat loss and fitness levels. Surely even the most dedicated career or family oriented individual can eke out an hour a week somewhere for something as important as their health (or that upcoming family reunion)?
What about the second component of effective weight loss, your diet? Well, the key is baby steps there too. There are many highly effective baby step diet strategies that can help you drop those unwanted fat pounds too. Stay tuned for my next post and I’ll reveal some of the best, and your fat will melt away even faster.
Steve Faber is a lifelong fitness and exercise enthusiast, who has battled back from a 50lb load of extra fat and lived to tell about it. He says if he can do it, you certainly can too! For more insider strategies, tips, and treats to help you fight your battle against fat, visit Steve’s blog at How to Lose Belly Fat.
*Photo by mistybliss.*