If you want a perfect body or something close to one. It is absolutely something that can be achieved by anyone. Doesn’t matter what you current level of fitness is. There is one thing that you must do. You must take 100% of the responsibility for your body and your health. If you are not in the shape that you want to be in it is your fault and only your fault. Society and genetics are not to blame. It is not McDonalds fault or your kids, job or husband/wife. If you are not in the shape that you want to be in the only one to blame is yourself.
The first mistake that people make is buying into all the misinformation that is out there. With many of the clever marketing tactics that exist today that is an easy thing to do. One of the most recent marketing hooks is that the stress causes belly fat. Let’s take a look at what these marketers want you to believe. In this instance there is a scientific correlation between the stress hormone cortisol and belly fat. They want you to believe that taking a pill to reduce cortisol is going to reduce belly fat. This however is not the case you can pop all the cortisol reducing pills that you want but you will not lose an ounce of belly fat that is already deposited unless you have a caloric deficit. Meaning you are burning more calories throughout the day than you are consuming.
This is simply one example of many. I am just going to say it now there is no magic pill that will reduce your body fat and give you a lean sexy body. If there was it would withstand the test of time. There is a new wonder pill on the market every year. That is how the marketing machine works. They get you hooked with extravagant claims that sound appealing. That’s how they get your money. Everyone want the easy way out. By the time you realize the pill you are taking is not working there is a new one on the market making even better claims and if you buy into this stuff you are simply getting taken advantage of. It’s that simple.
So here’s the secret to a lean sexy body. It’s not a pill or a super-secret fat burning program. The secret to losing body fat is so simple that it is not even a secret. Caloric deficit. That’s it. Eat less calories than you burn. Now that you know the secret it is important to also know that there is a right way and a wrong way to do this.
Simply eating a very low calorie diet is the wrong way. We will talk about how this can and often leads to more fat gains. Right now I want to talk about the right way to loss body fat. The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that to get from where you are now physically to were you want to be is a process and there are different stages to this process. The main goal throughout the entire process is to lose fat and gain muscle. Muscle is a resource intensive tissue meaning it burns calories just by existing. The more lean muscle mass that you are able to put on your body the easier it will become to lose the fat. Lean muscle mass even burns calories while you sleep.
Here’s the kicker though you cannot lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. It is impossible. In order to lose fat you have to a caloric deficit. In order to gain muscle you need to have a caloric surplus. You see how you cannot have a caloric deficit and surplus at the same time. It is not possible. So how do you lose fat and build muscle at the same time. This is the process that I was talking about. Before I tell you what that is I want to talk about the wrong way to lose fat because it plays and important role in the process.
Sadly when it comes to getting in shape the problem that most people have with their bodies is excess fat. This can a little or a lot of excess fat. Most everyone takes the same approach to trying to get rid of it. Low calorie diets. This will not work. The reason is that your body cannot tell the difference between dieting and starvation. When you drop your caloric intake while you may see in initial weight loss. Eventually your body goes into starvation mode. The reason is that your body is equip with a series of complex defense mechanisms to keep you from starving to death. You can’t trick your body. When you are giving your body a severe calorie restriction than it used to it your body slows it energy expenditures to conserve what little food you are giving it. Your metabolism slows way down, your body begins to break down muscle tissue as well as increase the fat storing enzymes. Your body is simply going to adapt to how you are feeding it and after a while you can eat very little food and not lose any weight at all.
Probably the most devastating effect of this type of diet is the loss of muscle tissue. Like I mentioned earlier muscle is a very metabolically active tissue. If your body is looking for ways to conserve energy getting rid of muscle is one of the ways it conserves energy. When you diet this way 40- 50% of the weight loss will come from lean muscle tissue.
Finally because your body is in starvation mode you will experience sever craving for food as your body tries to get you to eat more. This causes most people to either binge eat or go back to eating normal. Once this happens because half of the weight that was lost was lean muscle you metabolism has dropped significantly and your body is not as good at burning calories as it was before. This is why 95% of people that diet this way gain all the weight back and often more. However is not just the fact that they have gained the weight back they have now changed their body composition so even if they weight the same as when they started they have less lean muscle tissue and a higher percentage of body fat.
This brings us to the importance of discerning the difference between fat loss and weight loss. In order to have permanent fat loss and maintain the muscle that gives your body that lean sexy look you have to feed your body and create the caloric deficit through exercise. It is also important to understand that fat loss is a slow process. A realistic goal should be 2lbs a week.
The secret here is to go from a period calorie deficit to calorie surplus. Our goal is to build muscle this goes for women as well as men. Muscle is the biggest factor in turning your body into a lean fat burning machine. After a period of intense heavy lifting with weights and a caloric surplus to build muscle you want to move to a period of intense aerobic exercise with a caloric deficit. The trick here is not to stay in a caloric deficit for too long as you don’t want to trigger the starvation response. A week is a good amount of time after this week is up you will need to jump-start your metabolism with a caloric surplus. At this point continue on with the weight training to build even more lean muscle.
One final note don’t overdo it with the caloric increased and decreases. If should reduce you caloric intake to about 500 calories less than what you need and vice versa this will help prevent too much muscle being lost and too much fat being gained as you cycle through you routine. The more muscle that you build the more fat you will be able to burn on you next cycle of caloric deficit.