The secrets to success of weight loss

 

The secrets to success of weight loss

With the changing of the clocks we creep into spring and summer and the New Year’s resolutions are a distant memory. Your best intent to “diet” or go to the gym more often have been taken over by more pressing engagements and you have not seen the kind of changes in your body shape that you dreamed of in January. Why has this happened? You were so full of desire and intent just a few short months ago, but you failed to keep in mind the true secrets to success with weight loss.  Beyond nutrition A modern approach to weight loss here are the biggest mistakes you made.

Not having enduring self discipline

To achieve any goal in life you have to have a burning desire to achieve it and the self discipline to see that goal through to fruition. Discipline to eat the right foods at each meal and snack, discipline to eat breakfast every day, discipline to turn down the invitation to go out on the piss with your mates or go out to dinner again. This discipline can also manifest as getting yourself in to the gym to do that workout when you are tired or not feeling fully up for it.

Set yourself goals and have the self-discipline to see them through – no one else is going to do it for you.

Not having the motivation

It’s always a good idea to have some source of external motivation such as having a friend or partner who will do a diet or exercise plan with you; it’s a good idea to hire a personal trainer who will push you in the gym, join a weight loss bootcamp or hire a nutritionist for weight loss who will give some accountability to make the right food choices. However you must have some internal motivation to actually want to change your situation, your body shape or your health. Once you have your mind set on what you want to achieve it’s a lot easier to commit to the eating and exercise plan that will be required for you to lose weight.

Use both internal and external motivation to achieve your goals.

Taking the easy way out

It’s always simple to take the easy way out. It easier to order a take away than make steak and roast vegetables; it’s easier to hit the snooze button 3 times than it is to get up 20 minutes early to make a nutritious breakfast and it’s easier to stay at home when it’s raining outside and not go for that run in the park. But this easy way out is a sure fire way to failure in all that you do, not just when it comes to weight loss. Take the hard way of doing things.

Success takes effort and hard work and you won’t be successful with weight loss unless you put the effort in.

Planning and preparation

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail, it’s that simple. If you don’t prepare your food for the day then you will be left with no other option than to buy a crappy sandwich from a high street store. Similarly if you don’t have the right food in the fridge you will make the wrong choices. If you don’t plan your day so you can get that workout in before lunch or before work then you will not burn calories or build muscles which are essential for weight loss.

Prepare your food on a daily and weekly basis and plan when you are going to fit your workouts in – stick to it.

The right food choices

Only after you have implemented the preceding tips will making the right food choices truly count. Once you have discipline and motivation, once you take the time to make the harder choices and when you plan and prepare your schedule will making the right food choices become easy. What we know is that different diets work for different people, so essentially any way of healthier eating will help you lose weight once you have discipline and motivation and preparation to stick to it. However if you bear in mind that eating slightly less calories and less starchy carbs will also help you lose weight.

Low carb “Boot camp” for rapid weight loss  

Make the right food choices – anything that nature made is healthy, anything that man made is not

Supplements where necessary

Taking the right supplements can speed up your weight loss and improve your nutrition. However don’t fall for the bullshit you see in the magazines such as rapid fat loss pills and thermogenics. We know from scientific studies that omega 3, vitamin D, carnitine and green tea extract are good for weight loss. Stick with these basic and you will get it right 90% of the time.

Omega 3, vitamin D, carnitine, green tea extract.

Consistency

Some people lose weight quickly, it just falls off. Others need much more time – we are all biochemically unique and lose weight differently. True success for your weight loss depends upon doing these tips often and doing them over the course of a long time. In fact these tips should become lifestyle habits. Just look at people who are successful in other areas of life, they are successful because they make habits consistent with success. Doing these things consistently will bring you success in your weight loss.

Do things which bring you success consistently.

 

So if you want to find out how to lose weight click here  

Share Button

Squatting to a firmer butt and better knees

The squat is the king of lower body exercises, primed to firm the thighs and lift the cut of the glutes. If there is one exercise that will make you look great in those skinny jeans, or make your legs look slender in heels – it’s squats. But unfortunately there are so many myths and misconceptions about that squat that most people do not perform them anymore, or if they do squat they do it leaning into a Swiss ball that is against a wall or on a Smith machine, scared not to let the knees go forward of the toes as that is bad for the knees – what a load of BS!

Here are the most common myths about the squat:

• The knees shouldn’t go forward of the toes
• The thighs shouldn’t go below parallel
• The smith machine squat is safer than the free squat
• Swiss ball squats are safer then free squats

This is all nonsense. There is very little research to show squats are bad for the knees. This myth came about from a flawed and biased study conducted by Dr Karl Klein in 1961. Contrary to this, other studies have disproved Dr Klein’s findings. For instance, other researchers have found that both the deep squat (where the knees go forward of the toes and the thighs go below parallel) were not detrimental to knee stability; that basketball players and distance runners (who didn’t squat properly) had poorer knee stability compared to power lifters (who perform the deep squat often). Most importantly some research has shown that there was no knee instability found in athletes who used the squat exercise at 130%-200% of body weight twice a week as a part of their off-season training program. Clearly performing the squat, in its true form of bending the knees into the deep position, where the thighs go below parallel and the knees are forward over the toes is not detrimental to knee health. Not only this, but the full squat improves strength through range of movement giving you firm tighter legs. Dr Mark Rippetoe explains that the squat is an excellent exercise for development of the quads, hamstrings, glutes and low back. The deep squat best accomplishes this and encourages co-activation of the quads, hamstring and adductors to stabilise the knee, but also to firm up those muscles to make you look great in skinny jeans.

In fact performing the bastardised version of the squat with a Swiss ball or in a smith machine or just squatting to above parallel is actually bad for the knees and will not make you look as good in those skinny jeans. The half squat shortens the piriformis, a muscle deep in the buttocks that can squash the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica. In the half squat the ligaments that stabilise the knee are lax, whereas they are taught in the full squat, thus the half squat destabilises the knee. The half squat encourages strong quads but weak hamstrings which can be devastating for your cruciate ligaments (if you ski and don’t want to blow your cruciates – don’t do half squats with a Swiss ball or on a Smith machine). Plus much heavier loads are often used in the half squat that can overload the spine.

Caution
You should not squat if you have poor technique, are too weak or have poor flexibility to descend into the bottom position of the full squat. You may need to hire a trainer (who knows what he/she is talking about) to show you how to squat properly. Many other exercises can be used instead to build up strength and flexibility to prepare you for the squat. Read my article “Train your legs to lift your butt and tone your thighs” to learn how to use unilateral leg exercises to firm and tone your legs and prepare yourself for the squat.

Caution should also be taken as the squat:

• Loads the patella femoral joint
• Loads the posterior cruciate ligament between 30-90 degrees
• May not be indicated for those with osteoarthristis or osteochondral deficit

So squatting may not be the best exercise of choice if you have a patella femoral joint injury, if you are recovering in the acute stages of a PCL injury or if you have severe osteoarthristis or osteochondral deficit. However if you work with a strength coach or personal trainer who knows what they are doing they will be able to rehabilitate your knees so you can squat safely once again.

So unless you are one of the rare but unlucky few who should squat with caution here is a great leg routine including squats that is great for weight loss and for firming up the thigh and bum.

Routine

A1. Back squats 6 reps
A2. Walking lunges 12 reps (per leg)
A3. DB squats 25 reps

Rest 2 minutes and repeat. Do 3-4 circuits then curse me for the amount of burn in your bum and thighs and for having sore legs for the next 2 days.

Share Button

Train your legs to lift your butt and tone your thighs

Most of you going to the gym are going because you want to lose a little bit of weight and to tone up, especially those problem areas such as the bum and thighs. However, very few of you will know how to train the legs effectively to lift and tone these areas. Training the legs is as art and a science and I’m going to lift the lid on some of the secrets that the fitness models use to have the perfectly tone thighs and round pert butt.

When you are training your legs you need a periodised and progressive plan targeting different muscles of the legs such as the glutes, the quads, the hamstring and the calfs. Your first stage of leg training should focus on unilateral exercises to correct any imbalances in tone and shape between the legs. This is perfect if you have one butt cheek that is slightly less pert than the other, or if the cut of the hamstrings isn’t quite right between sides. Start by focussing on one exercise for the quads and one for the hamstrings, like so:

A1. Dumbbell step up on 30cm box, 3 sets of 15-20 reps, tempo 1010, rest 60 seconds.
A2. Seated hamstring curl, 3 sets of 8-10 reps, tempo 40X0, rest 60 seconds.

Perform 3 sets each of these exercises. For the quads focus on higher reps as the quads can tolerate the burn that you will feel when you perform this exercise. This burn is the build up of lactate that helps you burn fat. The tempo just means the speed of the movement – step up for 1 seconds, and lower yourself to the floor for 1 second. The step up helps to firm and tone the small muscle on the inside of the knee cap. Perform all the prescribed number of reps on one leg before switching legs. You then rest 60 seconds before moving on to the hamstring exercise.

For the hamstring though, lower reps are needed as the make up of the hamstring is suited to more explosive contractions that helps firm and shape them. For this exercise you bend your knees under you as quickly as possible but you straighten your knees back to the start position over 4 seconds. This helps create muscle tension and definition. Perform all the reps and sets for A1 and A2, then move on to the B exercises.

Next you want to perform an exercise to focuses on developing tone throughout the entire quad, whilst performing an exercise that develops the glutes and hamstring together. You might chose the following exercises:

B1. Dumbbell split squat 3 sets of 10-12 reps, tempo 3010, rest 60 seconds.
B2. Romanian dead lift with bar 3 sets of 10-12 reps, tempo 3010, rest 60 seconds.

The split squat is a movement where you stand in a lunge position and bend your front knee as far forward over your toes whilst keeping good technique. Bending your knee into the deep position fully activates the quads and also helps to firm up the glutes and groin on the lead leg, to help lift the butt and slim the inner thigh. Perform 10-12 twelve reps on one leg, before switching to the other leg. The tempo means that you slowly bend your knee in to the deep position over 3 seconds and then push yourself up in 1 second. Rest 60 seconds then go to the next exercise.

The Romanian dead lift helps to firm the butt and strengthen the low back and hamstrings. Stand with your feet just wider than your shoulders holding a 10-20kg bar. Keep your knees very slightly bent and then bend from the hips, sticking your bum out behind you whilst running the bar down your thighs to about knee level. At this point you should feel a strong stretch in your hamstring. This movement should take 3 seconds and be sure to keep your back straight. Then straighten up your hips to the start position in 1 second. Perform 10-12 reps of this after which you rest 60 seconds.

Your final pair of exercises can target the calfs and abs to help give your legs that slender look when you are in heels and to flatten your tummy. These exercises could include:

C1. Single leg calf raise 3 sets of 12-15 reps, tempo 2010, rest 60 seconds.
C2. Abs crunch 3 sets of 12 reps, tempo 2010, rest 60 seconds.

For the calf raise use a step block, standing on it with the ball of your foot. Hold a dumbbell in the same hand as the leg your are training and tuck the other foot in behind your Achilles tendon. Let you heel drop below the level of your toes so you feel a strong stretch in your calf, this should take 2 seconds. Then lift yourself right up on to your toes, this should take 1 second. Perform 12-15 reps, swap sides and rest 60 seconds before moving on to your abs.

To firm up your tummy perform 12 crunches lying on the floor. You should perform this programme twice a week such as on a Monday and Thursday for up to 6 workouts (3 weeks) after that time you need to change your exercises, reps, sets and rest periods to continually firm and sculpt your legs.

Programme

A1. Dumbbell step up on 30cm box, 3 sets of 15-20 reps, tempo 1010, rest 60 seconds.
A2. Seated hamstring curl, 3 sets of 8-10 reps, tempo 40X0, rest 60 seconds.
B1. Dumbbell split squat 3 sets of 10-12 reps, tempo 3010, rest 60 seconds.
B2. Romanian dead lift with bar 3 sets of 10-12 reps, tempo 3010, rest 60 seconds.
C1. Single leg calf raise 3 sets of 12-15 reps, tempo 2010, rest 60 seconds.
C2. Abs crunch 3 sets of 12 reps, tempo 2010, rest 60 seconds.

Next it’s time to move on to some squats…

Share Button

7 steps to the body you want this New Year part 6

Step 6: Maintenance phase

Pay attention to your weight and body fat throughout the add back phase until your weight and body fat loss stops. At this point you have reached your maintenance diet. If your weight goes back up 2kg go back to boot camp weight loss diet phase and go back through the add back phase again until your weight loss plateaus. This will be your maintenance diet. Other examples of Paleo carbs to add back in to the nutrition plan every 14 days include baby corn, beans (haricot, mung, aduki, black eye etc…), banana, beetroot, cooked carrots, lentils, oats for breakfast, olives, Swede, turnips and other ground tubers.

Avoid neo carbs at all cost. Ask “was this around 10,000 years ago?” If not, it’s a neo carb. For instance read labels and avoid sugar in all its forms – dextrose, maltose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, corn syrup – anything ending in ‘ose is sugar. Processed good and foods made from refined grains are also neo carbs – pasta, biscuits, pastry, pies, cakes and most bakery goods. Also look out for artificial sweeteners (aspartame) colours (tartrazine), hydrogenated fats and preservatives. If you avoid processed foods you needn’t worry about these.

Share Button

Toxicity testing part 2

Fat cell biopsy

It’s commonly known that body fat acts as a reservoir of storage for toxins, especially fat soluble toxins. This keeps the toxins out of circulation and away from major organs. Testing what chemicals are stored in your body fat can tell you what level of toxic burden you have. A fat cell biopsy can test for a wide range of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides as well as volatile organic compounds such as benzene, toluene, xylene, and styrene.

Share Button

Breakfast cereals = junk food part 3

So you might be wondering what I do think is healthy to eat for breakfast. Here are my thoughts on a couple of conventional breakfast foods.

Share Button