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Believe it or not, losing a little or a lot of fat involves pretty much the same concept - consistent dieting coupled with cardiovascular exercise and weight training. This is how the professionals do it, and it works.
Many of you may be hesitant to start a weight training program, but the benefits far outweigh any reservation you may have. Weight training enhances your fat loss by increasing your muscle mass and more muscle means more calories burned (faster metabolism). It also it gives your skin a more tone, tight appearance, lowers your blood pressure, strengthens your bones, improves your agility, increases your flexibility, strengthens your immune system and gives you more energy and a brighter outlook on life.
If you have a high level of body fat, or you have never been able to successfully lose fat, you should consider trying a program that not only focuses on dieting, but also includes adequate cardiovascular activity and weight training.
If you are already very muscular, and you just want lose a little body fat, then a fat loss program that includes regular cardiovascular activity and weight training is perfect for you. The best way to get ripped and maintain as much muscle as you can is to diet slowly. The truth is, when you are on a low calorie diet, your body prefers to use muscle tissue for fuel rather than excess body fat. So, the slower you lose weight, the more likely you are losing fat and not muscle.
Ideally, you should aim to lose no more than 1lb - 1.5 lbs per week that's it. If you are obese, then you should try to lose no more than 1% of your bodyweight per week. Any more than that and you are sacrificing muscle.
Women do tend to lose fat at a slower rate than men, but don't let this discourage you. Women simply store fat more efficiently than men because it is needed during and after pregnancy. As your body fat levels drop, you will notice that the fat loss comes off in reverse of how it was put on. So, the most recent fat gains will come off first, while the old fat that has been there for a while will take the longest to lose.
The most difficult fat to lose usually centers around the waist, belly and lower back areas for men, and the upper thigh and buttocks, area for women. The fat in these areas are the most difficult to totally get rid of. These areas are comprised of mostly brown adipose tissue (fat). This type of fat is difficult to lose because the low blood flow in these areas hinder the fat mobilization. So, if the fat can't be moved into the bloodstream to be used as fuel, those love handles will never go away.
That's why thermogenic agents like ephedrine and blood thinning supplements like aspirin help to improve fat loss - they increase circulation into these hard to reach areas and mobilize the stubborn fat.
Remember that you cannot spot reduce! What I mean by this is that you can't pick and choose the areas that you would like to lose the fat and do exercises that work those areas expecting the fat to just magically disappear in those areas. Your body does not work that way. The only way to decrease the amount of fat in certain key areas is by lowering your total body fat levels. As you lose fat, it will come off all over your body, not just in specific areas.
If you follow a complete diet and weight training program for at least 12 weeks, you will begin to see dramatic changes occurring with your body, and I'm not just talking about the obvious physical changes, I'm also talking about the psychological and physiological changes. You can expect lower body fat (of course), increased muscle mass, increased metabolism, increased sense of well-being, more energy, lower bad cholesterol level, increased good cholesterol level, decreased risk of heart disease, deeper more restful sleep and most important, increased self-confidence.
To be successful, your fat loss program should include the following:
A calorie restrictive diet, which requires you to eat no less than 10x and no more than 15x your LEAN bodyweight in calories.
Regular cardiovascular activity for at least 30-45 minutes 3-4 times per week. Some recommend a moderate pace while other recommend a vigorous pace -- it doesn't really matter as long as you are exercising.
Supplementing your diet with vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Vitamin C, L-glutamine, and a good multi vitamin are the bare essentials.
Adequate dietary fat, including high amounts of Essential Fatty Acids (Omega-6 and Omega-3). Finally, make sure that the program you decide on is compatible with your lifestyle and schedule. You can have the greatest program in the world, but if you cannot implement it then it is worthless. There are thousands of fat loss diets and workouts that will work, but the hard part is finding one that works for you and the specifics of your diet and schedule restraints.
A Word On Consistency
Ok, so you want the secret to fat loss? Well, here it is: CONSISTENCY. You can have the best diet, the best training schedule, join the best gym that has the best equipment, but without consistency it's all worthless.
Over the past two years, I've talked to hundreds of people who have successfully transformed their physique. Though most of them trained in totally different ways, there was one common denominator that appeared throughout each success story: Day in and day out, they followed their pre-determined plan, consistently without fail. There are many paths to your goal but you will never reach it unless you consistently put one foot in front of the other. You must find the determination and drive within yourself to see this through. If not now, then when?
In the grand scheme of your life, can you afford a slight inconvenience to create a fantastic physique -- or will you continue to be an "Average Joe" for 80 more years! Which sounds more inconvenient to you?
I can see it's easy to make excuses, after all, I used to do the same thing. Don't get caught up in this. The truth is, the hardest part any training routine is getting started. You've got to break your old habits and make new paths for yourself. If I can do this, anyone can. The only thing that separates me from most other people, is the fact that once I decide on a goal, I will not stop until I reach it. It's that simple.
Gaining muscle or losing fat, like anything in life, is a simple matter of staying focused and being consistent. Fortunately, it's never too late to get started, and you will thank yourself a few months down the road. Remember that saying, "Do what you've always done, and you will get what you've always gotten". Now, read it again.