During 2016 I kept the same sort of routine going all year. I would carry out a brisk walk every morning on an empty stomach as soon as I get up. Later on I would then go to the gym and train with weights 3 times a week. I stick to this week in and week out for the majority of the year. I may have missed 10-15 or so morning walks last year due to travelling etc. Now I am going to answer a few simple questions that I was asked yesterday by a lady that is overweight and she asked the following.
Does exercise help you lose weight?
Short answer is YES.
Long answer is: Lose weight or fat?
Ok, so now we have 2 totally different things. For example, if I’m 15 stone with 5% body fat, I’m going to be a solid muscular physique. If I’m 15 stone with 40% body fat, then I’m just going to be obese. This shows that it’s not exactly weight we want to lose, it’s excess body fat.
Ok, so we have a slight understanding between fat and weight. Now back to the question, does exercise help burn fat? In short, Yes. However, I know for a FACT that if I do exactly the same type of morning cardio and then do my 3 days a week weights and then have a strict, clean, nutritious (or boring) diet, I will lose body fat. If I have junk food with inconsistent junk meals, I WILL put on body fat. This tells me from experience that as a NATURAL lifter that correct nutrition/diet is
more important just as important as exercise. (on the basic level). You need to burn off more calories than you consume and there’s a fine line between the two.
A good few years back when I started my journey to lose body fat, I did it through 85% food and hardly any exercise. If I ate what I ate now, which helped me drop body fat back then, Id actually put on fat. Back then I was still in a calorific deficit which allowed me to drop body fat. My diet was absolutely awful even when losing fat back then, however it was still better than what I was previously eating. It’s all about small steps and gradual improvements.
Now that I’ve gave a long explanation of the question (and not even scratched the surface), I’m going to put my top
3 4 things that help me lose body fat.
- MIND SET – You either want to or you don’t.
- DIET – More smaller nutritious/macros fitting* meals through the day, rather than just 2 big meals.
- EXERCISE – I used to sprint on the treadmill, now I do a brisk walk. It’s easier on my body and if I got to a low body fat percentage like this, I know it works for me mentally and physically. Exercise can be many different things, I’m keeping it simple and something I can do daily.
- EAT FOOD – Eat food and not liquid diets. It will pay off in the long run. Think of it as a long term goal and not a one month fad.
*6 meals a day. Meat, fruit, veg. Keep away from sugar and alternative chemicals they add in.
- Don’t just use your WEIGHT as the only way to monitor your progress. Muscle is more dense than fat and it can get very confusing.
- Take photos of yourself each week. Front, back, sides. DON’T compare them until they are at least 2 weeks apart.
- Use body fat calipers. They can be found cheap online (£3) and will be fine for your own personal progress check.
- Measuring tape.
Keep everything noted down and this will create the challenge you have against yourself. If you are driven to lose body fat by someone else, your setting yourself up to fail. It needs to be all about YOU and YOUR mindset. Don’t be afraid to follow your own path, if you mess up, use that as another bit of knowledge to help you.
Diet v Exercise
I’ve cleaned my diet up for 6 days and I’m 6lb down*. This is purely down to diet, everything else I have done is almost exactly the same. The initial weight loss is quite exciting and rapid. Drinking more water will help your body flush out the water its holding and also causing the scales to show you have lost weight. However, it could be just weight and not fat.
*6lb down on the scales. I said the scales aren’t a very good way to measure your progress and I recommend other ways to confirm I’m going in the right direction. I had a quick check with my skin fold calipers this morning and I have a lower reading on that too, which confirms I’m going in the right direction. This could also be water under the skin at this point too.
There’s many factors to lose body fat. Regular exercise and a good strict diet will be key to a positive physique change. When I set a goal, my mind state will change and it sort of becomes an obsession. I set my goals and work towards them. This means chocolate and sprouts will taste the same to me, as I’ve spent years programming my mind and taste buds. Once I’m 100% focused on my goals, I wont even eat anything that won’t help me reach my goals. I have figured my diet out over the last several years through trial and error and once I found that I had hit a point of understanding nutrition, I decided to go vegetarian so I can go through the whole process again. It does sound obsessive and I guess it is. It is working towards a healthier, fitter way of life.
Dropping body fat fast is not good.
Dropping body fat to impress others is not good.
Everything has to be done through passion and will.
Balanced and healthy meals are key.
Make it a lifestyle, not a hobby.
It’s been a month since I started typing this and I was with said people when they were praising each other up for losing a couple of pound. This is a beautiful thing to hear and just to listen to how proud they were, was lovely. Unfortunately they stopped dropping the water weight and felt disheartened. Now they are in exactly the same place as they were before they started, just with a very negative mind set to dropping body fat.
I’d just like to add that a low body fat person can be much more unhealthy and unfit than a person carrying excess fat. For the purpose of this blog post, lets just think about the average person staring a new years resolution…