Want Fat-loss? Do the opposite!
Written by: Matt Pack
Let’s look at the human race…
We’ve become slaves to processed foods and the Pharmaceutical Industry
It all starts with what we put in our mouths!
If you consistently put diesel fuel (boxed cereal) in your car (body) that is supposed to take regular unleaded (meats, fruits, and vegetables), what will eventually happen? Your car (body) will have to go into the mechanic (doctor) right? The mechanic (doctor) then advises you that if you keep this up you’re going to need a new engine (heart).
We have to come to the realization that Food really is Thy Medicine. If you fill your tank (stomach) with quality fuel( foods found primarily on the perimeter of the grocery store or even better your local farmers market), move your car(body) often, get optimal sleep, practice stress management and recovery methods while drinking adequate amounts of water you will be less likely to be fat, sick or tired. This will allow your body to actually have the energy to workout, play with your kids, and do all the things that you like to do.
Just in case you’ve forgotten let me remind you just how intricate and complex your human body is. I think we’ve taken our bodies for granted and if we don’t start making some serious changes, well let’s just say we’ll keep getting what we’ve already been getting, SICKER and FATTER. At this particular time I think a good piece of advice would be that if something’s not working for you than just do the opposite.
Top 5 Things Were Not Designed to Do:
1. Sit down and stair at a computer screen for 8-12 hours a day and then go to the gym and sit down
2. Performing hours of aerobics with the aspirations of “toning up”
3. Eat things out of box or anything with a shelf life or expiration date
4. Doing bicep curls with purple dumbbells trying get that “shredded look”
5. Do endless amount of sit-ups and crunches expecting to melt the fat off your stomach
1. Were Designed to Move, Rest and Repeat!
Being seated at a desk all day forces you into poor posture. Work place environment creates forward head posture, rolled shoulders and tight hips and let’s not forget to mention elevated cortisol levels and pancake butt syndrome. So, you go from a seated position in traffic to a seated position at work to a seated position in some machine at the gym? Let’s add your seated position in with your stress and we have a perfect environment for getting FAT
You see, stress is actually good. We need stress and those fight or flight hormones (CORTISOL) to get us out of a dangerous situations. The problem is our society is stressed to often. You have to understand that stress from our jobs, family or working out is the same stress that our body has when were being chased by a saber tooth tiger. You’re body doesn’t know the difference. Your body doesn’t know you’re stuck in traffic; it only knows you’re agitated and frustrated. What happens? Your cortisol elevates. Your body doesn’t know that you’re late for a major deadline at work; it only knows that you are anxious and frustrated. So what happens? Your cortisol elevates even more. Now to relieve some stress you go to the gym to get a run in on the treadmill. Your body doesn’t know that you’re running to blow off some steam; it only thinks you’re running from that saber tooth tiger. So what happens? I think you get the point…
I assume your next question might be,” what the hell does cortisol do?” It actually makes you fat and will stall and stagnate the majority of body re-composition programs. I don’t care how well the diet, exercise regimen or how good of shape you’re in. If you are high strung, a worry wart and not getting adequate amounts of sleep than you will almost always be spinning your wheels if trying to achieve optimal health and lower body fat percentages.
The Remedy- DO THE OPPOSITE
1. Perform breathing exercises
2. Participate in some form of a Yoga, Tai Chi or Chi-Gong class
3. Try to get to bed by 10pm
4. Find someone to help design an exercise regimen individualized to your lifestyle
5. Quit your job! No joke. Life is too short.
2. Low Intensity/Long Duration Aerobics
Performing countless hours of aerobics while staying in your “fat burning zone” still boggles my mind! First of all there is no Fat burning Zone. If there were a Fat burning zone than there would be nothing but Kate Moss look a likes in your aerobics class. If it hasn’t worked yet, when do you expect it’s going to? Aerobics classes truely are Insanity!
You know what insanity means right? Insanity means to do the same thing day in and day out and expect different results. Each day I see the same people doing the same exercises routine as they did yesterday. They go to the same piece of cardio equip and use the same level and go at that same slow pace. And the next day I see the same old physique on that same person. The same workout, same body for months and months if not years. I apologize if I’m talking about your progress, but it’s all too common. The more aerobics you do, the more efficient your body will be at storing fat. Now If you think of this from your car being fuel efficient than maybe you’ll see where I’m coming from. You see if I said that my truck is fuel efficient it means that it uses less fuel for energy. This is good–For my truck. Now from a human perspective if I told you that excessive aerobics makes your body efficient at using stored fat for energy that would be bad. This means that the more aerobics you perform the less your body uses fat for energy. In other words you have adapted to your workouts and in all honesty you are completely minimizing your chances of losing any amounts of body fat.
Oh, and one more thing, aerobics will do nothing to increase your metabolism either. You’ll burn off muscle, decreasing your lean muscle mass and actually slow down your metabolism. So, stop worrying about exercising in a certain heart rate zone for fat loss. Forget about how many calories the machines said you’ve burned. For gods sake sprint out of the body sculpting class and get off of the Elliptical machine, grab some weights and please STOP THE INSANITY!
The Remedy: DO THE OPPOSITE!
1. If you’re not injured, than pick up the intensity! A good rule of thumb is if it’s too easy you’re not going to get much out of it. Make the cardio you perform short and hard, if the session lasts longer than 20 min it’s not hard enough.
2. Perform intervals: Perform short bouts of work in conjuction with in-complete rest periods. I know you’ve heard you should be able to talk in complete sentences but If you can talk than you’re just wasting time. I want oxygen debt. This means I want you to push yourself hard enough where you are forced to rest. Example: Treadmill run for 45 sec and then walk for 1:30. Just get to work! I know you want easy but easy just doesn’t get results.
3. Try something different. The key to continued progression is to show your body something it hasn’t seen before. You have to keep the body guessing. Try swimming some laps, go to the track to run, go on hike, run some hills. Get creative, you’ll be very surprised of how just throwing some variety in the mix can prevent plateaus and stagnation. No matter what you choose to do try increasing the intensity.
3. Eat like the Food Pyramid than look like the Food Pyramid
If it doesn’t run, swim, fly or grow green then it should not be eaten. Well at least it should only be eaten in moderation. Grocery shopping should be easy. If you focus the majority of your shopping on the perimeter of the grocery store then you have won half the battle. The problem with our society is that we don’t have time to cook anymore. We seem to only shop for convenience foods and as you well know convenience foods are usually the foods most often found in the snack machine down hall in your office.
Breakfast of Champions?
These foods are what I call “dead foods” because they really don’t hold much of any nutritional content at all. I like to say anything with a shelf life will shorten your life. These foods are usually the cheapest foods full of food colorings, food additives, food preservatives, hydrogenated oils (trans-fats) and as you can see from the long list of ingredients they are highly processed. Basically if the food is in a box, limit it! If the food has a shelf life, limit it! If the food has an expiration date, limit it! Lastly if the food is coming out of a window from someone wearing a funny hat, limit it!
I suggest that the majority of one’s food intake should be consumed from the “Green face Diet”. This means that if it isn’t Green and doesn’t have a face than it should only be eaten on a limited basis.
THE REMEDY: DO THE OPPOSITE!
1. Never skip breakfast! Oh and cereal is crap, forget what the box says.
2. Eat every 2-3 hours, no matter what
3. Eat a complete protein (especially breakfast!) at every meal opportunity
4. Eat a vegetable and or a low glycemic fruit at every meal
5. Save Complex (bread/pastas) carbohydrates for either before or after your workouts. Complex Carbs should be exercise dependent, if you haven’t exercised than you don’t deserve them. So, if you did eat them than they should be counted as a cheat meal.
6. Use the 90/10 rule. This means that 90% of your meals a week should be compliant with the above rules and the remaining 10% are to be used as cheat meals.
An example of tip #6: if you’re eating 5 meals a day, which would be 35 meals a week. So 10% of those 35 meals would be 3.5. This means that you are rewarded by having 3.5 cheat meals a week. This of course meaning that you’re actually having 35 meals and that 90% of those 35 meals are compliant.
4. Light Resistance Training “Tones” your muscles.
First of all never ever use the word “toned”, at least not in my presence. This is a made up word by you’re aerobic instructor to describe how visible your muscle can be. Unfortunately in order for one to see that “Toned” (Oh!) look it solely depends on how low your body fat levels are. The high Rep, low weight gets you cut myth is one of the most common misconceptions about fat loss in the industry. Spot reducing doesn’t work, it won’t work for abs and it won’t work for your chest or butt either. But…
Lifting moderately heavier weights for lower amount of repetitions causes more muscle breakdown. Because of the breakdown in muscle tissue your body has to work harder to repair the damage. In order for the repair to take place your metabolism elevates causing higher caloric expenditure. This increase in metabolism is directly linked to a fancy acronym called EPOC (Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption). Basically the more intense (heavy) the movement or exercise the more of Post exercise caloric expenditure that will take place. In other words you’re burning calories while you sleep, work or sit in traffic. Understand that muscle is the most metabolically active tissue in the human body. The more muscle your body has and maintains the more calories it expends without movement. So if you want a slow under active metabolism be sure and attend aerobic classes and do high rep purple dumbbell weight training routines. If you’re looking for that “toned” (OH!) appearance for gods sakes pick up some challenging weight that you can’t lift for endless repetitions.
The Remedy: DO THE OPPOSITE!
1. My comments I made earlier on aerobics still stands. If it’s too easy your body has no reason to change. Heavy is relative, there is nothing wrong with starting out with purple dumbbells as long as you progressively continue to challenge yourself using a heavier load.
2. Focus on using compound or multi-jointed movements such as squats, deadlifts, push-ups and pull-ups. These movements not only work a lot muscles at the same time they even increase your caloric expenditure during and after your training session.
3. Find a training partner. This tactic will allow you to challenge yourself more because you’ll have someone there to support you. You’ll also benefit from the motivational factor and meeting someone always helps with accountability.
5. Isolated Abdominal Training, Feel the Burn!!!
This one may be one of the biggest wastes of time ever! I don’t care about the infomercials, the Britney Spears 1000 rep crunch routine or the bodybuilder with the fanny pack. High rep crunches on your back will do nothing to help you achieve a 6 pack. Let me repeat myself those ab classes at your favorite gym do more damage than good. Nutrition will and always will be the #1 factor in you seeing defined ripped abdominals. As a matter of fact everyone already has a 6 pack but unfortunately it’s just covered in a thin layer of fat.
The Remedy: DO THE OPPOSITE!
1. Just how disciplined are you? In order for a man to see his abdominals he will have to be below 10% body fat. A woman will have to get even lower and will most likely lose her menstrual cycle. So you still want that 6 pack?
2. Unless you have sick genetics you’re diet is going to have to be almost perfect. Remember that discipline part? Oh, and that 10% cheat rule we talked about it’s out the door. So you still want that 6 pack?
3. Forget isolation exercises such as bicep curls, tricep kick backs and leg extensions. These movements don’t use enough muscles to create that metabolic shift or that EPOC effect we spoke about earlier. You want to use Bang for your Buck types of exercises like Squats, Deadlifts, pushes and pulls. Full body routines are the most time efficient manner to go. Forget those Muscle and Fiction Magazine Split body workouts. You want to make the most of your time and training the whole body every workout is the best method I’ve seen.
4. You must use cardio and I don’t mean aerobics. You see aerobics is cardio but cardio isn’t necessarily aerobic. I like anaerobic meaning interval training, circuit training and sprint work. These HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts not only burn allot of calories during the workout but more importantly after the workout. Don’t forget how important EPOC in your quest for fat loss.
5. Let’s not forget that you have to be in a caloric deficit to shed body fat. I don’t necessarily mean you have to dramatically cut your calories. I would rather the caloric deficit come from your cardio and weight training than to come from your food intake. Simply put if you cut your calories too much and perform the same amount of weight training and cardio you will be in such a caloric deprivation that you will actually slow your metabolism down. Slowing your metabolism down is the last you want to occur when trying to get down to lower body fat percentages.
I want everyone to notice that I never once mentioned hitting the abdominals from every angle known to man. I didn’t once explain the science or the correct teqnique of a floor crunch. The reason I didn’t talk about abdominal training is because it’s not even close to being important enough to put on the list. It’s the icing on the cake. If you want to see your 6 pack you have to get leaner! Period. Look lets get real! Like aerobics, low fat diets, and high rep crunches, if they actually worked there wouldn’t be any overweight people with type II diabetes and bulging stomachs. Why, you may ask? Because everyone does high rep crunches, high sugar diets and toys around with purple dumbbells and it hasn’t worked yet. What are you insane?
In conclusion, we are human beings but we really are just cave men and women living in a teqnilogically advanced age. Genetically we have changed very little. Whether you believe in evolution or not there is enough research out there that shows 10,000 years ago there were no Mcdonalds, Burger King, Subways or Publix. It’s proven that 10,000 yrs ago we moved often and rarely if ever sat behind a computer. We also sprinted after our food. I doubt we ever ran in a straight direction in our “fat burning zone” trying to increase our VO2 max. We also ate what we killed or cultivated; nothing was processed or genetically engineered. We ate foods that were closest to our natural environment. We also used The 7 Primal Movement Patterns. We didn’t isolate muscles. We squatted, lunged, twisted, pushed, pulled, threw spears, and dragged food back to the cave. These movements were essential for survival! Everything that I’ve mentioned above is essential for survival.
I believe in order for us to truly achieve optimal health and wellness we must look ourselves in the mirror and be honest with ourselves. Is what you’re doing working towards your goals or going against them? Are you’re actions matching your goals? If not then DO THE OPPOSITE of what you’re doing now and you will no doubt get a different result? We only get one body, stop treating it like garbage can.