If any of the pills and potions, wacky diets and weird exercise regimes thrust in front of us each new year actually worked do you really think anyone would still be carrying excess fat?
Isn’t it time to get real and knuckle down to taking the actions that will truly enable you to shed fat and get into great shape? says Julia Buckley, author of The Fat Burn Revolution.
Here are Julia’s six "No Shizzle, Just Sizzle" tips:
Exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it
Some people try to find motivation by beating themselves up about the condition of their bodies. This is actually demotivating and makes them feel like crap. I’ve found that once people start allowing themselves to feel good about the positive steps they're making, it really accelerates their progress. The better we feel about our bodies, the more we want to look after them. And, the more we look after our bodies, the better we feel. Progress snowballs as it goes on. It's a wonderful thing.
For maximum fat-burning, body-sculpting results, forget steady types of exercise that you can maintain for long periods. You need varied, intense workouts that leave you totally spent—ideally in less than an hour. My motto is “go harder, not longer”. When people are used to long training sessions it can take a while for them to learn to really go all-out for shorter durations, they’re so used to holding back so they can keep going. But with practice they find that extra gear and start to build more explosive fitness, which does amazing things for their bodies.
A lot of people think that the best way to shed fat is by doing lots of steady cardio. You can lose fat that way, but it's not the optimal type of training for fat loss. By adding muscle to your body you will burn more fat all of the time as well as improving your shape.
Cut the Carbs
Keep processed carbohydrates to a minimum. Sugary foods are the worst type of foods you can eat when fat loss is your aim. They are not only fattening, but also addictive and energy-sapping. Most people know that, but a lot don't realise how things like bread and pasta can inhibit fat loss. They are just "meal-bulkers" which offer very little in the way of nutrition (or taste) and act in a very similar way to sugar in the body. I recommend replacing them with lots of vegetables.
Mix It Up
Don’t just repeat the same workout or do the same type of exercise every time you train. You need to vary your training. This helps keep boredom at bay and reduces your risk of injuries which are often caused by too much repetition of the same movements. It also maximizes results by ensuring all your different muscles get fired up and that your body doesn’t get comfortable with one type of exercise.
You could be seriously limiting your progress if you’re not getting enough rest. Even people who are very advanced at exercise should take at least one day off training per week. Most people need at least two. Rest days are when your body recovers from adapts to the exercise you’ve been doing, that’s when you get fitter and stronger. So don’t ever feel like you’re slacking or losing momentum when you take a planned day off training, the magic is happening while you rest!
Julia Buckley is a fitness writer, trainer, and author of The Fat Burn Revolution, published by Bloomsbury.