Weight loss is so confusing! At least, it seems as that way, thanks to 100 different women's magazines, books, TV shows, blogs and websites giving you a hundred different answers on what you should do!
It's time to STOP the confusion.
I am a personal fitness coach who has helped women of all shapes and sizes lose fat and get the body they want over the last 8 years. I've also studied under the top, world-elite fitness coaches in the world. The bottom line is that I know what works, and I know what's working for the top female celebrities (and here's a hint – what they're really doing in the gym is not what gets published in the glossy mags – but that's an article for another day...)
I've compiled this complete, no–nonsense, back-to-basics guide which will show you the true essentials to losing fat while toning up those stubborn areas – and in the fastest time possible. If you follow the advice given here, stick to it, and don't allow yourself to be swayed by any fancy media fads or contradicting advice then you will see amazing results. I personally guarantee it with my clients and I'll do it for you too. So here we go – the Drop a Dress Size in 28 Days Guide:
There are 3 pillars to successful body-transformation. These are Mindset, Nutrition and Exercise. This guide is based on learning the critical basics of each.
Most women skip this pillar and head straight for either nutrition or exercise. Big mistake! Your mindset needs to be right before even thinking about what goes on your plate or what fitness routine to do. Your mindset relates to how motivated you'll be, and actually knowing what it is you want to achieve. Then you must learn to believe – without a doubt – that you will reach that goal.
First, set an overall goal which will keep you motivated to keep going. You also need to set smaller, "behaviour goals". Your overall goal needs to be specific; it must have a deadline; you need to state how you will accomplish it; and you must outline why you want to do it. For example, you could write "I am going to lose 20 pounds by June 1st 2012 - I will do this because I want to feel confident and look sexy wearing my bikini on my summer holiday. To lose the 20 pounds I am going to exercise 3 times per week, eat healthy foods at least 80% of the time and drink a litre of water each day". Now write your goal out in big letters and pin it up somewhere you’ll see it repeatedly – such as on your refrigerator.
Setting yourself new daily behaviours will lead to good habits that become second nature. When this is done then the bigger, overall goal will start to take care of itself. Examples of behaviour goals may be:
- "I will eat a serving of vegetables with every meal today"
- "I will do 3 great workouts this week, for 45 minutes each time"
- "I will drink at least half a litre of water a day"
The right nutrition is something most women struggle with, and I have no doubt that it's because of all the conflicting advice you are bombarded with wherever you go. All I can give you is a tried and tested, proven formula that has worked with countless people across the world. You'll be happy to know that I don't advocate you to count calories, weigh food or starve yourself. There is no need for any of that. All it takes is a more simplistic, common sense approach.
Basically, foods that come from the earth and are 100% natural are your new BFFs. You'll eat these foods 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time you can "cheat" by indulging in your favourite vice foods – whatever they may be. As long as you keep this ratio tight, and genuinely have only 20% indulgence, then you should be able to keep losing fat consistently while still enjoying some chocolate, pizza and alcohol.
Some "gurus" tell you to eat 5 – 6 small meals per day, and others tell you to starve yourself on cabbage soup. The honest truth is that how many times you eat is not that relevant. The best results will come when you can easily adopt the habits into your current (and likely, busy) lifestyle. So if you are always on the go and only have time for 2 main meals - before and after work - and a light lunch in between then that's cool. Likewise if you have all day and can prepare all the meals in the world that can work too.
All you need to do is count up how many meals you eat per day on average, and then multiple by seven to get your total meals for the week. For example if I eat 3 meals per day, that comes to 21 meals per week. 80% of 21 is roughly 17. This means I need to eat 17 meals this week according to the healthy guidelines (that I'll set out in just a minute) and that leaves 4 cheat meals where you can eat what you like. Whether you want one cheat meal four nights per week, or you want to have a full Saturday and Sunday morning allocated for cheats is totally up to you. Keeping cheats for the weekend is usually best though, as that's when you'll tend to splurge on sugary food and drinks the most.
Healthy, natural foods that will help you burn fat and give you good energy come from: Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, nut and seed oils and water. These are the foods you need to eat 80% of the time. Don't worry about calories. Don't worry about fat. Don't worry about carbohydrates. Just stick to the above foods and all those things are taken care of. Don't let the simplicity of this plan fool you. It's just good food stripped down to its bare essentials. There are hundreds of foods to choose from within the list provided above. This is a chance to try some new fruits and vegetables that you've not eaten before. All that's left is to reveal the fastest way to burn fat and tone your arms, legs and stomach through exercise.
The key to successful fat loss is to perform exercise that boosts your metabolism. Your metabolism is how many calories your body burns over a 24 hour period. Most women try to get a calorie deficit by cutting down the calories they eat. However, this will lead you to be hungry and have no energy. Without adequate calories you'll have more negative moods, and will be far less motivated to stick to the plan. Luckily, I have a form of exercising that boosts your metabolism and burns so many calories that you can eat as much of the foods in the healthy list as you like and never be hungry again! Not only that, but this type of exercise can be done in less than 30 minutes, three times a week.
This is called Metabolic Exercise, which is basically resistance training done in the form of circuits, with a few modifications to ramp up the fat burning potential. Studies have shown that when you do your exercise in the way I'm about to show you, you can burn 9 times more fat than if you went out running, and you'll also burn that fat in a fraction of the time. We get this effect by blending a mix of toning, cardio, and stomach toning into one super-effective workout. Here's a sample starting workout to get you going. You can use Google Images to see each exercise.
- Warm Up:
Bodyweight Squat or Glute Raises x 10
Press Ups on knees x 5
Plank hold for 20 seconds
Rest 30 - 60 seconds and repeat one more time
- Main Metabolic Workout:
1a) Hip / Glute Raise x 10
Go straight to exercise 1b)
1b) Plank x 15 secs
Rest 30 seconds and repeat for 3 total sets before moving to exercise 2a)
- 2a) Squat x 10
Go straight to exercise 2b)
2b) Bird Dog x 5/leg
Rest 30 secs and repeat for 3 total sets before moving to exercise 3a)
- 3a) Push Up x 8 – 10
Go straight to exercise 3b)
3b) Side Plank x 10 secs / side
Rest 30 seconds, repeat 3 total sets
- Cardio Interval Finish:
This is a quick, 4-minute "finisher" which is used to melt just a bit more fat, and get a great cardio workout at the same time. Here are the instructions:
- 1a) Perform a Squat for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds.
- 1b) immediately then perform Press Ups for 20 seconds, and rest for 10.
- Repeat this sequence 8 times for a fat-burning 4 -minute interval cardio workout (no treadmill or cardio machine required).
Repeat this work out three times per week and walk for at least 30 minutes on the days in-between (although a walk every day is desirable).
And that's it.
This may seem like too much of a simplistic approach. You might think that weight loss and body-transformation can't be this simple – yet it is, and that's why it is always overlooked. We always look for the newest fad - the next quick fix - when in reality the basics are the basics.
Make an effort to stick to these guidelines over the next 28 days and you'll be shocked by the difference.
Justin Devonshire is a women's fat-loss & body-toning expert. He is the owner of Bodyshape Fitness – Personal Training & Bootcamp, which is run in both the UK and Cyprus. For more free quick tips on weight loss, toning & motivation for women, visit the Bodyshape Fitness Blog. Go here right now for a FREE copy of Justin's "Little Black Dress Transformation Guide".