How to Lose Fat NOW - a Basic Fat-Loss Program
That You Can Put to Work Today!
So you want
to lose fat but don't know where to start? This program
will get you moving in the right direction...weight training, cardio,
nutrition and supplementation...and get you results NOW!
So you want to drop some fat but you're not sure of what the best way is to get
Right now, I'm going to
give you a short guide that will get you moving in the right direction...an
exact training program (done 3 times per week) covering weights and cardio, as
well as what to eat, how much to eat, and what supplements you need and don't
Let's get right to it!
- FOOD QUALITY
For fat loss, WHAT you're
eating is just as important as HOW MUCH you're eating. Think of it it way...you
can lose weight eating ONLY 1000 calories worth of chocolate pudding every
day...but how do you think you're going to feel eating nothing but chocolate
It's VERY important to eat
good quality, nutritious food when you're trying to lose fat. Your body needs
nutrients to function. Without good nutrition, your body will react in two ways:
first, it will shut down your metabolism to try and conserve nutrients. Second,
it will set off RAGING cravings to try and get you to eat more nutrients!
Focus on unprocessed
foods, as close to their natural state as possible. Unprocessed foods are more
nutritious and easier for your body to digest and work with. This simple change
can make a big difference to your fat-loss efforts.
Here's the deal...contrary
to popular thought, a calorie is NOT a calorie. The popular scientific consensus
used to be (and still is according to some people) that all calories are created
equal. That it didn't matter what you ate in terms of nutrients (fat, carbs and
protein), as long as the total calorie intake was below a certain point, you
would lose fat.
Unfortunately, that is NOT
the case and it's common sense - what do you think would help you lose fat
better...that 1000 calories of chocolate pudding or 1000 calories of lean
chicken breast, vegetables and brown rice? Quality of food DOES matter and it
can mean the difference between success and failure.
My advice: for 1 week,
take a small notepad wherever you go and write down EVERYTHING you eat. And I do
mean EVERYTHING - even if it's just a snack or a little nibble of a cracker,
write it down, as well as how much of it you ate. Remember, this is just for one
week - you don't have to do this for the rest of your life so be honest about
everything you eat!
At the end of the week,
look at what you've eaten and put a checkmark beside everything that is
unprocessed (a good rule of thumb is anything that can be found on the outside
aisles of the grocery store, lean meats, fish, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts,
potatoes, whole grains, legumes, etc.). This is a good visual cue to see exactly
how you're doing with your food quality.
If you see that more than
half of the foods have checkmarks beside them, you're doing much better than
average already! Ideally, you want to get that number of checkmarks as high as
For more information about
nutrition and eating, check out the following article:
BASIC Nutrition -
Quick, Common-Sense Guide To What You Should Be Eating to Stay Healthy and Get
Results Right Now
STEP 2 - FOOD QUANTITY
Now that you've looked at
WHAT you're eating, it's time to turn your attention to HOW MUCH you're eating.
Even the highest quality, nutritious food can make you fat if you eat too much
of it. So to lose fat effectively, you basically have to eat less food.
There are many, MANY
methods and formulas for figuring this out but, bottom line, ALL of them are
really just "best-guesses" - even the scientific formulas that work out your
requirements to the single calorie are just guesses. These guesses are based on
plenty of data, mind you, and they can be very helpful in determining a good
starting point. But if a formula says you need X number of calories and you eat
that and you still aren't losing fat, obviously that number isn't the number for
Here's a very simple rule
of thumb for estimating a STARTING POINT for determining your caloric intake to
lose fat: take your weight in pounds and multiply it by 10. For example, if you
weigh 175 pounds, that would give you a starting point of 1750 calories per day.
Go back to that week-long
list of foods that you wrote down (from the previous point) and plug those foods
into the database on
this site (it has a HUGE number of foods that you can track):
Add up your calories for
the whole week, divide that by 7 (to get your average caloric intake per day)
and see how it compares to number you get from the simple formula I described
If it's higher, you need
to eat less food. If it's lower and you find you're STILL not losing fat, you
may need to eat even less than that.
I would NOT recommend
going below 1000 calories per day for food intake at the VERY lowest. When you
start getting that low, you run into problems because your body isn't getting
enough energy and nutrients from the small amount of food you're eating. This is
doubly true when you're exercising as well. Your body will react by slowing your
metabolism and burning up lean tissue (like your muscle mass). This will put a
stop to fat loss and can be dangerous!
- WEIGHT TRAINING
One of the first things
people ask me when they want to lose fat is "how much cardio should I do." When
I respond by telling them how much weight training they should do, they always
look at me like I'm crazy.
But here's the bottom
line: if you go into an aerobics class and take a snapshot of the people in
there then come back 6 months later and take another snapshot, chances are VERY
good that most of the people in the class haven't made any significant changes
to their bodies.
Sure, cardio training
burns calories, but it doesn't reshape your body and it doesn't build muscle
mass to same degree as weight training. This is true for both men and women.
** And a note specifically
to the ladies, when I talk about muscle mass for you, I'm NOT talking about big,
bulky bodybuilder muscles...I'm talking about the sleek, toned muscles that give
your body the curves and shape you're looking for! Without THAT kind of muscle
mass, you may get smaller but you still won't have the shape you're looking for.
For a more detailed
explanation of this, check out the following article:
Follow the Path of MOST
Learn why weight training is the fast track to sculpting your body.
If you want to lose fat,
you should weight train at least three times per week (e.g. Monday, Wednesday,
and Friday). I like to recommend total body workouts each session for beginning
trainers as it helps the body to learn the exercises faster and build strength
and muscle faster.
Here's what a typical
resistance training session would look like:
3 sets of back
3 sets of chest
3 sets of thighs
2 sets of shoulders
2 sets of hamstrings
2 sets of biceps
2 sets of triceps
2 sets of calves
2 sets of abs
Take about a minute rest
in between each set and aim for about 8 to 10 reps per set.
The MOST important thing
to note here with rep ranges is that those 8 to 10 reps are a GUIDE NOT A
TARGET. The idea is to choose a weight that makes it tough to complete those 10
reps. The idea is NOT to take a weight that you can easily do 10 reps with, do
10 reps then stop regardless of whether the muscle was really worked or not. To
make progress, you need to push yourself.
I cannot TELL you how many
times I've seen people diligently counting their reps as they whip through an
exercise then stop before they even put a dent in their strength levels. When I
ask them why they stopped so soon, they always tell me "that's how many reps it
says to do on my program."
Don't be afraid to push
yourself! THAT is where the real results are!
If you would like more
information on how to perform exercises, check out these links:
Road Warrior Training -
in Shape While Traveling!
Library of Exercises
STEP 4 - CARDIO TRAINING
Even though you may think
I'm opposed to cardio training judging by what I wrote above, that is NOT the
case! Cardio definitely has a place in a fat-loss program.
I have three main issues
with cardio training for fat loss:
1. It shouldn't be the
main focus of a fat-loss exercise program when it so often is.
This is a point I
mentioned above - I believe weight training should be the focus of an exercise
program for fat loss. Not only is it more effective for fat loss, there is
actually LESS chance of injury than with the typical repetitive-movement cardio
activities (anyone who has tried to take up jogging when they're 20+ pounds
overweight can attest to that!).
2. It's normally done
with low intensity and for long periods of time, which does NOT boost the
The REAL key to losing fat
is ramping up your metabolism to burn calories ALL THE TIME rather than just
when you're exercising. By keeping intensity low, you only burn calories DURING
exercise, not so much after. But when you boost intensity, your metabolism gets
cranked up and you burn more calories ALL DAY.
For a more detailed
explanation of higher-intensity cardio training and its benefits, read these
Do You Mean Low-Intensity Training Isn't the Best for Fat Burning?
Insider Secrets of Interval Training - Learn How Now!
3. It's typically done
WAY too much.
In order to get results
with typical long-duration cardio, many people do it upwards of 5 or 6 and even
7 days a week! This is fine if you're an athlete training for an endurance
competition but if you're a busy person (as many people are), you just don't
have TIME to sit on a stationary bike for an hour a day.
Couple that long duration
and high frequency with a repetitive movement and you not only have greater
chance of injury, you also have greater chance of boredom (which sometimes means
giving up on exercise altogether because "it just doesn't work for me").
My recommendation is
always to use interval training instead of the long-duration cardio training. It
can be done MUCH faster (10 to 20 minutes), boosts your metabolism for long
periods AFTER training, and finally, it actually helps your body hang onto
muscle tissue while burning fat.
Include Cardio with Weight Training
There are two ways to
include cardio in with the weight training program I described above.
1. Do your cardio
training immediately AFTER your weights.
When you do it this way,
don't eat anything after you do weights - just go directly into your cardio
after a few minutes rest. You only need about 10 minutes of training to really
make a dent in your fat stores. This has the advantage of allowing you to get
all your training done all at once (in the gym 3 times a week and that's it).
2. Do your cardio
training on separate days or separate sessions
This is a good way to go
in that you won't be tired from the weight training when you do the interval
training. You may need go a bit longer in your sessions (e.g. 15 to 20 minutes)
when done on its own. This method does have the advantage of giving your
metabolism a separate boost in addition to the weights. When doing it this way,
you can do cardio on its own on Tuesday and Thursday, for example.
Either method is very
effective! The real key is working hard at the training.
NOTE: DO NOT do interval
training every day! It may work well for a little while but you will very
quickly overwork the body, which will stop your results.
When I refer to
supplements here, I'm NOT talking about fat-loss pills. These pills are not the
answer for losing fat. Your own natural metabolism IS and it's WAY more powerful
than any pill.
Check out this article on
Fat Loss Pills Can Make You Fatter
When I refer to
supplements, I'm talking about supplements that help SUPPORT your body
nutritionally, not send it into a hyper-alert state that fries your nervous
When training to lose fat,
here are the supplements I highly recommend:
- Protein Powder -
to help with rebuilding and repairing muscle tissue and keeping the immune
system functioning well
(Here is a 3 part
article on protein and fat loss)
- Glutamine - helps
recovery and boost the immune system
- Multivitamins -
to help you cover all your nutritional bases
- Vitamin C - helps
repair joints, is a strong antioxidant and boosts the immune system
- for your bones and also for muscle contractions...it's hard to get enough of
these nutrients when reducing caloric intake
These are the basics, as
far as I'm concerned. It's critical to give your body ample nutritional support
when trying to lose fat.
For more information on
supplementation, check out:
Quick, "No B.S." Guide To Muscle-Building and Fat-Loss Supplementation
These 5 simple steps
should get you started on your way to losing the extra fat. Here are they are in
Step 1 - improve the
quality of the food you eat
Step 2 - eat less food
Step 3 - start weight training
Step 4 - include some cardio training
Step 5 - use supplements to support your body
Go through the list
step-by-step and you will on your way to fat-loss success!
articles and information on fat loss, check out these.
And if you're interested
in a more detailed fat-loss exercise and nutritional program, be sure to read
about my book "Metabolic
Surge - Rapid Fat Loss"
It's a program that lays
out (in great detail!) 36 days of training, eating and supplementation to
maximize fat-loss. It's a powerful, very comprehensive program!
Nick Nilsson is
Vice-President of the online personal training company BetterU, Inc. He has a
degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been inventing new training
techniques for more than 16 years. Nick is the author of a number of
bodybuilding eBooks including
"Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss," "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard
Of," "Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!" and "The Best Abdominal
Exercises You've Never Heard Of" all available at the
Be sure to grab your FREE copy of Nick's 30-day
Little Secret Program for Building Muscle and Burning Fat FAST," now!
Also read ...
An Exercise Program for People Who
Don't Have Time for the Gym
What the food companies
don't want you to know about the food you buy ...