After years of trial and error with diet and exercise routines combined with countless hours of research, I've found that any successful body transformation program will have four key components. They are as follows; supportive nutrition, a concern for muscle, cardiovascular exercise, and proper progression.
It's important to understand that you must have all four components in place to see long-term, lasting, results. The majority of diets and weight loss solutions only focus on one piece of the puzzle and that's the reason why they ultimately fail. Think about some of the different fat loss solutions you may have tried in the past. How much discussion about exercise did you find with the Atkins diet? How much meaningful information about nutrition did you find in the last workout video you purchased.
You see if you've tried any number of these so called weight loss solutions and ultimately failed, it's not your fault! You didn't fail, the program failed you because it likely only gave you one piece of the fat loss equation. In this blog post I'm going to cover the first key component, supportive nutrition. In parts 2-4 of this series I'll cover the other key components in detail.
Key Component #1: Supportive Nutrition
There's no question that the foods you eat will determine whether your body is in a fat burning or fat storing state. You'll want to begin looking at food as a drug. Everything you eat or drink will trigger some type of hormonal response in your body. Different foods have different impacts hormonally. For example, eating a meal high in carbohydrates causes blood sugar (glucose) levels to get high fairly quickly signaling the release of insulin by the pancreas. In the presence of insulin your body will use sugar instead of fat for energy. In order for your body to release stored fat for energy certain hormonal responses must be triggered.
Choosing the right foods really does make all the difference. The nutrition strategies I teach my clients are centered on "naturally low" in carbohydrates consisting of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy omega-3 fats. The typical person struggling with weight loss has low insulin sensitivity or insulin resistance (and likely doesn't even know it). What this means is they'll find it extremely difficult losing weight eating even small amounts of starch carbohydrates. Making the switch from white bread to whole wheat, white rice to brown rice, and other so called "healthier" carbs may make you feel like you're doing better but the scale will probably show you otherwise.
If you're having a hard time losing weight even with a "healthy" diet you're not alone. I draw emphasis to the word "healthy" because what many doctors and so called experts push as being healthy (like diets that consist of lots of whole grains), I've found to be very inefffective for fat loss in overweight individuals. Supportive nutrition is all about giving your body the energy and nutrients that it needs, when it needs it. You eat only when you're hungry and only enough so you're not hungry, not until you're full. There is a big difference here. Read that last sentence again to let it sink it.
Unfortunately, most people struggle with being hungry all the time because they're eating the wrong foods! As a certified Charleston personal trainer and fat loss expert I've helped literally hundreds of men and women break through the barriers that kept them from losing weight. If you'd like to learn more about my nutrition strategies you can get a free copy of my "Quick Start Nutrition Guide" e-book.
In part two of this series we'll discuss the importance of having a concern for muscle. If you're not including resistance training in your workouts, I can assure you that you're missing out on a very important piece of the fat loss equation.
Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. For a host of videos, e-books, articles, and other resources on fat loss check out www.shapingconcepts.com.