If you are like most people, around this time last year you were getting frustrated with not being at the fitness level you had hoped for going into the summer. At this time of year, more than any other, I get a lot of questions from friends and relatives about why that is? I've been dieting since the beginning of the year, why can't I lose this last 10 pounds? I've been doing cardio every day, why can't I see my abs?
I tell them that the answer is simpler than you think. Very simple, actually. You are not combining the right nutrition with the right kinds of exercise. I'm not talking about diets; calorie restricting diets do not work. They never have. They never will. A lot of cardio, say jogging on a treadmill for an hour several days of week, will also not work. Never has. Never will. I've written about the reason for this here in my fitness blog. If one eats in a way that stabilizes their blood sugar and employs exercise which has a concern for adding or preserving lean muscle tissue, one will create a metabolism that for FOR them, instead of AGAINST them 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Add to that, short bouts of cardio done as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and you will burn away the excess fat in your "trouble spots"
Nutrition is the first place to start. Go to my "downloads" page and get the first 2 PDFs there. These are my supportive nutrition guides. Page 1 lays out the rules of supportive nutrition that you will want to follow to improve your energy, retain lean muscle tissue, and burn unwanted body fat. See how close you are to eating in a supportive way. In areas where your habits are different, take one of them at a time and make some changes. You will find that you start feeling more energy throughout the day almost immediately and that within weeks your body will start burning more fat as you use carbohydrates for fuel rather than storing them as fat. Page 2 has a list, for each macronutrient category, of the best foods; if it's not on that list, it is not going to help you in your journey toward a more efficient metabolism and a leaner body. These are real foods, not package, processed chemicals that your body doesn't know how to handle. Michael Pollan, a writer and food activist has said "if your grandmother wouldn't recognize something as food, it's not food". A good adage to live by.
Also, check out my post on How to Eat
As far as exercise goes, you need to pay attention to just two components: Strength Training and Cardio Training. I will write about these in a post next week.
Greg Rothman, MS PT, is a fitness professional, writer and the owner of Empower Fitness in NYC. He received his Masters Degree in Physical Therapy from Columbia University and has twenty years of experience in the fitness and rehabilitation fields. He believes that absolutely anyone can have the body of their dreams once they understand how to eat and exercise in a way that supports their goals. It is his mission to Empower as many people as possible to do just that. His “Recession-Proof” Fitness Programs are an affordable way to find dramatic physical change over the course of 10 weeks. Greg is happy to hear from you if you have questions about any topic related to fitness or nutrition, and can be found at www.GetEmpoweredFitness.com.