Sunday, 27 September 2015

Women and Fat loss

02:29 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
IN THE PART OF MY CAREER in which I'm a trainer and gym owner, it has always been evident to me that there are typically two types of people in pursuit of women fat loss those who are overwhelmed by what needs to be done, and those who possess a strong "mane is better" mentality. However, I firmly believe that a clear and concise view of the big picture can set a person on a more successful path than either of these perspectives tends to produce.

Women and Fat loss
To understand what's really required for sustainable fat loss, we must begin with the disparities between how we actually live and what our bodies think is happening to the world outside our skin. Whether or not we want to admit it, we don't have bodies that are well adapted to "playing society" in our modern world. In reality, we have bodies that expect to live in the perpetual camping trip that was the hunter-gatherer lifestyle in which we evolved over the past 2.6 million years. As such, alarm clocks, bills, lousy bosses, traffic, corrupt politicians, schedules, exams and everything else that we experience as stressors are all quite foreign to our bodies and the tools we have evolved to deal with stress.

Think about it, when was the last time you experienced a stressful situation in which your survival was at stake? Maybe you recently narrowly avoided being run over by a car? Okay, so when was the last time you experienced a stressful situation that was not related to your survival? That's kind of a silly question, isn't it? We all experience stress in non-life-threatening ways all day long, especially if we want to get really technical with our definition of stress. We don't get enough sleep, we work at jobs we don't like, we are surrounded by strangers and people we don't love, we fret about money, we eat and drink things that harm us, we compare ourselves to an inconceivably large pool of people, we sit way too much, and we ruminate on our past mistakes and our future worries while the present slips by unnoticed. Then, when our bodies adapt to all this craziness (because they are amazing), we hate them for it and throw insane diets and exercise regimens on top of all that stress. Isn't it weird that failure is the norm? No, not really. All of this is to say that I understand both sides. Sustainable fat loss will only happen through lifestyle change. ''Dieting'' won't get you the results you want, and neither will the latest exercise craze. Only equal parts proper nutrition, responsible exercise, quality sleep patterns and stress management will create the health and vitality that will result in a
great-looking body. If you don't know where to start, it is perfectly natural to be overwhelmed.

If you are a "more is better" person, it's probably because somewhere along the way, your frustration led you to heap on more of whatever got you some results in the beginning. After a while, you sort of became a fitness and/or nutrition hobbyist (also visit tips on paleo fitness). This is your "thing" now. When the pursuit of your goals morphs into part of your identity (you're a "runner," or a "CrossFitter"), you will also tend to turn to those things for stress relief. But is more stress what you really need? Without working with you, I can't say for sure, but how is it working out for you? You might find yourself thinking, "I wish I could lose this midsection fat. Maybe I should add another workout each week." If this is you, you might need a little less.

Exercise is an acute stressor. we work out, and ideally, our bodies adapt by gaining muscle and losing fat. In the beginning, dietary changes can also be acute stressors. After years of conditioning our bodies with less-than-ideal foods, a dramatic change will usually cause some degree of pushback in the form of things like brain fog, wild energy fluctuations, mood swings and cravings.

It can also be terribly stressful psychologically to suddenly change a lifetime of habits and try to find new things to eat, leaving behind your old standbys.

With exercise, the point should always be to cause enough acute stress to get results, but not so much that it becomes chronic stress, stalling results and detracting from overall health. This is good news for the overwhelmed crowd, because it means you can ease into a routine that might not even end up being as much total exercise as you are currently picturing in your head. It won't be quite so easy for the "more is better" crowd, because backing off of something you depend on for your sanity can be tough-but it's important to occasionally remind yourself why you started exercising in the first place. At one time, all you wanted were the results, and the exercise itself was just a means to an end. (When exercise is the goal, we call it "sport.") Return your focus to the results of your exercise and then acknowledge that more can't possibly make sense forever.

As for dietary changes, there is no need to make yourself miserable with a complete overhaul in a single day. The world is full of diet "challenges" right now, and I'm not a fan. Long-term goal setting is already an abstract concept for which we are not hardwired, but we make it so much worse when we set massive goals and change everything at once. It makes more sense to make small adjustments that Dy under the radar of stress. We can't change most of the things we talked about earlier that make our lives difficult, but we are often ever so eager to make ourselves miserable, and set ourselves up for failure, by setting the largest goals possible and ensuring that our willpower is absolutely depleted by the middle of each day.

Let me give you an example of what a minimalist approach can produce. I'm currently working with a police department in my local area. It's no secret that cops have stressful jobs, and I took this into account from Day One when they asked me to help them with their health and vitality. We began with a test group of eight officers and support staff. We worked out (resistance training in supersets and intervals) twice each week for eight weeks, with each workout session lasting about 45 minutes, including warm-ups and mobility work. I only asked them to remove grains and sugar from their diets, and I gave them options to baby-step into those changes if they needed to. I started them on three minutes per day of breathing-focused meditation, and I asked them to add a minute each week until they were at 1 O minutes per day. Wherever possible, we prioritized sleep by making small shifts (15 minutes at a time) toward better sleeping patterns. I also asked them to walk as often as they could fit it into their days.

That's it. That's all they did for eight weeks, but the results were fantastic. Everyone saw fat loss, muscle gain, and improved energy and mood. The top male lost 4.5 inches in his waist and hips, and the top female lost 3.75 inches from her waist and hips-all with 90 minutes of designated workout time per week, just two dietary changes, and some minor lifestyle tweaks that easily fit into their busy schedules.

Despite the fact that we think we need to do insane things to get results, the research data has often pointed to the opposite. Here are a few exercise study examples:
In a study titled "Exercise without dietary restriction as a means to long-term fat loss in the obese cardiac patient," researchers came to this conclusion: "A daily walking program without dietary restriction induces a favorable change in body composition and lipid profile in moderately obese cardiac patients. An exercise-induced increase of resting metabolism apparently makes an important contribution to this outcome." In plain English, moderately obese people didn't do anything but walk more each day and they lost fat. No dieting, no spin class, no anything but walking.

"But Jason," you say, "I'm not obese! Walking won't do it for me! I need hours of cardio to lose weight!" I honestly believe walking is a better way to go, but I'll step up the intensity with you for the sake of argument. In a study titled, "Two minutes of sprint-interval exercise elicits 24-hr oxygen consumption similar to that of 30 minutes of continuous endurance exercise," researchers found that two minutes of sprint intervals resulted in the same level of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) as three minutes of steadystate cardio. EPOC can be translated as the fatburning state created by exercise. In this study, EPOC was measured 24 hours after both forms of exercise and found to be equal, meaning two minutes of total sprint effort is the fat-burning equivalent of 30 minutes of traditional cardio. Since we also know that cardio comes with excess oxidative stress, sprinting isn't just a time saver-it's also a health saver. Yes, sprint intensity needs to be high, but intensity is relative to your current fitness level.

So what about total time spent in the gym? If you don't believe the story about my police officer clients only training for 90 minutes each week, let's take a look at one more study that's titled, "The Effect of Weight Training Volume on Hormonal Output and Muscular Size and Function." In this one, 27 men with one to four years of weightlifting experience trained for 10 weeks using three sets, six sets or 12 sets per exercise. "Pre and post measurements assessed muscular size via ultrasounds; strength via maximum squat and bench press; and power via vertical jump and bench press throw." In the end, the researchers concluded that the study's results "support the use of low volume training for muscular development over a 10 week period."

So, if you're overwhelmed by what seems like an enormous journey ahead of you, and maybe a little discouraged by your past attempts at fat loss, I strongly encourage you to consider taking on a little less this time around. Here I am, a professional who has built his career helping people lose fat forever, and I'm giving you license to take it easy on yourself and start slow. And if you're going hard and not getting what you want out of your efforts, maybe consider backing off a bit. Maybe an increase in what you're already doing isn't what you need. Whichever perspective describes you best, I've given you some good examples, and I only ask that you experiment a little. If you desire something better, go get it, but don't make it harder than it needs to be.