It’s getting to the time of year where fat loss becomes a big(ger) issue for many of us. Christmas parties are in the diary and everyone wants to look good in their party clothes. On top of that, there is no doubt the festive period will have a smidgen of over indulgence so New Year’s resolutions with a weight loss theme are bound to follow. With that in mind I am writing this to pre-empt the season’s most frequently asked question – what’s the best way to lose weight?
The title said “Bite Size” and I aim to keep it that way. Sometimes, weight loss requires a multi-faceted and complex strategy which can have even the best of us stumped at times. I’m not going to go down that road though. I’m going to suggest that you do one thing diligently and consistently before you entertain any other method. If you heed this advice I assure you that results will follow.
Here it is: EARN YOUR CARBS. Follow this rule for 6 weeks and see what happens. How do you earn your carbs? Simple. By training at a high intensity. The strategy is this: do not eat any carbs except in the two hour window that proceeds a high intensity training session. When I say high intensity training session I mean high intensity. If you are one of these people I keep seeing reading a glossy mag whilst walking on the treadmill you are not earning your carbs (unless the magazine is so engrossing that you walk for 3 hours or so). The following activities are examples of what I would class as high intensity (assuming you do them correctly and with a lot of effort!):
I would also include and lower intensity training that is performed for a long duration (2+hours).
In the post training ‘carb window’ your body will actually use carbs to help you recover and shouldn’t hinder your weight loss. At any other time (I’m simplifying things somewhat) they will slow down your weight loss, and potentially stop it altogether. I should add though the in the absence of carbs you will need to increase your fat (healthy fat) intake, and ensure your fibre intake remains high. As always, your protein intake should be consistent.
I like this approach as the whole NO CARB way strikes fear into many people and they quit before they even start. At least by earning your carbs you can have your ‘treats’ when they are least likely to mess things up. One extra rule I would throw in there would be to avoid alcohol, regardless of how much you’ve earned it! But at this time of year, that may be treated with some disdain, so just err on the side of moderation.
This is bite size, so as it is there are bound to be plenty of holes in this strategy, especially if your weight loss goal means dropping from 10% body fat down. But for a general, one-size-fits-all plan it will be effective. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment. I’ve left some things a little bit open ended to encourage some free thinking and discussion. Give it a try and see how you feel.