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10 Solid Steps to Burn Fat and Lose Love Handles for Good

These 10 steps will give you all the pieces of the puzzle so that you can transform your physique and fitness.

These 10 steps will give you all the pieces of the puzzle so that you can transform your physique and fitness.

Here are a few key points to consider when it comes to achieving your goals.

  • It takes time
  • Usually, love handles are the last areas of fat to disappear
  • You cannot spot reduce fat
  • Be consistent
  • Do not worry about the immediate effect, concentrate on the longterm goal
  • Trust the process

What are the Benefits of Having Lower Body Fat Levels?

Having lower body fat levels offers several benefits for overall health and well-being. Here are some of the key advantages:

Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases: Excessive body fat is linked to an increased risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. By maintaining lower body fat levels, you can significantly lower your risk of developing these diseases.

Improved Heart Health: Lower body fat levels help reduce the strain on your cardiovascular system. Excess body fat can lead to high cholesterol levels, plaque buildup in arteries, and increased blood pressure. By maintaining a healthy body fat percentage, you can enhance heart function and reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Enhanced Metabolic Health: Lower body fat levels can improve metabolic function by promoting insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance, often associated with excess body fat, can lead to type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. By keeping body fat levels in check, you support better blood sugar regulation and metabolic efficiency.

Increased Energy and Stamina: Carrying excess body fat can put a strain on your body, making physical activities more challenging and causing fatigue. By reducing body fat levels, you improve your energy levels and stamina, making it easier to engage in daily activities and exercise.

Joint Health and Reduced Pain: Excessive body fat can place additional stress on your joints, leading to discomfort and pain, particularly in weight-bearing joints like the knees and hips. Maintaining lower body fat levels can alleviate this strain, improve joint health, and reduce the risk of conditions like osteoarthritis.

Improved Body Composition: Lower body fat levels often result in a more desirable body composition, with a higher proportion of lean muscle mass. This can enhance physical appearance, improve strength and athletic performance, and boost self-confidence.

Better Hormonal Balance: Excess body fat can disrupt hormonal balance, leading to issues such as estrogen dominance in women and reduced testosterone levels in men. By reducing body fat levels, you can promote a more optimal hormonal environment, which can positively impact various aspects of health and well-being.

Lowered Inflammation: Excessive body fat is associated with increased inflammation in the body, which is linked to various chronic diseases and conditions. By reducing body fat levels, you can help lower inflammation markers and support better overall health.

It’s important to note that the ideal body fat level varies based on factors such as age, gender, and individual goals.

Step Zero – Collect Data

  • Measure your waist
  • Weight yourself (first thing in the morning after you wake up)
  • Take a few photos with neutral soft lighting

This will give you a starting point. A baseline for tracking your progress and give you a sense of accomplishment as your physique starts to change.

This starting point can also help to serve as a reminder for why you began in the first place.

Step 1 – Cardio

Make sure you do something you love like hiking, swimming, walking or cycling. Walking is the simplest way because it is sustainable.

Walking is good because you can also combine it with other activities such as listening to music and podcasts or spending quality time with loved ones.

Cardiovascular exercise, commonly known as cardio, can be an effective way to burn fat and contribute to weight loss. Here’s how cardio helps in burning fat:

Increased Calorie Expenditure: Cardio exercises, such as running, cycling, swimming, or aerobic workouts, elevate your heart rate and increase your overall energy expenditure. This increased energy demand leads to the burning of calories, including stored body fat. To lose weight, you generally need to create a calorie deficit, where you consume fewer calories than you burn. Cardio helps create this deficit by burning additional calories during exercise.

Improved Metabolic Rate: Engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise can boost your metabolic rate, both during the workout and throughout the day. When you perform cardio, your body requires more energy to meet the increased demand. This can lead to a temporary increase in metabolic rate even after you finish exercising, known as the “afterburn” effect or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). A higher metabolic rate can contribute to increased calorie burning and fat loss.

Mobilization of Stored Fat: During cardio exercise, your body primarily relies on stored fat as a fuel source, especially during prolonged and moderate-intensity workouts. As you continue with aerobic activity, the body breaks down triglycerides (stored fat) to release fatty acids, which are then utilized as an energy source to fuel your muscles. Regular cardio training can enhance the body’s ability to mobilize and utilize stored fat for energy.

Targeting Overall Body Fat: While it’s not possible to spot-reduce fat from specific areas of your body, cardiovascular exercise can help reduce overall body fat. As you create a calorie deficit through cardio and a healthy diet, your body will gradually tap into its fat stores for energy, leading to fat loss throughout the body. Over time, this can result in a decrease in body fat percentage and a leaner physique.

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Combination with Strength Training: Incorporating strength training alongside cardio can be particularly beneficial for fat loss. Strength training helps build and preserve lean muscle mass, which increases your resting metabolic rate. With a higher metabolic rate, you burn more calories even at rest, making it easier to maintain a calorie deficit and burn fat. Additionally, strength training can give your body a more toned appearance as you lose fat.

Step 2 – Increase Your Water Intake

Increasing water consumption can indeed aid in weight loss. Here are several ways in which drinking more water can support your weight loss efforts:

  • Increased Feelings of Fullness: Drinking water before or during a meal can help create a sense of fullness or satiety. This can reduce the tendency to overeat and help control portion sizes, ultimately leading to a decrease in calorie intake. Water has zero calories, so it can be a helpful strategy to replace higher-calorie beverages with water, reducing overall calorie consumption.
  • Calorie-Free Replacement: Water serves as a calorie-free replacement for sugary drinks like soda, juice, or energy drinks. These beverages are typically high in calories and added sugars, contributing to weight gain. By substituting them with water, you eliminate or significantly reduce calorie intake, making it easier to create a calorie deficit and promote weight loss.
  • Boosts Metabolism: Drinking water has been found to have a temporary thermogenic effect, meaning it can slightly increase the number of calories your body burns. This effect is more pronounced when consuming cold water, as your body expends energy to warm it to body temperature. While the calorie-burning effect is modest, every little bit can contribute to overall weight loss over time.
  • Supports Proper Digestion: Sufficient water intake is essential for optimal digestion. Water helps break down food, aids in nutrient absorption, and facilitates regular bowel movements. When your digestion is functioning well, you may experience reduced bloating and improved gut health, which can indirectly support weight loss efforts.
  • Enhances Exercise Performance: Staying hydrated is crucial for optimal physical performance during exercise. When you’re properly hydrated, you may have more energy, better endurance, and improved exercise efficiency. This can lead to more intense and longer workouts, increasing the calorie burn and supporting weight loss goals.
  • Curbs Liquid Calorie Consumption: Many beverages like soft drinks, flavored coffees, and alcoholic beverages contain hidden calories that can contribute to weight gain. By increasing your water intake, you can reduce the consumption of these liquid calories, which often provide little to no nutritional value.

It’s important to note that while increasing water consumption can be beneficial for weight loss, it’s not a magic solution on its own. A holistic approach to weight loss, including a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and a healthy lifestyle, is essential for achieving sustainable results.

Step 3 – Establish a Caloric Deficit

A caloric deficit occurs when you consume fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight. This energy imbalance leads to fat loss.

Here’s how a caloric deficit results in fat loss:

Energy Source: When you consume fewer calories than your body requires, it needs to find an alternative source of energy to make up the deficit. One of the primary energy sources is stored body fat. In the absence of sufficient calories from food, your body starts breaking down stored fat to release fatty acids and triglycerides, which are then used as fuel for various bodily functions.

Lipolysis: As your body enters a caloric deficit, it triggers a process called lipolysis. Lipolysis is the breakdown of triglycerides stored in fat cells into fatty acids and glycerol. The fatty acids are released into the bloodstream, where they can be taken up by other cells to be utilized for energy production. This breakdown of stored fat ultimately leads to fat loss.

Reduced Adipose Tissue: Adipose tissue, commonly known as body fat, is comprised of fat cells. When you maintain a caloric deficit, these fat cells shrink as they release stored triglycerides. Over time, this reduction in adipose tissue results in a decrease in body fat percentage and a slimmer appearance.

Overall Weight Loss: When you’re in a caloric deficit, your body not only burns fat but also taps into other energy sources. It breaks down glycogen, which is stored carbohydrates, to meet its energy needs. Additionally, some muscle tissue may be catabolized for energy. However, by combining a caloric deficit with resistance training and adequate protein intake, you can minimize muscle loss and preserve lean muscle mass.

Sustainable Fat Loss: Sustaining a caloric deficit over an extended period is key for consistent fat loss. Gradual and moderate caloric deficits are generally recommended to minimize muscle loss and support long-term success. Drastic and extreme caloric restrictions can lead to nutrient deficiencies, metabolic slowdown, and muscle wasting.

Individual Variations: It’s important to note that individual factors such as genetics, metabolism, body composition, and hormone levels can influence how your body responds to a caloric deficit. Some individuals may lose fat more easily, while others may experience slower progress. It’s crucial to be patient, consistent, and maintain a balanced approach to achieve sustainable fat loss.

While a caloric deficit is a fundamental aspect of fat loss, it’s essential to prioritize overall health and well-being. Combining a caloric deficit with a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and other lifestyle factors can optimize fat loss while supporting overall health and sustainable weight management. Consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian can provide personalized guidance based on your specific needs and goals.

Step 4 – Track Macros and Focus on Protein Intake

Tracking macros, which refers to monitoring and controlling your intake of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats), can be important when trying to lose body fat. Here’s why tracking macros is beneficial for fat loss:

Calorie Control: Macronutrients contribute to the total calorie content of your diet. By tracking macros, you gain a better understanding of your calorie intake. Since fat loss ultimately relies on a caloric deficit, knowing and controlling your macronutrient intake helps you stay within your target calorie range. This level of precision can improve the effectiveness of your weight loss efforts.

Customized Approach: Each macronutrient has a specific role in your diet. Proteins support muscle growth and repair, fats aid hormone production and nutrient absorption, and carbohydrates provide energy. By tracking macros, you can tailor your macronutrient ratios to your individual needs and preferences. For example, increasing protein intake can help preserve muscle mass during weight loss, while adjusting carbohydrate and fat intake can optimize energy levels and satiety.

Source: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Muscle Preservation: During a caloric deficit, there’s a risk of losing both fat and muscle mass. Adequate protein intake becomes particularly important to help minimize muscle loss and support muscle maintenance or growth. Tracking macros allows you to ensure you’re meeting your protein goals and maintain a positive nitrogen balance, which is crucial for muscle preservation.

Nutritional Balance: Focusing solely on calorie intake without considering macronutrient distribution may result in an unbalanced diet. Tracking macros helps promote a more balanced approach to nutrition, ensuring you’re getting adequate amounts of each macronutrient. This balanced intake can support overall health, optimize nutrient absorption, and help prevent nutrient deficiencies.

Individualized Adjustments: By tracking macros, you can assess your progress and make necessary adjustments. If you’re not seeing the desired fat loss, you can analyze your macronutrient ratios and make informed changes. This level of flexibility allows you to experiment and find the macro distribution that works best for your body and goals.

Mindful Eating: Tracking macros promotes mindfulness around food choices and portion sizes. It encourages you to pay attention to the nutritional value of the foods you consume, rather than solely focusing on calories. This awareness can help prevent mindless snacking, emotional eating, and unnecessary calorie consumption.

It’s important to note that tracking macros may not be necessary for everyone. Some individuals may find it too restrictive or challenging to maintain long-term. However, for those who enjoy a structured approach and want precise control over their diet, tracking macros can be a useful tool for optimizing fat loss and achieving their goals.

Step 5 – Establish a Meal Plan that Suits your Schedule

Meal planning and prepping can be highly beneficial for losing fat due to several reasons:

  • Portion Control: When you plan and prepare your meals in advance, you have greater control over portion sizes. This allows you to accurately track your calorie and macronutrient intake, ensuring you stay within your target range for fat loss. Portion control is essential because consuming more calories than you burn can hinder your weight loss efforts.
  • Healthy Food Choices: By planning your meals ahead of time, you have the opportunity to make deliberate and thoughtful food choices. You can prioritize nutrient-dense foods such as lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, while minimizing processed foods, added sugars, and unhealthy fats. This promotes a well-balanced and nutritionally dense diet that supports fat loss and overall health.
  • Reduced Impulsive Eating: One of the challenges of fat loss is managing impulsive or spontaneous food choices. By meal planning and prepping, you have pre-determined meals and snacks readily available. This reduces the likelihood of succumbing to unhealthy options or reaching for convenient, calorie-dense foods when hunger strikes. It helps you stay on track with your nutrition goals and resist temptations.
  • Time and Convenience: Meal planning and prepping can save you significant time and effort in the long run. By dedicating a specific time to plan and prepare your meals, you eliminate the need to make decisions about what to eat each day. This can reduce stress, streamline your grocery shopping, and make healthy eating more convenient. Having pre-prepared meals also saves time during busy weekdays, making it easier to stick to your fat loss goals.
  • Accountability and Consistency: When you have your meals planned and prepped, you are more likely to follow through with your intended nutrition plan. It helps create a sense of accountability and consistency in your eating habits. By having healthy meals readily available, you’re less likely to deviate from your plan or resort to unhealthy options when hunger strikes.
  • Portability and On-the-Go Options: Prepping meals in advance allows you to pack portable and on-the-go options. This can be especially helpful when you’re at work, traveling, or running errands. Having healthy meals or snacks with you ensures you’re not forced to rely on less nutritious options when you’re away from home.
  • Reduced Food Waste and Financial Savings: Meal planning and prepping can help minimize food waste because you only purchase and prepare the ingredients you need. It allows you to utilize leftovers effectively and avoid throwing away unused food items. Additionally, by planning your meals, you can shop more efficiently, sticking to your grocery list and avoiding unnecessary impulse purchases. This can result in financial savings over time.

Overall, meal planning and prepping provide structure, control, convenience, and consistency in your eating habits, making it easier to adhere to a calorie-controlled and nutrient-dense diet conducive to fat loss. It supports healthier food choices and can help you maintain long-term success in reaching your weight loss goals.

Step 6 – Sleep More

Good quality sleep plays a crucial role in supporting fat loss and overall weight management. Here’s how it contributes to fat loss:

Hormonal Regulation: Sleep is closely linked to hormonal regulation, including hormones that influence appetite and metabolism. Inadequate sleep can disrupt the balance of hormones like leptin (which helps regulate satiety) and ghrelin (which stimulates hunger). When you don’t get enough sleep, levels of ghrelin increase, leading to increased appetite and cravings, while levels of leptin decrease, resulting in reduced feelings of fullness. This hormonal imbalance can contribute to overeating and weight gain.

Energy Balance: Good quality sleep supports optimal energy balance. When you’re well-rested, you have more energy to engage in physical activities and exercise, which is essential for creating a calorie deficit and promoting fat loss. On the other hand, sleep deprivation can lead to fatigue and reduced motivation for physical activity, making it more challenging to burn calories and maintain an active lifestyle.

Restored Willpower and Decision-Making: Sleep deprivation can impair your cognitive function, including decision-making and self-control. This can make it harder to resist unhealthy food choices and stick to your fat loss goals. Adequate sleep helps restore your willpower, mental clarity, and decision-making abilities, making it easier to make conscious and healthy choices regarding your nutrition and overall lifestyle.

Metabolism and Insulin Sensitivity: Sleep deprivation has been associated with disruptions in glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Poor sleep quality and insufficient sleep duration can lead to decreased insulin sensitivity, which can interfere with your body’s ability to efficiently regulate blood sugar levels. This can potentially increase the risk of weight gain and the development of insulin resistance over time.

Muscle Recovery and Growth: During sleep, the body repairs and rebuilds tissues, including muscle tissue. Regular physical activity, including resistance training, is crucial for fat loss, as it helps build lean muscle mass and boosts metabolism. Good quality sleep supports muscle recovery, repair, and growth, allowing you to perform better during exercise and maximize the benefits of your workouts.

Stress Management: Adequate sleep is essential for managing stress levels. Sleep deprivation can increase stress hormone levels, such as cortisol, which can contribute to weight gain, particularly around the abdominal area. By prioritizing good quality sleep, you can support healthy stress management and reduce the likelihood of stress-related weight gain.

To optimize sleep quality and support fat loss, aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Establish a consistent sleep schedule, create a relaxing bedtime routine, and ensure your sleep environment is comfortable and conducive to restful sleep.

Pat VellnerSource: Photo Courtesy of CrossFit Inc

If you’re experiencing chronic sleep issues, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and guidance.

Step 7 – Find Healthy New Foods to Replace Cravings

For example, if you have a sweet tooth and crave sweets or ice cream, try eating fruits instead every time you crave something sweet.

Blueberries, watermelons and plums are relatively lower in carbs compared to many others.

Controlling cravings while dieting can be challenging due to several factors:

Caloric Restriction: When you’re on a diet, you’re typically reducing your calorie intake to create a calorie deficit for weight loss. Caloric restriction can trigger physiological and psychological responses, including increased hunger and cravings. Your body may perceive the reduced calorie intake as a potential threat to its energy stores, leading to heightened cravings for calorie-dense foods.

Hormonal Changes: Caloric restriction and weight loss can disrupt hormonal balance, particularly hormones involved in appetite regulation. Ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger, tends to increase during dieting, while leptin, the hormone that signals fullness, may decrease. This hormonal imbalance can intensify cravings, making it more difficult to resist tempting foods.

Emotional Triggers: Emotional factors, such as stress, boredom, sadness, or anxiety, can trigger cravings and lead to emotional eating. Food can serve as a source of comfort and distraction from negative emotions, leading to an increased desire for specific foods, especially those high in sugar and fat.

Habitual and Conditioned Responses: Cravings can also be driven by habitual and conditioned responses. Over time, you may have developed associations between certain foods or environments and the experience of pleasure or reward. These associations can create powerful cravings, making it challenging to resist the urge to indulge in familiar and comforting foods.

Psychological Factors: Dieting can sometimes lead to a restrictive mindset or a sense of deprivation, which can increase the desire for forbidden or “off-limits” foods. The more you perceive certain foods as restricted or forbidden, the stronger the cravings for those foods can become.

Social and Environmental Influences: Social and environmental factors can significantly impact cravings while dieting. Social events, gatherings, or seeing others enjoying certain foods can trigger cravings and make it harder to resist temptation. Additionally, the availability and accessibility of high-calorie, highly palatable foods in your environment can increase the likelihood of cravings.

Nutrient Deficiencies: In some cases, cravings may arise due to specific nutrient deficiencies. Your body may crave certain foods in an attempt to meet its nutritional needs. For example, a craving for chocolate may indicate a need for magnesium or a craving for salty foods may suggest a need for electrolytes. However, it’s important to note that cravings are not always directly related to specific nutrient deficiencies and can be influenced by various other factors.

Managing cravings while dieting can be challenging, but there are strategies that can help. These include finding healthier alternatives to satisfy cravings, practicing mindful eating, addressing emotional triggers, planning meals and snacks in advance, ensuring balanced nutrition, managing stress, and seeking support from a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized guidance and strategies.

Step 8 – Cut Out Refined Sugars

Refined sugars are considered unhealthy due to their potential negative impact on health when consumed in excess. Here’s why refined sugars are generally considered bad for health:

High in Empty Calories: Refined sugars provide calories but lack essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Consuming foods high in refined sugars can contribute to an excessive calorie intake without providing substantial nutritional benefits, which can lead to weight gain and nutrient deficiencies.

Blood Sugar and Insulin Spikes: Refined sugars are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. This triggers a corresponding release of insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar. Over time, repeated spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance, a condition associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

Increased Risk of Chronic Diseases: Diets high in refined sugars have been linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases, including obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Excessive sugar consumption can contribute to weight gain, elevated blood pressure, unfavourable blood lipid profiles, and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for these diseases.

Dental Health Issues: Refined sugars are a primary contributor to tooth decay. Oral bacteria feed on sugars, producing acids that erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Regular consumption of sugary foods and drinks, especially in between meals, can significantly increase the risk of dental problems.

Refined sugars can be found in a wide range of processed and packaged foods, as well as in sweetened beverages. Some common sources of refined sugars include:

  • Soda and Sweetened Beverages: Regular soft drinks, fruit juices with added sugars, energy drinks, sports drinks, and sweetened teas are often high in refined sugars.
  • Candy and Sweets: Candies, chocolates, cookies, cakes, pastries, ice cream, and other desserts typically contain high amounts of refined sugars.
  • Sweetened Breakfast Cereals: Many breakfast cereals, particularly those marketed to children, contain added sugars to enhance flavour.
  • Baked Goods: Commercially produced bread, muffins, bagels, and other baked goods often contain refined sugars.
  • Condiments and Sauces: Many condiments and sauces, such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, salad dressings, and sweetened marinades, can be significant sources of added sugars.
  • Processed Snack Foods: Snack foods like potato chips, crackers, granola bars, and flavoured popcorn may contain added sugars.
  • Sweetened Yogurts and Dairy Products: Flavoured yogurts, fruit yogurts, and some dairy-based desserts can contain high amounts of added sugars.

It’s important to note that not all sugars are created equal. Natural sugars found in whole fruits, for example, come packaged with fibre, water, and beneficial nutrients, making them a healthier choice compared to refined sugars.

When it comes to managing sugar intake, it’s recommended to limit the consumption of foods with added sugars and prioritize a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods. Reading food labels and being aware of different names for added sugars (such as sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and maltose) can also help identify hidden sources of refined sugars in packaged foods.

Step 9 – Strength Training

Strength training, also known as resistance training or weightlifting, can be highly beneficial for fat loss.

Here’s how strength training contributes to fat loss:

Increased Muscle Mass: Strength training helps build and maintain lean muscle mass. Muscles are metabolically active tissues, meaning they require energy (calories) to function even at rest. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate, which is the number of calories your body burns at rest. Increasing muscle mass through strength training can boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories throughout the day, even when you’re not exercising.

EPOC Effect: Strength training creates an Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) effect, also known as the afterburn effect. After a strength training session, your body needs to replenish energy stores, repair muscle tissue, and restore oxygen levels. This process requires additional energy expenditure, causing your body to burn more calories in the hours and days following your workout. The EPOC effect contributes to an increased calorie burn and can enhance fat loss over time.

Increased Fat Oxidation: Strength training has been shown to increase fat oxidation, which is the process of using stored body fat as a fuel source. It promotes the utilization of fatty acids during and after exercise, helping to deplete fat stores and contribute to overall fat loss.

Body Composition Changes: Strength training can help reshape your body composition by reducing body fat while simultaneously increasing muscle mass. Even if the scale doesn’t show significant weight loss, strength training can lead to a more toned and lean appearance due to the loss of fat and gain of muscle. This can improve overall body composition and provide a more desirable physique.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Strength training has positive effects on insulin sensitivity, which is how effectively your body uses and responds to insulin. Improved insulin sensitivity helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of developing insulin resistance. By optimizing insulin function, strength training supports better control of blood glucose and can aid in fat loss.

kettlebell back workoutsSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Metabolic Health Benefits: Strength training offers various metabolic health benefits that indirectly support fat loss. It can improve lipid profiles by increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides. Additionally, strength training has been shown to reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health, contributing to overall well-being and a healthier body composition.

Enhanced Energy Expenditure: Strength training itself is a calorie-burning activity. While the calorie burn during a strength training session may not be as high as during cardiovascular exercise, it still contributes to your overall energy expenditure. Combining strength training with cardiovascular exercise can create a synergistic effect, maximizing calorie burn and supporting fat loss.

To incorporate strength training into your routine, aim for 2-3 sessions per week. Focus on compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups, such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and lunges. Gradually increase the intensity and resistance over time to challenge your muscles and continue progressing.

It’s important to ensure proper form and technique to minimize the risk of injury.

Step 10 – Be Consistent and Make it Sustainable

Consistency and sustainability are crucial for long-term success in fat loss. Here’s why they are important:

Establishing Habits: Consistency helps you establish healthy habits that support fat loss. By consistently following a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity, you create a routine that becomes ingrained in your lifestyle. Habits formed through consistency are more likely to be maintained in the long run, leading to sustainable fat loss.

Creating a Caloric Deficit: Consistency allows you to consistently maintain a caloric deficit, which is necessary for fat loss. A caloric deficit means consuming fewer calories than you burn, resulting in your body using stored fat as an energy source. Consistency ensures that you consistently adhere to your nutrition and exercise plan, which is essential for maintaining a sustained caloric deficit over time.

Adaptation and Progression: Consistency enables your body to adapt and respond to your fat loss efforts. When you consistently follow a structured nutrition and exercise plan, your body adjusts to the changes, such as increasing muscle mass, improving cardiovascular fitness, and enhancing metabolic efficiency. Consistency allows you to progress and make adjustments as needed to continue seeing results.

Avoiding “Yo-Yo” Dieting: Sustainable fat loss focuses on maintaining a healthy weight in the long term, rather than achieving rapid but short-lived results. Consistency helps prevent the cycle of “yo-yo” dieting, where weight is lost and regained repeatedly. By adopting sustainable habits and making gradual changes, you’re more likely to maintain your fat loss achievements over time and avoid the negative health consequences associated with weight cycling.

Psychological Well-being: Consistency and sustainability promote positive psychological well-being. Rapid and extreme approaches to fat loss often lead to feelings of deprivation, frustration, and an unhealthy relationship with food and body image. Consistency allows for a more balanced and flexible approach, which can support a healthier mindset, reduced stress, and a positive relationship with your body and food.

chandler smith competes in crossfit semifinalSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Long-Term Health Benefits: Sustainable fat loss focuses not only on aesthetic goals but also on improving overall health and well-being. Consistency allows you to make sustainable lifestyle changes that benefit your health in the long run. By consistently following a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity, you can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improve cardiovascular health, enhance metabolic function, and boost overall vitality.

Maintenance of Fat Loss: Consistency is crucial for maintaining fat loss once you’ve achieved your goals. By maintaining consistent healthy habits, you can prevent weight regain and ensure that the progress you’ve made is sustained. Consistency becomes a lifelong commitment to health and well-being rather than a short-term effort.

When focusing on fat loss, it’s important to adopt an approach that is sustainable, enjoyable, and fits your lifestyle. Consistency allows you to make gradual and manageable changes, rather than resorting to drastic and unsustainable measures. Remember that everyone’s journey is unique, and it’s important to find an approach that works best for you. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can provide personalized guidance and support in developing a sustainable fat loss plan.

Video – 10 Solid Steps to Burn Fat and Lose Love Handles

Here you can watch all the steps in great detail, as explained by Dr Mike Diamonds.

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