Strategies for Loss and Toning
Depending on what kind of aesthetic you are after, your training strategy can be adjusted accordingly.
For the average person wanting to firm up with some nice muscle definition or curves that you can see, a mixture of resistance training and cardio works well. The more intensely you train, the faster the effect will be, but it’s important to match your approach to your particular age, health and current/past injury status. Always seek professional advice before attempting a new exercise regimen to make sure it’s right for you and that you are doing it correctly.
If you are healthy and not prone to injuries, then a whole-body resistance circuit, combined with High Intensity Interval Training on alternating days with a 1 day rest each week will elicit rapid results with the right nutritional plan.
If you are more prone to injury or have a history of injuries, you may wish to do lower intensity cardio for longer periods of time to reduce the impact on your body. In short, the more intensely you train, the more calories you’ll burn both during the workout and in the hours following the workout, so if you’re healthy, push hard!
If you love cardio then go ahead and do what you enjoy, but try to limit your cardio to an hour or two a week. Too much cardio can lead to muscle wastage, joint inflammation and cortisol production which tends to make fat store around the gut.
Weight training tends to build more fat burning muscle, produces less cortisol but much more testosterone and growth hormone than cardio which are ideal for building muscle and burning fat.
When you work with weights, try to keep moving the whole time. Traditional bodybuilding involves pushing hard then resting for 60-180 seconds. Great for getting stronger and bigger, but not so effective for burning fat as maintaining an elevated heart rate. So try whole-body, metabolic circuits or at very least super-set, whereby you train a complementary muscle group whilst resting the primary muscle group as opposed to simply sitting around and resting.
Everyone processes food differently. One strategy cannot work for everyone equally. It’s very important that you seek qualified guidance before attempting anything radical, particularly if you have any digestive/food intolerance issue or other medical conditions.
For the rest of the population, it’s hard to go past a diet rich in wholefoods and water. Most people tend to shed excess kilos when they increase their intake of vegetables, lean meats, raw nuts, omega 3 rich fats & oils and in season fruit.
Avoid processed foods, sugar, salt, alcohol, highly-refined, starchy carbohydrates like potato, rice, bread & pasta. These foods are not all necessarily “unhealthy”, but are notorious for making your body store fat, rather than burning it.
Don’t drive yourself crazy counting calories and measuring your portions either - simply stop when you’re around 80% full, eat some protein in every meal and snack, drink 2-3 litres of water a day depending on your body size and eat every 2-3 hours like clockwork. Also make sure that you get most of your calories from protein, vegetables, good fats like fish oil, avocado, raw unsalted nuts, olives, olive and coconut oil, and limited amounts of in season fruit.
Of course remember that Nutrients Direct has a range of great tasting, high-quality, well-balanced meal replacement and protein shakes plus other fat melting weight loss supplements to make your life easier and ensure your body keeps burning fat and building lean muscle.