by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
When it comes to weight loss, there are three key factors you need to consider and have under control. I like to call these “The Big 3.” When you can take these three principles and apply them to your healthy lifestyle, you have the best chance of reaching your weight loss goals and seeing results.
What makes up “The Big 3,” you ask? Let’s dive in.
This is such a simple concept, yet it is the place where so many people fail the most. What you put in your mouth will make or break your results — it’s as simple as that. You can’t out-train a poor diet.
The food you put in your system is vital for your success. Think of it like putting gasoline in an engine. If you put high-octane gasoline in your vehicle, it will perform at a high level, and you will get the best results from your vehicle. If you were to put sugar water into your vehicle, it could cause many issues and, in the end, destroy your engine. The same thing can be said about your heart and body.
Look for the highest quality food you can purchase. Organic, grass-fed, etc., are your best options as they are free from many of the pesticides and hormones that many foods have in them these days. Greens are also a necessity to provide your body with the micronutrients it needs. Yes, you might be someone sticker-shocked at the prices of these food items, but in the end, how much is your health worth to you?
When it comes to weight loss, many people still don’t understand the benefits of resistance training. When done correctly and with the inclusion of a healthy diet, resistance training can make a significant impact on your weight loss results. Why is this? Because when you add quality lean muscle to your frame, that muscle needs to be fed in order to maintain its size. When you don’t feed your muscles, they can atrophy and get smaller. A loss in muscle mass can slow down your metabolism since the muscle isn’t constantly burning calories as fuel which it can even do while you rest (pretty cool, right?).
Not only will more lean muscle mass help you burn calories all day long, but the resistance training itself is a great way to attain an intense caloric burn. You can ultimately burn hundreds of calories each and every workout, which can help you attain a caloric deficit at the end of the day (exactly what you need to lose weight)
Ladies who are reading this, I know the weight room and free weights might seem like a scary and daunting place — don’t be afraid. The weight room and lifting weights will not turn you into a man with bulging muscles and cause men to think you’re gross. In fact, it will do the opposite. Resistance training will help tone your physique and help you reach your health and fitness goals while dropping body weight and body fat at the same time.
I’d say I saved the best for last, but this principle is the most common when it comes to weight loss and the things you can do in the gym to help drop body fat. It’s an extremely easy principle to follow and doesn’t take much thought at all to complete.
Now, cardio can be done in the gym, but don’t get frustrated if you can’t make it on a certain day. There are plenty of things you can do at home to get in your cardio. For instance, you could go for a walk or a jog outside after dinner. You could hit the park and enjoy the scenery. You could go for a hike on a local trail. Hop on a bike and go for a ride (bicycle, not motorized… I know what you were thinking).
Try to get in 150 minutes of exercise each week. This might look like a huge number reading it, but when you break it down over the course of something like five days, you’re only looking at 30 minutes of exercise each day. The good news is that the 30 minutes don’t even need to be done consecutively. If you have 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes in the afternoon, and 10 minutes at night, you hit your 30 minutes of total exercise for the day. Extremely simple. It’s even easier if you spread out your 150 minutes over the entire week (seven days).
If you can take the above “Big 3” and apply them to your life, you will put yourself in the best position to succeed in hitting your weight loss goals. You might have some rough patches where the scale just doesn’t seem to want to move, this is called a plateau. The best way to break through a plateau is to change something up. You can either lower your calories slightly, increase your cardio, or add more to your resistance training workouts. You could even incorporate different forms of cardio, such as HIIT (high-intensity interval training).
None of the concepts found in this article are extremely difficult. The key is dedication and consistency. Keep pushing forward, and don’t give up — you’ll gradually start to see your body responding and making changes. I wish you the best of luck and good luck with using “The Big 3” in your everyday life.