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Why Infomercials Lie

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Yesterday, on my Facebook page, I posted this saying: “The faster you want to lose weight, the more intense you have to be, the more focused, and the more prepared.”

True quick weight loss is not something that can be easy- “3 minutes a day to rock hard abs!” or “This diet will have you losing 10 pounds this week!” are false promises.  They’re something to get you in the door, forking over your money, and hoping for the best.  I don’t blame you.  I wanted weight loss to be easy too, plus I wanted it gone YESTERDAY.  It took me seven years to realize that weight loss doesn’t come in a bottle or from a gimmicky device.  It took me five more years to realize that I didn’t need the machines at my gym to lose weight, and an extra two to realize that I could work out from home just as easily.  Now, I do realize that weight loss CAN happen from a 4-minute workout, but you have to work up to that level- yes, it’s true, you can’t just do 4 minutes of sit-ups and expect that six-pack!

Here’s the thing: weight loss is simple, but it’s not easy, unless you follow the simple lines and don’t let your inner game fool you.

First, you have to realize that YOU NEED TO START AT YOUR OWN LEVEL.

This isn’t someone else’s level.  It’s YOURS.  Only you know how much you’ve been exercising over the past 5-10-25 years, how one leg does something funny when you move like this, and whether a 45-minute walk covers 1 mile or 3 miles.  I can assess those things quite easily in a 1:1 appointment and start you at your level, but if you’re starting on your own, you’ve got to do the assessment.  When you start at your level, you’re more likely to stick with it and keep going.

Second, you have to CONSTANTLY INCREASE YOUR INTENSITY.

Certain people cannot go above a certain intensity.  This includes anyone whose doc says take it easy, who recently had heart issues, or who are about to have a baby.

Most others aren’t that way.  Once you learn how to do an exercise properly, you should be able to take it up to it’s full level over time. (Note that I didn’t say right away.)  Each time you exercise, you should make your workout just a little harder. Go for a personal record in one or two exercises.  There are several ways to do this: add an extra repetition, add a little extra weight, shorten a rest period, go just a little longer, or try a more advanced exercise (i.e. a full-body plank instead of a plank on your knees).

Pretty soon, your exercise intensity will be so high that you will be able to do a fat-loss workout in 4 minutes (Tabata burpees, anyone?)  This intensity means that you’re working out in very short bursts of exercise that are a 9 or 10 out of the 10-point scale, 1 meaning lying around and 10 meaning “if this keeps up for one more second I’m going to blow a lung”.

This kind of workout takes care of both the intensity and the focus of the quote I had above, because it takes quite a bit of focus and determination to work at that level. *One caveat, though: the shorter the workout, the longer the warm-up and cool-down should be.  Do at least 5 minutes of warming up prior to a 4-minute workout.  Keep form very good at all times!

Third, YOU NEED TO EAT LIKE YOU MEAN IT.

This is where focus, intensity, AND preparedness come in.

You’ve got to have a meal plan made out in advance.  This one little step, when skipped, kills more people’s efforts at weight loss than any other.  If you don’t have those meals made out, you’re going to find an excuse to eat this little bit here, that little bit there, and oh, I’ve blown it, so I might as well have an entire philly cheesesteak with a large fries and that extra large milkshake.

The plan is simple.  It does not have to be complicated!

You can even start with just one meal- plan it out for an entire week, then stick to it.  If you’re someone who prefers to have the same thing for breakfast every morning, then write that down.  If you like salads for lunch, write those down.  If you like almonds and an apple for a mid-morning snack, then you have that one done.  However, please make sure you do have variety in your diet.  You can even go with just three days, then cycle through them for a few weeks.

Just make the plan.  Write down WHAT you’re going to eat for each meal (I recommend 5-6 small meals per day), HOW MUCH (1/2 cup versus 3/4 cup makes a big difference over the long haul), and WHEN you’ll eat it.

Then prepare the food in advance. Go grocery shopping with the list you made when you planned your meals (you DID make one, didn’t you?).  Take a Saturday, a Sunday, make extra when you’re making supper, whatever it takes.  Get it ready.  Have it easy to hand, front of the fridge.  The night before, pack your cooler, and you can grab it when you run out the door in the morning.

And most of all, BE FLEXIBLE.  That plan is not set in stone. You didn’t sign a contract with it.  If you need to move a meal here, do something else there, that’s okay.  If you end up having to go out to eat, find something on the menu that’s similar (or healthier), and keep that now-extra meal for later.

The more you implement these three things, the faster your weight loss is going to be.  And it’s going to be the healthy fast weight loss, too- none of that “lose muscle, gain more weight than when you started” weight loss. It’ll mean that you’re building muscle while burning fat, and getting a lean, healthy-looking body!

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