Want To Lose Fat? Part 3 – Follow Rule #1


AS ‘COLUMBUS’ (JESSE Eisenberg) makes his way through the heartland of an America devastated by the Zombie apocalypse in Zombieland, he outlines some of his rules for surviving this most adverse of environments. His first and most important rule? Do cardio.

You could argue that rule #1 in our mostly non-zombie world should be ‘Don’t eat animal protein’ (check out information on The China Study or just watch Forks Over Knives to understand why, even if you don’t care about the animals) but once you’re off the meat, eggs and dairy and eating well, then one of the most effective tools you have to get lean is cardiovascular exercise.

Being fit allows you do more with less effort, so cardio will definitely improve your quality of life. Being fit is good for you on any number of levels, so it’s quite likely to extend your lifespan, but cardio also burns calories, so it’s ideal for stripping off that nasty old layer of bodyfat that you’re not wild about carrying around for the next few decades.

The problem with cardio according to many people is that it’s a pain in the butt. You actually have to get up and do some exercise, and you have to do it consistently, which seems to be an unbearable burden for some.

There are three ways to approach this dilemma:

1. Do the cardio that you enjoy. Any cardio will do.

2. Embrace the misery and sign up for oppression.

3. Make it quick.

1. Do the cardio that you enjoy. Any cardio will do.

Just do what you enjoy. If you hate dragging yourself to a gym or pounding the road in the dark, then pick the cardio you like and get stuck into it. Often. Walk the dog, swim, buy a bike, skip, box, do aerobic classes. Whatever works, works and if you enjoy doing it, you’re likely to keep doing it instead of dropping out in a month or so. An hour of walking is better than an hour on the couch but an hour of walking for 120 days of the year will get you results!

2. Embrace the misery and sign up for oppression.

Some people just can’t get motivated to do cardio of their own free will – so they need to be pushed. Get a personal trainer, sign up to a 12-week boot camp type class, join a running or cycling group, or share your goals and progress on Facebook where your friends can abuse you if you slack off – anything that’ll make you feel guilty, or better still, hold you accountable for your lack of effort (and make you feel good about yourself when you commit and stick to it).

3. Make it quick.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is dynamite for burning calories and boosting your metabolism, which in turn burns more calories. An HIIT session can take as little as 20 minutes, which makes it ideal for time-pressed individuals. So what’s the catch? Done right, HIIT is brutal, and it has to be done right to be effective. There’s heaps of information online about HIIT but if you’re unfit, it’s best to get some advice and a check up from your GP before you start pushing your heart rate to 80-90 percent of your maximum. (I’ll write up a summary of HIIT in the near future).

If you’re trying to lose fat (not weight) by diet alone, you’re making it harder for yourself and you’re setting yourself up for failure. Eat clean (see part one and part two of this series for more information) and train – you’ll get to your goals that much faster and easier, and you’ll feel better, fitter and healthier too.

(You’ll also do well when the Zombies arrive, but that’s a different story.) ASHLEY KRAMER

 

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