Shed Excess Body Fat

Paul Haslam is one of Sydney’s most experienced personal trainers and body-builders having been in the business for most of his life. Now as summer rolls nearer, a lot of people think about losing some weight or toning-up and here Paul explains the key factors needed to achieve successful fat loss.

Losing excess body fat requires a number of aspects to be unified into one simple plan. 

  1. The first of these is knowledge; knowing when, what and how much to eat.

  2. The second is desire (often called willpower or determination), being able to stick to the plan and resist temptation.

  3. The third and vitally important aspect is having the psychological tools to assist the others.

Below you will find (1) a non-specific guide to plan your diet, (2) a few tips on fine tuning your diet and (3) simple psychological tools that will assist you in making sure your diet will work.

The Four Stages of Eating for Fat Loss:

The body will adapt to a reduction in food intake by slowing down the metabolism. If too strict a diet is attempted too soon the metabolic rate will drop rapidly making it difficult to lose fat at later times. Dropping total energy intake rapidly may also lead to losses in lean muscle tissue. Using a four stage approach allows us to lose body fat more effectively while still maintaining the maximum amount of hard earned muscle tissue. Below is an outline of the four stages

  1. Eliminate unnecessary fat and sugar from intake: 2 – 4 weeks

  2. Decrease total consumption volume: 2 – 4 weeks

  3. Decrease total calories by 5% – 10% per week: 2 – 4 weeks

  4. Decrease total carbohydrate intake by 25% – 50%: 1 – 2 weeks

Diet:

  • Eat 5 – 6 smaller meals per day.

  • Ideally each meal should be around the same caloric value.

  • Minimum protein consumption at 1g per kg bodyweight.

  • Avoiding excessive carb consumption before retiring.

  • Aim to lose about 1% of body mass per week.

  • Have as much variety in the diet as possible.

  • Vitamin/Mineral supplementation advisable.

  • CV training between 3 – 5 sessions week.

Psychology of Weight Loss:

  • Identify the benefits of losing weight.

  • Identify any obstacles and/or limiting beliefs.

  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses with regard to dieting.

  • Set specific amount of weight to be lost. The figure should be challenging yet realistic.

  • Set intermediate and long term figures to be achieved. Have definitive target dates.

  • Re-evaluate goals at every target date.

  • Enlist support from spouse/family/friends.

  • Use goal achievement strategies such as-positive self talk and affirmations.