Over the next few weeks, I’ll try to help keep you New Year’s resolution crowd going strong…
Anyhow… So many folks have been asking questions lately, it’s been hard to keep up. My apologies for taking so long to respond. My plate has been relatively full on both the home front and at work.
Rather than answer each person individually that have commented recently, I figured I would throw out a post to everyone to benefit from. Where do I start? How about I answer the questions directly:
How long did it take you to lose the weight?
About 4 months for the bulk of it. It took an additional month or so to get to where I really wanted to be. There were several times in there it seemed that I had a plateau, but persistence paid off.
How long before you started to see results?
About 4-6 weeks. Well, it was hard for me to tell as looking in the mirror each day, you don’t see the small changes that begin to happen. However, after about 4 weeks, *others* begin to comment and tell me. At about 6 weeks, I started keeping a log of weekly measurements. It’s hard to tell from the scales sometimes, as you may be losing fat, but gaining muscle.
How did you do it?
Well, read throughout my blog. I don’t really want to bore my regular readers with stuff I’ve already said. The short answer is: 3 days cardio, 3 days strength training, 1 day off. I also eat 6 *small* meals per day (many diets and books promote this) with one day off (eat anything I want). However, you have to *earn* the day off. It’s a privilege, not a right. Eat proper and train for 6 days, and you *earn* a day off.
How long do you do cardio on your cardio days?
It varies depending on my mood. Most days it is 20 minutes of varied exertion (usually intervals on an eliptical). Some days I may do more. Any more than about 20 minutes and you may be burning muscle, not fat. Cardio sessions: Keep them short, but intense.
Can you tell me which exercises are good for burning fat?
That’s a tough one. If you are trying to target a specific area of fat, it can’t be done. It is scientifically impossible to target a specific trouble area of fat. Your body uses fat stores throughout your body, not just from the area around the particular muscle you’re working. However, if you are looking for which exercises you should do to burn fat in general, both strength training AND cardio work provides the best results.
Can you suggest any reading?
Absolutely. I read a TON of books, papers, websites, etc. Be careful what you read, some of it is hype (see the next question). However, here are the books I’ve used primarily:
Cover Model Workout – yes, I know, kinda cheesy title, but a great book. My wife and I both used Owen’s (the author) workout program for the first 6 months or so (we’ve come up with our own since). This book is awesome from a workout perspective but is a little light on the suggestion for meals (he promotes the 6 meals per day).
Eating for Life – great book for recipies for eating 6 meals per day, but that’s it. I don’t promote the Body for Life diet or exercise program. Neither one of us cared for his workout program. Also, be careful with the Eating for Life book as he tends to push supplements (myoplex, etc). which is really just for his own financial benefit.
Book of Muscle – everything you want to know about muscle.
Did you take any supplements or fatburners?
The *only* supplement was a multi-vitamin. That’s it. You don’t need a fatburner. There are no shortcuts. If you read the disclaimer of ANY weightloss miracle, whether it is a machine, supplement, whatever, you’ll usually see something like: "best results achieved when combined with an exercise and diet program". Well… DUH.
Can you keep it off?
Um… yeah. I lost my 40 pounds over three years ago. I have been consistent ever since.
Hope I helped answer some of the questions. Any more? Just post a comment below (you can do so anonymously).
You mean the 9 miles you guys ran at the trail today? Boy talk about exhausted, he\’s spent.
You do far more cardio than 20 minutes a day. In fact I believe your planning about 1 and 1/2 hours worth this afternoon alone. :)
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