Tag Archives: fat burning

Reminiscing About My Fat Loss Journey

Posted on 22. Feb, 2009 by .

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This past weekend, I really got into thinking about how far I have come in terms of my fitness journey. I am definitely way stronger, more disciplined, and more knowledgeable about health and fitness compared to when I first started.

There was one fact that really struck me today and which I still remember vividly. I remember that when I decided to finally get my butt back in the gym, I slowly shed my first 10 lbs without even changing my diet. So, just the added strength training and cardio activities helped jump start my fat loss in the right direction.

Why am I telling you this?

A lot of people who decide to lose weight for the first time get overwhelmed by the many diet supplements in addition to the many contradicting diet and exercise research data from the media (i.e. television, internet, newspapers, magazines, etc.) today. But, one thing that many people overlook is the power of action. “Just DO it” – the Nike ad says.

The worst thing that a person can do when a person is overwhelmed is inaction. So even if you don’t have an exercise and nutrition plan in hand, the little actions that you start today can help get you started in your weight loss journey. Then, once you’re done with your first step, take each day or each week as an opportunity to try and learn new things such as cooking healthy meals, finding free fitness routines, joining a fitness class, etc. The key is to take baby steps. Things don’t happen overnight – you didn’t gain the weight overnight, you won’t lose it overnight, and you can definitely not learn everything overnight.

Now, do I wish that I knew a lot of the things that I know today when I first started? Yes, I really wish I did. But, because I learned things in little pieces, I was also able to find which strategies worked for me and which ones didn’t. By learning things on a day to day basis, I was able to more effectively incorporate little changes into my life. The result? I eventually developed healthier habits instead of jumping on and off the latest diet fad that came up. In the end, I am glad at where I am now even though it was, and still is, a slow, trial and error process.

So, if you’re a beginner and don’t know where to start – just DO something even if you’re not sure it’s going to work or not. In terms of nutrition, here’s an article that can get you started in the right direction:

Best Foods for Fat Burning
By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Turbulence Training for Fat Loss

I couldn’t be any simpler with my nutrition recommendations for fat burning. You will get have the most energy and the best body and fitness level possible if you eat whole, natural foods. I always ask Dr. Chris Mohr, author of the Turbulence Training for Fat Loss Nutrition Guidelines if I ever need help with nutrition information.

You must avoid processed foods, which is pretty much anything in a bag or a box. So cut out muffins, donuts, pre-packaged cereals, white bread, pasta, chips, crackers, cookies, etc.

We need to return to a time of simpler eating, focusing on fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean proteins, and healthy fats. It will take some “bad habit breaking” to rid yourself of your addiction to processed foods, but in your journey you will learn to appreciate the taste of REAL food again.

You don’t have to eat meat to lose fat and build muscle, but it’s not unhealthy to eat beef, chicken, and fish. In fact, fish contains essential fatty acids we can’t do without.

You might have heard about the importance of healthy fats, which is a big turn-around from the low-fat mentality of the 80’s and 90’s. We now know eating fish and nuts won’t make us fat, but will in fact make us healthy and help control our appetite.

So just focus on foods that haven’t been processed, and you’ll start to see changes in your body and energy levels in a matter of days. Get rid of the processed foods and you won’t be tired anymore!

I strongly believe nutrition is the MOST important factor in fat loss and in health. If you’re eating processed foods, trans-fats, and too many calories, you won’t get maximum benefits from your exercise program, no matter what you are doing. Nutrition can either heal you or kill you, so choose wisely. Fortunately, the right choices are the simple choices.

I’ve had clients that switched to whole, natural foods and almost overnight they’ve reported changes in their bodies and huge increases in mental energy. So stick with the simple nutrition approach for fat burning.

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training Fat Loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit Turbulence Training for Fat Loss.

Still stumped? Check out this comprehensive article by Chris over at Zen to Fitness – Zen to Fitness for the Busy Person. He really does a great job of summarizing a lot of important and effective health and fitness information in this article.

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How to Break Bad Habits

Posted on 29. Jan, 2009 by .

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If you saw my very first blog post regarding my goals for the next 12 weeks, you are about to hear from the person who really got me started in writing them. I am also coming to the end of my 4th week with my goals which means that I need to review them soon. I plan to write more about that next week. For now, I leave you with some words from my favorite trainer…

By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
www.TurbulenceTraining.com

We all have bad habits. Mine are checking email too frequently,
being unorganized, and not always eating enough to fuel full
recovery from my workouts.

Your bad habits might include too much snacking and cheating on
your nutrition plan, coming up with excuses to skip exercise, or
watching too much TV.

Bad habits are the reason we need coaches. One of my coaches is Lee
Milteer, who gave me the exercises below, that I want you to go
through to help you break your bad habits.

If you’ve been trying to lose fat and get lean by yourself, but
with no luck, isn’t it time to get professional help & social
support?

It’s hard to change. I know it. I battle against my bad habits all
the time, just like you do everyday. But each day I also make an
effort to overcome the bad habits, just as you should have a plan
in place to overcome your bad weight loss habits.

Don’t let insecurity, fear of failure, or the fear of the unknown
hold you back from making changes. Don’t be a victim. “Give yourself
PERMISSION to change,” Lee says.

So let’s take action. Print this page out. Now write down 3 excuses
you are using to avoid making the changes you need to succeed.

1.______________________________________________________________
2.______________________________________________________________
3.______________________________________________________________

How have these excuses affected your life? What have the excuses
stopped you from achieving? Write down 3 very important things that
you have missed out on because you’ve allowed yourself to make
excuses.

1.______________________________________________________________
2.______________________________________________________________
3.______________________________________________________________

Now how do you feel when you fall victim to one of your self-
sabotaging excuses?
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

What benefits do you get from the excuse? Is it simply that you get
to remain in your comfort zone? That’s a big one for me. If I can
convince myself that I need to check my email, then I get to remain
in my comfort zone and avoid the hard work and fear of failure that
comes with writing an article. Or is it the fear of the unknown
that is holding you back? Write down 3 ways you benefit from making
excuses.

1.______________________________________________________________
2.______________________________________________________________
3.______________________________________________________________

So now we both know why we’ve created our excuses – to avoid
something. All we need to do now is find a way to overcome these
bad habits. I want you to write down 3 behaviors you want to stop.

1.______________________________________________________________
2.______________________________________________________________
3.______________________________________________________________

Now write down why you end up doing it…were you bored, fearful,
lazy, etc.

1.______________________________________________________________
2.______________________________________________________________
3.______________________________________________________________

Now give yourself the permission to change. “Envision the rewards
you will get when you make the change to your life and habits,” Lee
tells us. Give yourself a powerful list of reasons for fixing the
habit.

1.______________________________________________________________
2.______________________________________________________________
3.______________________________________________________________

Working on bad habits everyday will give you an incredible boost
in self-esteem and confidence. With each small successful
improvement you’ll build confidence to take on the bigger, badder
habits that are holding you back.

Remember, everyday we are a work in progress. You might have bad
days, but as long as you make overall improvement each week and
month – that is all that matters.

Lee also recommends charting your progress. I have said many times
before that you need to keep records of your workouts and
nutrition. Only then will you know what works and how much
improvement you have made.

And finally, get social support. Don’t expect to do this alone.

One research study from Stanford University concluded social
support was the #1 factor for success in an exercise program.

Get in shape for summer fast with Turbulence Training,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit www.TurbulenceTraining.com

You can also follow Craig’s blog at www.TurbulenceTraining.blogspot.com

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