Haha…Just messing with you all.
There’s no miracle plan here. In fact, there is no miracle plan anywhere.
The only plan that consistently works, time after time, is one that consists of:
– Eating nutritious meals within or slightly below your caloric needs consisting of lean proteins, whole grains, and lots of fruits and veggies. Even better if you can divide the meals up over 5-6 servings per day.
– Chugging down enough water (and green tea if you want to get fancy) to float your eyeballs.
– Lifting *challenging* weights on the program of your choice 3 times a week. (Note on effective weight selection: If you don’t look like an enraged gorilla when performing the final 2-3 reps of your sets, then you are not lifting enough weight.)
– Performing some form of cardiovascular exercise, whether it is interval, steady-state, or some mix of the two, at least 3 times a week; more if you are trying to get your body fat down past the average set point for your gender.
– Changing your workout programs every 4-8 weeks to avoid adaptation.
– Doing all of the above CONSISTENTLY for at least 8 weeks before you start tweaking things and feeling sorry for yourself because your best friend, husband, or next door neighbor managed to drop 20 pounds by just giving up soda.
But wait! you say. Don’t those points sound like they could come from 90% of the diet and fitness books on the bookshelves and Internet today?
Ka-pow! You’ve figured it out.
There is NOTHING new about any of the fat loss plans on the market. All of them pretty much result in the same thing, calorically-speaking: a caloric deficit and an overall improvement in the nutritional make-up of foods consumed. And nearly all of them recommend (surprise, surprise) a regular exercise regimen to complement your diet.
I’ve declared an unofficial moratorium on additional spending on fitness- and nutrition-related reading materials for 2008. This includes workout programs and cookbooks in both paper and ebook format. I’m sure that as soon as this post hits the net half a dozen of my favorite fitness authors will release brand new programs that I will be dying to order, but I’m standing firm on this. I have more than enough workouts to keep me amused at the gym and at home for years, and on the diet front, the only things you really need are two or three healthy cookbooks (this is so you don’t default to chicken breast and broccoli every day and wind up giving up in under a week from boredom), a basic knowledge of portion size, and a willingness to plan and prepare your meals.
I’m all for increasing knowledge and learning new things, mind you, but I’m also a fan of smart spending. At this point, if you are primarily a fitness hobbyist or someone who just wants to get into shape–basically, if you aren’t a fitness pro–and you own four or more diet and exercise books or program manuals, you probably have more than enough information at your fingertips to get good results. This is especially true if said collection includes titles like Body for Life, New Rules of Lifting, New Rules of Lifting for Women, Turbulence Training, Afterburn, Eating for Life, Precision Nutrition, Burn the Fat/Feed the Muscle, Leanness Lifestyle, the South Beach Diet, or the like.
Take a good look at your collection and ask yourself: “What were my results on any of these plans? Have I really given a whole-hearted effort to following and *finishing* any of them? Do I secretly believe that there IS a miracle fat loss plan in some book I haven’t bought yet even though all of the ones I already own just say the same thing over and over (with slight macronutrient differences)?”
When I asked myself these questions recently as part of my Total Money Makeover vow to cut spending on redundant things, I didn’t like the answers. I think it’s time for me to cut myself off from new programs like I cut myself off from buying new off-the-rack clothing for the past year. I sewed myself clothing from my stash of fabric and patterns for a year with a lot of success, and now I’m going to work out and plan meals from my stash, too.
– YF Cardio (31 min)
– Walk (13 min)
– Interval Run (22 min; 60 second sprints = 9.2, 9.5, 9.7, and 10.0 mph; rest = 3.0 mph)
M1: 1 cup Frosted Mini Wheats, 1/3 c. light soy milk, 1 T. ketchup, 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, 1/2 cup strawberries
M2: 15 g walnuts, 17 g raisins, 1/2 c. strawberries
M3: 3 oz. jalapeno pulled pork, 1 T. jalapeno jelly sauce, 3 c. Romaine and iceberg lettuce, 1 Gala apple, 1/2 c. five-flavor eggplant
M4: 4 slices roast beef, 1 slice pepper jack cheese, 7 baby carrots
M5: 1.5 c. shrimp with broccoli, 1/2 c. five-flavor eggplant
M6: 2 granola choco chip cookies