We all have goals in life whether they are fitness goals, health goals, work related goals, family goals, recreational goals, or whatever they may be, goals are what drive us as humans.
Everything we do in life has a reason; we want to achieve something so we take certain actions to try to get there.
In most instances there are different steps we can take to reach the same goal. Generally certain steps are more valuable than others. In order to find the most efficient path to success we want to find the action that will have the most impact on what you want.
If your goal is fat loss the same concept can be applied. There are many different things that in combination will help you reach your goal, however certain things will have greater impact.
Today I want to talk about the hierarchy of fat loss and which things you should focus on most.
Specifically I am going to outline three of the biggest things people focus on when they are trying to lose weight, and explain the order of importance starting with the lower end of the totem pole.
How often do you go to the gym and see people aimlessly hammering away on the cardio machines.
I can picture it now headphones in, staring at the screen in front of them looking at the clock waiting for time to go by.
To be completely honest with you that looks boring as hell to me. (Now if you enjoy it by all means go for it). If you ask most of the people they’ll probably tell you there on those machines to lose weight and that’s how fat comes off.
I hate to break it to you but science does not support that claim. And it is not your fault because that what you have been told all your life, that cardio is for weight lose and weights are for building muscle. Unfortunately science is not that black and white.
Now doing some “cardio” will help you burn a few extra calories but it also takes up a lot of time that some people don’t have. A great analogy I am going to steal from the MC of this shin dig Haylin (Who I believe stole it from another coach) is to think of the gym as a supplement to movement in your everyday life.
Don’t rely on the cardio equipment in the gym as your only activity during the day. Get up and move, walk around the office, walk a round of golf, play some tennis, take the stairs. Simple things like that will add up quickly.
If you can not get that in during the day the gym is a good way to supplement it.
Now that we have talked about cardio lets talk about resistance training and weight training. Now if you only have time for one or the other I would recommend choosing resistance training over cardio machines.
You get more bang for your buck. Resistance training will burn more calories, improve body composition, increase your resting metabolic rate (how many calories you burn doing nothing), slow down the aging process, and leave you feeling like a superhero!
Often time’s people don’t want to lift weights because they don’t want to “bulk up”. Now I completely understand that feeling, however if you are in a caloric deficit (Spoiler alert nutrition is the top of the totem poll!) you will not put on tons and tons of muscle.
So if you have some extra time to workout during the week I would recommend resistance training over cardiovascular training a few times a week.
You guessed it!!
The number one thing you need to focus on to lose weight is your nutrition!
It is so important that there are even corny sayings about it.
I’m sure you have heard, “You can not out train your diet” or “Abs are made in the kitchen”.
Not quite like this though.
They may be corny but they are absolutely true. No matter how hard you work if you do not focus on your nutrition you will not reach your fullest potential in terms of results.
Now don’t get me wrong and think you have to do a complete overhaul of your nutrition and never enjoy some of the things you love.
You should focus on one habit and one habit only until that because subconscious and you practice that everyday.
Nutrition is and will have the biggest influence on the results you see.
Now I am not saying that no one should ever focus on all three of these at one.
However you have to do what is right for you and your life. All of these habits take time, energy and practice. If you are a super busy professional, parent, and go getter who barely has time for themselves trying to focus on all at once is a recipe for failure.
Instead, set yourself up for success by focusing on what will give you the best results.
Focus on your nutrition first.
Have some extra time during the week? Awesome add in some resistance training.
Have even more time after that? Sweet try to get in some “cardio” during the week.
Focus on what you are ready, willing, and able to do.