In an interview, Tom Venuto, author of “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”, is quoted as follows:
“Any good fat loss program consists of three components: strength training, cardio training, and nutrition.”
Very few would argue with that assessment, at least those familiar with the weight loss process.
After all, it has been known for some time that the main component in weight loss, or gain, is the relationship between calories taken in and calories used. Excess calories are stored as fat.
Many people seeking to lose weight, and those seeking to sell them something, will concentrate on what I call “helpers”. For example, some pill may cause you to lose water (weight loss), or speed up your metabolism (weight loss). However, most of these types of things are temporary and typically result in only minimal weight loss, if any.
However, if you do not change the structure of your life, and your body, whatever you have done before will eventually return and the minimal losses will be replaced by gains that will return you to your previous weight and perhaps to a higher level than before.
Permanent, healthy weight loss will be achieved with the four factors discussed in this article. Three have been mentioned already. The fourth, perhaps in some ways the most important, will be discussed in a moment.
Exercise and nutrition are the two immediate means of producing the permanent, healthy weight loss I mentioned. While many can be successful with one form of exercise OR the other, the most effective method is to use both cardio training (aerobics) AND strength training.
Although there are various reasons for using both forms of exercise, perhaps the simplest is that cardio burns calories now, while strength training burns calories later. Using both maximizes the fat burning capabilities of our bodies.
This is one reason Tom Venuto has chosen to separate the two as discrete components of successful fat loss.
Note, by the way, that Tom concentrates on the idea, and fact, of “fat loss” as opposed to weight loss, as it is actually fat, not pounds per se, that you should actually be trying to get rid of. For example, you could take a diuretic which would cause you to lose weight, water weight, that is. However, the fat is still there, simply waiting for you to take in more liquid so it can fill itself back up.
Getting rid of fat gets rid of the water storage cells themselves.
However, having a great exercise program while living on ice cream is not a good option for fat loss. If the idea is to get permanently healthy AND lose weight…er fat, then you will need to eat foods in quantities and qualities which will effectively contribute to that process.
Simply combining these three factors could be enough to produce healthy fat loss. However, as Tom Venuto points out later in the same interview, there is a fourth factor…
“Unlike highly motivated athletes or competitive bodybuilders, for most overweight people, the psychological aspects of behavioral change are also every bit as important as the training and nutrition, so you could say that motivation makes a fourth component to successful fat loss. Addressing fat loss with diet alone is a very common and very big mistake. The synergy created between diet, cardio, and weight training is powerful.”
How many times have you, or someone you know, started out on a great weight loss program full of hope and determination, only to drop out as the initial motivation fades?
Making the lifestyle changes required for most healthy fat loss programs, or many other things of value, such as saving for retirement, can be a bit daunting. Most results do not occur over night, and it is easy to lose steam as time passes with few immediate, visible results.
Fat loss occurs when you regularly exercise as you should over time, eat as you should regularly, also over time, and maintain the motivation to carry you through to the successful completion of the project. Accept and prepare for the fact that you will begin to lose interest. Remind yourself that the process DOES WORK, but requires time.
As Tom Venuto points out, combining diet and exercise WITH the strength of motivation to keep at it through thick and thin (no pun intended) is a powerful fat loss program indeed.