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  • Writer's pictureCRAIG BRYAN


I recently read an interesting article about fat loss by Paul Carter on T-Nation. I have included many of his ideas and made some changes and additions for those over 50.

Let’s face it, dropping body weight is hard for most people, especially as we get older. We have a very overweight society

due to many factors such as fast food, larger portions and more sedentary lifestyles. When I was in Japan the only overweight people I saw there were the tourists. Most Japanese people walk and bike everywhere and tend to eat healthier foods. It used to be when you went to a restaurant your average plate of food might be 500-600 calories, now that plate of food is 1200 to 1500 calories and maybe more. Then they bring around the dessert cart. The hardest thing for most people to is start that journey to losing weight but it is doable and once you get started you might just find that it is easier than you think.

These are my three groups of people I find when it comes to weight loss.

OCD Group

They change everything at once and start with a vert strict nutritional plan. Initially they drop weight but are really losing muscle mass and water weight. The weight loss eventually stops because the body adjusts to less calories. Which really means your metabolism also adjusted to less calories. The body seeks homeostasis, that state of balance so it will adapt to whatever is happening to it. When you drastically lower your calories your energy level will also drop. You may find that your workouts are such a struggle that you can barely get to the gym, which will also slow down your weight loss. There are also those folks in this group that think they must drop the weight before they start exercising. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that line. "As soon as I get this weight off I'll start exercising".

The Yo-Yo Group

Individuals in this group get really motivated and excited to start their weight loss. They do great for a while then someone offers a piece of cake or a Krispy Kreme doughnut and they eat it. They are now at a choice point and often they think they failed so they just give up for a while. They may even gain back more than they lost. They usually start over again and again and their scale continually goes up and down. They may even drop some weight during the week but party on the weekend and their weight is back up on Monday when they weigh in. They are usually the ones that try every fad diet, new diet pill or infomercial exercise equipment, only to find out that after a few days or weeks, they all lose their luster.

Last group is the Coached Group

Obviously, this is my favorite group. We work up a nutritional and training plan together then make adjustments along the way to ensure continued progress. The key is having a plan you can stick with then making progressive steps when you hit a plateau. This includes making gradual changes in both your nutritional plan and your workouts. Almost everyone gets frustrated along the way and most give in to temptation every now and then. The key is not to give up at that point but to get back on track. Most reasonable nutrition plans have room for your favorite dish once a week. Mine is a Saturday morning Maple Long John doughnut with my high-protein breakfast, but just one, once a week, that’s it. By the way there’s no such thing as a cheat day or cheat weekend. I have seen folks ruin their whole week on a Saturday or Sunday binge. But you do have to make room for those favorite foods occasionally.

I have said before this isn't easy and it takes hard work and commitment to lose weight and keep it off. But the benefits are a healthy body and a sense of well-being. You are going to feel better, be more energized, sleep better. You may even be able to get off some of your medications that you are currently taking. The benefits that you gain will far outweigh anything you think you are giving up.

And the final piece to the puzzle,


Ease into training if you never done it before. It should be a slow and steady process but the benefits are well worth it. You want to strengthen your tendons and ligaments before ramping up your training to push heavier weight. Doing too much too fast will leave you you sore and frustrated. If your already weight training you will need to slowly increase your training to a few more days a week. You should do 2 to 3 days of weight training along with 2 to 3 days of cardio. You can either do your cardio after you work out or do your cardio first thing in the morning to burn more body fat. If you weight train for 45 minutes and get in 20-30 minutes of cardio you will increase your energy expenditure, increase lean muscle and burn fat. The more lean muscle mass you have the more calories you burn. This is where a good training and nutritional coach comes in. You have to start out slow making adjustments along the way, Pay attention to how you feel and work closely with your coach to make steady progress.

If you are ready to start on this journey, let me know. If you know someone who would benefit from this information please share with them. Good luck on your journey!

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