Faster Fat Loss That’s Healthy

by Greg Landry

I received a telephone call from a lady last week. Her first word was “heeeelp”! She was on a weight loss program and only losing about one half pound per week. She wanted to speed things up but didn’t want to do anything that was unhealthy. Here’s what I told her:

If you’re interested in losing fat, you’re objective is to create a daily caloric deficit. For example, if you’re consuming 1700 calories per day, and expending 2000 calories per day, your caloric deficit is 300 calories.

So, if you’d like to increase your daily caloric deficit, you have two options; to decrease your caloric intake by eating fewer calories, or increase your caloric expenditure via more activity / exercise.

However, you cannot decrease your daily caloric intake much lower than 1200 to 1500 or so without potentially creating health and metabolism problems. So, the remaining factor in the deficit equation is caloric expenditure through increased activity / exercise.

The good news is that you can substantially increase your caloric expenditure. For example, if you’re exercising for 30 minutes three days per week, over a period of several weeks you can increase your exercise to 60 to 90 minutes per day, six to seven days per week. An example of this would be 60 minutes of aerobic exercise, six to seven days per week and 30 minutes of weight training three days per week.

So, in this example, you would increase your monthly exercise minutes from about 360 to 1800.

Plus, in addition to the calories that you’re expending during exercise, you would also substantially increase the number of calories you’re burning 24 hours-a-day, yes, you’ll even burn more calories while you’re sleeping. You can’t beat that, can you?

So, if you want to speed-up your fat loss, here’s your game plan:

1. Tone your muscles with weight training three days per week. Toned muscles supercharge your metabolism! This should be done just after your aerobic exercise session.

2. Do some type of aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, swimming, stationary cycling, aerobic dancing, etc.) on a DAILY basis (preferably in the morning) for 30 to 60 minutes! Note: If you haven’t been exercising, be sure to gradually increase your exercise time. See my article on morning exercise: AM

3. When you can, do an additional 15 to 30 minutes of less intense aerobic exercise in the evening. Some people like to do this just before their dinner meal to decrease their appetite, but after dinner is fine too. This can be as simple as a stroll around your neighborhood.

In the interest of injury prevention and not getting bored with your exercise, try to alternate the type of exercise you do. For example, walking in the morning and aerobic dance in the evening.

4. Incorporate “intervals” into most of your aerobic sessions. Intervals are a powerful tool to help boost your metabolism. They are explained in detail in my article, “Intervals for Weight Loss”.. Fit

5. Develop a more active lifestyle. Look for the “hard” way to do things – the way that requires the most energy expenditure.

Put this plan into action and you’ll like the results – you’ll look better, feel better, have less body fat and more muscle tone! Get movin’!

By Greg Landry, M.S., Exercise Physiologist

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