As a personal trainer I hear: “How can I get rid of belly fat, how can I get rid of cellulite, tabby arms, reduce fat around the hip area…” So, what is the real answer? 

The truth is there is NO easy “fix” to weight- loss, no supercharged exercise program for specific sections of the body, no magic pill nor diet plan that reduces fat and leads to optimum health.  Only with proper know-how, patience, determination, and realistic goals, will your fitness goals be achieved. For example, knowing and applying the 80/20 rule can set you up for long term weight-loss: 80% of successful weight-loss is due to decreased calorie consumption and 20% is exercise/movement. (Energy in < energy out). Here are 4 steps to help you apply the 80/20 rule successfully.

1. Create a personal weight-loss goal. 

Count the amount of calories you normally consume in a day and decrease that amount by 500.  For example: if you consume 2,500 calories in one day, decrease that number to 2,000.   Following this method should help you lose one to two pounds in 7 days.  Another way to eliminate calories is to burn them through exercise.  However, everyone burns calories at different rates so be careful!  It is easy to underestimate your calorie burn.  With advancing fitness technology, now there are devices/armbands that will calibrate exactly how many calories an individual burns.

2. Have patience.

Following the 80/20 rule, generally you can expect to lose 2-3 pounds per week.  Under normal circumstances, more than 2-3 pounds of weight-loss per week is considered by the National Academy of Sports Medicine to be unhealthy.

3. Create a daily food diary. 

Document the foods you eat and the calories you consume. Write down how you “feel” after certain meals.  Record your energy level throughout your day.  Being patient and documenting food consumption and personal energy levels will allow for reflection.  It is important to enjoy food, but also important that the food you consume fuels your body.

4. Move your body.

Perform 30 minutes to an hour of exercise 5 days a week.  No excuses – find a treadmill, take a walk, run outside, or enjoy your favorite fitness class, just KEEP MOVING! Remember, to accomplish muscle tone, you must first reach your optimal weight-loss goal.   To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume!

Life is all about choices and challenges! Make the choice to eat less and take the challenge to move more.

By Tamara Charbonnet, CPT, MLA

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