Foods & exercises for fat loss

Posted on January 20, 2012. Filed under: Exercise, Nutrition | Tags: , , , |

A question I was posed the other day is are there any specific foods or exercise routines I advise specifically for fat loss.


Well, the simple answer is, no.  I find just basic healthy eating habits and weight lifting routines will accomplish the needed goals.  There is no special diet or miracle routine.  And any one who says different well.. lets just say I strongly disagree with their chosen view or position.


However, as I type this I am reminded of a situation that happened years ago.


I was a trainer for a commercial chain, and my manager came over to me and asked to “talk to me for a minute.”  Usually conversations that started with this sentence usually meant he had a potential client who needed specific results which could not be trusted to any one else but me.


He tells me he has a client who wants to drop 2-3% bodyfat.  In a single week?!  The conversation basically went like this:

  • Me   – It can’t be done
  • Mgr – It can be done
  • It can’t be done
  • It’s a challenge but it can be done
  • It can’t be done
  • C’mon you’re a smart guy you could figure it out
  • You’re not getting me, it can’t be done
  • No your not getting me.  I already took their money so you are going to figure out
  •  *sigh*  I hate you


As it turned out a young lady had come in who was going out for the Airforce.  And was not yet able to meet the physical requirements, which meant their version of a bodyfat measurement.  The lady had been trying for several months using all kinds of magazine routines,  supplements like Hydroxycut and either did not lose any weight or lost weight and felt horrible.She had tried many times and was approaching a cut off date to where she would not be able to try again for some time.


I explained to her I could not guarantee results in a week,.  she corrected me and aid technically she had 10 days.  I then told her either way, we would do the best we could.  And in the end, she not only made the cut.  Told me boot camp was no problem at all  🙂

So what did I do?


Well first let’s talk nutrition.  Mainly it was a high protein, low carb diet.  I don’t mean I had her count carbs.  I basically went with sticking to what was in a natural state.  So fruits and veggie.  No bread, or grains of any kind.  And plenty of chicken, fish, and eggs.  No beef though.  It’s a natural creatine source and I wanted to avoid any form of water retention when possible

I also had her take a mega dose of Omega 3s via flax seed oil.  Now I’d probably advise fish oil, but flax does the job as well.  Fair warning for guys, high doses of flax seed oil ( +5 tbsp) can decrease testosterone in men.  So you would probably be better sticking with fish any way.  Women can do either((1,2).

Another caveat is that having to high of an intake of Omega-3s in comparison can also cause problems such as dry skin, hair, increase risk of bleeding.  So best not to megadose on a regular basis.  And if one is currently taking prescription meds, best to consult with your doctor as Omega-3 oils do have blood thinning properties.

The only beverage she was allowed was water.  And finally I had her taking a low dose of ephedra and caffeine.


Yes, I had her take ephedra.  Despite what many media outlet would have you believe the use of such a product was not dangerous.  The misuse of such a product or any product you can buy OTC is.

Any way that was our nutrition plan.  Next came exercise.


I coached her every day.  Yes, every day.  I know the infomercials like to say you can do less and burn more fat.  Sadly, that is not true.  Doing more will always get you more.  The trick is doing more intelligently.

So in the course of her routine there were no isolation or single joint movements.  This means we did nothing for arms, calves, and the only shoulder exercise we did was a standing press.

Absolutely no exercise we did involved her sitting on a machine ever.  And we finished every workout with some interval runs on a long flight of stairs I liked to use.

This means plenty of squats, push-ups, deadlifts, lunges, step ups, rows, assisted pull-ups, you get the idea.

Absolutely nothing that would be considered “cardio.”  if she wanted to go for a long walk she could, but that was it.  No running, cycling, cardio salsa (that’s what they used to call Zumba), or anything else in an aerobic class.


I made sure to vary the movement patterns.  Using multiple sets of circuits and supersets, keeping reps fairly low.


As you can see, there really is no magic voodoo when it comes to this.  And I generally use a similar framework with most clients.  the trick seems to be the mental motivation.  When a client commits to following my guidelines.  Results come quickly.  When they get in to them gradually, the results are slower.


Now I would say that what I have generally suggested works with 70-80% of people I run into.  The other 20-30% need a more specialized approach.  How do you know which you are?


Start with the basic approach of full body weightlifting routines, reduced carbs, supplement with omega-3s, and give it 3 months.   You may surprise yourself.  It’s better than doing the same thing day in, day out and getting nowhere.



Keep Fitness Groovy,

Coach W

  1. Demark-Wahnefried W, et al study to explore effects of low-fat, flax seed supplemented diet on proliferation of benign prostatic epithelium & prostate specific antigen.  Urology 2001;58:47-52
  2. Ipatova OM, et al.  biological ativity of linseed oil as the source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid.  Biomed Khim 2004;50(1):25-43

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2 Responses to “Foods & exercises for fat loss”

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YES!!!! There are no secret tricks!! It just takes hard work, dedication and positive thoughts! 🙂

Glad you like it. Now if we can just get the rest of the nation to see that we’ll be all set 😉

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