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How Can I Lose This Fat

Working On The Thick Spots
The most prevalent question we fitness folks get, has little to do with actual fitness.  Usually, it's "How can I lose fat off my (choose your least-favorite body part)?"  The answer's fairly simple:  You can lose fat off your waist (hips, butt, legs, etc.), by losing fat everywhere.

Fat is your body's energy reservoir.  And, like those big lakes we get our water from, we have no real control over just which part of the lake gets drained.  Mostly, it's a matter of genetics, because it's a "Last-In-First-Out" (LIFO) proposition, and the place where it goes on you first, is largely determined by your genetic makeup.  If you're female and your Mom put her fat on around the hips, chances are you will, too.  Same for guys.  If Dad got a big paunch, your chances of doing the same are high.  You really don't have anything to say about it.  And all the thigh cream, chitin, and hokey infomercial exercise machines in the world, aren't going to do a single thing to change your genetics.  Fat is LIFO, and if your belly got big first, it'll get small last, most likely.

It will also require diet and exercise.  Which they told you on the infomercial, but not in a way that you'd easily recognize.  Read on...

But They Promised Me... Of course they promised you!  Did you think they'd say "Our product is pure lies and half-truth, and it probably won't work for you the way we say it will!"  Do you expect them to admit that they hired all those buff bodies from an agency which specializes in elite athletes, and that, before the infomercial was made, not one of 'em had as much as seen that machine they were pretending to sweat on?  (Yes, Virginia, "pretending".  They have these spray bottles of water, and jars of petroleum jelly, see...)

"Results shown are not typical".  "Average weight loss is 1 pound per week".  "...with included diet and exercise plan..."  ... uuuuh... "DIET AND EXERCISE PLAN!!?"

You didn't read the fine print.  Probably because it was not on the screen long enough to read, and was in an area that was so visually "busy" that it was practically invisible.  Besides, they just spent an entire 30 minutes showing you their Wonderful Results, and never said a word about any damn "Diet And Exercise Plan".  What's up with that?

Like I said, you didn't read the fine print.

Nobody Told Me...
Of course somebody told you.  Unless you live in a complete vacuum, you've heard the litany over and over, from medical and fitness professionals, on the news, on PBS, from Bill Whedon (me), and even from Richard Simmons -- "To control your weight, and shape your body, you have to exercise and eat properly."  Go up and read the information on the sites belonging to outfits like American College of Sports Medicine, American Fitness Professionals & Associates, the American Council on Exercise -- pick one.  They all say the same thing.  Exercise and a proper diet.

So, What Do I Do, Then??
Actually, there are lots of things you can do, but first, let me tell you one thing you mustn't do.  You mustn't give up.  You have to understand, and believe, that what you want to accomplish is totally possible -- because most of the time, it is!  Oh, I don't mean to suggest that you can look like a supermodel or a hunky body-builder, if you don't have the genetics for it; but you certainly can become slimmer, trimmer, and stronger, if you want to.  But it's a dead certainty that you won't, if you give up.

Fix Your Diet:
That's Step One.  You don't have to starve.  In fact, starving yourself will often produce exactly the opposite result from the one you desire.  When you don't get enough food, your body knows it.  And it reacts by storing everything you eat as fat, and keeping itself going by consuming your muscle tissue!  So find out how much and what you should be eating.  There's a lot of help for that, in the form of Certified Personal Trainers, Registered Dietitians, and Nutritionists.  All three specialties are available on the World Fitness website, and at your local fitness center.  Make use of them.  Meanwhile, here are some guidelines for you.  Be sure to discuss them with your physician, particularly if you're diabetic or hypoglycemic.

1. Eat a well-balanced diet of plain, whole foods.  Stay away from supplements unless your physician tells you to use them.
2. Generally, stay away from too much fat and too much plain sugar.  High calories, little value, otherwise.
3. Eat something about an hour before you exercise, preferably a low-glycemic-index carbohydrate.
4. Consume 6 to 8 ounces of sugary liquid (Sprite, 7-Up, NOT DIET!) after your workout, to replenish muscles.

Fix Your Workout:
Living in the gym isn't necessary.  Find exercise you enjoy, and do it.  Some things you will need to do, may not be as enjoyable, but do them anyway.  Hate weights?  Look cardio or body weight training. .  Hate aerobics?  Maybe you'll find running, walking, playing racquetball, or cycling, more bearable.  But do some of both sorts of exercise.  The time emphasis should be on cardiopulmonary (aerobic) exercise, however. 

Fix Your Attitude:
You can do it.  You don't need junky exercise gear from infomercials.  You don't need Magickal Supplements to melt your fat off.  And you certainly don't need to despair because that stuff doesn't work.  You do need to admit to yourself that the responsibility for where you are now, is yours, and the responsibility for getting where you want to go, is also yours.  Adjust your attitude, and take that responsibility, and you'll be on the way to success.

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