Summer is right around the corner and everyone wants to look their best at the beach or pool.
But as we emerge from hibernation and the layers of winter clothing are peeled away, the bodies that some folks had last fall have changed - and in most cases it's not for the better. It's not unusual to put on a few extra pounds, or more, over the winter months. This phenomenon is not lost on the "fitness" marketing industry either. They are masters of the impulse sale. This time of year we are bombarded with infomercials and ads for useless exercise equipment or how to "melt away fat" or "get slim and toned" in ridiculously short amounts of time. Slim and toned? I thought that nonsense went out in the 70's.
While there is no shortage of fitness get rich quick schemes, there are no shortcuts or miracle solutions to fat loss and better body composition either. To reduce body fat and build muscle you have to put in real work. The good news is that there is no need to reinvent the wheel, simply stick to the basics.
Start with sound nutrition. Eat protein at every meal, eggs, a variety of meats - lamb, bison, elk, beef, chicken, or fish. A wide variety of fibrous, nutrient dense vegetables, some quality fats and plenty of water. Eliminate sugar - soft drinks, cookies, ice cream, etc. Eliminate highly processed foods - chips, crackers, bread, anything with little or no nutritional value. No amount of exercise can counteract poor nutrition. 80% of your body composition is determined by nutrition.
Exercise: Strength training - Use barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells - lift, push, and press heavy weights. Push ups, pull ups, squats, lunges. Do sprints and take the occasional 2 or 3 mile run if your joints allow also. You have to challenge your body to elicit change. Get plenty of sleep to let your body recover from all of your hard work.
More often than not "revolutionary" new fitness products will deliver little more than empty promises. Avoid the latest fitness fad or craze and stay the course with the tried and true methods. As the saying goes, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."