Torres column: How to burn the last 5 pounds or 2% of body fat
Let’s be honest and face reality. Not everyone wants to lose the last 5 pounds or 2% of body fat to get that toned body. When people get to the point of losing the last 2% of fat and entering the athlete category, the reality is that they are doing it to look good. There’s nothing wrong with this goal: We get a feeling of accomplishment and feel more comfortable with our bodies.
Now, many people want to have a toned body, but not everyone wants to pay the price. I think if you eat healthily and exercise daily, you don’t need to lose the last 5 pounds. You are already healthy and are taking good care of yourself. Accepting your body and being happy with it is a mature decision. We all have different dreams and desires. I believe no one should persuade you to change if you are happy with your body. In the end what really counts is that you are physically and mentally happy.
But if you decide you want to lose the last 5 pounds or 2% of body fat, the first step is knowing that you need to get out of your comfort zone and make the extra effort to improve your body.
It’s my opinion that to lose the last 5 pounds you need to be mentally focused toward your goal. My plan is not to persuade you to do the next steps I’m about to give you. My plan is to give you the resources you need to lose the last 5 pounds or 2% of body fat if that is what you choose to do.
There are three basic factors I’ve noticed you need to focus on to lose the last 2% of body fat.
1) Your eating habits should include eating completely cleanly by eliminating refined sugars, added sugar drinks or alcoholic drinks; eating on schedule; eating a healthy breakfast; eating organic; cooking at home; eating a high percentage of veggies; snacking on fruits; and controlling portion size. There is no diet to follow, just simply eating healthily. My guess is that you want your toned body to stick with you forever, so plan on finding what works for you and enjoy your meals … and your life.
2) You need strength training to tone muscles. It’s simple: If there are no muscles, there is nothing to tone. Fat can’t be toned. Find a weight lifting program that works. There are many programs out there that work, just make sure you choose one that has a periodization base and low injury risk, that works all the big muscle groups, and does not take more than an hour.
3) Cardiovascular training is the last factor. You don’t need to sign up for a marathon or any competitive event. However, if this is what motivates you to do cardio, then by all means, do it. But once again, think about your lifestyle and make sure it’s something that you can keep up with. Keep in mind there are many types of cardiovascular training you can participate in: hiking, swimming, running, biking, cross country skiing, jumping rope and others. Try them all and do the ones you enjoy. I believe all are fun to do.
As I said before, we all have different passions. If different types of athletes have healthy eating as a base, they all can be healthy. There are some runners whose only exercise is running. There is nothing wrong with that. Their bodies are skinnier than a weight lifter’s; they may not have the strength of a weight lifter, but they are healthy. On the other hand, a weight lifter may not be as skinny as a runner, and they may not have the endurance of a runner, but they can still be healthy. Both have different passions: One loves the endurance and the speed, and the other loves to be strong and to pick up heavy things.
Now, to have a toned body and enjoy both worlds, one must do both. This is the best way to get rid of the last 5 pounds or 2% of body fat and have the muscle to tone.
There are many levels of accomplishment, and you truly know how far you want to get. Do you want a toned body? Go for it and get it. Remember that the goal is to be healthy, and you don’t have to have a toned body to be healthy. These recommendations are only for the people who want to go the extra mile.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and author of the book “Lose Weight Permanently.” His column appears on the second Monday of the month in Body & More.
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