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Fat (Weight) Loss Cheat Sheet - Build Strength, Tone Up, & Feel Good!

If you want to lose weight, tone up, and see some shape and muscle definition ?

Want to see your abs?

And tone what you may call the 'problem' areas?

It's me - Anton Hedges, Health/Fitness Expert, in my fifth decade now.

Then you will need to lower your body fat...

Thing is, these days many people are offended (by everything) by the word FAT so we usually tend to tip toe around it and stay in the comfort of denial!

We've also talked about how (consuming) fat doesn't make you fat

(Check that post out in the info section)

The media has brainwashed the masses into thinking that consuming fat makes you fat.

When in reality a caloric excess and a sedentary lifestyle makes one overweight with a high body fat percentage.

*Now obviously, if you are overweight (or obese) you WILL need to lose weight so that you are at YOUR natural healthy weight, this post is more about toning and how to shape up, learn how online warrior Michelle lost 25kg:

So if you want to feel and see a 'change' then you will need to (make a change) remove body fat and ideally through including resistance exercise..

For example, 100 sit ups per day won't give you a 6-pack

Everyone has abs (abdominal muscles) however, unless you remove the layer of fat that surrounds them then it wouldn't matter how many sit ups you do, you won't see any difference unless you lower your body fat %

(Also, why what we consume (our nutrition) also plays a big part, more on that in a moment..)

Below, is another example of why we would use resistance and strength based movements and activity instead of ONLY doing cardio for fat (weight) loss

Many people ONLY do cardio in their quest to lose weight but what is the actual weight you are losing?

Therefore, that 'weight' you attempt to lose doesn't tell the whole story, which is why you will have the EXACT same body shape, tone, definition, composition, whatever you prefer to call it, regardless of if you WEIGH 60, 70, or 80 Kilogram!

As demonstrated below UNLESS you also incorporate some resistance movements AKA strength training

Thing is, I've been there so get it, the scales - therefore, weight is the most assessable way to monitor progress, however, it's not the most accurate!

Also, A lack of progress, or being a slave to the scales, is what leads people to just give up on their goals...

Which leads to motivation and willpower wearing off - These are just thoughts and feeling which mean they are temporary and why we also have to train them too.

So, how do you measure your body fat?

We use callipers to measure but you can also now purchase scales with body fat % included for a reasonable price

However, you can also actually see AND feel it - If it jiggles then it's fat :p

I'd suggest also taking picture as the camera never lies...

Well, unless you are an online influencer or in the high majority of people working in the 'health & fitness industry' who manipulate and filter their perfect bodies, relationships, and lives all over social media!

The below picture should give you an idea of where YOU are at and where YOU want to be with your body fat

You can also see that the lower the body fat, the more muscle tone, definition, and shape (abs) you will have.

Bodybuilders are extremely low body fat (usually on roids) and not overly healthy, as it's a sport, it's not about wellness!

> This all comes back to clarity of what you want, why, and what you are prepared to DO to achieve it <

Personally I find appearance only goals a bit empty, if you have goals for your health and wellbeing or even performance (alongside balanced nutrition AGAIN) will help you stay focused and the aesthetics, the look, will just arrive naturally.

Ideal for the majority of people I work with who are busy professionals that just want to look, move, and feel great without hours of endless exercise, boring diets, and special supplements..

This is why we have a balanced (5-pillar wake up warrior) system that includes and combines strength, conditioning/cardio, nutrition etc for ongoing and sustainable results - LIFE, not just for a transformation picture

Which brings me back to the fake filters on social media especially within the 'health & fitness' industry


IF we continue to compare your results and reality to things that are NOT real, you/we will always feel unfulfilled and this will also impact on ones mental health, serious problem within the health and fitness industry!

Above - Its me again. Demonstrating, on the left, my everyday shape and body fat % of around 12-15% and the pic on the right (unfiltered) is an UNSUSTAINABLE 5-6% body fat challenge >>The time between the above pictures is 10-14days<<

*Again, I can FEEL and see when things are changing, therefore, I don't actually need scales etc*

Staying in and around the 12-15% (on the left) ALL year round is realistic and easy enough because I have a system but also clear clarity that my exercise and balanced eating, is part of my ongoing (physical, mental, and emotional) wellbeing.

By balanced, I will indulge and enjoy my favourite foods like chocolate a few times each week NOT each day.

Same with things like beers, burgers, and pizza etc but this allows me to feel and look good but still have a life!

Then if and when I chose to do a challenge, which are great for mixing up my ongoing wellness to keep things interesting as well as seeing what my body can achieve as I continue to age. These challenges may occasionally blatantly be a pure aesthetics/vanity goal, because I'm off to the beach or something, but it then doesn't take me long to drop my body fat and see even more shape, tone, abs. IF I CHOOSE TO DO SO

Which is why I achieved the above result in less than 2 weeks, instead of bulking, stripping, yo-yoing etc

*Obviously if you are starting from 20% body fat you will need to lose more or have a different fat % goal*

Now for FULL TRANPARENCY - The bit they DON'T show/tell you on the socials.

The 5% pic/shape is unsustainable, NOBODY walks around like that ALL the time. The day before the picture I minimalised my water intake which dehydrates the body which is why the abs pop even more for the 'day of the picture'

Also, I increased the intensity of my 3 ongoing weekly wellness routines that included a few extra 'finishers'

I then added extra walking (I walk every day that doesn't count) of around 30+ mins for another 3 days per week (between the wellness workout days) Therefore, increasing my workload and intensity.

Then lets not forget. I removed my fav foods from my diet for 2 weeks. Which of course is a struggle and unsustainable, why it was a challenge, all of this can lead to feeling low, lethargic, and miserable, so I fancied a beer, which was also at a minimum!

*So instead of my usual 80-20 rule, 80% real natural foods and 20% favs for ongoing (12-15% body fat) everyday living. It was more of a 95%-5% which is why it's unsustainable and really not much fun at all!*

Which is why I didn't consume any takeaways and processed and simple carb foods either, not that I eat much of that kind of dead energy/nutrient man made sugary foods anyway.

This, alongside my specific exercise systems brings about a ketosis (fat burn/loss) state

Ketosis is a process that occurs when your body uses fat as its main fuel source. Normally, your body uses blood sugar (glucose) as its key energy source. You typically get glucose in your diet by eating carbohydrates (carbs) such as starches and sugars. Your body breaks the carbohydrates down into glucose and then uses the glucose as fuel.

Your liver stores the rest and releases it as needed.

Why you hear about low carb diets, but carbs are fuel and fuel is energy, low energy = EVERYTHING is a struggle

And the fact there are simple carbs (the process sugar etc) and complex carbs (natural whole grains etc) which is why I'm eating them during challenges, and also why there is a better balanced healthier way to incorporate ketosis than cutting all your carbs, especially for a weight loss diet because of course it's unsustainable, perhaps why you yo yo with your weight?

However, fitness industry loves it what with being a multi million pound industry however, it's a strange place, from the outside looking in? Everything looks ‘perfect’ Everyone is in shape, Half naked. And smiling (note that I’m NOT smiling)

From the inside?

It's a VERY different story, TRUST me

Whilst ‘most’ personal trainers and coaches are in shape and whilst many do walk around half naked

Behind the smiles?

They're often just as insecure as people OUTSIDE the industry, probably more so!

Just something to consider before you start believing the hype of peoples perfect bodies, success, happiness, lives etc Also if you are expecting some miracle pill, powder, or juice to be the answer even IF the 'experts' promote them!

The majority of these online 'experts' do these low carb unsustainable strip downs for a photo shoot, which is usually about a promo, in order to manipulate you in to believing they look this way all year round, whilst just using the same photos, in an attempt to get you to buy their product.

Not forgetting the steroids that assists the work they are doing

Therefore, just comparing your results and reality to a fake result and reality!

(I could name a few famous ones but not today)

Anyhow, back to the fat loss and how do we achieve it (for either an everyday health or challenge shape)

With regards the strength training (resistance) I break strength training down to two basic forms of resistance:

Intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic exercise means using your own body for resistance, body-weight push ups, squats and rows etc

While extrinsic involves moving an external weight.

Since most daily activities, and sports, do both, it's important to develop both skills.

This means you don't have to be hours in the gym lifting weights, bodybuilders do, but a lot of the people I work with don't even have access to or even enjoy the gym. We'll use more kettlebell and dumbbells to incorporate more real usable strength (& conditioning) movements that build tone, athleticism, and burn fat fast!

Although whilst on the subject of the gym..

If you think about it, where do you see the people with the BEST bodies?

It's not the people in the cardio suite constantly pounding on the treadmills and the like

It will usually be in the free weights area

Many woman BELIEVE (our belief systems can hold us back) that if they train any form of strength they will get big, this is impossible UNLESS they are on the juice/roids, as ladies only have a small amount of testosterone

So all that's gonna happen is they will find they actually build a strong aesthetically pleasing body shape through that balance of strength and cardio etc that will also leave you less prone to injuries and aches and pains!

Above - This example (I've borrowed from onaquest) Katie has increased her weight by adding LEAN muscle mass

Another example of why strength training is required - The runner who ONLY runs (training bias and beliefs again)

Absolutely amazing if you are doing it for your overall wellbeing, fitness, physical, and mental health but 'steady state' running alone WON'T change (after the initial) your body shape that much..

If you do same 30/60 min run at a steady state pace this will help with the above and improve your run conditioning. It will also work your cardio vascular system and keep your fitness and conditioning at THAT level...

Now, while exercises such as running and cycling are indeed effective for reducing body fat, these activities can simultaneously decrease muscle size, shape and tone, leading to weaker muscles and greater perceived weight loss, as muscle is more dense that fat. But unlike endurance exercises, evidence shows resistance exercise are not only beneficial for reducing body far it also increases muscles size (guys) and strength.

The more muscle (lean muscle mass) you have the MORE fat you burn!

Why strength, cardio, conditioning, recovery and fat burning are all part of the warrior wellness 5-pillar balance

How do we/you burn fat?

Well, instead of that steady state run, which is fine if you are trying to improve your run conditioning for an event and the like - revert back to clarity, try incorporating a few sprints at the end as this will initiate the 'afterburn'

Similar to resistance training and things like HIIT high intensity interval training which isn't actually suitable for everyone all the time because of the high intensity AND impact of exercises

So how does the afterburn work? Briefly...

Science stuff - Shorter intense bursts produce EPOC - The Afterburn.

E - excess

P - Post Workout

O - Oxygen

C - Consumption

This produces an 'energy deficit' so that you continue to burn fat to make up the deficit and here's the great news, possibly for up to 48 hours (perhaps your next workout & why I only need 2-3 main weekly workouts)

When we exercise, our muscles need more energy than they do when resting. This energy comes from our muscles’ ability to break down fat and carbohydrate (stored within the muscle, liver and fat tissue) with the help of oxygen.

So during exercise, we breathe faster and our heart works harder to pump more oxygen, fat, and carbohydrate to our exercising muscles.

What is less obvious, however, is that after we’ve finished exercising, oxygen uptake actually remains elevated in order to restore muscles to their resting state by breaking down stored fat and carbohydrates. This phenomenon is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) – though more commonly known as the “after-burn effect”. It describes how long oxygen uptake remains elevated after exercise in order to help the muscles recover.

The extent and duration of the after-burn effect is determined by the type, length, and intensity of exercise, as well as fitness level and diet. Longer-lasting exercise that uses multiple large muscles, performed to or near fatigue, results in higher and longer-lasting after-burn.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) hill walk/sprints, finishers etc and high intensity resistance training are most effective at elevating both short and long-term after-burn. The reason HIIT-type exercises are thought to be more effective than steady-state endurance exercise is because of the increased fatigue associated with HIIT.

This fatigue leads to more oxygen and energy required over a prolonged period to repair damaged muscle and replenish depleted energy stores. As such, resistance exercise is an effective way to lose excess fat due to the high calorie cost of the actual training session, and the “after-burn effect”.

Although HIIT alone, why we balance, will also actually have a detrimental effect over time including on your knees, ankles, joints and ligaments and why as mentioned earlier its not necessarily suitable for everyone.

This is also why I (and how YOU) can also use walking for fat loss!

Above - Screenshot of one of those EXTRA walks I was doing during one of my challenges.

I use the local park as it has a lap that also includes a couple of hills, one short and steep and one longer but not as steep, and after bit of warm up I then do one 'steady' lap followed by one lap walking as fast as I safely can including up that short steep hill.

I attempt to get under 6mins on that fast lap (a challenge within the challenge) made one on this walk and my best to date is 5.53, which brings about that level of intensity with shorter intervals but with a lower impact that HIIT (jumping about on joints) all the time.

This in-turn also brings about the afterburn, as well as improving my conditioning to walk up hills with ease.

Workout finishers are very useful as well, think burpees - most metabolic bodyweight exercise on the planet due to the fact it has bodyweight strength/resistance and HIIT, although they can be modified to suit.

Workout finishers are sets added to the end of a workout that can be used as a replacement to HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to provide a metabolic boost to your training. Like a few sprints at the end of your usual run..

(These shorter bursts will actually help your overall fitness, due to the recovery times, than steady state cardio)

They can also be used to burn out a muscle group using higher reps or combined sets typically done with lower weights.

Above - Just demonstrating TEN body-weight fat burning movements enjoying all the health benefits of being outdoors surrounded by nature. Do between 5-10 of each moves, for a HIIT workout, or pick one and use it as a 'workout' finisher

So, there you go, you should have found this helpful especially if you are struggling or hit a plateau? Now start applying it because it will help take your results to another level!

In closing: You can start to see the pattern right? And if want something different do something different

Find your clear clarity on what you want, why, and what are you prepared to do

Monitor your progress (pics are good for fat loss)

Be realistic, don't believe the hype (and bs) and compare yourself to the fake filtered unrealistic social media BS

(Don't be so hard on yourself)

Move 3 times per week consistently, and eat more real natural foods and less processed man made junk

Attempt to get plenty of recovery - Sleep 7-8hours per night - Drink 2-3 litres of water daily

And use some of the fat burning tools shared here!

Still suffering, ask for help.

Anton 'truth' Hedges

PS - I actually have another beach trip planned for Feb 2023 so I'm off for some hill walks :p

PPS - Check out my average week of meals here and also grab your free warrior wellness (5-pillar) training guide:

Sources - Me, scitechdaily, onaquest,


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