Every spring, numerous people realize that they’re not looking forward to the shorts and tank top season.

Every spring, numerous people realize that they’re not looking forward to the shorts and tank top season. During the cool months of fall and winter, many of us gain a few pounds that we hide under layers of clothing. For better or worse, many of us don’t feel comfortable combining the winter weight with the summer clothing. The question then becomes: How can we lose the extra pounds before the real hot weather hits?



I don’t like to give out nutritional advice, but I will point out the obvious: Diet is important when it comes to fat loss. Above and beyond everything else, maintaining a slight caloric deficit is imperative. It doesn’t matter what special diet one follows—if calories are too high, there will be no weight loss. If calories are extremely low (or if the diet is nutritionally lacking), muscle loss, reduced immune function, low energy levels, and a bunch of other problems can be experienced. Research and use common sense. Avoid extremes on either end of the spectrum.


Weight training doesn’t need to change

I’ve long been a believer in consistent, heavy

training that relies on progressive overload. Just because one is aiming to lose body fat doesn’t mean they should approach their weight training any differently than normal. Weight training, in my humblest of opinions, should always be about increasing (or at least maintaining) muscular strength and size. The most efficient way to achieve either of these goals is to focus on executing quality repetitions with progressively heavier weight each and every workout. Fitness magazines and websites are notorious for dishing out “flavor of the month” workouts, but the truth is that the basics will always work.

While hardcore circuit workouts are often touted for their “fat-burning” properties, I’m inclined to see them as the worst of both worlds—why? The extremely short rest periods do create a somewhat aerobic effect within the training session, but still not quite equivalent to a dedicated session of cardiovascular exercise.

Meanwhile, the very same short rest periods don’t allow for adequate recovery time in between sets, the result being that the trainee isn’t able to lift as much pure poundage as they’d normally be capable of, ultimately resulting in reduced gains in the way of strength and size. Having said all that, circuits can still be a feasible option for those really crunched on time, but even then, I might

suggest alternating between dedicated cardiovascular and weight training workouts.

It may be beneficial to increase exercise

Burning some extra calories through extra physical activity is the tried and true method of fat loss. However, excessive amounts of ex

ercise, in regards to one’s personal schedule, can also be unsustainable in the long run. A couple years ago, I achieved quite a respectably lean appearance, but I did so through tons of extra cardio exercise. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but when my schedule changed and I didn’t have as much time available to dedicate to exercise, I ultimately gained all that weight back. This was because…


Balancing nutrition and exercise is crucial

If losing weight and keeping it off is the goal, extreme methods will not work in the end. Massive amounts of weight can be lost with crash dieting or marathon exercise sessions, but such habits aren’t sustainable, let alone healthy. The safest, most effective and most healthy method of weight loss is to combine a sensible diet with a sensible exercise routine. Relying on just exercise or just diet exclusively is likely to result in trouble down the road when challenges inevitably prevent themselves. Instead, sensibly combine both approaches for optimal long-term results. ?