Keeping the Resolution

People who look lean don’t go on diets and starve
themselves, they don’t attempt to do countless
amounts of exercise every day, and they don’t
obsess over weight loss and battle the bathroom
scale. In fact, they do the opposite. That being
said, you will be encouraged to know that getting
lean and staying lean is absolutely doable from
an action standpoint. But looking lean requires
you to change the way you think.

There is an abundance of inaccurate thinking about
weight loss. Where does it come from? The weight-loss
industry! Think about it for a second:
The weight-loss business is a multibillion-
dollar-per-year industry. If what
they taught people actually worked, then
people would become fit and healthy
and the industry would begin to lose
business. What is the core message
they teach people? You’ve heard it a
million times: Eat less, exercise more and
you’ll lose weight. But that advice is not
working, and you can no longer ignore
the facts.

Right now in our country there are
more people on diets and involved with
extreme exercise programs than ever
before in our history, yet the percentage of overweight
Americans and obesity-related illnesses continues to rise.
In other words, there are more people eating less, more
people exercising more and more people getting fat. Very
simply, that’s rock-solid proof that what most people are
doing now to lose weight is not working. The reality is
that the eat-less-exercise-more weight-loss myth is fundamentally
incorrect and sets people up for failure. The great
news, however, is that there is a select group of people out
there who have already figured this out and who think
accurately. They’re called lean people. Here are the five
proven strategies used to create success.

People Who Look Lean Focus
on Fat Loss, Not Weight Loss

Being lean starts with the understanding
that weight loss and fat loss are
not the same. Weight loss is an ambiguous
term and doesn’t tell you whether you’ve
lost fat weight or muscle weight. Fat loss
is a specific term with a single meaning:
loss of body fat. Most of your body’s fat is
stored on top of your muscles and consequently
determines how “defined” or lean
you are. Having more fat on your body
leads to a variety of health problems.

"The bathroom
scale doesn’t
measure
whether you
lose fat weight
or lose muscle
weight."

The point is that looking good and feeling
great has absolutely nothing to do with general
weight loss. It’s losing body fat that makes you
look leaner, and it’s losing body fat that makes
you healthier so you feel great.

People Who Look Lean Eat
Wisely, Not Less

When you
don’t provide your body with enough fuel
(food) to keep up with its energy demands, your body is forced
to burn its own muscle tissue as an energy source. Straight to the
point, when you deprive yourself, what’s actually showing up on
the scale is a loss of muscle weight. Why is that such a big deal? The
fact is that muscle tissue is one of the largest contributing factors in
determining the speed of your metabolism. So when your body is
forced to burn its own muscle for energy it sets off a chain reaction of
detrimental consequences:

The weight-loss industry has everyone trapped in a hamster
wheel, and that’s why 98 percent of the people who lose weight
rebound and gain it back within five years. The real kick in the teeth
is that you’re not just losing weight and gaining it back; you’re losing
muscle weight and gaining fat weight. What about you? When you
stand naked in front of the mirror, do you see less muscle and more
fat than you had before? If so, then it’s time to start eating enough
to protect your valuable tissue so you can keep your metabolism
functioning efficiently.

People Who Look Lean Exercise Wisely, Not More
Time. Without doubt it’s the No. 1 reason people have for not
exercising consistently. Part of the problem is that the weight-loss
industry has convinced everyone that “more is better,” and consequently
too many people set themselves up for failure by
getting started on unrealistic programs that either lead to
burnout or that they just don’t have time to stick with.
With that in mind, there’s absolutely no point in even
getting started on a program that you can’t stick with
and that sets you up for failure.

The encouraging truth is that exercise doesn’t take
long to be effective, and that people who look lean have
discovered how to create consistency by making their exercise
both effective and time efficient. They combine a few brief
cardio sessions each week with a few brief weight-training sessions
in a format I call “the 1-2 punch.” Here’s why it works: Cardio
activity burns fat, and a faster metabolism from weight training not
only allows your body to burn more fat while
you’re doing your cardio, but speeds your
metabolism 24/7 so you can burn more fat all
the time.

People Who Look
Lean Measure Body
Fat, Not Body Weight

Reality check: The bathroom
scale doesn’t measure
what kind of weight you lose. What about
you? When you step on the scale and
it says you lost 10 pounds, are you 100
percent sure that it came
from body fat and not
muscle? Measuring your
body fat and monitoring
your lean body weight
is the only way you can
be sure. People who look
lean ignore the scale and
are much more focused
on keeping their body fat
levels down.

Weight Training
(Not Endless
Hours of Cardio) Is
the Absolute Key
to Fat Loss

Fact: Muscle tissue
helps control the speed
of your metabolism.
Your metabolic rate is
like a fire. When you
protect and maintain
your muscle, your fire will remain hotter and bigger. As a result,
your body will consume more energy, or calories, all day, not just
when you’re exercising. Therefore from a fat-burning perspective,
protecting the muscle you have and rescuing the muscle you’ve lost
must become your top priority.

Hands down the most effective activity for rescuing
and protecting muscle is weight training because it’s
the only activity that involves all your major muscle
groups through a full range of motion. People who
look lean understand that even though they may
participate in other activities, the other activities
cannot and do not replace the benefits you get from
weight training.

Bruce Day is the developer of the Eat Wise and Exercise educational DVDs
and the creator of the
Learn to Be Lean fat-loss system. Day has more than
27 years of experience teaching fitness and nutrition.

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