It’s the time of year when many health and fitness magazines have their top lists of how to achieve various body composition goals with countdowns such as “14 days to a six-pack”, “lose 3 inches in 7 days”, “get amazing arms, legs and abs in 8 moves” and so on.


All these statements are just unsubstantiated fluff to get you to purchase their latest edition. I feel you’re better off knowing what’s best not to do, as the below five points are more likely to bring better long term results than an unrealistic cover story.


1) Don’t Practise Insanity


Albert Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. In past New Years, have you resolved to lose weight and failed? Committed to get fitter and healthier by joining a gym and then not using the membership? Or undertaken the “eat less, do more” methodology, which makes you feel terrible and give up on your goals?


Here’s a stat for you: self-directed fat loss programmes fail a staggering 98 percent of the time. Make 2015 the year you try a new approach.


2) Don’t Sit


Inactivity is not just making us fat it is killing us. There is a lot of research supporting the fact that a lack of physical activity is impacting our society negatively. The British Heart Foundation estimate that around 37 percent of deaths from cardiovascular heart disease (CHD) are related to a lack of physical activity, compared to 19 percent from smoking. The Joint Health Survey of 1999 found that 75 percent of women and 63 percent of men are less physically active than the recommended levels for health gain. This research is even more significant when considering that “in the last 20 years, obesity has tripled, yet levels of calorie consumption have reduced slightly over the last 50 years” (Obesity in Britain BMJ, 1995). In other words, we are actually eating less but getting fatter.


The simple fix is to move more. I’m not talking about running or planned exercise. Many people visit a gym twice per week for their workout, but then go on to have a more sedentary week than non-gym users. If we consider that the average workout — 600kcals x 2 = 1,200 calories per week. Compared to a brisk half-hour walk to work every day (150kcals each way) = 1,500 calories per week.


Simply move. Get out of the chair and walk… everyone should be taking a minimum of 10,000 steps per day.


3) At The Gym


a) Limit isolation exercises


Every session should aim to conduct full body, functional exercises to develop complete muscle unity, fitness and optimal gene expression (broad athletic competence with optimal strength-to-weight ratio). What that means is perform squats, dips, chins and deadlifts — not leg adductor, triceps kickbacks and shoulder shrugs — to elicit the best hormone profile and metabolic expenditure.


b) Stay away from machines


No machines equals improved stability, coordination, balance, proprioperception and increased energy expenditure. Exercises ideally need to be multidirectional movements — only performing isolated exercise to rebalance muscle strength: length relationships or develop specific areas for aesthetical reasons.


Remember this motto: “Seven days training on machines makes one weak!”


4) Don’t Be Dehydrated


We live in a hot climate. Water is often the most neglected nutrient. Dehydration leads to higher cortisol output. Cortisol is the stress hormone related to body fat storage in the abdominal area.


As a rule of thumb, you should drink approximately 800ml to 1 litre of water per 23kg of bodyweight. The best indication that you are staying well-hydrated is that your morning urine should be clear and odourless.


5) Don’t Stay Up Late


Your body requires deep, restful, restorative sleep to heal, detoxify, maintain cognitive benefits, and keep all systems running smoothly. Research shows that most people do not get enough sleep, but also the quality of sleep is often interrupted and not restorative.


Sleep deprivation seriously obstructs fat loss and muscle building. Lack of sleep lowers androgen levels and growth hormone levels, thus depriving you of some serious fat burning and muscle growing chemicals and mechanisms. There is a huge link between being overweight/obese and lack of sleep.


While there are many mistakes that can be made in trying to lose fat, gain health and improve fitness, correcting these five errors will help you achieve results faster than ever.


Phil is founder & master trainer at Body Expert Systems. Contact him on 0934 782763, at his website or through Star Fitness —

More in this category: « Recovery The Fizzy Fiend »
Phil Kelly

Phil is an avid sportsman and loves most things fitness. With the final realisation that he would not be an All Black, he turned his full focus to studying the human body in regard to improving movement and posture, developing strength, function and performance, as well as scrutinising the conventional wisdom of nutrition for fat loss and performance. He loves challenging the 'norm' and is dedicated to the prosperity and health of his clients and the community. He has a mission to educate and empower people to "be all they can be" by providing accurate, research proven and industry leading information. 


Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.Basic HTML code is allowed.

Online Partners