This week I was interviewed by my friend Greg who used to work at Men’s Health. He wanted my BEST workout advice for common fat loss problems…

(Next week I’ll be back with a reader QnA.)

Greg: Thanks again for the tips for the Shape piece last week. I LOVED the backup exercises tip, and featured it pretty prominently. The story looks great, and should be on their site soon.

Now I’m working on a piece for Livestrong that could benefit from your voice.

CRAIG BALLANTYNE : Happy to help.

Greg: Ok, first question. When it comes to fat loss, what’s the most common mistake you see people making in regards to *nutrition*? Why is it a mistake and what’s the best course of action?

CRAIG BALLANTYNE: Greg, the answer is harsh, but true. Too many people LIE to themselves about how compliant they are with their nutrition.

Granted, most people are ‘good’ most of the day, but almost every day people screw up and then forget about the screw up. But then they struggle and can’t figure out why they can’t overcome a plateau.

So I work with them and we drill down into their daily diet, and suddenly, A-ha, the truth is revealed. They mention something they are eating on a regular basis that is way off their plan.

The solution is to stop lying…and you do that with a food journal. Research shows that people who use a food journal get better results than those who don’t.

And in the digital age, another study found that taking a picture of what you eat at every meal also helps.

For extra points, create a blog or workout journal on a weight loss forum and post your meals there. You’ll be less tempted to cheat when it means lying to the world.

Greg: Great, now when it comes to fat loss, what’s the most common mistake you see people making in regards to *fitness and their workouts*? Why is it a mistake? What’s the best course of action?

CRAIG BALLANTYNE: The biggest mistake is STILL relying on long, slow, boring cardio to lose fat (hard to believe after all the info that is out there).

You cannot out-cardio a bad diet (although you might be able to out-metabolic resistance train or out-interval a bad diet).

That’s what this TT MRT program is for – rapid results

Slow cardio burns very few calories, doesn’t appear to increase post-workout calorie burning, and doesn’t build muscle – so your body will never change for the better.

The best thing to do is metabolic resistance training, 3-4 days per week, where you do supersets and circuits of intense, total body exercises, with incomplete recovery so you get a lot of work done in a short amount of time.

That’s how you change your body, look sexy, and get fit.

Greg: Okay, and finally, regardless of subject matter, what do you consider to be your all-time favorite fitness tip?

Answer: You can get a great workout, without exaggeration, in 10 minutes with supersets of two multi-muscle exercises, like pairing squats with pullups and going back and forth with no rest in 10 minutes.

You can do one easy warm-up set at 25% intensity, then a second warm-up set at 75% intensity, and then two really good sets of 8-10 reps using a weight that you can regularly lift for 10 repetitions.

Another superset option is deadlifts paired with a pressing movement, such as pushups, db chest press, or shoulder press. This would be better than 50% of the workouts you see done in a commercial gym.

You’ll get more than 50%, and maybe even up to 75% of the results that you would get from a full 30-minute workout. Strength training is efficient and you get a lot of results from not a lot of work. Same with fat burning intervals.

This is great news for all busy people. However, if you have time for full fat burning workouts, here’s the most popular program I created in 2011

Back with another fat loss blueprint for you next week,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Certified Turbulence Trainer

PS – Happy New Year!

We’ll be back next week to make 2012 your best year ever.

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Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com

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