Setting weight loss goals, creating a reward system, and buddying up with like-minded people are small tips that you will find in part 3 of this expert interview series. By following them they will have they a huge impact on to your fat loss success.

As you begin to set your goals make sure you schedule time to stretch your muscles. Stretching is important because it increases flexibility, which lessens the chance of injury as you will learn more in today’s post.

So let’s get started.

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Scott: This question kind of made me laugh, but maybe they’re serious:

Do you have to be active on your days off or can you just lay around?

Craig: Well, if you’re going for fat loss, we don’t necessarily have to force someone to go and do 30 minutes of cardio. But, we look at the guidelines for healthy active living. You need to be active every day of the week, even if it’s just a 30 minute walk around the block, or 30 minutes of stretching, or 30 minutes of yoga.

Everyone is going to benefit by being active. There are so many benefits to physical activity from reducing depression, improving mobility, cardiovascular, you just can’t lay around! That’s not what we built for. Even cats get to exercise every day, and they lay around most of the day. Every animal in the wild gets to exercise every day; we need to take notice of that.

So, if your day consists of getting up, walking outside to your car, driving to work, sitting at a desk, getting back in that car, driving home, and then sitting around at home, that lifestyle is going to lead to early death, unfortunately.

Research shows that even people who exercise regularly that spend almost every other minute of their waking life sitting down at a computer, lying down or watching TV also are at a risk of early death, so you actually need to stay as active as possible, even if you work out regularly.

I know this it’s a joke question, but a serious question and someone wanted to ask it in a funny way. You really do need to stay active even on your off days for so many reasons. The last thing I’ll just mention is mobility.

Again, if you look at all the activities I described, sitting in a car, sitting at a desk, watching TV, all have very bad effects on you posture. Even if you have good posture you may see people who can’t even RAISE BOTH ARMS OVER THEIR HEADS because they were hunched over their desk all the time.

So you may see people with a rounded upper back as they get older. If you move properly and are doing a variety of activities you’re going to combat that.  Before you know it, you’re going to be one of those people who at 75 years old, look and feel like a 55 year old person, moving around super awesome. However, if you just lay around all day you’re going to be in trouble.

Scott: Yes. I think a lot of people want to do as a minimal amount as possible, but they’re just thinking about, “What’s the minimum I can do for fat loss?” They’re not thinking about being functional as they get older in life and that’s really important to start thinking about now.

Craig: Yes. I’ll go back to what I mentioned before, three days of workouts, but then do something you love. There’s got to be some type of activity that you can enjoy, whether it’s walking around the mall and window shopping, or whether it’s yoga or Pilates, or workout videos where you dance along with people.  Even if your just stretching , using the foam roller or recovering from the workout the day before that movement is helpful to you.

Scott: Craig, I got a couple of questions about the abs and losing belly fat, which I know is always popular .I’ll just read them both:

What’s the best way to lose belly fat before the end of the summer? What is the most efficient way to lose belly fat in the love handles?

Craig: Well, the answers are going to be the same for each question and they’re also going to be pretty much the same as what we talked about so far today. I guess a couple more advanced strategies that are very common among trainers is for people to try out two weeks with no wheat and then after that two weeks of no dairy. So, you just take one out at a time.

Some people say if they’re lean, but they really are having trouble getting rid of the last bit of fat over their abdominals to take two weeks off and consume no wheat products at all, then you might end up with flatter abs. Or you might take two weeks off of dairy you’ll have the same results.

On the other hand, guys like me, I eat wheat and dairy almost every day, so I don’t have any problem with that. But, that might be something you want to try. Other than that it’s simply the interval training, research shows that helps you lose belly fat, and nutrition, that is the most important thing.

If you really want to get lean before the end of the summer you’re asking for advanced results and that means you have to take advanced measures, which means being super strict, like bodybuilding or fitness competitor strict with your diet. It means you’re going to be hungry a lot, but if you really want to get those abs you’re going to have to cut your calories and do your training.

It’s pretty simple, there’s no magic route to it. Although, if you do have problems with those two foods that I mentioned you might have faster than normal results by cutting one of them out for two weeks, seeing how that goes, and then cutting the other one out.

Scott: Craig, I know you’ve talked a lot about fruit in the past and this question wanted to know about specific types of fruits.   How healthy are the “sweet” fruits, like bananas, mangos, and dates?

Craig: They’re very healthy fruits. I don’t look at any fruit as being unhealthy. So, in my diet I’ll eat probably two or three bananas a day, some days I’ll eat five to ten dates along with that. I just eat probably 10 servings of fruit per day.

I know a friend of mine who is a very famous trainer, his name John Hines, he owns MonkeybarGym.com and a place in Madison, Wisconsin also called Monkeybar Gym. He’ll eat eight to 12 bananas in one day and he’s lean, he’s 45 years old and looks like he’s 30.

Really I think that someone in this bodybuilding culture has really screwed up by making people afraid of fruit. There’s maybe 100 calories in a banana if you get a really big banana. Yes, there is some sugar in it, but there’s also a lot of fiber in it, so it’s not the same as a soda, it’s not the same as candy. It’s completely different and again, I would never limit somebody from eating a banana or dates, or any fruit.

That’s all for today. Join me in part 5 where I give you some varieties that you could do with one exercise without any equipment.

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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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