The most important component of working out does not take place in the gym. What most people do not realize is 60-80% of your results in the gym come down to food intake. Having been a trainer for eight years, I have seen some people work out so hard and yet never see the results they are looking for. Think about it for a second, you most likely will spend around 6-8 hours in the gym a week. That is only 4% of your week, which means that you are relying on the rest of your results outside of the gym.

It is also important to realize it is easy to lose weight, but it is harder to lose body fat. Most weight loss programs, like Atkins, South Beach and Weight Watchers concentrate on weight loss, not on fat loss. Even when you go to the doctor's office they measure your body composition by how much you weigh. If you lose weight without weight training and you are eating too little calories per day most likely what you are loosing is water and muscle. In turn what happens is most people gain the weight back plus more. Have you ever heard of a skinny fat person? What is happening to these individuals is they are losing water and muscle. In return when they gain the weight back, it is all fat and now they have a slower metabolism and lost muscle tone.

It all comes down to calories in equals calories out. Now let's take a few minutes to calculate your own personal caloric intake. Use the caloric intake calculator form on the right, and write down the caloric intake numbers it returns, and continue reading.

There are certain things that affect your resting metabolic rate, such as genetics, age, fat free mass, caloric restriction, temperature, hormones, and menopause. Although it feels like the odds are against you, if you are working out and eating healthy you can see the results you are looking for in just a few weeks.

How many meals a day do you eat? If your response is one or two, you are placing your body in starvation mode which means that your body will hold onto fat and burn muscle. If your answer is 4-6 meals a day, your answer is correct. It is important to remember that eating speeds up your metabolism.

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