Nearly every person you see who has an admirable body with low body fat and six pack abs follows the fundamental principals. They could be called the Secrets to Fat Loss that many know about, but few often apply.
Those select few that DO apply these principles, are the ones we envy. Just as in anything we do, there are fundamentals that HAVE to be in place to accomplish a goal.
For instance, in basketball, before you can first make a goal, you have to know how to dribble the ball, then you have to be able to run while dribbling. In Football, you have to know how to hit, tackle, and block before you can even think about scoring a touchdown. In tennis, you have to be able to hit the ball back to your opponent consistently, before youre even able to win a point.
The same goes for fat loss. There are steps, fundamental steps, that HAVE to be in place to be successful long term. Sure you can jump ahead and go on a quick fat loss program, but if these principles arent in place, you will fail in the long run.
So without further ado, Lets Get To It
1. Graze, Dont Gorge: This may This is number one on our list for a reason. It may be one of the most daunting tasks facing our clients today. Eating smaller meals every 3-3.5 hours INCREASES your metabolism as opposed to eating only a few large meals per day. Your body can only utilize a certain amount of calories at a time, so the calories that arent store in the muscles or used for immediate energy are put right where you dont want them, in your fat cells.
2. Eat Protein With EVERY Meal: This goes hand in hand with number one and is equally important. Protein is used to build muscle. Muscle is where fat is burned. Without proper amounts of protein, you may lose weight but youll end up being a smaller version of your old self. Meaning that the pounds will come off in the form of muscle as well as fat and water weight. This can result in sagging skin.
3. Muscle the fat away: An extension of number 2. As stated muscle is where fat is burned, and each pound of muscle burns approximately 30-50 calories per day. If the amount of muscle mass is increased by a mere one pound, approximately 210-350 additional calories will be burnt per week!
4. Aerobic Exercise Timing: Aerobic exercise, when the goal is to burn fat, is best done AFTER a weight training session. When its performed before weight training, your body will spend up all the fuel it prefers, glycogen (stored carbohydrates), for weight training, leaving only amino acids and protein to fuel your muscles. The use of amino acids and protein for fuel during weight training slows your metabolism to a crawl, ultimately making your body really good at storing fat. On the other hand if you do aerobic exercise after weight training, oxygen and FAT will likely be the only sources left to be used!
5. Fill Up Tank: Would you begin a road trip to Florida with ¼ of a tank of gas? My guess is no. So why would you start your day off with a near empty stomach? On average, a person sleeps 6-8 hours per night and unless they eat in their sleep, there wont be any refueling. Studies show that eating breakfast increases the metabolism, thus increasing the amount of calories a person can burn on a daily basis. Not to mention productivity is much higher in those that eat breakfast on a regular basis. Want a natural fat burner? Eat Breakfast.
6. In With Carbs: What?! You gotta be kidding me? Are you telling me to eat the stuff that makes us fat?!?! Contrary to popular belief, Carbohydrates dont make us fat, especially if consumed immediately after your workout. Since your glycogen stores are low, eating 30-40 grams of carbs right after your workout will be used for replenishment and help maintain fat melting lean muscle mass to keep your metabolism in OVERDRIVE.
7. Ask for 2nds, Water That Is: Our bodies are made up of primarily water, and if we dont get enough our bodies hang on to every ounce contained in the foods we consume. A little known fact: Hunger is often mistaken for dehydration. So the next time you feel a hunger pang, opt for water FIRST! The more water you drink, the better youll feel and the less youll retain. The result? Youll drain your body of excess water weight.
8. The Wonder Years, Slow Cardio: The age old 45 minutes on the treadmill in your target heart rate zone is all but dead. It’s certainly still effective, but not nearly as effective as interval training. If you can’t (because of injury or some other reason) perform interval training, stick to what you know best, slow cardio. However, if you’re body can handle intervals, it will help shed fat off you like nothing you’ve ever seen. Heres how to do it:
Minute 1-5: Warm up at a moderate intensity
Minute 6-10: 20 second sprint followed by 10 second jog. Alternating for 5 minutes straight.
Minute 11-15: Cool down at low to moderate intensity
Thats it, 15 minutes and youre done. Interval training can be performed on a treadmill, in the park, on a bicycle or even on a cross trainer and studies show that the 5 minute rev in intensity spikes fat burning capability for the next 24 hours!