Your body is a machine that you must do your best to take care of, however if you have let yourself build up some extra body fat over the years and you are starting to notice your love handles more often you might not be looking exactly like you had hoped. I have good news though; you can reduce your body fat faster than you increased it, and start dropping the weight fast. Adopt these 7 simple-to-start tips and your body will start changing quickly!
1. Zigzag Your Calorie Intake
Your body stores your food for energy and naturally your body stays prepared for times of possible starvation. If you consume the same calories each day even while dieting, your body will eventually adjust by lowering your metabolic rate. Your body does this to prevent you from burning off too many calories too quickly (starving).
By adjusting your calories daily, you are able to outsmart your body and start to lose fat without completely stalling your metabolism. With varying your food intake and calories each day, you can keep your starvation mechanism confused enough that you rarely feel hungry and you continue to burn fat.
2. Use Weights In Your Workout
Weight training helps stimulate fat loss in many ways. Weight training itself helps burn calories naturally; however weight training has another special trick that it performs. Weight training boosts your bodies resting metabolic rate for up to 36 hours after your workout.
In addition- the more muscle on your body, the more calories you burn daily.
As with most people you don’t want to lose the muscle you have now. Even if you strictly want to lose body fat you cannot skip using weights in your workouts. Weight training will ensure that the fat you are losing in your workouts is not muscle-this is key!
3. Master High-Intensity Interval Traning (HIIT)
HIIT has been on the scene for a while now and the reviews of the positive fat-loss effects of this type of exercise are pouring in. When done correctly, HIIT increases something called EPOC or (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). I touched on this in tip number two “boosts your bodies resting metabolic rate”, HIIT however takes this to another level. HIIT has been proven to increase your resting metabolic rate for up to 48 hours and in some studies has shown increased metabolic rates for up to 72 hours.
HIIT done correctly should leave you almost breathless, sweating and a bit shaky depending on your method of choice.
You will find several articles on this site that detail HIIT, types of HIIT workouts, as well as a few programs that I have used to shed fat. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of making HIIT part of your workout routine.
4. Cut Out Some Carbs
There are a lot of low-carb diets on the market. Most people that live a healthy lifestyle usually are “for” or “against” carbohydrates in their diets. Wherever you end up, no matter how you put it, reducing your carbohydrate intake will help you stimulate weight loss.
There is, however, room for carbs in your diet. Timing is critical to make sure that the carbs you do consume are used for energy and not stored as fat. First thing in the morning you want to replete your body’s energy loss during your slumber, so a small piece of fruit and some oatmeal make a great meal (along with a protein). Pre- and post-workout meals should contain carbs as well to be used as energy during your workout. You should also focus on consuming some sort of sugar based beverage such as Gatorade or any other type of “fuel” beverage to help feed your energy during the workout and help restore depleted energy stores after your workout.
Another tip when aiming to lose fat is, keep the carbs you do consume “whole”. “Whole” meaning, if it came from the earth naturally you can eat it, it shouldn’t take more than 2 steps to get to your plate. For instance a potato goes from the ground to your plate, so this is on the list of “okay” carbs. Pasta, on the other hand takes several steps of processing to get to consumption so it is not on the list…you get the idea.
5. Increase Your Fat Intake
I know this doesn’t sound right does it? Stay with me here. There are different types of fat, some good, some not as good, and some just plain bad. We need to focus on the good types of fat. Consuming the right amounts of good fats with your meals will help you build muscle, lose fat, and keep your body burning fat for energy.
So good fat is what exactly? Polyunsaturated and the monounsaturated fats are the ones we are aiming for here. Polyunsaturated can be found in fish and nuts, while monounsaturated fats can be found in items such as peanut butter, egg yolks, fish oil, and olive oil.
Timing isn’t critical here; just make sure you consume some good fats with each meal outside of the workout window (no fat inside the workout window).