Ready to shed the fat? Help is right around the corner. Here are 10 tips that will attack fat loss from all directions and set you on the path to leanness.
High-intensity interval training is quite an impressive exercise protocol for fat loss. In fact, I’d venture to say that it is the best exercise protocol for overall fat loss. Obviously, you can do all the exercise in the world, but if you don’t have an energy deficit, you aren’t going to lose one single pound
However, if you do have an energy deficit, HIIT can burn up to 9 times more fat than steady-state cardio . Combine that with the fact that you can do an effective HIIT workout in less than 20 minutes, and you have a recipe for some time-efficient fat loss.
Crank Up the Intensity
Did you know that the intensity of your workouts are correlated to your fat loss? The more intense your workouts are the greater the EPOC . EPOC is better known as the afterburn effect, which is the elevated calorie burn you get after exercise.
Not only that, but intense exercise also boosts favorable fat loss hormones, such as growth hormone, and also improves your insulin sensitivity . Elevated growth hormone stimulates the release of fatty acids to be used as energy.
Have a High Calorie Day
Your body is a very adaptable machine. Eat fewer calories for an extended period of time, and your body will find a way to achieve energy balance. It has to. This is a built in survival mechanism.
To help keep this adaptation from happening, try to throw in a day or two each week of higher calories. Something around maintenance levels will be sufficient to send a strong fed signal to your body. Your body will respond by up-regulating important fat loss hormones and by increasing your metabolic rate. Even if this up-regulation of hormones isn’t long lasting, you will still top up glycogen stores while giving yourself a psychological break.
Eat Your Calories
How many calories do you eat each day? Now, how many calories do you drink? When in a calorie deficit you want to be eating as many of your calories as you can. This serves many purposes, one being it helps out with hunger, as solid food is more bulky.
Solid food is also much more nutrient dense. Since you are already eating few calories, you need to make sure the food you’re consuming is nutrient dense. Supplements can help in this regard, but nothing can beat the all-around nutrition of whole foods.
Take a Dieting Break
If you’ve been on a weight loss program for an extended period of time, it’s probably time for you to take a little break. After 16-20 weeks in a consistent weekly calorie deficit your body really begins to adapt to fewer calories.
To keep yourself from having to eat fewer and fewer calories and achieving diminishing returns, it’s a good idea to have a 1-2 week period of eating at maintenance calories. After that, you can slowly start cutting calories again to get the fat loss going. The good news is you will likely be able to eat more than you did before the increased calories, and still get results.
Don’t Be Afraid to Eat Fat
At 9 calories per gram, fat is an easy macronutrient to cut from your diet to create a calorie deficit. The problem is that many people take this too far, almost to the point of developing a fat phobia.
Fat is an essential macronutrient, specifically essential fatty acids. That means your body cannot manufacture them and they need to be consumed through your diet. Omega 3s aid in weight loss by improving insulin sensitivity, reducing hunger, and by aiding in proper thyroid function .
Optimize Your Fluids
What does your liquid intake profile look like? Is it mostly water? It should be. Water aids in just about every single body function. Keeping fully hydrated means important metabolism-regulating organs, such as your liver, can function at 100% efficiency.
Recommendations for water intake all over the place, and are dependent on many factors. Your best bet is to listen to your thirst signals and ensure that the majority of your liquid intake is water.
Manage Your Insulin Levels
Insulin is a storage hormone. When it’s elevated, it’s more difficult for your body to mobilize fatty acids. To ensure we have a favorable environment for fat loss, we need to control our insulin levels.
It’s fairly easy to improve your insulin sensitivity. Exercise is great for this, especially intense exercise. Also, eating whole foods accomplishes this goal due to their higher fiber content and slower digestion, which results in a slower release of glucose into the blood.
Improve Rest and Recovery
Fat loss doesn’t just happen when you’re doing something, it also happens when you’re doing nothing. The quality of your sleep is directly correlated to fat loss.
Sleep deprivation negatively impacts insulin levels and can increase your appetite. Both of these things work against your fat loss goals. Try to get between 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night for optimal fat loss.
Add Some Muscle
Strength training is likely the single greatest thing you can do for fat loss. Creating an energy deficit is also a necessity, but that’s a given. Muscle works when you don’t. It’s metabolically active, so it needs fuel at all hours of the day to sustain itself. Its preferred source of fuel? Fat.
Just 2 resistance training sessions a week can significantly reduce abdominal fat . Fat loss is just the icing on the cake. Strength training also has numerous other health and fitness benefits.
How many of these 10 fat loss tips are part of your fitness program? Each and every one attacks fat loss from a different direction. Implement them all and you will be a powerful fat-burning machine.