Losing body fat and getting a lean physique is one of the most desired fitness goals, yet so few are successful. Acquiring- and maintaining- a super lean body is no easy task. A lot of the information available is contradictory or simply not true, making it even more difficult to get your dream body. You might be discouraged, confused, or both. My goal in this post is to emphasize the basics and teach you the tactics for fat loss that are most effective. By applying these 6 fundamental principles, you will burn body fat faster than ever before.
Watch Your Carbs
A healthy diet geared towards burning fat should include the right amount of carbs, and more importantly from the right sources. Since this post is about general fat loss, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact number of carbs to consume. The key is to keep them low for every meal except your first meal of the day and the meal directly after your workout. The carbs you have at breakfast will be used as an energy source throughout the day, and the carbs after your workout will be used to repair your muscles. Now that we know a low carb diet is best, it is crucial that we get the carbs from the appropriate sources. The best carbs to consume for burning fat are low glycemic, meaning they have little effect on blood sugar. They take longer for your body to break down as well, giving you a more consistent source of energy. Examples of low glycemic carbs are sweet potatoes, old fashioned oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables. These should make up a majority of your carbohydrate intake. The only exception is in your post workout meal, where you will want to opt for rapidly digested, high glycemic carbs.
How Much Cardio?
It is common to think that to lose fat you must do lots of cardio. It certainly it has its place, but overdoing cardio will put you at risk for overtraining and not make you lean. Instead of a hard lean body, you are likely to get flabby- although on the scale you may be losing weight. The amount that I suggest is 3 times per week for 30 minutes.
For beginners, 5-6 small meals, with about 15-30 grams of protein each meal (varies by your bodyweight) works best. The key is to make sure that your protein intake is spread evenly throughout the day to support lean muscle. Keep your intake of fat and carbs moderate to low. Eating every few hours will keep metabolism high and ensure your body has a steady stream of nutrients. Also makes you less likely to binge since you won’t be spiking blood sugar.
Moderate Weight, Moderate Reps
For the weight training portion of your fat loss plan, each muscle group should be trained one to two times per week. Your workouts should generally last no longer than an hour and should be performed 3-5 times per week, depending on your split. When aiming to lose fat and get shredded, people often lift light weight and high reps. It is fine to have a few sets like that towards the end of your workout, but the majority of exercises should be performed with moderate weight and a moderate rep range (8-12 reps) to achieve maximum results.
The Fat Loss King
Supersets- the act of performing one set of an exercise immediately after the set of another- is an extremely potent fat burning tool. Not only are supersets a time saver, but they will help raise your metabolism and have you burning calories long after your workout. Incorporate supersets in your weight training workouts and you will see noticeable results.
Staying properly hydrated is essential for overall health, but it is especially important when trying to drop weight. Drinking water consistently throughout the day keeps you full, making you less likely to indulge when cravings hit. Since water is involved in all bodily functions, a constant supply of water increases your body’s metabolism as well.
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