The human body is pretty incredible. Even if you have neglected healthy eating and exercise for years, the body still has the capabilities to turn this around, and burn the excess fat. You can burn fat much faster than it took to accumulate, and by using these 6 rules below, you can start burning fat right NOW!
Forget about weight
The simple fact that muscle weighs more than fat is the main reason to stay away from the scales. As you burn excess fat, you will start to build lean muscle, so your weight won’t be affected so much. Body composition is far more relevant to fat burning, as is tracking your progress with accountability photos in the mirror. (You know the ones). Long story short, You could train hard and eat right and build five pounds of muscle and lose five pounds of fat. The scales will still read the same weight, but you will look and feel much fitter and stronger.
Slowly lower your calorie intake
Don’t make massive calorie cuts in your daily diet. For starters this isn’t fun at all, and secondly this will place your body into starvation mode. This in turn will slow down your metabolism which makes burning fat so much harder. The way around this is to slowly reduce your calorie intake. Do so every 1-2 weeks. This makes it much more manageable. The race to burn fat isn’t a quick one, but be patient and you will be able to keep the excess fat off for life.
Training with some resistance is now proven to burn fat in numerous ways. Weight training can actually continue to burn calories up to 36 hours after your workout. That’s a winning formula to me. The more muscle your body has, the more calories you burn each day. By weight training, any of the weight you lose will not be muscle, just fat. If you start to lose muscle, your metabolism slows down, halting fat-loss efforts and turning you into what’s known as a ‘skinny-fat person’. This is basically somebody with a small amount of muscle and a high body fat percentage, but generally looks ‘skinny’.
HIIT is basically training at a high intensity for a short period of time. My favourite interval training method is an all over full body HIIT workout. This hits many different muscle groups, and by elevating your heart rate, will smash calories and fat. The general plan for a bodyweight all over HIIT workout is something like this:
Perform one exercise (such as burpees), for 30 seconds, take 30 seconds rest. Follow this up by another exercise, such as squat jumps, and continue with various exercises. Then repeat this for 20-25 minutes. These types of workout are so flexible. They can be adjusted with numerous exercises, and also by changing the rest periods and workout duration. Have fun with them, and burn fat like never before.
Interval training also creates something called the ‘after burn’ effect, which means your body continues to burn fat long after your workout is over.
Fats are your friend!
Eating enough good fats will actually HELP you lose fat, build muscle, and recover faster from your workouts. Healthy fats also have great health benefits, one of which is that they are great for heart health.
Good fats are polyunsaturated, (such as omega 3’s) from foods such as fish, nuts and seeds, and also monounsaturated, such as fats from peanut butter, olive oil, and eggs.
Reduce carbohydrates (But NOT completely)
There are many people who are on both sides of the fence on this one. Low carb or high carb diets. Whichever side you’re on, the bottom line is that reducing your carbohydrate intake, especially sugar and starches, will assist you in burning fat.
The carbohydrate you should consume should come from food such as vegetables and grains.
The time you eat carbohydrates can also affect how you burn fat. You should aim to reduce carbohydrate throughout the day, except after workouts, where you will require a high carbohydrate meal to replenish lost glycogen from intense exercise. These carbohydrates need to be good carbohydrates though, and not sugary foods.