Working out and eating clean go hand in hand. I have found that when I start working out on a regular basis I want to choose healthier foods. Same goes for when I am eating really clean with healthy portion sizes which allows me to have more energy to workout. Below are some of my top tips to lose body fat while staying healthy.
- Remember how great working out makes you feel? Sometimes I dread my workouts but I know that after about 10 minutes I am glad to be there along with everyone else who made the same choice that day. I make the most out of my hour in the gym and before I know it, I end up feeling like a champion.
- Try to always include resistance training as part of your workout program. Do you know what type of exercise really burns the most calories? The truth is that strength training is the fastest way to boost your metabolism and create an efficient system of burning fat. Recent studies suggest that strength training can boost your metabolism up to 30% after working out. Simply stated, after a workout your body continues to burn calories.
- Aim to strength train 3-5 days per week.
- Change up your strength training program every 6-8 weeks.
The body is constantly trying to be comfortable, which is what you don’t want. Keep your body guessing by changing up your workout program. Changing your workout program can be done by:
Reducing The Tempo
Speed kills your exercise program! Moving through a set too fast can generate tremendous strain on your joints and connective tissues, and it’s also self-defeating. Slow down and focus on every single repetition!
Reduced Rest Periods
Shorter rest between sets also translates into greater intensity, especially as it relates to building endurance. Longer rest between sets allows the muscles to recover more completely and consequently work at a higher resistance level. If you train with 30 seconds or less between sets then you’re circuit training. Focus on resting for 90-120 seconds in between sets for the best results.
Adjusting the total number of sets performed per exercise is another way to vary overall intensity. Intensity adds up, so that one very intense set can deliver as much as two or three moderately intense efforts. The more intensity you train with, the less you need to do. If you don’t want to crank up the intensity then add another set or two.
Last but not least, increase the amount of weight lifted. This can be done from set to set, from workout to workout, or both. Track how much weight you lifted and how many reps were performed on every set. If possible, make jumps in increments of five to ten percent (women should focus on 2-5% increments).
Do 20-40 minutes of cardio before your first meal. This will not only set the pace for the day giving you extra energy but your metabolism will be boosted. Doing cardio before eating your first meal is common among people who are preparing for a physique contest. Many claim that without doing their morning cardio 2-5 days a week, they simply don’t get as lean as they need to be for the contest. Note: a 1/2 scoop of protein powder mixed with water is fine to help preserve muscle tissue during fasted cardio. Try to start with 20 minutes and then add 2 minutes each day until you reach your time goal.
Make sure to sleep 7-9 hours each night. Scientists have found that sleep deprivation increases levels of a hunger hormone and decreases levels of a hormone that makes you feel full. The effects may lead to overeating and weight gain.
Consume a meal every 2.5 to 3.5 hours. Eating meals that contain slow burning carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats 4-6 times a day will be a major key in your quest for fat loss. Eating often has these benefits:
- Keeps your blood sugar levels in an optimal range.
- Supplies your brain with readily available fuel.
- Helps to burn a few more calories per day.
- Helps to reduce your portion sizes.
- Helps to reduce starvation eating.
Drink a gallon (4 liters) of water a day. Breaking down body fat (adipose tissue) during weight loss produces waste products that must be eliminated through the kidneys. Drinking enough water is important to keep the kidneys functioning optimally in order to remove these wastes. Note: try to have water with you at all times (lemon improves the taste so you can drink more).