Are you sick and tired of being fat? Do you have disgusting rolls that hang over your stomach and resemble that dreaded “muffin top” when you wear tight jeans or shorts? Or, maybe you’re an athlete who is striving to reach sport specific goals and your extra weight is holding you back. You might even be a competitive bodybuilder who wants to shed that extra fat layer of body fat from beneath your skin so you can get back into shredded and ripped contest shape after being lazy in the off-season while having too much fun eating delicious and satisfying cheat foods? Well, here are some quick and effective tips to implement into your routine to help you burn off excess body fat and get that lean physique you’re after!
Begin With Your End Goal in Mind
Before getting started, set specific goals first. Decide what your target body fat percentage and ultimate dream physique is. When these goals are established in your mind, you will subconsciously start thinking about these things which will help you set the course for motivation and dedication to achieve those targets.
Get Off The Scale!
There are calculated scales that can provide your ideal weight for different heights. Those scales are nice but you really don’t need them. If you burn off several pounds of body fat and gain the equal amount of weight in lean muscle tissue, what will the scale say? That’s right, the same exact weight! This is critical because it’s about decreasing body fat percentage, not body weight. Use a tape measure and write down your key measurements (waist, hips, thighs) once a week to track how much fat you’re losing.
Remember that it really doesn’t matter what the scale reads. What really matters is how you look in the mirror and how your clothes fit. Taking weekly photos and videos also helps a tremendous amount in documenting your physical transformation, so get out your camera and start snapping some pics each week! You will be shocked after several months when you see your weekly progress photos and you will be able to adjust your diet and training to meet your needs.
Do Not Starve Yourself!
Do not let your metabolism go into starvation mode by eating very little calories each day. Avoid cutting your calories back too low or you will experience several negative effects from doing so like losing precious lean muscle tissue which is the engine that burns calories during the day. Before starting, calculate your daily intake of calories. Then slowly and gradually reduce the number by about 250-300 calories per day. Better yet, keep your calorie intake the same and increase your cardio exercise to burn off the extra calories.
Eat More Healthy Fat
This may sound strange but it’s true! If you want to lose body fat, start eating more healthy fats like avocados, nuts (almonds, walnuts), all natural peanut butter, olive oil and flaxseeds. These healthy fats include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that provide tons of health benefits along with needed calories to fuel your workouts. Polyunsaturated fat sources include walnuts, flaxseed, trout, herring and salmon. Monounsaturated fat sources include nuts, olive oil, sunflower oil and avocados.
Eat Smaller Meals and Avoid Huge Feasts
Do not devour 2-3 massive meals each day. Try to break them up into 5-6 smaller meals spaced approximately 2.5 to 3 hours apart. Eating this way will help keep you full while decreasing your overall caloric intake. These smaller, more frequent meals will also provide the required amount of nutrients to your body evenly throughout the day.
Decreasing the amount of your carbohydrates you eat will help in reducing body fat but don’t totally cut them off! Focus on “front loading” your carbs earlier in the day and then cutting them back at night. Make sure to focus on eating clean carbs like brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal (steel cut oats is the best), sweet potatoes and Ezekiel bread along with all types of veggies.
Drink More Water
Water is one of the keys to losing body fat and achieving a lean physique. Make sure to keep your body well hydrated during hard workouts and throughout the entire day. Water also keeps you fuller, longer which is huge for feeling satisfied between meals.
Drink Some Green Tea
Green tea can be a very effective fat burner and it’s one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. It’s jam-packed with anti-oxidants which include polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins. This helps to reduce free radical in your body. Green tea also has caffeine which is a powerful stimulant that helps to burn calories and rev up your metabolism. You can drink it before a workout for a great “pick-me-up” to get you focused and ready for a killer training session.
There have been research and studies that prove how the intake of grapefruit or grapefruit juice led to a significant loss in body fat and weight (Scripps Clinic in San Diego). Include some fresh grapefruit alongside your egg white omelette in the morning for a power punch of nutrients that will help you burn fat.
Eat Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are a powerful super food you can add to your daily nutritional regimen to help you burn body fat. They are rich in antioxidants and fiber, along with important minerals including iron and calcium. Amazingly, they are also the richest plant source of the all-important omega-3 fatty acids which are extremely important for overall health.
Don’t Be Scared of Veggies
Raw green vegetables have remarkable effects on the body. They provide us with rich nutrients that are free of fat and packed with tons of powerful and healthy nutrients. Vegetables also boost digestion and they are good for skin, eye sight, hair and many other functions. The biggest factor for fat loss is that veggies help fill you up and keep you satiated (full) which is critical when you are trying to lose body fat.
Get Quality Sleep
Even if you are eating clean and training hard, you might not be seeing the results you want. This might be because of the deficiency of proper rest and recovery which is absolutely crucial for letting your body fully recover and recuperate from stressful days and hard workouts. Not fulfilling your daily sleep requirements can affect your cortisol levels. An elevation of evening cortisol, which happens with chronic sleep loss, is likely to promote the development of insulin resistance which is a major risk factor for obesity and diabetes. So, make sure to keep it dark and cold in your bedroom at night to maximize your environment so you can get the solid deep sleep you need to get optimal rest and recovery.
Do Some Basic Bodyweight Exercises
Doing 1,000 crunches a day might increase the strength in your abdominals but with a fatty layer of tissue on top of your muscles, you will not get the results you want which means getting those lean and shredded 6-pack abs. Forget about targeting your stomach with spot-training and start doing exercises that engage multiple muscle groups and also works your cardiovascular system. Burpees, squats, mountain climbers, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, planks and twists are great options to include in your routine.
Go Out for a Walk
If you’re a beginner just getting started on a fitness routine, go out for a walk around your neighborhood or take a long walk indoors on a treadmill. Walking is a great way to burn some extra calories and keep you active when first starting out.
Try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Start doing exercises using the HIIT technique. This stands for High Intensity Interval Training and it’s one of the best ways to burn serious calories and fat! It basically involves doing exercises while changing intensities over the course of a short duration (15-25 minutes). For example, start with a sprint (90% intensity) for 100 yards then drop your speed and start jogging (50% intensity) for 1-2 minutes. Do this for about 4-5 sets and you’re all done! You can even do HIIT training on a stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical and while jumping rope.
Eat a Cheat Meal
Being consistently strict on your diet is essential for losing fat and getting lean but that doesn’t mean you have to be super strict 24/7/365. Take one day during the week (usually Sundays work best) and have a delicious cheat meal with your favorite foods that you’ve been craving all week. Maybe it’s a tasty pizza or a big juicy cheeseburger at your favorite restaurant. Have a little fun one day each week and then get right back on track starting the next day.
Our bodies become used to clean eating while consuming lower calories and this process can actually slow down the fat loss process. Giving a shock to your system with a high calorie cheat meal (fatty foods, junk food) will actually kick-start your metabolism and give your body a shock to burn even more calories. This speeds up the fat loss process again when you get back on your clean diet.
So, now it’s time to implement this advice and get to work! Take a few of the diet and fitness tricks you’ve learned in this article and see if they help you shed more body fat and get you closer to your dream physique. But remember, no matter what you dream or want to achieve, dedication is the key. Stay safe, be motivated and dream big. Work hard then shine bright!