10 Tips to Shred Body Fat
Being overweight or even obese are not optimal options for a healthy and active lifestyle. Excess weight can lead to numerous health complications including diabetes and heart disease to mention a few. With this in mind, it’s important that you look after yourself and follow the appropriate steps to living an active and fulfilling life.
Pick a combination of options from the below list that work best for you. The sooner you start, the sooner you can start to see tangible results!
#1. Consume a High Protein Diet
A high protein diet is optimal regardless of whether you are looking to lose weight or build muscle. Protein repairs and builds muscle post workout. In terms of how much protein you need in your diet? Anywhere between 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. Closer to 0.8 grams when your goal is weight loss.
Furthermore, protein is the most thermogenic of all the macronutrients, meaning you burn more calories just to break it down during digestion compared with carbs and fats. Protein also has a high satiety level and when getting your daily protein requirements, you are less likely to overeat. How you get your protein is up to you, but whole foods always provide the best option.
#2. Try Muscle Building Cardio Workouts
Who doesn’t like the benefits of building muscle while burning calories? These workouts are designed to be short, 20 minutes max. The workouts are characterized by short intense bursts where you give close to maximum output with minimal rest intervals.
For this style of workout, I like hill sprints, sled drags/pushes and assault bike. Select just one option for the workout. Short intense workouts like these tap into immediate and intermediate energy systems with glycogen being the main fuel source. Try these workouts 2 times per week, they are supplemental workouts are added to your primary workouts.
#3. Get Into a Caloric Deficit
Put simply, you need to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight. A straightforward concept to understand. You need to figure out your Base Metabolic Rate (BMR), the amount of calories you need to complete your typical daily functions. Technically speaking, anything under this number, and you will be in a deficit. You have 2 options to get into a deficit.
Eat fewer calories than your maintenance calorie level or maintain your calorie level and burn more calories to get into the deficit. Personally speaking, I prefer the 2nd option! There is no specific number that is the optimal number of cals that you need to be in a deficit by. But I do like around 250 cals, as it’s a very realistic number to aim for.
#4. HIIT Workouts Twice a Week
There is no quicker way to burn cals than an intense HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout. HIIT workouts are characterized by short intense bursts followed by a rest period. A true HIIT session is where the activity is no longer than 15 seconds all out.
Reverse TABATA where you push all out for 10 seconds and take 20 seconds rest is a style of workout I recommend for true HIIT.
You can incorporate multiple exercises into a HIIT workout and complete the workout in circuit fashion. This is just 1 option, but the workout design is flexible as long as you follow the true concept of HIIT. Great alternative to muscle building cardio workouts, and you can perform twice weekly. Even being active in sport is a great option, sports like basketball and soccer can be seen as HIIT workouts due to their stop/start nature.
#5. LISS Exercise in the Mornings
Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) cardio targets more fat loss as opposed to HIIT workouts which deplete glycogen stores. This is why LISS is super popular with bodybuilders. Duration is longer in nature and intensity is deliberate. Ideally, you should be targeting anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour for a LISS workout.
Walking, hiking, cycling are all great options. Preferably, you should do these style workouts first thing in the morning while you are in a fasted state. The majority of the cals burned from LISS are from fat as the body uses fat stores more for energy. It’s possible to do these workouts daily as they are not too taxing on the body.
#6. Implement a Weight Lifting Programme
It’s not possible to give your body shape without having muscle! The more muscle your body gains, the more shape it will have.
Muscle is the most valuable piece of real estate your body can procure as it has many benefits. Muscle in the absence of fat gives an aesthetic look. Also, muscle is a calorie burning machine.
To maintain itself, muscle will burn cals continuously throughout the day, even while you sleep! Who doesn’t want a piece of this? Weight training can help improve your body composition by simultaneously increasing the muscle mass while shredding fat stores. When it comes to training, a mix of both strength and hypertrophy works best.
It’s important to remember that lifting insignificant weights for countless reps will not get you toned. The body adapts very quickly and this method becomes redundant very quickly. The laws of progressive overload apply.
#7. Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you fast during a specified time frame. The 16:8 method is popular, where you fast for 16 hours and have a consumption window of 8 hours. I have tried this eating pattern before, and I did see benefits. Two main benefits being fat loss and feeling more alert in the mornings.
Intermittent fasting should be given serious consideration, as the body will rely more on fat stores for energy the longer the fast. You could ease into it with something like a 14:10 split and then progress to the 16:8 pattern. It’s definitely worth a go and I have personally seen it works. I like sprinkling it from time to time but don’t like it over an extended period due to its restrictive nature.
#8. Limit Alcohol Intake
Easier said than done but keeping alcohol intake to a minimum is vital to a healthy lifestyle. Drinking excessively can lead to numerous health issues. The cals from alcohol are in the main pointless, and add very little value in the long run. Multiple side effects are associated with alcohol including dehydration, headaches, sluggishness, increased blood pressure among others.
You are more inclined to eat junk food while drinking, and it seems like a good idea at the time but is a terrible combination for the body. A recipe for an accumulation of fat stores. The sluggishness is also a problem and can make you unmotivated to exercise and wanting to sleep more. Drinking water while consuming alcohol is an option but that goes out the window when you drink an excessive amount.
#9. Cheat Meals, Not Cheat Days!
Critical to keep cheat meals to a minimum and to ensure that cheat meals don’t turn into cheat days. Which can easily happen I might add, especially for busy people who don’t have time to eat healthy and end up buying fast food on several occasions throughout the week.
It’s paramount that you make time for planning and prepping food for the week ahead.
Taking your own food to work with you is a healthy choice provided you chose the right ingredients. You can prep healthy options and easily save money in the long run. Even if you are working from home, it’s still important to eat healthy and not snack on empty cals throughout the day. Eating clean 85% of the time is a good number to aim for. Earn your cheat meals!
#10. Eat Whole, Nutrient Dense Foods
Filling your diet with whole, nutrient dense foods is a winner. Stay away from processed foods as much as possible as they are empty cals and do more harm than good.
It really depends on what diet you follow, so you may have some restrictions but the less processed the foods, the better in general. It’s also vital to note that if you ever feel bloated after eating, you may have an intolerance to certain foods. You should visit a doctor for investigation as the sooner you identify the problem and cut it out the better. It’s also very important to stay hydrated. Drinking anywhere from 2 to 4 litres of water daily is required depending on activity levels.
Weight Loss Tips Summary
Excess weight issues will probably affect you at some stage. How much? It depends on how far you let yourself slip. To counteract this, it’s necessary to have some practical weight loss plan in place to help you get back where you want to be. You need to look at your diet first and cut out the processed foods where possible. Furthermore, cut back in cals to get into a caloric deficit. The more you increase your awareness, the more likely you are to make the right decisions when it comes to food.
A caloric deficit is of the utmost importance to losing weight and this point can’t be overstated. Along with getting your diet on point, you need to be exercising regularly. It’s possible to exercise daily when you incorporate LISS, but building muscle should be your main goal when working out. Muscle is a game changer when it comes to burning cals and thus weight loss. It’s important to remember these weight loss tips when you implement your plan.
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