When it comes to losing weight, anything and everything has been posted on the internet, even information that is false or misleading. There aren’t any more dieting secrets and people are using different methods grouped together, especially ones that promise incredible results in a short time.
However, this doesn’t mean that we have reached a full understanding of the ways to burn fat, and some things still remain under the surface. There are even some techniques that are used exclusively by bodybuilding professionals, while being disregarded or ignored by the majority of gym goers. Here are the six techniques you can use to speed up the fat burning process.
Periodic Refeeds While On a Diet !
Eating less means burning less fat off your body, it’s just basic biology of the human metabolism mechanics. If you’re on a diet, your body will try everything within its range of possibilities to stop you and challenge your decision. This is because it is reacting to your lowered daily caloric intake by not functioning at the level it used to – meaning it burns fewer calories.
This is known as “starvation mode” and it’s the natural way for the human body to react when given less carbs and calories than usual. When this happens, the body lessens its capacity to burn calories by reducing its levels of hormones that are necessary for boosting your metabolism.
These are hormones like Growth Hormone, leptin and thyroid hormones. If you want to avoid this scenario, be sure to include a day in your diet when you will spike your insulin, by eating a lot of fast-burning carbs. These are carbohydrates that can be found in fat-free muffins, Cream of Rice cereal with jam, bagels and of course, Pop Tarts.
When you eat these, your body will believe the diet and with it the caloric deficit is over, and will boost your hormones back to normal. When this happens, your hormones and metabolism will normalize but there will be an added bonus: the hormones that are usually inhibited so that they won’t burn fat, will be set free to boost the fat-burning process in your system.
Consider going extremely low-carb now and then!
When you’ve hit your ceiling in weight loss, you will need to find a different approach to burn more. This is hard to do as even professional athletes and bodybuilders have trouble finding the correct approach, and they do this stuff for a living, not recreation! The problem with hitting a ceiling is that your metabolism becomes incredibly slow and even though it can sometimes be fixed with the previous “secret”, sometimes it can’t.
This is the reason why sometimes we need some new stimuli in our body – if you’ve made your system accustomed to a certain training and eating plan by doing it over and over since forever, your body will adapt and stagnate. This is why you need to put new sources of stimuli in your body.
However, the same issue arises when you’re supposed to be cutting. If you don’t stimulate your body to lose its body fat, it won’t. That’s why you have to find the appropriate approach, and my suggestion is that you drop your carbs and calories to an extremely low level for two different days in the week.
This means that on any two days of the week (with at least two days between them) you should eat as few as 50 to 70 grams of carbs. This will help because it will empty your glycogen stores which in turn will result in burning more fat. When your glycogen stores are empty, fat burning is drastically increased because glycogen is basically stored carbohydrates, only used when the body has no energy. When it uses them up, it burns fat for energy.
Ketones help you lose weight!
Many professional bodybuilders dream of not changing their diet before a competition or a show, but it’s never that simple nor is it easy. There are a lot of determinants that will obstruct your path to weight loss and will lead you down a path of pain instead.
So, when eating Pop Tarts and dropping your carbs to very low levels doesn’t work, you’re going to need something different. Usually, professional bodybuilders will drop carbs down to 30 grams per day for four consecutive days, while at the same time taking 20-25 grams per day of medium-chain triglycerides and around 3-5 grams of carnitine. When you take this combination, it makes your metabolism change itself in a way that will burn more fat.
When you don’t take enough carbohydrates for a prolonged period of time, the process of creating ketones in your body begins. Ketones are a side effect from the fat burning process and will make you a bit leaner by giving your metabolic rate a small boost.
Also, they prevent your body from disintegrating muscle fiber to use as energy when you don’t eat enough carbs – instead, the body burns the ketones first. If you have a lot of ketones in your blood, your body will use them up for energy before it uses any muscle fiber or fat.
Carnitine, on the other hand, is an amino acid that helps you lose weight by pushing fatty acids in the muscle cells. There, the fatty acids are processed for energy and your body gets a push towards burning fat instead of muscle protein. Also, when you take carnitine you boost the processing of ketones in your body, which means you will use them better. Ketones will become more efficient at stopping your body from disintegrating muscle tissue to use as energy.
Salt helps you keep water in your body!
When you do a low-carb diet for any period of time, you will notice that your muscles will start appearing much flatter than usual. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having flatter muscles but when you go on stage you should look your best, and that isn’t it. Flat muscles are actually a good indicator that your glycogen stores are being used and when they reach a certain low level, the body starts burning fat as well.
However, when you go flat and you’re also doing a prolonged diet, you risk interfering with your muscle maintenance. There are a lot of potential influences on holding or losing your precious and hard-earned muscle mass when you start getting leaner, and one of these influences is the amount of water in your muscles. When your glycogen stores are high, they attract water into your muscles, which gives their non-flat shape and also some of their mass.
However, when your glycogen stores are exhausted below a certain point, you will also lose muscle mass because of the drop of the amount of water inside your muscles, making your muscles look like they’re losing mass. There is a very convenient and easy way to retain water in your muscles while not eating lots of carbs – eat more salt.
Sodium retains water in your body by trapping it under your skin, but it also works as an internal pump that makes glucose from carbs, creatine and amino acids absorb better into the muscles. This is known as sodium glucose co-transporter activity. All of them will retain water with them and they will have an influence on the fluid receptors in your muscles, which in turn encourage muscle retention.
When you want to burn fat, you need your metabolic rate up high. And because muscles are a calorie burning powerhouse, they will help you lose fat in the long run. It’s not your usual dietary advice, but you can actually get bigger muscles by eating more salt. When you’re dropping your carbohydrate intake, be sure to take 20 milligrams of sodium for every pound of bodyweight you have. If you weigh 250 pounds, you should take 5000 milligrams.
Use fat burning supplements!
We’ve mentioned that if you eat less, you will burn less. This is true, but it is also avoidable. If you provide your body, and especially your metabolism, with enough support to keep it going when your daily caloric intake is lowered, you can avoid all unsavory decisions. For example, ephedrine-free dieting supplements raise your metabolism processing power and keep it elevated all the way through your diet.
If you want a fat burning product that will work, look for one that will boost your norepinephrine, which is a hormone that will boost your metabolic fat burning to use up as energy. Nor-epinephrine levels rise when you’re exercising, however as your diet goes on, a lot of people have found that these levels drop.
This is also because your body adapts to the new situation and it is practically fighting you on your quest to become ripped. When you support your nor-epinephrine, your body avoids the starvation mode and burns even more fat. Norepinephrine makes your body unable to go into adaptation mode at all, and it will not slow down – instead, you’re going to keep burning the same amount of calories as if you weren’t on a diet, but those extra calories will come from your fat tissue!
Switch up your cardio
When you do cardio continuously for a while, your body will adapt to the extra calories needed to finish the activities and it will burn far less fat, when you would expect it to burn more. This is another response by the body that comes from adaptation to new circumstances and it happens when you do the same diet or exercise routine for a prolonged period of time. Don’t despair though, there is a way to side-step this too! You just need to spike your cardio every once in a while for a couple of days and that will give your metabolism a huge boost.
If you’re a professional bodybuilder and you do cardio five days a week for half an hour per day, and you reached a ceiling, what would you do? Well, if you wanted to shed those last few pounds so your physique can be seen in all of its glory, you would need to do three of those half hour sessions on both Saturday and Sunday.
This seems hard but it’s really not – those sessions can be as easy as a walk in the park or on the street – literally any activity that will force your body to look for energy in those parts that give up their fat the hardest. However, this is not for every weekend – maybe every two weeks in the six weeks before a competition or show.