If you’re struggling to burn those last few pounds of unwanted body fat, take a look at these 6 sure-fire strategies that will get you on the top of your game!
We’ve consulted a large pool of scientific data on the subject and discovered the perfect combination of nutritional and training factors for dramatically dropping your fat percentage and achieving that super lean, dry look you’ve been after. It usually took bodybuilders many years to master the skill of eliminating the most stubborn pockets of fat while maintaining their hard-earned muscle mass.
That’s not really surprising, considering that this is a very delicate balancing act that involves providing your body with enough good quality calories and reducing calorie intake exactly as much as needed to encourage burning of the deepest layers of fat. But thanks to advancements in science as well as the growing availability of the collective experience of bodybuilders all over the world, we now know the recipe for achieving this valuable goal.
So if your efforts have been unsuccessful so far, it just means you didn’t have the right tools. But don’t worry, we got you covered on this one. You too can get impossibly shredded with the help of these 6 diet, training and supplementation tips!
#1. Fiber Up Your Diet
The final phase of any fat loss journey is always the hardest one, meaning that you will need to pay even more attention to the size of every bite you take and become absolutely obsessed with your macros. The first thing to address is your dietary fiber consumption.
As you become leaner, the role of fiber in your diet becomes more important than ever. You need to load your meals with fiber-rich foods such as oats, whole grains and specific vegetables. Of course, we’re talking about low-calorie non-starchy veggies that provide plenty of fiber and help keep you full for longer without increasing your waistline – think broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. At the same time, reduce your intake of high calorie starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn and peas.
This should help you reach the desired deficit easier because you won’t be starving yourself and end up overeating or ruining your health. Basically, you can consume the same amount of food as you did before, but you’ll take in fewer calories. Isn’t fiber fabulous?
To estimate whether a certain carb-rich food is also a good source of fiber, divide total carbs by dietary fiber. The lower the ratio, the more fiber the food item contains. Aim for a ratio of 6:1 or lower.
Additionally, up your intake of spices such as hot peppers and cayenne pepper, as these foods increase thermogenesis, or the production of heat in the body, thus causing higher energy expenditure. Eating spicy foods will ultimately help you lose weight, as long as your diet is based on lean protein and complex, fibrous carbs. The slimming benefits of hot peppers such as habaneros and cayenne come from an ingredient called capsaicin, which has been repeatedly shown to increase energy expenditure via increased fat burning and significantly dampen appetite.
#2. Cut the Carbs, Increase the Protein
To maintain muscle mass, you need to consume a lot of protein – we’re talking about at least 25 grams of it every 3-4 hours. This will prevent catabolism and stimulate protein synthesis and even help you keep building muscle as you lean out. As usual, the most important times of the day for protein intake are the pre- and post-workout meal. Carbs, on the other hand, are the preferred fuel of your body and you need them for energy production and restoring depleted glycogen reserves in your muscles, but they’re not required for muscle growth by themselves. The most important time to load with carbs is after the workout, when they can be used to reduce muscle breakdown and enhance recovery.
In general, when cutting, you need to be pickier about carbs than usual, while increasing your protein consumption. Protein-rich meals will also keep you fuller for longer, so make sure to include an adequate variety of high quality protein sources in your diet, such as lean meats, fish, eggs, diary and nuts. Finally, protein has a thermic effect upward of five times greater than carbohydrates or dietary fat, which means that the body can burn up to 35% of the calories consumed from a protein-rich meal just to absorb it!
So tame your carbs and love your protein – that’s the big “secret” of effective fat loss.
#3. Do Less Efficient Cardio
Here’s the logic: the more difficult your session is, the more energy you spend trying to accomplish the task, which in turn makes your body burn more fat. But when your cardio sessions feel easy and smooth, that’s a clear sign that your body has adapted to the challenge and can complete the exercise without spending a lot of energy. So the better you are at performing certain cardio workouts, the lesser the fat loss benefits.
That’s why you should focus on doing the exercises you’ve been avoiding until now, not the ones you like and are good at. If you like running, jump rope. If you like biking, do burpees instead. This way you’ll improve your body’s efficiency at burning fat. Another great option for faster fat loss is high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which has been repeatedly shown to burn more body fat than steady-state forms of cardio.
However, it’s not recommended to perform HIIT every day, because that will make it harder for your body to recover properly and you may fall into the trap of slow but constant catabolism. A much better option is to alternate between HIIT workouts that will force your body to burn fat and lower-intensity cardio sessions that will allow for proper recovery. For maximum results, try to get the best from both worlds.
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