No matter what season it is at the moment, it’s never too early to get in great shape, right?
In this article we’ve prepared some useful tips to help you trim down that nasty winter fat and build up some muscle definition. Be sure that if you commit yourself to burning off the excess fat right now, you’ll be sporting an awesome body a few months down the line!
1. High intensity interval training
Pump up your cardio workout with HIIT – the ideal choice for extreme burning of calories. It consists of short sessions of really intense training that are followed by short active breaks, for example one minute of running followed by one minute of walking.
You can do this with any type of exercise and use any type of cardio equipment you have in hand. And the best part of it – you keep on burning calories long after the workout!
This type of training activates your metabolism so much that you’ll be burning calories all throughout the day, whatever your activities may be.
2. Progressive overload
Building muscle mass can go hand in hand with cutting down the body fat, if you know how to do it right. One of the ways is increasing the amount of weight you lift, which stops your body from getting used to a regular workload.
When you do a steady set of workouts over an extended period of time, your body will find ways to get through the training with putting less and less effort into it, which leads to burning fewer and fewer calories.
To prevent this from happening, steadily increase the workload. As studies have shown, training in the 6-8 rep range with heavy weights will push your body to burn more calories over the recovery period.
3. Variety is good for your cardio
Change the cardio equipment you use during the HIIT training – it’s good for catching your body unprepared, making it put more effort into the workout and therefore burning more calories! Try using a different type of training every week for best results.
4. Rest only one day at a time
Don’t get sloppy with your training schedule – if you skip the gym for a week, chances are that your metabolism will speed down. Hit the gym at least four days a week and take some time to rest in between.
Sometimes, you will need to push yourself into doing a simple half-hour cardio training instead of skipping workout altogether that day. Of course, you should give your body a full week break from the gym every couple of months so it can fully recover.
5. Split the long training sessions
If you set to have two hours of workout in a single session every day, you’ll end up increasing your levels of cortisol. While it’s true that cortisol helps with the burning of fat, this only happens under the right circumstances, and chronically elevated cortisol levels can backfire on you.
You can achieve much more by splitting the workout into two shorter sessions, in the morning and after work, for example. This way you can keep the intensity of the training steady, and more intensity means more burning of calories!
6. Eat spicy food
Spices are great circulatory stimulants that increase the body temperature, which in turn speeds up the metabolism. A very healthy and low-calorie spice you should include in your diet is cayenne pepper, which powerfully stimulates the digestive tract, increasing the flow of enzyme production and aiding the body in burning excess amounts of fat. Also, it can be a great addition of flavor to your most bland meals!
7. Keep track of calories
It’s really not that difficult to do – all products come with a disclaimer about their nutritional value, and some restaurants do the same with their meals now as well. Take notice and even better, write the numbers down.
Be sure that the effort you put into counting the amount of calories and protein you consume will pay off in the end, because you have a slim chance of losing weight if you don’t know what you’re eating.
Another benefit of this is that you could be less compelled to eat certain types of food (read junk food) once you learn how packed with calories they actually are!
8. Forget about sugar-filled drinks
Fruit juices off the shelf and soft drinks containing carbonated water and artificial sweeteners are bad for your health on so many levels that they’re almost not even worth discussing, especially in terms of a bodybuilding diet.
The amount of sugar in them skyrockets the blood sugar and increases the levels of insulin – resulting, of course, in weight gain. Stick to water and plain coffee and tea and you’ll notice the results right away.
9. Take out the carbs from the evening meal
While carbs may be useful for boosting of the energy levels during a busy day or an intense workout, they can be a destructive force in your diet later in the evening.
If you consume a lot of carbs at night your blood sugar levels will soar, resulting in increased production of insulin that interferes with your fat-burning goals. Simply put, stay away from large portions of carbs before going to bed.
Read more here: Counting Carbs – How Many Do You Need?
10. Consume more natural stimulants
Use natural stimulants to boost your metabolism and energy levels – black coffee and green and black tea are a great choice. Sure, soft drinks and chocolate can act as stimulants as well, but you really don’t want to consume all that refined sugar.
In addition, green tea is loaded with antioxidants that flush toxins out of the body and actually reduces the appetite.
11. Buy high quality fat-burning supplements
Don’t stuff your body with random junk. Spend some time researching and pick good quality products that are effective, even if they are a bit more expensive. It will most likely pay off!
Do you have any personal experiences or tips you would like to share? Feel free to do so in the comment section below!