Whether you are getting ready for a vacation or preparing your summer body for lighter, form-fitting clothes, burning fat and keeping it off is the factor in shaping your physique.
But where do you start?
A quick google search will flood your screen with the routines, diets, and every other weight loss system imaginable. It can all be quite overwhelming and very confusing. To help point you in the right direction, we’ve compiled a list of 5 of the best science-backed weight loss methods you can incorporate to see the results you want, quicker, and most importantly, safer.
Waking up extra early in the morning might be a drag for some people, but if optimal fat loss is what you’re after, you should get to bed earlier and prepare to wake up earlier as well.
Fasted cardio is exactly what it sounds like, doing cardio while in a fasted state…and some call it a ‘hungry state’ but it’s usually done first thing in the morning since you probably hadn’t eaten anything while you were sleeping.
This allows your body to burn through most of its glycogen stores (blood sugar) throughout the night. Doing cardio first thing when you wake up, encourages your body to burn through whatever blood sugar is left in your system, and tap into your fat deposits sooner.
Avoid doing high-intensity cardio or heavy weightlifting while fasted since this level of exertion could cause your body to burn muscle as well as fat. Instead, opt for some steady-state cardio at 60-70% of your max heart rate for 30 – 40 minutes. This should be just enough to get your blood pumping, burn fat, but not sacrifice important muscle tissue.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
If your workouts have become too mundane and you’re not seeing the results you want (or need), switching it up and incorporating HIIT is a great way to shock your system and burn some extra calories.
You can probably already guess by the “High Intensity” in HIIT that this workout will demand a higher level of physical performance, but don’t worry, you’re not going to be sprinting at 100% capacity for 20 minutes straight. HIIT involves short bursts (between 30 seconds – 1 minute) of maximum power than an immediate recovery period (typically 3-4 minutes long).
HIIT workouts can vary from strictly cardio-based exercises such as working out on a stationary bike to more muscular endurance routines such as plyometrics. This type of training results in a higher excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), causing your bodies to continue burning calories after you’re done training.
This is a great option if you’re someone that really likes to sweat during their workouts.
Tip: HIIT can be done 2 or more times per week but mixed in with some low intensity cardio to keep your body guessing. It prevents fat-loss plateaus.
RESET Your Nutrition Plan
You can do all the cardio and HIIT training your body can muster, but if your nutrition is not on point, you’re simply wasting your time.
Giving your diet an overhaul can be exhausting and stressful because most people don’t like celery and we don’t blame them. Food cravings throughout the day often get the best of us, and if you’re working in a hectic environment with little time to prepare meals, fast food often becomes the norm. This doesn’t just add inches to your waistline, it also shaves years off your lifespan.
There are many health companies out there that have dedicated products to help with this. USANA products and in particular their 5-Day RESET™ Jump Start Weight Management Program is designed to help people make a clean break from the effects of unhealthy foods and jumpstart healthy eating habits. The RESET meal replacement program was successfully used by Monash University Centre with their Obesity Research and Education Clinics as a complete meal replacement option for their obese patients.
Resistance Exercise (Strength Training)
Believe it or not, cardio and diet are not the only methods you can use to burn fat, nor should they be. Like HIIT, a proper strength training program can also increase your EPOC for periods of 24-38 hours after a workout. And combining weight training with cardio burns even more calories.
We’re not saying you should load a squat rack with an unmanageable weight and injure yourself. All routines, no matter if they are strength based or cardio based, should adhere to a person’s experience and fitness level.
However, a good strength training routine must challenge you both physically and involve some component of muscular endurance, which can be a combination of high reps and relatively lower rest periods between sets.
A good place to start is by giving yourself a 60-90-second rest between exercises. Once you feel you’re comfortable with that timeframe, reduce by 15 seconds. Keep your rep range at 10 to 15 reps to ensure you’re getting the right amount of volume and pumping enough blood to your muscles.
Did you know: For every 1kg (2.2lbs) of muscle gained metabolizes a whopping 4kg (8.8lbs) fat per year – so hit the gym and get pumping some iron!
Reduce/Eliminate Sugar from Your Diet
While eliminating sugar entirely from your diet is possible, it might be a little more difficult for a beginner who is new to the nutrition game.
That’s why it is so important to set realistic goals, beginning with the obvious sugar-filled items like candies, cookies, and anything else that satisfies your sweet tooth. Once you’ve gotten that down you can move onto the next step, of eliminating those not so obvious sugar-based foods.
Sugar is found in more than just soft drinks and junk food, it’s added to many other food items that you would never know about unless you read the ingredients, and incidentally, this is where the battle is won. By checking the labels, you can slowly begin to identify the products that contain sugar and replace them with healthier alternatives.
The Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Programs at My Action Project help to eliminate sugar from your diet and lead a healthier lifestyle.
However, if you consciously follow the ‘no sugar’ approach. Your cravings will diminish over time but if they do creep back in, you always could consider the healthy option of adding fruit to your USANA Nutrimeal Shake and enjoy a naturally sweetened, healthy smoothie instead.
Top Tip: Hydration is also important before, during, and after your workout, as it can also help you fight fatigue during those grueling workouts and also keep the pH levels in your body balanced.
These are our Top 5 Fat Loss Strategies that will help your body kick it into high gear and shed that stubborn body fat quickly.