We all want the holy grail of fat burning advice to the point where we’d probably sell our first born child, and maybe even the second one, all for a magic pill which will make that stubborn adipose tissue get the hell off our waistlines and annoy somebody else.
This article isn’t aimed at the excessively ‘large’ person, or the person just about to get up on stage and display a ‘Most Musclular’ at the next Mr Olympia. I’m talking to those that are pretty fit, but have hit a roadblock and just can’t seem to shift that muffin top.
Attack from every angle
Ok, so there are nearly 50 kagillion ways to lose fat, but none of them are miracles. You really need a solid and consistent approach to your fat loss. I cannot stress this enough: It REALLY IS the sum of all parts. If you aren’t attacking your excess flab from multiple angles, your results will suffer.
Ways to lose stubborn fat
Even if you can’t achieve the below ten, aim for eight of them a1nd you WILL see significant improvements to your physique.
Set yourself an 8 week window and stick to the plan. Then check your measurements, your pants and the mirror and tell me if you don’t look leaner and meaner…
#1 Get more shut-eye
Sleep deprivation reduces the amount of leptin in the body, a substance that suppresses appetite and lets you know when you are full. Lack of sleep can also lead to a decrease in insulin sensitivity. Poor insulin sensitivity also causes the body to more readily store energy as fat. Some great info on how much sleep you need (we’re all different) can be found here.
Hot tip: give up watching infomercials in the wee hours and hit the sack early. You’ll thank me for it and so will your wallet.
#2 Limit carbs
I’m not saying remove carbs completely, but think of it this way: The body is like a car, whilst carbs are the ’fuel’ required to run it. When you go home to park your car, do you really think you need to add more fuel?
#3 Be consistent
Efforts that you make on a consistent basis will be rewarded. Often we struggle and lose sight of the end goal as our fat loss begins to decline. Make no mistake, the body WILL adapt to every form of weight-loss strategy we throw at it, so you have to change it up and ‘keep the body guessing’.
Hot tip: Change your program every 6-8 weeks to keep yourself motivated (even if it’s just minor adjustments to existing exercises).
#4 Eat less
Seriously, I just said ‘eat less’ without a grin on my face. Ok, so don’t starve yourself by any means, but try avoiding seconds. We can survive on a lot less than you would think and still look and feel healthy and more importantly, shed excess kilos more easily.
Hot tip: Don’t skip training days, but if you do – reduce your food portion sizes for the days you miss the gym.
#5 Introduce HIIT
High Intensity Interval Training should be ‘up there’ on your priority list when trying to budge stubborn body fat. To mix it up, do it after a 45min weight session. At Other times, try doing 20mins of HIIT followed by another 20mins of steady-pace running/elliptical.
Hot tip: Mix up your cardio. Try to do a combination of HIIT and weights if possible. If you do classes, and enjoy them, add other things to the mix to throw the body into a state of ‘WTF?’
#6 Drink more water
You already knew this one right? If your water intake is low, your body thinks it’s entering a drought. As a result, it’ll react by storing as much water as possible to get through it. This extra, stored water leaves you looking and feeling bloated. Take in more water, and your body will cease to hold onto it.
Hot tip: Aim for 8 glasses a day at the minimum. Or as a general guide, if your urine is yellow, then you’re not drinking enough.
#7 Train twice a day
This isn’t possible for a lot of people, but for those that have the time (and the inclination), add an additional 45min walk at the opposite end of the day to your normal training. This can really fuel your fat burning fire for a lot longer.
Hot tip: Avoid over training and listen to your body. If you are tired from the morning session, don’t push your luck. You’ll either end up sick or injuring yourself in the process.
#8 Cut back on alcohol
This may seem obvious, but how many of us STILL drink alcohol when trying to achieve supreme shredded-ness? I’ve been guilty of this in the past (and still am), but if you want to reach the next level, try a lifestyle without it for a while.
Hot tip: Giving up the last legal social lubricant is difficult for ANYONE but try it for a month and see how much better your progress is and how much better you feel. You can have a beer at the end as a reward. I promise.
#9 Reduce salt (sodium) and eat non-processed foods
Salt hinders the bloods ability to pass nutrients through your system essentially ‘clogging it up’. This will cause the body to retain more water. Also, try to eat foods that are in their ‘raw’ form – Nuts, grains, meat, eggs, fruits, veg and the list goes on. If you’re reaching for a bag of chips, eat an apple or grab a protein shake instead.
Hot tip: When training for fat-loss, and I’m feeling like Starvin Marvin, I mix a scoop of whey protein powder in a glass of water and consume.
Presto – not hungry anymore.
#10 Increase protein intake
Finally, try to substitute protein into places where you would normally snack on chips, breads and other starchy foods (which will ultimatelyleave you feeling hungry). Protein is essential for muscle building but more importantly, it will leave you satiated for longer. You’ll end up eating less during the day as you’ll feel full (hopefully).
Hot tip: Increasing your protein intake is easy if you purchase powered whey. However, don’t limit yourself to just shakes – the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals can be readily found in solid meat products such as beef and poultry.
Editor’s note: What are your OWN effective methods for fat-loss? Leave them in the comments below.