Losing weight is relatively easy but burning fat requires a planned approach. Any fad diet can have you drop 10 or more pounds in a week or two. This loss of weight is principally water, food, and muscle with little fat. I have heard from countless people that they can loose from 5 to 10 pounds in a week or less but thereafter it becomes more difficult. Training months for a photo shoot, I became phenomenally lean (5% body fat or less) then in 24 hours I lost an additional 2 lbs. in 24 hours by dehydrating myself (you stop drinking water suddenly 24 hours before). There are many things that can cause temporary weight loss that borders on the unbelievable. Boxers who need to make their weight class have lost as much as 20 pounds in 24 hours prior to their weigh in. Diuretics, and saunas ( for water loss), enemas (for evacuating any digested food) even Bulimia is used by professional models, actors and athletes for a quick fix in weight loss. Loosing fat while sparing or even gaining muscle requires a very intelligent protocol that is based on discipline (what’ that) and some time (not 10 days or less). Fat loss is possible with discipline and diligence. If you are still interested in real fat burning, here is my list of effective fat loss.
- Morning workouts
These are performed on an empty stomach, just some water or black coffee. This is the only method that has got me both muscular and lean. Many will tell you that timing does not matter, but many studies as well as my personal experience have proven the morning workout efficiency for producing lean bodies.
- Strength training
Most people feel that aerobics is key to fat loss. I most heartily disagree! The effect of strength training to burn fat and most importantly build muscle speeds up our metabolism for 24 hours. The more muscle we have the more calories we burn in any activity, even sleeping. Strength training has a very strong calorie burning effect if done with intensity. This means you may have to push yourself a bit and work through some muscle pain discomfort. Intensity in strength training requires mental focus to push yourself through perceived barriers. Many would rather read a book and sit on a stationary bicycle mindlessly sailing through their aerobic session.
- Hard (heavy and brief strength training sessions
The focus on strength increases are the one most effective way of building muscle. The other popular method is a volume method where you lift moderate weights for many reps and sets. Volume training has its place but when you need to accomplish 2 goals, muscle gain and fat loss, you need to economize all your training efforts.
- Interval training
This form of aerobics is most challenging but, has 2 positive aspects. First it is by far the most effective fat loss protocol using aerobics and it requires only 12 to 15 minutes. So there is the catch, you expend all out effort on your choice of aerobic machine (stair climber, elliptical treadmill or bicycle) for 30 to 120 seconds. Your heart rate should reach maximum for your age and immediately following this sprint, you will need twice the length of time to recuperate enough to start another all out effort. You repeat this as often as you can in 12 to 15 minutes. This intense workout will continue to burn calories and fat long after the workout is over.
- Follow a hard/easy rhythm
If you have followed my advice on 1 through 5, you will be rising early every morning to strength train and interval train every second day. Your workouts will be short but very intense. We do not want you to “over train” so we need to alternate easy days with very intense days. For fat loss, we must look at working out 5 to 6 days a week. We can break this down to 3 intense workout and 3 less intense workouts.
Monday – Intense intervals, 15 minutes.
Tuesday – Intense strength training, 30 minutes
Wednesday – less intense intervals
Thursday – less intense strength training
Friday – intense intervals
Saturday – intense strength training
Sunday – lazy walk in the park
6. Eat 5 to 6 very small meals every 2 and 1/2 hours. A meal can be an apple and protein drink, or half a tuna sandwich. Equally spaced small meals will super change your metabolism.
7. Drink plenty of water. This seems too easy to be important but it is. Water flushes fat out, hydrates our muscles and helps waste elimination. Generally the more water we drink the better but not all at one time. Carrying a water bottle with you everywhere is a good idea if you are serious about fat loss.
These are my 7 top fat burning strategies, starting with the hardest to implement to the most easy to implement. Adding some of the above strategies to your routine will burn more fat. I try to incorporate all seven when really serious about fat loss and they have been very effective.