Image by: Davis Anderson
By Ken Lucas
Most of us relish in the thought of losing weight so much that we’d probably try anything and everything suggested in order to accomplish that legendary feat. Yea, I’m talking about all you dieters out there. Unfortunately, it is a common misconception that dieting alone or cutting back calories will in itself lead to a dramatic decrease in weight.
While it is true the less calories you intake the more fat you will manage to burn, it is of critical importance to understand that the act of not eating (or not eating enough), no matter how tall you are or how much you weigh is unhealthy.
But to those of you who do abide by a strict eating regimen that contains the ideal amount of nutrients and proteins, other bad habits like ineffective workout strategy’s or lack of cardio might plague your desires for a Brad Pitt-esque physique. So if you find yourself struggling in the weight room either due to the food you’re eating (or lack thereof) or your improper workout regimen, then what better way to break through your plateau than to heed a little advice from a writer who happens to be a certified personal trainer?
I’m not trying to toot my own horn but…
#1) Eat 4-6 Meals a Day
Eating 4-6 meals a day may sound like a pipe-dream to most working class citizens, but before you let the idea of preparing so many meals throughout the day shock you into giving up on your hopes and dreams, do a little research on easy to cook foods that you can eat anytime, anywhere or any place. Spaghetti in a Tupperware bowl, a protein bar, or even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich can all suffice as viable meals to aid you throughout the day. The key here is to keep your metabolism moving consistently enough to help you burn fat even while you’re not exercising.
Sounds too good to be true, right? Well that’s because it almost is. There’s no more of a convenient way to get rid of calories than to do it while you’re taking a nap or are hard at work. And as long as you reach your meal limit throughout the day–while still ensuring you intake a relatively high amount of protein and moderate amounts of fats and complex carbs–then your body will do most of the fat burning without you even having to lift a finger.
Just be sure to keep the cheat foods like cakes, candies and bread to a minimum, as even one slice of chocolate cake at the wrong time can cause you to reach your calorie limit for the day sooner than you want.
#2) Circuit Training
Most “bro-science” enthusiasts cringe at the idea of engaging in high rep, low weight circuit training, but the truth of the matter is this form of exercise is often times much more physically demanding that traditional lifting because it has both an aerobic (cardio) and anaerobic (lifting) element to it. While not recommended for a person who is looking to increase size, this form of exercise couple with proper diet and a fair amount of cardio will do wonders with eliminating body fat and keeping you slim, trim and pretty darn sexy.
Higher reps are ideal for circuit training in order for your body to exude higher cardiac outputs. Nothing too over the top, though–10 to 15 reps for upper body exercises like curls, bench press or seated rows is extremely effective. For lower body exercises like squats, lunges or leg press, 12-15 reps is typically the standard.
This form of exercise is also great because it keeps you moving and doesn’t allow much in-between rest, as you will likely be moving quickly from one exercise to the next–effectively taxing your entire body that much more. This equates to 30% more calories burned than a typical weight workout. Yea, that’s a pretty dramatic difference isn’t it? If you’re looking to destroy fat and sculpt muscle then there you go.
#3) Intense Cardio
Cardio is the granddaddy of all weight loss tactics, and rightfully so. But people often think that just because cardio is the standard option, it’s all you need in order to lose weight. The truth is, in order to attain the full benefits of cardiovascular movements, the two steps above must also be executed to perfection (well, to the best of your abilities at least). Incorporating two or three designated days a week in which you focus exclusively on cardio will compound your circuit training efforts quite nicely, giving your body a double-whammy effect that will lead to better and more prompt results.
Why do you think boxers, athletes and runners have little to no body fat on their glistening bodies? That’s because they are essentially cardio experts, spending hours and hours throughout the day on the treadmills, ellipticals, and even on bare concrete (roadwork or running up and down your sidewalk is a great option for those without a gym membership).
When your body works strenuously, it has no choice but to get rid off all the unnecessary weight, and in your case that may mean parting ways with your love handles, muffin top, or even your dreaded double chin.
Do you have first hand experience utilizing any of the methods listed above to get rid of mischievous body fat? Well congratulations, pal! How about sharing your insight with some of your friends in the comments section. We’re sure they’d appreciate it!