Wish there was a better way to burn fat than following the same old regimented diet?
There is…in fact, I’ve got 7 of them.
You’ve probably never heard of some of these fat burning strategies – but they WORK.
My client Colin McIntyre, who was struggling big time to lose any weight at the end of last year, is living proof.
The 33-year-old dad-of-two implemented four of these fat-burning methods – along with his weight training programme – and shed 1 stone in a month.
If you’re overweight and want to lose a few pounds, these strategies could be your answer.
Or if you’re just looking to lower your bodyfat levels to get the abs showing or for better muscle definition, then these practices (particularly #4) are the way forward.
Much of what I’ll suggest comes from researching the work of Ori Hofmekler, one of the world’s leading sports nutritionists.
Founder of Defense Nutrition and author of several renowned books, Ori’s knowledge of biology and human physiology is on another planet.
Intermittent fasting involves extending the break between your last meal at night and your first meal the following day to around 12-18 hours.
This basically means skipping breakfast. Doing this runs down your body’s glycogen stores – which then forces your body to utilise bodyfat for energy.
“But it’ll slow your metabolism…” and “you’ll lose muscle…” scream the Six-Meals-Per-Day-Brigade.
Author Brad Pilon reviewed hundreds of studies and journals while doing research for his intermittent fasting book ‘Eat Stop Eat’.
In the book, he writes: “Almost all of the scientific research I reviewed provided evidence in direct opposition to the misinformation found in diet books and on the internet. I found very convincing evidence that supports the use of short term fasting as an effective weight loss tool.
“This included research on the effect that fasting has on your memory and cognitive abilities, your metabolism and muscle, and the effect that fasting has on exercise and exercise performance.”
While in this fasted state, it’s a good idea to hit the gym in the morning.
Training on an empty stomach maximises fat burning and has other positive benefits.
Here on his website, American doctor Joseph Mercola says: “The combination of fasting and exercising maximizes the impact of cellular factors and catalysts (cyclic AMP and AMP Kinases), which force the breakdown of fat and glycogen for energy.
“This is why training on an empty stomach will effectively force your body to burn fat.”
For people worried training like this will eat into their muscle, listen up to Ori Hofmekler, author of The Warrior Diet and the mastermind I mentioned earlier.
He said: “Exercise and fasting help counteract all the main determinants of muscle aging. But there is something else about exercise and fasting.
“Growing evidence indicates that fasting and exercise trigger genes and growth factors, which recycle and rejuvenate your brain and muscle tissues.”
If you’re worried that you’ll struggle to get through a tough workout in the morning on an empty stomach, then here’s your answer.
The caffeine in coffee not only provides the fuel you need for training, but it can cause fatty acids to be used for energy rather than glycogen. Result!
Studies such as this one prove that coffee also speeds up metabolism and fat oxidation, which means more fat is burnt throughout the day.
We’re talking black coffee – forget the sugar and cream.
And go easy on it as health experts recommend no more than 400mg of caffeine (roughly three mugs of coffee) per day.
Sprint training is my hands-down winner for stripping fat and sculpting a lean, athletic physique.
Why? Because it supercharges growth hormone production – which incinerates fat, while developing muscle.
Just look at the physique of virtually every Olympic sprinter – the men and women – they’ve got bodies like Greek gods.
For more information on the awesome benefits of sprint training check out my article “8 Reasons Why You Should Be Sprinting”.
Are you a tea with two sugars and milk kinda dude?
Ditch it for green tea instead to give your body a fat-burning boost. I’m drinking my second cup (in my special Kylie Minogue mug) as I type this.
Green tea contains polyphenols – also known as catechins – which raise levels of the key fat burning hormone norepinephrine.
Norepinephrine elevates metabolism levels and increases the rate of fatty acid utilisation…meaning that your cuppa green tea has turned you into a fat burning machine!
‘Tabata’ training is a form of HIIT (high intensity interval training) that essentially involves 20 secs of exercise at maximum effort, followed by 10 secs rest, repeated for eight rounds.
This short, sharp burst of training is over very quickly…but the high level of intensity has the effect of elevating metabolism levels, increasing the fat burn for up to 12 hours afterwards.
Devised by Japanese scientist Dr Izumi Tabata, this professor did trials with Olympians and his findings were that Tabata training was more effective than other forms of HIIT for improving aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
I like to throw in a Tabata style short session at the end of my weight training workouts to ramp up fat burning.
For example, this could involve squatting with a 25kg weight bag, or bench pressing with a light weight, for the duration of the eight 20 second rounds.
I’d recommend buying this awesome ‘Tabata Pro’ timer app on the iTunes or Android app stores for £2.99.
This app also allows you to play music on your phone at the same time the Tabata timer is running, whereas several other free ones I tried didn’t.
The body is in a catabolic (muscle breakdown) state after weight training and post-workout nutrition flips it into anabolic (muscle building).
Therefore, for years I would down my entire protein shake within minutes of completing my workout in order to maximise muscle gain.
However, delaying that shake or post-workout meal by 30-60 mins is hugely effective for stripping fat, according to the main man Ori Hofmekler.
In an interview with American fitness guru Chad Waterbury, Ori said: “Exercise only initiates the first phase of fat breakdown; it does not grant the completion of the fat-burning process.
“After exercise there’s a substantial increase in the level of circulating free fatty acids coming from adipose tissue, and unless these are mobilized to the liver and muscle for final utilization, most of them will be re-esterfied into triglycerides and re-deposited back in the fat tissues.
“Yes, all your hard work to burn fat will be wasted!
“In order to grant an effective completion of the fat-burning process you must manipulate your muscle to suck in the circulating free fatty acids that were released by exercise.
“And the way to do that is to wait for 30-60 minutes after exercise before having your recovery meal.”
You can check out the full interview by clicking here – “The Truth About Post Workout Nutrition” – it’s well worth the read!
I’d suggest picking at least two of the seven strategies and implementing them over the next couple of weeks.
It could be intermittent fasting daily for 13-16 hours and drinking green tea instead of normal tea/coffee with sugar and milk. (Most people comment to me that the intermittent fasting is much easier than they thought it would be).
Or you could train in the morning on an empty stomach – and drink only black coffee to help you get through the workouts.
If you’re not happy with your current results, then why not see how this goes?
For more information on fat burning – and muscle gain – check out my new e-book “The Non-Meathead Formula For Building Muscle & Burning Fat”.