Are you one of these people that look in the mirror and accepts that it’s just not possible to burn away the fat and get in shape? Sure, your metabolism may have slowed down over the years, but that doesn’t stop you changing the way you live right now and getting into the best shape of your life!
And it’s not just about how many calories you consume and the amount of exercise you do, there are also a few tips and tricks along the way that will make the difference between losing one pound a week and three!
Here are 6 tips that will guarantee to help maximise the fat burn and shed those pounds quickly –
1. Don’t make big calorie cuts
A popular mistake when dieting is to instantly cut out too many calories. If you don’t reduce your calorie intake gradually over the space of a few weeks, then your body will go into starvation mode and begin to store fat.
Once your body thinks it’s not going to get a great deal to eat, then not only will it store fat, but your metabolism will also slow down. It also won’t do your energy levels any favours if you go from eating 2,500 calories a day to 1,500.
Motivation plays a huge part when it comes to burning fat and losing weight, and you need to have plenty of energy if you want to hit the gym. So don’t cut back on those calories straight away, and put more thought into what you are going to eat rather than what you’re going to leave out.
Another great way of keeping your metabolism high is to vary your calorie intake. So rather than consuming exactly 1,500 calories every day, you should also include what’s called a ‘cheat day’. You might for example decide to have a cheat day every Sunday, which is also a great way to end the week and give yourself a treat after all that hard work in the gym.
The reason why it’s better to vary the amount of calories you consume is because our bodies are deigned to store as much energy as possible as a survival mechanism, in case we have to go hungry for a while.
So if you consistently have the same amount of calories every day, the body will adjust itself and lower the metabolic rate to stop you from burning off too much fat – just in case you need it. So by mixing up your calorie intake every now and again, you are basically keeping your metabolism on its toes and keeping it working.
2. Stop weighing yourself every 5 mins!
You might be wondering how it’s possible to know if you’ve lost weight without getting on the scales. But who cares what the scales say if you have a trimmer body and feel great!
The problem with weighing yourself every 5 minutes is that it’s one of the biggest ways to destroy your confidence and lose motivation. And once that happens, you’ll be straight back into your old habits and the weight will pile back on again.
Let’s say for example you decide to start a new diet and exercise plan today, and you weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you begin. The first thing to realise here is that you weigh less in a morning than any other time of the day. So you could eat a fantastic diet of vegetables, fruit and protein and even go to the gym for a 2 hour session, and you will still most likely weigh a couple of extra pounds at the end of the day.
There are lots of scientific reasons why the body weighs less in the morning, but the main reason is because you aren’t eating or drinking whilst you’re asleep. The body has also had lots of time to digest any food from earlier in the day, and you are constantly losing water through breathing and sweating.
And this is why people often try and fail very quickly when dieting, because they weigh themselves far too often and at different times of the day. You can weigh up to 4-5 pounds more at the end of the day, so there is no point in getting on the scales and feeling disappointed.
You must also be careful using the scales when you lift weights at the gym. If you put on 4 pounds of muscle and lose 4 pounds of fat, then you’re going to way the same. However, you will of course be much trimmer and you’ll also feel a lot better.
If you are dead set on using the scales, then it’s important to make sure you spread out your weigh-ins. Our advice would be to weigh yourself just once a month so you can really see the difference. You must also weigh yourself at the same time, which should be first thing in the morning (after you’ve been to the toilet).
If you get on the scales during the day, then your weight will all depend on what you’ve been eating and drinking and how many calories you’ve burnt through exercise. There are just too many variables, so it’s important to get on the scales when you have the least amount of food and water inside you.
3. Lift those weights
Weight training is an essential aspect to burning fat. Most people think weight training is all about getting extremely big and muscular, but this isn’t the case and you won’t end up looking like the Incredible Hulk if you don’t want to.
The biggest misconception about weight training is that you don’t have to lift heavy weights. You do of course need to stay clear of weights that are too easy for you to lift, but you also don’t have to go for the heaviest. Not only could this cause you injury, but if you want to get lean and toned, then choosing medium weights that you can do 12-15 reps with will be more beneficial if you want to burn fat.
If you do want to go all out and be the next Mr Universe, then sure, lifting heavy weights may be the way forward. But it’s still advisable to take it easy at first and let your body adjust. Taking a gradual approach to lifting heavy weights is always safer, and allows your body time to build up the strength it needs.
If you do however want to burn fat and get a lean shape, then 12-15 reps of a medium sized weight is a sensible approach. Not only does resistance training burn calories, but if you increase your muscle mass then this will also help to constantly burn more calories at a resting state.
You also need to be careful when trying to lose weight as you could start eating into your muscle, so weight training helps to counter act that and focus on burning fat instead. Finally, weight training has been proven to increase the calories you burn whilst resting for up to 24 hours after your workout.
4. HIIT the gym
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best exercises if you want to burn fat quickly. HIIT involves short periods of intense exercise followed by short breaks, and the best part about HIIT is that you can burn off more calories in a shorter period of time compared with any other exercise.
So rather than spending an hour on the treadmill, you’d be much better off spending 20 minutes interval training, and you’d burn off a lot more calories. Interval training can also be a lot more enjoyable than the mundane slog on the exercise bike, and allows you to mix things up.
A great example of HIIT is Shaun T’s Insanity workout, or the more recent T25. The insanity workouts are very difficult and you have to be pretty fit to begin with if you want to complete all those videos successfully. However, the T25 workouts are only 25 minutes longs and are much easier to complete and fit into your day. For more information on HIIT and Shaun T, please visit is website by clicking here.
5. Cut out the carbs, increase the protein
There has been a lot of debate over the past few years about the amount of carbs you should cut out of your diet, but one thing is for certain and that’s if you cut out most of the carbs containing sugar and starch, this will help you to lose weight.
A great source of carbs comes from foods like oatmeal and vegetables. Oatmeal is great to have for breakfast, and vegetables are easy to include with protein for you main meals. So try cutting out the carbs you get from foods like white bread and white pasta, and replace them with much better carbs. This means that you don’t necessarily have to cut down on carbs, and you can just be smart with them instead.
It’s also advisable to try and eat the majority of your carbs earlier in the day. Carbs are a great source of energy, so having these earlier in the day will give you a great energy boost, and will help with your workouts.
If you are really keen on getting the right balance for your diet, then studies suggest that a balance of around 70% protein and 30% carbs is a great way to burn fat. Ideally you don’t want to go any further than 50-50 if you can help it, but as long as you are eating the right carbs, you should instantly have much better success than before.
6. Add more of the good fats into your diet
The word ‘fat’ doesn’t usually get a mention when it comes to preparing what to include in your diet. However, taking in enough of the good fats is essential if you want to lose weight, and not all fats should be avoided.
Polyunsaturated fats are the right fats to include in your diet, especially Omega 3 which can be found in nuts and fish. Monounsaturated fat is also good for you which can be found in olive oil and egg yolks.