How do you get rid of that trouble fat? You know that stubborn fat in your gut, thighs and butt. It’s the fat that smiles at you every morning in the mirror as to say we’re not going anywhere and you can’t make us. There’s good news and bad news. Well the good news is you can win the battle, but the bad news is it takes a combination of building muscle and diet (20% Strength Training and 80% Diet). The battle you’re waging on your lower abs and backside can only be won a one bite at a time and one workout at a time. You must focus on improving insulin sensitivity and the only way you achieve this with high intensity strength training and being stringent with your diet. I’m going to provide 5 proven tactics that work if you apply them every day. I challenge you to take the next 30 days and see what you can achieve.
Ketogenic Diet May Be An Option
I’ve completed a lot of research on the ketogenic diet and have found it to be very effective for both improving insulin sensitivity and weight loss. I’ve seen research that advocates this diet but even more so I’ve seen it work on clients who have the discipline to do it completely. A standard ketogenic diet is composed of 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates. I know many of you may see 75% fat and think it will cause heart problems. It won’t, because fat doesn’t cause heart disease. Instead you’re risk for heart disease is increasing due to that sugary soda you’re drinking or that processed cereal you’re eating for breakfast. To lose fat and improve your health it’s time to make some changes.
Instead of providing you with a meal plan in this blog post I will encourage you to check out The Ketogenic Diet 101 and learn how to easily implement this diet. The Ketogenic Diet 101 provides you with the what, why and how. I would encourage you to speak with your physician before starting this diet and make sure it doesn’t conflict with any meds you may be on. Make sure you provide him/her with information regarding this diet so they are informed.
Bad Carbs Are The Problem
If you read The Ketogenic Diet 101 and decide it’s too strict. Then I will suggest a diet that provides a little more flexibility. The low carb diet is composed of 65% fat, 25% protein and 10% carbohydrates. It works similarly to the ketogenic diet but is a little less restrictive. If this diet seems more fitting I encourage you to read The Low Carb Diet and use their meal plan. Whether you have lots of fat to lose or your trying to lose those last stubborn 10 pounds the key is to push insulin levels low and the way you do that is reduce your carb intake.
One other thing I must tell you is the first two weeks of a low carb or ketogenic diet will suck. Some people call it the low carb flu. You may feel weak, lethargic, dizzy, and have stomach discomfort during the first two weeks. Stay with it and you will feel like a new man or woman with-in 10-14 days. In addition, you will lose fat like you never thought possible.
Larger Muscles Burn More Fat
I am convinced that reducing processed and simple carbs is essential to losing fat and keeping it off. If insulin is not lowered in the body it’s impossible for fat cells to release fat. With that said diet is the most important part of the fat loss equation; however exercise also plays a role.
Building muscle must be the priority for exercise. Think about it this way, which car burns more fuel a Camaro with a V8 engine (muscle car) or a Cruze with a 4 cylinder engine. The big V8 is a gas guzzler. Muscle is the engine of the body and if you have huge engines (muscles) you will burn fuel (fat) like mad. Every time you hit the weights think heavy weight and as many reps as I can. The key to increasing muscle size is volume of training (Reps + Sets + Weight = Muscle Size). Work hard every set and never take a rep off, the goal is to build muscle every day.
Breathing Hard Turns YOU Into A Fat Burner
In addition to increasing muscle with strength training you will also want to do some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). We do this with Tabata, Circuit and Kick Boxing Circuit at Boot Camp however you can also do it at home as well. On days you can’t make Boot Camp make your own circuit (push-ups, crunches, squats, lunges, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, plank, squat punches, front kicks and power knees) and do multiple rounds of 30 seconds work or use tabata. You can get an app on your smart phone that counts down for both 30 second circuit and tabata.
If you’re more of a runner you can use this type of training with the run as well. Set your watch or smart phone and run for 20-30 seconds hard and then jog or walk for 30 seconds to 1 minute. The most important part is to get winded. This is a great addition to your strength training workouts for those of you trying to bust through weight loss plateaus or wanting to lose those last 5-10 lbs.
Add These Supplements To Your Tool Box
The last thing is doing everything you can to get your gut right and prime your muscles for optimal growth. The optimal way to do this is through supplementation. No matter how good your diet is, it will always have gaps. Below are a few extra’s you can do to fill the gaps.
1. Take a probiotic. Probiotics improve your gut health by increasing good gut bacteria. This good bacteria restores or maintains optimal health in the gut. If your gut is lacking good bacteria it will become ill and cause you to become sick. Most auto-immune diseases can be directly linked to gut health. If your gut health is poor your ability to lose fat is compromised. Get your gut right first.
2. You need a multi-vitamin. Most of us lack some of the essential vitamins and minerals we need daily. A multi-vitamin will fill the gaps and prime you for optimal health, the kind of health that promotes fat loss.
3. Consume fish oil daily. Fish oil studies show it’s an effective anti-inflammatory that protects the body from many chronic diseases and aids in joint health. However, the latest research has shown it to be an effective weight loss tool as well. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fish oil combined with exercise contributes directly to fat loss, which is just another reason to add this to your fat loss tool box.
4. If you know me I can’t leave out Turmeric. Besides being the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory available turmeric also shows the potential to lower estrogen levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Both of these improve your ability to improve your health and lose fat.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar every night before bed. Taking 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar every night before bed has shown to lower morning blood sugar. Lower blood sugar means less insulin which promotes fat loss. In addition, apple cider vinegar helps improve gut health as well.
6. Use Branched Chain Amino Acids daily. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) help preserve lean muscle mass and because muscle drives metabolism preserving it is job one. Using BCAA is an easy way to provide your muscles with what they need quickly pre and post workout. If long term weight loss is your goal you want to do everything possible to grow and maintain muscle mass.
Fat loss begins and ends with your diet. The more quickly you get your carbohydrate problem under control the more quickly you will see fat loss results. Until you understand and take control of those ugly simple and processed carbs you will be frustrated with your progress. Learn to like the big three: vegetables, meat and good fat. Your fitness program must be designed to increase muscle mass and strength, muscle drives metabolism. In addition, you must learn to do short very hard bout of aerobic exercise with small rest periods between. The harder you go during this training the more results you will reap. Last, add a few supplements to your tool box for fat loss optimization. The new YOU is ready to be unleashed, put these tools to work and start seeing the results before summer!