Anyone who is trying to lose weight typically has one goal in mind, move the number on the scale south. There are a lot of ways to do this, but just moving the scale really shouldn’t be your goal. What you should be asking yourself is “how can I burn fat every day” or What’s the best fat burning workout?” Why? Well it’s simple. If you just try to “lose weight any way you can” you run the risk of losing muscle and bone mass along with the fat you are really trying to get rid of. The good news is there are ways to really target your weight loss and turn your body into a fat burning machine! Here are a five tips on maximizing your daily fat burning that I’ve picked up while traveling on the road to fit.
Drink a Glass of Water When you First Wake Up
There is still a lot research being done on this subject to figure out exactly why this trick works, but German researchers did a study back in 2003 that determined that test subjects drinking a 16 oz glass of near freezing water, showed a metabolic increase of about 30 % for about 10 – 50 minutes after the consumption occurred. (source) There is some debate as to whether the water temperature has anything to do with the effect or if it’s just a matter of kick starting your fat burning system, but either way water is good for your metabolism and we can all benefit from drinking more of it.
Work Out In A Fasted State
The first time I heard this, I kind of thought it was crazy. There are all these articles all over the internet that talk about the benefits of eating before and after exercise, and even some that recommend consuming during a workout. The reason for that advice is simple, if you want to perform at the highest level, you need to have as much energy as possible readily available in your blood stream. The key here though, is that the purpose of your exercise regimen isn’t the same as say a marathon runner. Your focus is fat burning and weight loss. If your body is loaded with easy access energy from the meal you just ate it has no reason to tap into the fuel cells that stored fat are in. Because of this, you need to work out in a state where your body is forced to seek out it’s reserved energy from your fat cells. The best way to do this is working out first thing in the morning and waiting at least 30 minutes after you complete your workout to eat a meal. If you want to read more about this check out this article from the NY Times or see one of the research studies here.
Do a High Intensity Workout
For many years it was thought that the best method of fat burning was to get your heart rate into the “fat burning” zone and then keeping it there as long as possible. A classic example of this would be getting on a treadmill, getting your heart rate up to 65% and then plodding through a 30 – 45 minute work out session. While this does in fact burn fat, it’s neither the most efficient or effective way to do so. For more fat burning switch to some type of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and you’ll see the fat melt off a whole lot faster. If you are a runner, a good example of HIIT would be to sprint for 60 seconds and then jog for two minutes and then repeat. For me the ideal HIIT workout is something like T25, where you focus on a combination of cardio and muscle building exercises at varied intervals. Why is HIIT so effective? Well first of all it’s been proven that you can complete a more intense exercise program in less time if you focus on intervals, which will ultimately burn more fat. (study) Secondly, there’s what’s called the “after-burn effect”, which shows that HIIT will actually lead your body to burn more fat and calories over a 24 hour period vs a steady state type workout. (reference) Thirdly, the longer you focus on HIIT, the better your body gets at burning fat! (study) If you are looking for a HIIT based system, take a look at our Focus T25 Review for more info.
Lift Heavy Things
No matter what your fitness goal is, you need to make sure that you are doing some kind of workout that will ultimately increase your overall muscle mass. It’s been proven for years that the more muscle mass you have the more fat you will burn at rest. (reference) Increases in muscle mass also increase bone density and reduce the negative effects of aging. Muscle building does this along with positively impacting a whole other slew of medical conditions from depression to diabetes.(reference). So what’s the best way to increase your muscle mass? Lift heavy things, of course While there are literally hundreds of different workout plans and systems out there for muscle building they all share a basic principle of either using weights or your body’s own weight to create resistance and build muscle mass. Make sure you are including muscle building into your workout routine to ensure you are burning all the fat you can while both working out and also while at rest.
Don’t Forget About the Calories
Now that we’ve looked at all the different ways to help you boost your metabolism and increase your fat burning, there’s one important thing to remember. None of this will work unless you create a calorie deficit. This is so important I will repeat it. You will not burn off excess fat effectively and your exercise will not result in fat burning unless there is a significant calorie deficit in your diet Why? Simple. Lets say your body was a car, and your stomach and metabolic system were it’s engine. The food you eat is like your body’s gasoline while your body’s fat cells are like giant oil reserves. Unless you burn more calories in a day than you consume, you’ll never give your body a good reason to take the time and energy to tap into the fat cells and use them as fuel instead of the food you eat. The formula for this is nowhere near that simple of course, but the basic principal holds true. A calorie deficit alone will not produce the desired weight loss either, you need to combine the deficit with proper nutritious types of calories and a good exercise regimen.
Loosing weight and rebuilding our bodies is far from easy. These tips will not work on their own and are designed to be combined with a healthy diet and exercise program. There is no magic bullet for either losing weight or burning fat but these tips will help you focus your energies on the best and most effective way to drive results while you take your journey on the road to fit!
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