Summer is almost here folks so one of the most common questions around this time of year that I get asked is “What can I do to lose some fat?” “What are some of the best fat loss strategies?” In response to that, here are my top 5 fat loss strategies.
One of the simplest and most effective weight loss strategies we have is as easy as walking. That’s right, walking. Now, it’s not going to completely rip the fat off in a week but done over the long term and done consistently, it really adds up. What I recommend is gradually working your way up to about 30 minutes in the morning, and 45-60 minutes later on in the day. This can be done outside or on a treadmill.
The benefits of walking outside, especially in the morning, is to get that sunlight exposure to start the day. Getting sunlight exposure in the morning is so important to help regulate melatonin which will ultimately allow us to get better quality sleep. The increased melatonin regulation will also help to decrease stress. How do these two things relate to fat loss? Well, you can’t lose fat consistently if you’re not sleeping properly and stressed out all the time.
Now the benefits of walking on a treadmill are that it’s a more controlled environment so you can choose the speed and the incline. I recommend walking at a pace where you can still carry on a conversation if there were a person next to you, and have the incline set between 8-12%. For me personally when I use the treadmill, I typically go with 3mph at 10% incline for roughly 30 minutes.
A good goal to shoot for is actually around 10,000 steps/day. It may need to be a little more if you’re really trying to burn a lot fat but like I said this is one of the easiest, pain free ways to boost your fat loss efforts. So instead of just laying on the couch after dinner watching Netflix get out there put your earphones on and go for a walk instead! Walking after meals will also help improve digestion.
Another super simple, albeit not quite as easy way to lose weight is to practice fasting. Now, I covered intermittent fasting in detail in episode 4 so if you have any questions about whether you should try it or not listen to that episode or send me a direct message. That being said, fasting is definitely something I utilize when I’m trying to burn fat myself and it works great. Not only do I use an intermittent fasting schedule during the week but occasionally I will even do an extended fast of 24-36 hours to really boost my metabolism and overall reduce calories if nothing else.
Now, if fasting isn’t for you or you just don’t see yourself ever trying it, let me at least clue you in to a little hack here. I mentioned in strategy #1 that you should try and get a morning walk in and an afternoon walk. I highly suggest combining tip #1 and tip #2. By that I mean I suggest doing a 30-45 minute fasted walk in the morning. I would NOT recommend fasted cardio in the form of running or doing high intensity cardio, but since walking is so low stress and low impact you CAN do it fasted to help boost fat metabolism and burn mostly fat instead of muscle.
So, even if you’re not going to do intermittent fasting or any fasting at all, at the very least doing a fasted walk in the morning will yield great results in and of itself.
This is a big one. Strength training and weight lifting is not just for athletes and not just for those who are actively looking to bulk up or put on loads of muscle mass. Strength training and weight lifting is by far and away the single most effective exercise you can partake in to lose weight and build muscle. Even if you think you don’t care about building muscle and just want to lose weight, keep in mind that the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be at rest and therefore the more calories you will burn. That should make you want to lift!
- Tracking Calories
You’ve heard me say it before and I’ll say it again, when it comes to burning fat and losing weight, there is simply no getting around the fact that over the long term, you must be in a caloric deficit. And how can you know if you’re in a caloric deficit if you’re not tracking? The answer is you can’t. Now, there can be exceptions if you’re a high level athlete who is on a workout and dietary regimen year around, but other than that it’s impossible.
So, do yourself a favor and start tracking your calories if nothing else. A simple rule of thumb is that if you’re trying to get aggressive with your weight loss, aim to eat around ten times your body weight in calories. For example, if you weigh 120 lbs., aim to eat 1200 calories a day. If you’re not happy with the results or the weight loss plateaus, go lower to about 9 or even 8 times your body weight.
It’s impossible to know if you’re eating the appropriate amount of calories if you’re not tracking though. So, download the MyFitnessPal app, start tracking today. Once you get used to it, it should only take about 14 minutes a day.
The last fat loss strategy I want to discuss is H.I.I.T. which stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It’s been increasing in popularity every year for the past decade or so, because it really has a compelling case as the most effective form of cardiovascular exercise. H.I.I.T consists of doing an all out, hard as you can effort for about 10-15 seconds, followed by a short rest period of about 45 seconds, followed by another all out interval and repeat that say 7-10 times.
HIIT can be done a variety of ways. You can do sprints, although I don’t necessarily recommend starting with that option cause sprinting is a highly athletic activity and you’re more likely to hurt yourself doing them as opposed to other forms of HITT like the rowing machine, spinning, battle rope, assault bike, sleds, loaded carries, or even just good old fashioned push ups and squats.
The real reason HITT works so well compared to traditional cardio like jogging is that A) Its more time efficient, you get all the benefits in ten minutes as opposed to an hour B) It’ll improve body composition because traditional cardio burns through muscle as opposed to HITT which can actually build muscle, C) You will continue to burn more calories the rest of the day from HITT as opposed to regular cardio, D) It will drastically improve insulin sensitivity, and E) it’s just way more fun and rewarding than regular cardio. If you love just running on a treadmill or using an elliptical for an hour, then more power to you but most people are not like that.