As the warmer weather quickly approaches most of us begin to think what we’re going to look like with our shirts off enjoying the sun. Are you going to be showing off a chiseled six-pack? Or could you stand to lose a few pounds and tighten up the mid-section?
If you are looking to shed a few pounds and carve out a washboard stomach then the plan detailed here is exactly what you need to get on the fast track to success. The plan includes easy-to-follow diet and exercise strategies that’ll help you quickly shed fat as you work towards building a more defined physique.
5 Keys To The Fat-Burning Diet
1. Meal Frequency
The first strategy is to eat more frequently throughout the day. Ideally, you want to eat four to six meals every day. This can include your three main meals plus two or three snacks.
By eating more frequently you increase your metabolic rate. As well, you keep your insulin levels regulated and are less likely to want binge eat.
2. Protein, Protein, And More Protein
Try to have a good source of protein at every meal or snack. Eating protein has a greater thermogenic (calorie-burning) effect than eating carbohydrates or fat. Therefore, by eating more protein you can give your metabolic rate a significant boost.
Some good sources of protein include chicken breast, beef, salmon, cottage cheese, yogurt, and whey protein powder.
3. More Greens
Eat vegetables as your primary carbohydrate source at every meal or snack. Veggies aren’t calorie dense, but do contain a lot of important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Unlike processed carbohydrates (i.e., breads, cereals, etc.), veggies don’t cause a big spike in insulin release. You want to keep insulin levels to a minimum when trying to burn fat because it’s an energy-storing hormone.
However, the one time when you do want to have simple carbohydrates is after your workouts. Post-workout, the insulin spike from eating simple carbohydrates can help shuttle nutrients to your muscles to enhance recovery and stimulate growth.
4. Healthy Fats Are Essential
Have some ‘healthy’ essential fats with each meal. Yes, I’m recommending you eat fat to burn fat! It’s true – certain fats can actually help enhance fat loss. More specifically it’s polyunsaturated (which are essential fatty acids) and monounsaturated fats that have a host of health benefits and can also support fat loss.
Some excellent sources of polyunsaturated fats include fish, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. Almonds, pecans, olive oil, and avocados are great sources of monounsaturated fats.
5. Water Intake
Drink lots of water! Just like food, water can also have a thermogenic (calorie-burning) effect on the body. Drinking cold water has actually been shown to significantly increase metabolism. Simply put, a more hydrated body is more metabolically active.
Water is also important to help continually detoxify the body. I recommend you try to drink half your bodyweight (lbs.) in ounces of water every day. For example, if you weight 180 pounds then you should aim to drink at least 90 ounces of water per day. That works out to about 11 eight-ounce glasses of water per day.
Sample Daily Diet Plan
The sample diet plan outlined here is based on the five strategies I’ve just explained. This plan is designed for a 180-pound person. So, if necessary slightly increase or decrease the portion sizes relative to your current bodyweight.
|Sample Fat-Burning Diet Plan|
|Post-Workout Recovery Shake||
5 Keys To The Fat-Burning Training Program
1. Weight Training
Most people only associate weight training with building muscle. However, if you want to maximize fat loss then you’ve got to workout with weights at least three times a week! Weight training requires a lot of energy and therefore burns a lot of calories and fat. It also builds muscle and as a result increases metabolic rate. Weight training workouts also increase the ‘after burn.’ The after burn simply refers to the calories you continue to burn the time period after you’ve finished your workout. So, for several hours after a weight-training workout you actually continue to burn an increased amount of calories. For these reasons, it’s important to make sure you hit the weights on a regular basis.
2. Compound Exercises
In regards to weight training, use mainly compound exercises in your routine. Compound exercises involve movement at more than one joint and involve mainly major muscle groups. Bench press, squats, and dumbbell rows are all examples of compound exercises. These types of exercises stimulate more muscle fibers than isolation exercises and are more metabolically demanding.
3. Shorter Rest Periods
During your weight-training workouts try to keep your rest periods to a minimum between each set. Rest periods between sets should be 30 to 60 seconds in length. With shorter rest periods between sets your heart rate will stay elevated throughout the entire workout. Again, this is just another simple strategy you can use to increase caloric expenditure and enhance fat loss!
4. Implementing Cardio
Regular cardiovascular exercise should be an essential part of your plan. I recommend you try and get in three to five cardio workouts per week. If you find you’re not losing as much fat as you’d like then shoot for five sessions a week. If your progress is good then you might be able to get away with just three sessions a week. Adjust appropriately based on your rate of progress.
5. Timing Cardio Right
Do some cardio right after your weight-training workouts. After weight training your body should be depleted of its carbohydrate stores. So, in my opinion this is the perfect time to do some cardio and tap into fat stores. Basically, the weight training puts your body in an enhanced fat-burning state so you might as well take advantage of it by doing some cardio!
Sample Weekly Training Program
Take a look at the sample weekly exercise plan I’ve outlined here. It includes a weight-training and cardio plan that’ll help you quickly reach your goals. By using this exercise program in conjunction with the fat-burning diet plan you’ll be well on your way to showing off a more chiseled body before you know it!
|Sample Weekly Workout Schedule|
|Monday||Weight-Training Workout #1 + 20 Minutes of Cardio|
|Tuesday||30 Minutes of Cardio (optional)|
|Wednesday||Weight-Training Workout #2 + 20 Minutes of Cardio|
|Friday||Weight-Training Workout #3 + 20 Minutes of Cardio|
|Saturday||30 Minutes of Cardio (optional)|
|Workout #1: Upper Body||Sets||Reps|
|Incline Dumbbell Press||4||8|
|Flat Dumbbell Press||2||12-15|
|Hanging Knee/Leg Raises||2||15|
|Note: Only rest 30secs between sets|
|Workout #2: Lower Body||Sets||Reps|
|Crunches On Ball||2||15|
|Note: Only rest 60secs between sets|
|Workout #3: Upper Body||Sets||Reps|
|Dumbbell Shoulder Press||4||8|
|One-Arm Dumbbell Rows||4||8|
|Seated Cable Rows||2||12-15|
|Cable Crunches To Side||2||20|
|Note: Only rest 30secs between sets|