Most people will agree that losing fat quickly is the way to go. Getting rapid progress gives you an amazing mental boost. After all, needing to wait months to get results is a major killjoy that can lead anyone to throw in the towel.
Therefore, this article will give you ten expert tips for losing fat quickly. One important thing: These strategies are geared at both short and long-term success. They will help you maintain muscle mass for a greater metabolic rate, while setting you up with habits that make a lean body composition sustainable.
#1: Eat Protein For Breakfast
Switching from a carb-based breakfast like cereal to a high-quality protein such as steak, eggs, or fish is a game changer for many people because it will suppress appetite and reduce subsequent eating throughout the day. It also sets up your neurotransmitters so that you’ll feel motivated and on-point, making it easy to get in a killer workout and stay active all day long.
#2: Lift Heavy
A lot of people trade hard training for long slow cardio in an effort to burn as many calories during workouts as possible. Seems like a good idea, but steady-state cardio leads to the degradation of lean tissue so you lose muscle. It also often leads to compensation where people inadvertently eat more calories to make up for those that they’ve burned. On the other hand, lifting hard and heavy maintains lean mass during fat loss phases and it improves fat burning hormones that help sustain metabolic rate.
#3: Do Sprints Or HIT
Just like heavy lifting, sprints or high-intensity training (think strongman exercises, hill running, or circuit training) will have a powerful fat loss effect because they trigger EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) so that you burn exponentially greater calories in the 48-hour workout recovery period.
#4: Avoid Liquid Calories
For many people, the greatest source of empty calories is from beverages. This is a huge problem because not only are you getting poor nutrition, but liquid calories don’t register in the brain in the same way as real food. You need to chew in order to get the release of hormones that decrease hunger.
#5: Reduce Stress/Clear Cortisol
Excess stress leads to the release of the hormone cortisol, which activates a part of the brain that makes you crave pleasurable foods. At the same time, goal-oriented parts of the brain are reduced. This makes you literally incapable of making rationale food choices. There are many tricks for lowering stress but a few we like best include daily meditation, deep breathing, supplementing with extra vitamin C, spending time with loved ones, and getting restful sleep every night.
#6: Swap Refined Grains For Veggies
Replacing vegetables for refined grains will automatically lower your calorie intake, while allowing you to fill up on healthy, nutrient-rich foods. Grain-based foods are very easy to overeat and they tend to crowd out other more nutritious foods when they are the primary components of a meal.
#7: Stop Distracted Eating
For just about everyone, distracted eating is overeating. We let outside cues like an empty package or the end of a TV show signify that a meal is over. But by that time, we’ve eaten way more than our fill. There’s a simple solution: Have every meal seated at a table without your phone, the TV, or other distraction to keep you from listening to your body and enjoying your food.
#8: Give Your Gut Some Love
A poorly functioning gut will cause you a host of problems, not least of which you won’t be getting the nutrition you need for optimal energy levels. Bad bacteria in the gut can be solved by taking a probiotic, whereas inflammation can often be reduced by increasing your fiber intake from vegetables. Low stomach acid can be improved by trying digestive enzymes—and don’t forget to drink enough water!
#9: Get Your Steps In
A completely normal side effect of losing fat is that people become less active. It’s the body’s way of protecting itself. It’s even a problem for people who train hard daily, making it essential that you come up with a plan to keep yourself moving. Step counts are one strategy that works—shoot for at least 10,000 a day.
#10: Cycle Carbs Or Calories But Not Both
Carb cycling in which you eat low-carb on days you don’t exercise and higher carb on training days is one tool that can improve fat loss by enhancing insulin sensitivity and fat burning.
For people who are less athletic, calorie cycling is another research-tested option. With calorie cycling you eat normally 5 days a week but on the remaining 2 days, have only one 500-calorie meal. Be sure to split your low-calorie days up—don’t have them one after another. Studies show this approach conveys a metabolic advantage and is often mentally easier than low-calorie diets, which have abysmally poor success rates.