How to Get Lean: 25 Ways to Lose Fat Faster
We asked some of the most respected trainers and experts about the best ways to jumpstart fat loss via training, diet, and lifestyle tweaks. You’ll have to work hard for every ounce, of course, but we can promise you—the results will be worth it.
1. Do intervals and high-intensity training (HIIT)
You’ve heard about their benefits—and for good reason. If you’re looking for a surefire way to burn fat faster and lose some pounds in the process, HIIT is a solid go-to.
“High-intensity interval training is more time efficient in caloric expenditure than a traditional cardio workout,” says Kurt Hester, head strength and conditioning coach at Louisiana Tech. “Not only will your body burn more calories during HIIT workouts but you’ll also continue to burn more calories and fat in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout. That doesn’t mean you need to limit yourself to only sprint interval workouts on a treadmill, though. Go out and sprint hills, drag tires, and push or pull sleds.”
2. Sprint more
If you think hitting the weights is the only thing you have to do to lose fat faster, you’re wrong. You need a soild balance of weight training, cardio, and nutrition. “You need cardiovascular work to burn excess body fat,” says Mike Duffy, CPT and owner of MikeDuffysPT.com. “The body will burn primarily carbs during the first twenty minutes of cardiovascular exercise. Right about minute twenty, the body shifts over and starts to burn stored body fat as the primary source of energy. You need a combination of both weight training and cardio to get fat off your body.
Lee Boyce, Owner of Lee Boyce Training Systems, agrees: “Sprinting,” Boyce says, “uses fast twitch muscles, which take more energy to utilize, and puts you in an oxygen debt, so your body has to play ‘catch up’ after the workout is done. This also increases the rate of metabolism to tap into more fat loss during and after the workout.
3. Hit the weights
If you’re not already hitting the gym and racking up the weights, now’s the time if fat loss is your goal. Even if you start small and work your way up to heavier weights, gaining muscle is going to put you on the fast-track to hitting that goal. “When it comes to exercise, you have to train with weights to increase lean mass,” Duffy says. “Fat is burned inside of your muscle cells. The bigger and more plentiful your muscle cells, the bigger your fat-burning furnace.” In short, adding muscle increases the size of your fat-burning furnace, while dieting or exercising incorrectly decreases it.
4. Pick up a sport
Getting into pick-up games is a great way to burn extra calories, trim away the fat, and still have a hell of a lot of fun doing it. “Playing a sport involves cardio and lots of non-linear movement (jumping, back pedaling, side stepping), making it healthier than straight jogging,” Boyce says. There are loads of ways to burn 1,000 calories without even realizing it.
5. Reduce stress with yoga
Slowing down for some deep breathing and stretching can seriously keep you zen—as well as boost your flexibility and help you lose fat, because stress can contribute to abdominal fat and other issues. If you’re an absolute novice, use our beginner’s guide to yoga.
6. Experiment with CrossFit
The jury might still be out on the longevity of the current CrossFit craze (the quick, heavy lifting can be straining on your joints). But the benefits of this total-body workout are tremendous, and the WODs (workout of the day) seriously test your physical abilities in just about every way. The combination and timing of exercises, the competitive aspect of the sport, and the group-training philosophy of CrossFit help you burn a crazy amount of calories.
7. Stop trying to spot reduce
Here’s the thing about spot reduction: It doesn’t exist. Doing 1,000 crunches every day and abs-only workouts aren’t going to make your six-pack come out from hiding if your diet and exercise regimen are severely lacking. Use that time, instead, to do some high-intensity interval training or mixing up your lifting routine.
How to Get Lean: 25 Ways to Lose Fat Faster first appeared in www.mensjournal.com