5 Things You Aren’t Doing to Burn Fat
There is no shortage of information on how to lose weight. There are dieting styles, techniques, fads, formulas, and famous athletes that will all make you believe there is some secret that you just can’t figure out. But when you get down to the brass tacks, it’s simple. Like with anything, keeping it simple will make your progress manageable, sustainable, and predictable. We’re going to dive right into the way to lose fat and improve your body composition, and then give you a few tips that you may not be doing yet to help get you there.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
When most people say they want to lose weight, they want to do two things. First, they want to reduce their body fat. Second, they want to preserve as much muscle tissue as possible throughout the dieting process. This is how you end up with a fit, muscular, lean look. In order to accomplish this, you simply need to be in a caloric deficit while supporting muscle retention by eating enough protein and muscle-sparing macro-nutrients like carbohydrates.
That’s it. Really. Any other dieting technique is simply a variation on this concept. If you understand that, then you can choose a dieting “style” that fits your preferences and lifestyle. Now, there are more details than that, but the most important first step is to understand that general principle and know that there are no special hidden powers in any specific foods, or trending diet styles. Eat less, give yourself enough fuel to train hard and recover, and you are headed in the right direction.
YOU WANT TRICKS? WE’LL GIVE YOU TRICKS!
Here are 5 things you aren’t doing (Yet!) to set yourself up for fat burning success. Incorporate these into your game plan for faster, more effective and more sustainable results.
Track Your Macros
Before you get started, use an app like MyFitnessPal to track exactly what you’re eating daily. Do this for a few days and create an average of your daily calorie, protein, carb, and fat intake. Now you have a baseline understanding of what you look like, how much body fat you have, and how you feel overall on your current diet. You are going to start your diet at the amount of calories you are eating now.
Now, The next step is to adjust the proportions of your macros so they are favorable for maintaining your muscle mass while you diet. The tried and true rule of thumb is about 1 gram of protein per lean pound of bodyweight, so you may have to estimate. The rest of your macros, which are carbs and fats, can be in whatever proportion you prefer that will make sure you adhere to your set macronutrient intake day in and day out. However, if you like having good workouts where you get a nice pump, it would be a good idea to eat more carbs than fats.
Now, every day you are going to track the foods you eat so that you hit these macro goals consistently. Your food choices, do not have a huge impact on the efficacy of your diet as long as you are getting the right amount of macros contained in those foods.
See Tip #2 for how to proceed from here!
Make The Right Adjustments
A diet should not be static! It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it type thing, so crash dieting is not going to work if you want to look good by the end of it. Your body is made to adapt, so make it do its job! As you lose weight, your overall nutrition requirement is going to decrease. That means that you should be monitoring your weight loss and adjusting your diet accordingly. The reason we tracked our food intake before we started was to have a starting point that you’re used to. Now, each week you’ll take some calories away from your total and you will see long-term weight loss and excellent muscle retention. The slower the better within reason. Anywhere between 25-100 calories per week should do the trick, depending on your size and starting point.
Bump Up Your N.E.A.T
This is a boring one, but it absolutely works. NEAT stands for non exercise activity thermogenesis. It’s the calories you burn from just living life. And as we discussed, the name of the game here is burning more calories than you consume, so this is an easy way to make speed up your path to weight loss. Rake the leaves. Take the stairs. Learn to play drums. Sweep the floor for your mother.
EAAs + Leucine
As you begin to get deeper into your diet your food intake will be low and you will be in a steep caloric deficit. You will want to make sure that you are taking an amino acid supplement that has both EAAs and Leucine. Think of this as your insurance policy against losing muscle between meals and during your cardio and weight training sessions. Make sure that you’re taking at least 2500 mg. This “flips the switch” for protein synthesis. Epic Aminos have 3,000mg per serving so it’s a great choice for a muscle preservation supplement.
Reduce Training Volume
This is a crucial but overlooked factor that leads to a lot of muscle loss if overlooked. When your nutrition is reduced, your ability to recover can be substantially impacted and if your training doesn’t adapt to your nutrition, you will overtrain. When that happens, your performance will suffer and you risk losing muscle. So, monitor your recovery and if you’re sore for more than 2 days after training, start reducing your training volume, whether it’s cutting down a few sets, reps or lowering your training frequency.