So here’s a scenario that might sound familiar to you:
You’re hitting the gym 7 days a week. You’r probably doing a full body workout like P90X or Insanity. After each workout you decided to push it more and for a 30 minute swim. You’ve had some nice muscle gains but somehow after a while your body fat stays high and the muscle growth stops. Your body now looks awkward and that’s exactly how you feel. You weigh 200+ pounds.
What most people do when they don’t get instant results?
What most guys do is go to popular forums, make a thread with this problem and get advice like you need to cut your calorie intake to 1500 per day to start cutting that fat. That’s a popular thing to say if you’re a women’s magazine writer. If you’ve been in this for a while now you’ll notice how every so called forum or gym guru is very confident in what they say, the problem is that most people blindly follow this advice and don’t even take a minute to consider if the person who’s giving them the advice actually had results with it. It’s one thing to say “Do this, I know it works” but the other is to prove it with real life results.
First thing’s first, food. What does your food intake look like? Don’t have a structured plan for it? These are the basics, food is 80% responsible for the way your body behaves and looks.
Let’s get the basics out of the way so you focus on healthy calories, not just calories.
The real reason why you should eat oatmeal
The number one thing you need to know, that most people still don’t know, is that calories are not all made the same. Yea, 50g of carbohydrates is 200 kcal but your body behaves totally different if those calories came from Oats or from chocolate cake. These rapid sugar spikes are extremely addictive. You’ll hear from a lot of people especially women “I can’t imagine life without chocolate” or “My blood sugar dropped, I’m tired”.
As someone who’s trying to lose fat you can’t afford having your body go though such processes. To get your body steadily energized and burn more fat you need to choose the right food. So first thing you do is cut the simple sugar. Keep your calorie intake the same but cut the sugar, replace it with another, healthier (more stable) calorie.
To slow down the carb breakdown you consume foods with high fiber. Fiber does wonders for keeping the energy stream steady, it also helps you digest food better and lightly boost resting metabolism rate. PS. It also increases the amount of time you spend in the bathroom at first. Don’t worry too much though, it’s all healthy.
Some fat is easier to burn, why is that ?
There are 4 types of fat, we got: Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated, Saturated and Trans fats. First thing your should do (and every other human being on this planet) is get rid of trans fats all together, that’s just junk. Second thing, oils that are made mostly out of polyunsaturated fat can suppress your immune system so get rid of those too.
So now we have monounsaturated and saturated fat. Out of these 2 monounsaturated is the easiest for our body to use and burn for energy so 70% of your fat intake should be monounsaturated fats. Good source of these fats are nuts (best choice are almonds) and olive oil. The other 30% should be saturated fat which you can find in red meat, coconut oil, olive oil, fish oil and also in most of the nuts.
Those 2 food tips should help you get back on track with a much better diet and start burning fat again. Now let’s go to the next important thing, calories.
How to adjust calories for YOUR OWN body?
You read in the example above how most people just use random calorie calculations they read on the Internet and then wonder why they don’t lose fat. To get back to calorie cutting, here are some guidelines you should follow…
First find out what’s your current calories intake, you can easily find the calorie content of each food online. Second, find out if you are above or under weight maintenance, this means you should measure yourself with weight scale every couple of days and check if you are losing, gaining or maintaining weight.
Once you find these 2 things out the 3rd part is just adjust. If your weight is the same on all measurements decrease the calorie intake by 300-500 kcal per day and your body will start burning fat to compensate. If you are losing weight already that means you are already on the right track, just keep the diet as it is and train more with heavier weights so you keep the muscle mass while burning mainly fat.
The same above applies if you want to gain weight, just add more calories to the diet until the numbers start going up.
300-500 kcal deficit should cause a small but steady weight loss of 1-2 pounds per month. Decrease the amount of calories you take in by 100 every month or two as you keep losing weight to keep the steady fat burning.
Which type of workout is the Best at Burning Fat?
Most people do quick reps thinking they burn more fat this way instead of putting the focus on getting their muscles broken down. This causes less definition and density in your muscle build. The reality is that fat burning has everything to do with your diet and little with how you workout but if you lose muscle by not training heavy enough you are making it very hard for your body to keep the metabolism high which lowers your fat burning capacity.
Go heavy, add more control and do explosive movements only when pushing or pulling the weight.
If you still prefer something like a P90X workout, the best thing you can do is increase intensity by lowering rest time between sets. Be brutal with yourself when it comes to timing, it’s the only way to get results.
One thing to consider are the benefits of not training your whole body in the same day. If you go heavy like you’r supposed to you’ll most likely be tired after a couple of sets which will then affect the body parts you’re doing last in your workout. Full body workouts have their purpose and as far as Weight loss a regular 4 day split + some cardio is a much better option.
So as you can see, nothing here tells you you’re going to get fast instant results, it’s all about slow and steady progress, the only REAL kind of progress.