Most of you know some of the basics that I have been preaching about how to maximize fat loss; take your supplements (greens, fish oil, grass-fed whey), drink plenty of water, balance your protein, carbohydrates, and fats, and avoid processed food. Here are 5 new ways to consider when you are on your quest to lose those unwanted pounds in preparation for Spring Break!
- Try lifting weights – Tabata style
If you don’t already know what a Tabata interval is, it’s a high-intensity interval training protocol originally created by Japanese researcher Dr. Izumi Tabata. Each Tabata interval consists of 20 seconds of high intensity (as hard as you can go) exercise followed by a 10-second rest. This is repeated for 8 rounds, totaling 4 minutes in time. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to increase your total work capacity in a short amount of time. I like using this method for strength exercises like goblet squats, kettlebell swings, push-ups and TRX rows.
- Keep workouts short and intense
One of the least talked about training methods is workout density, which is the amount of work you do in a given time frame. The greater your density, the greater your caloric expenditure. The best way to increase workout density is to decrease rest periods. The longer you drag out your workout, the less likely you can keep up the intensity. An easy way to do this is set a time limit of say 20-30 minutes and try to get as much of your workout done in that time frame. Try to beat your previous time each time you complete the workout. So, if you are trying to lose body fat you must get out of the mindset that you have to work out for hours and hours. A higher workout density (working at a higher intensity over a shorter amount of time) will equate to a higher metabolism and a much more effective weight loss program. Keep it short and sweet yet intense.
- Finish your workout with a bang!
At the end of every workout, I like to include what I call finishers. These are exercises that are short, intense, and very demanding. After a tough full-body workout it always feels good to end your session on a tough but positive note. This is good both psychologically and physiologically. My favorites are sled pushes and rope training circuits. These exercises are sure to get the heart rate up and keep your metabolism rocking for the next 12-48 hours after exercise due to the increased oxygen demand that is called EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption). EPOC is defined scientifically as, “the recovery of metabolic rate back to pre-exercise levels and can require several minutes for light exercise and several hours for hard intervals.” Essentially, we are looking for activities that keep us burning more calories after the exercise session. Be sure to end your session with a bang to keep your engine burning all day long!
- Spice up your food
There are many spices that you can use to help foods taste great but who knew about their many health benefits and could lead to fat loss? Two of my favorites are turmeric (curcumin) and cinnamon. Turmeric can help reduce inflammation, helps detoxify the body, and may aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management. There have been endless studies on turmeric in both a spice and supplement form that help support these claims. Cinnamon is another great tasting spice that can help promote a healthy blood sugar level. In short, if your blood sugar level is off due to not eating often enough or consuming too many processed carbs, this can lead to excess storage of body fat. Try adding a little cinnamon to help keep your blood sugar level and your metabolism in the right gear.
- Practice table push-aways
This is by far the hardest exercise you will have to do. I took this idea from Coach Mike Boyle and it makes sense. Table push-aways simply mean stepping away from the table and not eating too much!!! The old saying that you can’t out train a bad diet is so true. Intermittent fasting is something to explore if you are having trouble eating too much or too often. Combine this method with the hard training protocols above and you will lose fat in no time! Table push-aways are the hardest exercise of all since they are more psychological, not physical.