When it comes to fat loss, there’s no quick fix, magic pill, or gimmicky secret that’s going to drop you from double- to single-digit body fat percentages overnight. But there ARE plenty of effective tricks and commonsense strategies that, when applied consistently over time, yield incredible benefit. Make sure you’re following these 5 blubber-busting tips to achieve the physique you’ve always wanted!
1. Superset for Better Results.
If fat loss is your goal, consider ditching the straight sets for supersets. Supersets involve performing two sets of different but complementary exercises back-to-back, then resting and repeating 3–4 times. This keeps your heart rate elevated and allows you to perform more work in less time, both of which help promote increased caloric burn. When supersetting, it’s ideal to keep your rep counts high and hit opposing muscle groups (e.g., biceps with preacher curls and triceps with kickbacks).
2. Get With the Carb Cycle.
As one of the most effective dieting methods for fat loss, carb cycling involves alternating between high and low (or no) carb days to coincide with your training. Ideally, you should be incorporating one high carb day for every two low carb days — and NEVER structure a high carb day to fall on a rest day! High carb days yield the most benefit when timed to coincide with days you train a large muscle group such as back or legs, which is when your body will be best able to put that extra fuel to use through a heavy training session.
3. Don’t Let the Liquid Calories Sneak up on You.
According to one estimate, a whopping 37% of Americans’ total daily caloric intake comes from sugary drinks such as sodas, fruit juices, etc. These nutrient-poor items not only fail to keep you satiated but also do nothing to promote your fitness goals. If you’re someone who enjoys a nice tall glass of juice in the morning and then mixes another 8–10 ounces in with your pre- or post-workout drink, you may want to reevaluate your choices. A piece of whole fruit will provide more vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and the higher volume in your stomach means you’ll be less likely to crave junk later.
4. HIIT Your Smart Cardio.
As far as cardio is concerned, high intensity interval training (HIIT) offers incredible bang for your fat loss buck. HIIT involves alternating between short bursts of high intensity activity and longer periods of low or medium intensity activity to give you a chance to recover. HIIT not only burns a ton of calories during your actual workout, but also has been shown to increase post-training caloric burn for up to 24 hours later! Additionally, HIIT is ideal for preserving lean muscle mass which will up your resting metabolic rate (i.e., the calories burned during the 90–95% of your day you’re not at the gym).
5. Minimize Your Rest Time.
Not surprisingly, sitting on the bench to bang out a couple texts or Facebook posts between sets isn’t going to help you reach your fitness goals faster. The less time you give your body to rest and recuperate between sets, the harder you’re forcing yourself to work and the more calories you’ll expend. Try to keep rest times to no more than 30–45 seconds between sets.