Hardbody With These Rules to Live By
Goal: Fat Loss
Knowledge is power, but sometimes too much information is as bad as too little. There are times when it helps to boil things down to the basics and nowhere is this more applicable than when it comes to burning fat. With all of the get-lean "systems" and weight loss diets out there, it can be tough to know what approach is right for you. Admittedly, everyone's body reacts slightly differently to nutrition and training, but by following four simple rules, you can turn your body into a 24/7, we-never-close, fat-burning machine. In other words, by always following these fundamental guidelines, you give yourself the best chance of having the lean body you've always wanted.
"There are a few simple things anyone can do to make it easier for them to get lean," says Matt Choate, NASM-CPT, a personal trainer based in Long Beach (Calif.) Take these cues from Choate to start whittling away at your last stubborn vestiges of bodyfat today.
1 USE INTERVALS
The days of motoring along on a treadmill for 30-40 minutes are pretty darn near extinct - at least for those who really want to get lean. "Using high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to be more effective at burning calories in the 24-48 hours following your workout." What's more is that HIIT workouts require less of your time - 15-20 minutes is the general standard - meaning that you have more time to do the things that you want to do.
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2 HANDLE IRON
You like to lift weights? Good. Because it's the real key to drastic, lasting changes in body composition. "You need to do strength training to build muscle," says Choate. "Muscle burns more calories than fat." In other words, you're more of a metabolic dynamo when you're carrying around more muscle. This applies to women as well.
3 EAT OFTEN
The non-gymgoing masses usually scoff at the idea of eating more food throughout the day but it's absolutely essential for keeping your fat-fighting furnace adequately stoked. Going without food too long is a sure-fire trigger for overeating because it causes huge lulls in blood sugar.
4 DON'T SKIP BREAKFAST
Yeah, we know - you're in a hurry in the morning. Do yourself a favor and set the alarm 20 minutes earlier so that you can get this foundational meal down your throat. Your metabolism depends on it. Overnight, your body is fasting for 7-9 hours and after it has used up your stored sugars to power your brain and whatnot, it goes on the hunt for new amino acids it can break down for fuel. That puts your muscle tissue at risk. But forget about holding that metabolic tissue - you could just end up fatter. "There is a clear statistical link between skipping breakfast and obesity," cautions Choate.
Matt Choate is a Long Beach-based, NASM certified personal trainer.