Let's Burn Some Fat
Take what you think you know, and get rid of it. You have heard it over and over…the countless fad diets and weight loss plans claiming to get you in amazing shape in a matter of weeks. “Just follow these “simple” rules, and you will see immediate results….” I am going to say this once. Pay attention.
The ONLY way to a fantastic physique is through weight training and balanced nutrition. Period.You need to get organized, stop making excuses, and get your head in the game. Anyone can make the necessary changes in their life to become the best that they can be.
First and foremost, get a grip on your meal plan. When you flip through a fitness magazine, or browse a bodybuilding forum, there are a few rules of thumb that each of these hot bodies follow. First, eat clean! Eating clean is exactly what it sounds like. Omit butter, extra salt, processed foods and JUNK! Sounds boring? Perhaps, initially. However, once you give your body what it was designed to burn, the benefits will greatly outweigh what you previously considered a sacrifice to give up. Your energy will sky rocket and your mood will stabilize rather quickly.
Second, feed your body 5-6 times a day. Eating every 3 hours keeps your metabolic fire burning all day long. If you feed it with the right foods every 3 hours you will burn fat like never before. There are NO excuses for skipping meals or starving yourself. Eating wisely is a choice; an empowering one at that.
Many of us need guidelines to be successful in our eating regiment. Here we go…
- Eat approximately a gram of protein for each pound of lean body mass. For example, a 180 lb man with 10% body fat should be eating no less than 160 grams of protein daily. (180lbs minus the 10% fat equals your lean body mass.) This should come from lean sources such as turkey, chicken and fish. An occasional steak is acceptable, but again, caloric intake needs to remain important in your mind. Beef contains more calories per ounce than its other protein partners. Just be aware. Avoid deli meats – they are high in sodium and the cheap stuff can have a lot of fillers/fats.
- Include complex carbohydrates in all but your last meal of the day. Ideally, carbohydrates should also be consumed before and after workouts, so plan accordingly. Good carb choices include brown rice, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes. Do not buy the instant versions of any of these. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME!
- Add a fat into 2 of these meals. Flax oil, ground flax seed, almonds, avocado, olive oil and lecithin are excellent choices.
- Eat your vegetables. Green=Good. Spinach, asparagus, broccoli, and swiss chard are rich in vitamins and low in calories. Eat a serving of vegetables 3-4 times per day. These are free foods so you can have more if desired!
Including lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and the right fats into your diet is crucial for burning fat. For the sake of simplicity keep this as a rule of thumb: Each of your meals will contain a portion of lean protein (about the size of your fist) and a portion of complex carbs (same size) and work in 2 servings of good fats each day. Eat fresh veggies at least twice per day. For your last meal of the day just have a protein – Low fat cottage cheese, 4 egg whites with flaxseed, or optimally a casein based protein shake.
Unfortunately, our lives are surrounded by stress, and for some reason, eating right becomes very low on the priority list. The good news is that there are supplements that can make dieting easier and therefore increase our success.
* Using a Multi-vitamin such as OPTI-MEN or OPTI-WOMAN will aid in energy levels, immunity, performance, and overall vitality. These multi-vitamins provide comprehensive vitamins and essential minerals in one convenient pill.
* Eating 5 or 6 quality meals every day is not easy. There are meal replacement powders and meal replacement bars that can be used to make up no more than 2 of your daily meals. Look for ones that contain the correct proportions of carbs, protein and fats and make sure they are not loaded with sugars. My favorite meal replacement in MHP’s Macrobolic MRP. It’s in a pack and ready to go. To change things up I will alternate this with Gaspari’s Myofusion protein blended with some low fat greek yogurt to add carbs.
Nutrition bars can be dangerous. Some are glorified candy bars. Use only one per day as a meal and again look for those with lower saturated fats and low sugar. Good bars include QUEST Bars and VPX’s Zero Impact Bar. For a smaller portion take a look at Doctor's Carb Rite bars by Universal.
* Fat is not a 4-letter word. Our bodies need good fats to run well. Fish oils rich in Omega 3-6-9 are available in capsule form and allow intake without the high calorie cost.
BCAA (branch chain amino acids) are miracle recovery aids. Scivation's Xtend is a delicious, cost efficient product with proven results. Simply add 3-4 scoops to your water and drink during and post workout. BCAA’s have been shown to help build and retain muscle. If you have muscle on your frame your body requires and burns more calories to support it. BCAA’s can help burn fat by aiding your muscle growth.
* Finally, for those of us who want a little extra boost, fat burners are available in different levels. Purus Labs Fat Smack is extremely popular and provides extra energy, but may be too strong for some.
A sample day might look as simple as this:
- 6 egg whites
- ½ cup oatmeal w/ cinnamon
- Handful of almonds
- *Fat burner
- Myofusion protein shake
- ½ cup sweet potato
- 5 oz salmon or chicken breast
- ½ cup brown rice
- Mixed salad with fresh vegetables
- Bar or meal replacement shake (Macrobolic MRP)
- 5 oz. Fish or chicken breast
- 3-4 ounce sweet potato
- 1 cup of green vegetables
- small bowl low fat cottage cheese or casein shake
Get focused, plan your meals at the start of each week, and Take Action. Cooking Chicken, lean beef, rice and others on Sunday night will make healthy eating so much easier.
Get a training journal to help you track your meals and your exercise. These tools allow you to reflect on your success and as you know – success breeds more success.
Drink a lot of water. Plan on drinking a 12oz glass with each of your meals. This is a must. Aim for 1 Gallon of water a day.
Nutrition is huge. Follow the guidelines above and you will start to look better and feel better in a couple of weeks. Don’t be afraid to cheat on the meal plan one day per week. Be sensible, but enjoy some pizza, a burger, whatever your “go to” food is. Keep your portions reasonable and get back to your clean eating the next day.
As stated at the beginning of this article if you want a lean toned or muscular physique you HAVE to use resistance training of some kind. We are focusing on fat loss….More Muscle = Less fat!
*Before every workout, you must warm-up your body with 6-8 minutes of low resistance cardio (any form of exercise to raise your core temperature). *All sets should be between 10-15 repetitions. Each set should end when you can no longer lift the weight with proper form. *Whether doing a home based or a gym based workout, perform 4 sets per exercise, beginning with a light weight warm-up set.
Home Based Workout
Perform this workout as a circuit, repeating the entire group of exercises three times.
- Tricep Dips
- Pull-ups/Bent-over rows
- Bicep Curls
- Overhead Shoulder Press
Gym (Beginner) 4 Day Split
- Leg Extensions
- Front / Hack Squats
- Leg press
- Seated / Standing calf raises
- Dumbbell Press ( flat / incline )
- Shoulder Press ( brbl / dmbl)
- Tricep Dip
- Lat Pulldown ( wide grip )
- Curls ( brbl / dmbl )
- Leg Curls ( seated / lying )
- Romanian deadlifts ( dmbl / brbl )
- Plie Squats
- Abductor / Adductor machines
- Chest Flys (dmbl/cables)
- Lateral Raises
- Tricep Pressdowns (rope/straight bar)
- Seated Rows
- Cable Bicep Curls
*Follow each workout with 10 minutes of core training of your choice. * Finish each training session with 14 minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training)
- ---2 minute warm-up
- ---30 second burst (give it everything you have!)
- ---1 minute 30 seconds steady pace
- ---Repeat interval cycle 5 times
- ---2 minute cool-down
This plan will get you burning fat and building muscle.
Good Luck and Work Hard!Written by C. Leonatti,