Winter is doing its best to stick around, but you can take comfort in knowing that Spring is just around the corner. When you first started this year, what was your goal? How close are you to achieving that muscle building or fat loss goal? If you’re like most people, you are going through the toughest part of your weight loss: those last, stubborn ten pounds.
We want to see you out there on the beach or pool side, showing off what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Let’s review the scientifically proven hacks to burn the last ten pounds of body fat before Summer gets here.
Start Big, End Small
Many people still make the mistake of eating a small breakfast or skipping it altogether, then eating large meals before bed. It’s time to switch up how you eat throughout the day. Save your biggest meals for earlier in the day, and gradually decrease the size of your meals as the day goes on.
The small meal that you eat a few hours before bed should be focused on high quality protein. In fact, a small dinner in the evening followed by a whey protein shake two or three hours before bed will promote fat burning and recovery.
Are you still forcing yourself to stay on the treadmill for over an hour at a sluggish and boring pace? It’s time to change up your workout. High intensity, short duration workouts have been shown to be time efficient, and more effective than traditional low intensity, long duration workouts. High intensity interval workouts are quick to learn, and will take a fraction of the time to complete. Here’s how to make your own:
Select six to ten bodyweight exercises; ideally one for each major muscle group. Keep the repetition range moderate. Now perform each exercise on the list without taking a break until you finish. Once you complete all of the repetitions for each exercise, rest for two to three minutes, and do the workout a second time. Here’s a sample high intensity interval workout:
- Bodyweight squats: 25 reps
- Push-ups: 10 reps
- Bodyweight lunges: 25 reps
- Pull-ups: 10 reps
- Mountain climbers: 40 reps
- Superman: 30 seconds
- Burpees: 10 reps
Choose the Right Supplement
Commonly referred to as fat burners, thermogenics are supplements that have a direct influence on your metabolic rate. Using thermogenic supplements as a part of a well-structured fitness program and nutritional plan can support caloric expenditure and fat loss. There are a variety of scientifically proven thermogenic ingredients; here a few of the most studied examples:
Green Coffee Bean Extract: Studies show that green coffee bean extract is able to increase your body’s metabolic response while promoting a healthy weight loss.
Yohimbine: This stimulant has a variety of uses including energy boosting, cognitive enhancement, and increasing libido. Yohimbe is also a proven fat burner, and it’s been shown to be the athlete’s choice for boosting energy and fat loss. Watch out though: Yohimbine can pack a serious punch, so supplement wisely.
Green Tea Extract: That morning cup of tea has serious fat burning potential; even more so when it’s concentrated in extract form. Studies show that green tea has a powerful effect on the body, promoting high level caloric expenditure.
Dress for Success
Wearing goal-focused workout clothes can help you perform better during your routine, and recover faster afterward. Exercising with fitness apparel that has been designed to promote full range of motion and blood flow might result in better performance and overall results. Compression workout clothes, for example, can enhance blood flow, which might support nutrient delivery for recovery.
A common practice within weight cutting sports is to wear joggers and a hoodie during all workouts. By safely and naturally elevating your body temperature, you can increase the number of calories you burn. What’s more, if you combine these gym clothes with the high intensity workout from above, you can skyrocket your results.
Visit the Sauna
Continuing with the idea above, by safely and naturally increasing your body temperature, you are able to trigger a greater caloric burn. Saunas have been shown to promote short term water weight loss as well as long term weight management.
If you’ve never tried the sauna before, keep your time to no more than 15 minutes. You may even want to break everything into evenly spaced segments. For example, if you want to spend 15 minutes in a sauna, do so in 5-minute intervals. Increase time spent in a sauna gradually over the weeks. You can also wear a sauna suit to capture the same fat burning benefits from the comfort of your home.
Be More Active
On paper, fat loss is pretty simple: burn more calories than you consume. However, your chaotic schedule might seem to be working against you, making it seem next to impossible to spend more time at the gym. Let’s define being more active: physical activity does not necessarily mean exercise.
You don’t have to spend two or three hours in the gym every day; instead find small ways to increase your overall physical activity level. Here are several simple ways to increase your activity level to burn more calories:
- Start and end your day with a walk (bring your dog along as well!)
- Bike to work or to do your small errands
- Walk during your lunch breaks
- Plan active things to do with friends such as hiking or kayaking
- Park further away from your destination
- Stand instead of sitting, when appropriate (e.g., standing desk at work)
- Perform mini-workouts during commercial breaks
How Close Are You to Your Fitness Goal?
Have you achieved your ideal physique for summer? Do you have 10 more pounds to go? What will you do once you reach your goal?