Making your body into a fat burning furnace is easy if you know the tricks in this article. Go ahead and get leaner than ever the easy way!
Ask 90% of men or women training in the gym what their long-term fitness or appearance goals are and you’ll probably hear the same answer: Burn body fat. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to burn fat constantly, even when you’re sedentary or relaxing?
Well, that may be possible!
What follows are some guidelines to turn your body into a fat burning furnace.
Weight Training Helps Fat Burning
Strength training or weight training is the best option. It’s not the biggest element in fat loss, but it is a factor. The secret is to make it focused and intense. A common misconception used to be that cardio was all that was needed to burn fat. That’s false! It helps and will burn calories. But, your resting metabolism will not rise to the same degree as post resistance training. With that said, there is a form of cardio that has been proven to provide real fat burning benefits. It is known as High-Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT).
Before we get to anything else, let’s examine weight training. It will serve as the lead domino to continued fat burning. The idea is to train intensely for a short duration, as opposed to long, slow and steady. The latter may be more common, but it’s less productive.
After any intense workout, muscle is built, which is a natural metabolism booster. Imagine how fast fat would melt off your body if you were carrying just a little more muscle. This is exactly why it’s important to train with intensity and resistance. And don’t worry about turning into a huge bodybuilder. You won’t turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger over night. Trust me, it is not that easy!
You’re simply strengthening your body, increasing your endurance and boosting your metabolism. It’s exactly what you want if your goal is to burn body fat. Your muscles will reshape. Assuming that you’re fuelling with the right nutrition – which will be addressed shortly – you’ll look outstanding and the fat will melt off.
Exercising and Training Are Not The Same
It’s worth pointing out that exercising and training are very different things. Exercise is movement without purpose. Yes, it will raise your heart rate and get your body moving, which is a good thing, but it won’t achieve the desired goal of that fat burning furnace! In contrast, training is a mindset. You have to focus to get the results. The way you approach any exercise you do in the gym will make a massive difference and is what really will make or break your fat burning success.
To be clear, focus is the concentration of attention to the exclusion of everything else. It means putting everything you have into what you’re doing at that second. When you’re focused, you aren’t thinking about the past or the future. Nothing else enters your mind. As far as fat loss and body transformation is concerned, more than any other factor, your control of focus when weight training is what will make or break your success.
Strength training itself can be done in many different ways. An easy place to begin is with bodyweight exercises. These include squats, push-ups, sit-ups and other exercises that you don’t need a fully equipped gym for. Remember, though, this is only the starting point. You’ll want to, and have to, move up over time. Progression is key.
The rapid fat loss occurs in response to strength training as the muscle is built. This burns calories. Muscle is not built during the workout. It is built after the workout when new filaments are formed during the following 24 to 36 hours. These are the golden hours! This rebuilding process is done through biochemical reactions that burn a lot of calories.
Adding Cardio Is Key For Fat Burning
That HIIT training mentioned earlier is the perfect addition to your weight training routine to really fire up your metabolism.
Wondering how it works?
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Ideally before breakfast, you should start with 30-minute sessions. Do these at 75 to 80% of your maximum heart rate. While a lower intensity within a 55 to 60% training heart rate zone would use a greater percentage of fat for fuel, working at a higher intensity can nearly double the total calories burned in the same period. That means more fat is burned. As a result, I advise using the higher intensity.
Gradually build your cardio up to no more than 45 minutes at that same heart rate figure. You should be doing this five or six times per week, ideally early in the morning on an empty stomach. As you will have not eaten anything in the night, you will have reduced levels of sugar available in your bloodstream. Therefore, by doing the fasted cardio first thing, your body will start to tap into fat stores for fuel right away.
Remember to cap your cardio at 45 minutes.
Do any more time than this and it will affect your ability to recover from your weight workouts. This is because increased endurance work begins to reduce the main muscle fibers that are associated with growth – type 2b – and start to increase the use of type 2a fibers – the ones with less potential for growth. In short, too much time spent doing cardio will just tire you out. It will also leave your muscles looking flat. You don’t want that!
The best way to maintain this high level of intensity is to use intervals that require you to work as hard as you can for three minutes followed by two minutes of recovery at a low intensity. This is often best achieved on a stationary bike. With that said, you could use any other piece of cardio equipment providing you can do those intervals of high intensity followed by recovery at a lower intensity.
Psychologically, doing nine intervals of three minutes of all-out work followed by a two-minute recovery period is easier than trying to maintain a steady pace at that intensity for the same 45 minutes. The total number of calories burned from doing intervals rather than performing at a constant level is also far greater.
Don’t Forget Nutrition!
Weight training and cardio are covered. This is where the nutrition comes in. By putting the right nutrition into your body after each training session and throughout the rest of the day, you really will be able to burn fat at a constant and steady rate, which is ideal. But you have to learn which foods are best to eat to burn that fat.
And, is there really such a thing as a fat-burning food?
Well, foods that are considered fat-burners are those that have a high thermic effect on the body. The thermogenesis process increases metabolism and boosts the rate in which the body burns calories.
Remember, metabolism determines the rate that the human body burns calories. When metabolism increases, the body burns more calories. In addition to the workouts, the body burns some calories simply by digesting, absorbing and storing the nutrients from the consumed foods. Foods that have a higher thermic effect are those that take more energy to complete the process of digestion and absorption, therefore boosting metabolism and burning fat leading to a great simple diet plan.
Many factors influence the effect of these fat-burning foods. These include meal size, frequency and composition. The more calories a person consumes, the more energy the body needs to process those foods.
Before covering the actual foods, it’s worth pointing out that some spices, herbs and drinks will have a similar effect. There is evidence that cinnamon, the natural spice, balances blood sugar, reducing cravings for food. There is also research supporting green tea’s ability to reduce abs fat. Coffee and the chemical in chili peppers, capsaicin, boost the metabolism. But, the effects are small. On a side note, the fat-burning power of coffee is negated if it’s consumed with sugar and cream. Don’t forget that!
These Are The Foods To Eat
What follows are a list of some very efficient foods. When you combine these foods with exercise, they will help you melt away that body fat in a healthy, steady way and for the long term.
Oats are packed with fat-blasting fiber. Not only do they keep you full for longer, they also stabilize your blood sugar levels. That means they are also useful in preventing the release of too much insulin (the hormone that tells your body to store fat) and ending those mid-day and late night snack cravings.
Yes, coconut oil is considered a fat. Don’t be scared! A link has been found between coconut oil and increased metabolism, which helps with the fat burning process. This oil is also a heart healthy fat with a whole host of health benefits.
Blueberries are nutritional gems that are high in antioxidants. They help boost your energy levels. They also have a lot of fiber and tannin. This reduces inflammation in the digestive system to help you shed unwanted bloat and body fat.
Apples are a fantastic snack.
They are also a fiber-rich food. Not enough?
How about the fact that they are also great source of pectin?
Sounds good? It doesn’t end there. The fiber and pectin combo help make your stomach feel satisfied for longer.
It doesn’t end there...
The fiber and pectin combo help make your stomach feel satisfied for longer.
Greek yogurt is high in protein and has live digestive cultures. These boost the immune strength and encourage healthy digestion. Plus, you can add yogurt to almost any meal and burn body fat throughout the day.
Wild salmon promotes fat loss by decreasing the body’s insulin resistance and balancing blood sugar. This reduces food cravings while at the same time encourages calorie burn.
Spinach is known as a super food. And, with good reason! It’s packed with vitamins and nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, calcium, folate, and magnesium. It also keeps you full and goes with almost anything including salads, omelets, sauces, and sandwiches.
Almonds are protein-rich nuts. They make for the perfect emergency snack. It’s not only a metabolism-boosting source of protein, but it’s also a filling one too!
Gone are the days when eggs (and yolks) were considered bad for your heart. Eggs have protein, amino acids and healthy fats that boost metabolism to keep you satisfied and energized.
Eat Your Breakfast!
Before concluding, another misconception made by many that I’d like to clear up is that skipping breakfast can be an effective fat loss strategy. False. If you want to lose fat and keep it off, then you need to have your breakfast. If you skip your breakfast and straightway have your lunch, then you will be at a high catabolic state. Your body will also receive a fake starvation signal.
Studies show that people opting for four to six smaller meals have less body fat than those eating two or three meals in a day. Also, you should make sure to have lean protein rich meals every three hours or so. The protein will speed up your rate of metabolism and allow your body to process, digest and use foods at a greater speed. A high protein diet helps in effective fat loss mainly because of its thermic effect. In fact, protein runs at a lower risk of getting converted into fat when compared with any other nutrient.
In addition to this, be sure to have plenty of veggies in sufficient amounts. Why? They are a rich source of fiber. Of course, fiber promotes weight loss and veggies are known for their antioxidant properties. Also, drink as much water as you can throughout the day.
These ideas will help turn your body into a fat burning furnace. But, you have to be prepared to follow them. You need to focus. Use HIIT training and always get the proper nutrition. And, don’t forget to start the day off with a nutritious breakfast.
By Keith Cormican, RD