It doesn’t matter whether you’re old or young; we all want a pin-up six pack.
Unfortunately, a major barrier point for these rippling muscles is the body fat, which somehow manages to always get in the way of things.
The experts are always trying to chime in and give us ingenious ways to make things easier, like manufacturing weight loss supplements. The best fat burners are usually the ones that contain many different ingredients that target different aspects of removing body fat, like phenq, bearing in mind that we have reviewed the product in french here.
But really there are no short-cuts here. It does take hard-work, but on the flip side there are some “secrets” which can make your dieting and training more effective.
Bearing the above in mind, we’ll now take a look at some of these tips which should make your fat burning goals and muscle building ambitions much, much easier to achieve. Here goes…
Let’s start with the basics
First and foremost, let’s get that basic calorie counting out of the way. As we all know, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to dieting – if you eat less calories than you burn you’ll be in a healthy position. It means that eventually, your body has to tap into its fat supplies to make up the difference and this is the result we all want.
As such, you should be doing everything possible to eliminate the excess calories. If you can attempt to reduce your calories to 16 per pound of bodyweight on the days you work out, and to about 12 per pound on the other days you’ll be in good shape in no time.
Forget fats, start with the carbs
One of the common misconceptions with losing weight is that it all focusses around fatty foods. While this is obviously going to make an impact, let’s not forget about the carbohydrates which in simple terms, can be a real pest when it comes to burning away fat.
The problem is that these carbs affect our hormone control. They boost our insulin levels, which in-turn means that we struggle to break down fat and therefore store more of it. With fewer carbs entering our system, we can burn fat much more easily.
To make things extra complicated, there’s not a “one fits all” type of carbohydrate. They’re all different and while fast-digesting carbs (think white bread and rice) will prompt bigger bursts of insulin, slow-digesting ones (such as whole-grain bread and sweet potatoes) don’t increase these levels as much.
Bearing the above in mind, it goes without saying that carbs should be slashed as a priority. To put it into numbers, the experts suggest that you consume less than 2g per pound of bodyweight per day. Even then, try and have slow-digesting ones, unless you are consuming straight after working out (more on that later).
Don’t touch carbs before the gym
The beauty about working out is that as soon as you start to pump some iron, your body kicks into action and releases something called epinephrine. This is able to attach to fat cells and ultimately be burned away.
Carbohydrates are something that can hinder this process. They induce epinephrine and just make it so much more difficult to burn those calories.
As all the guides tell you, the best course of action is to turn to protein. 20g beforehand should suffice, and provide you with the ingredients to run a successful session.
On the subject of carbs (again)…
While we’re on the subject of carbs, here’s another tip – don’t eat them by themselves.
Something that a lot of people don’t realize is it’s not just about how many carbohydrates you consume, but what you have with them. This is because it alters the way in which your body digests them.
For example, if you happen to consume a fast digesting carb alongside protein and fat, you can slow the digestion process down. This means that your insulin levels aren’t going to spike as much and cause the problems that we spoke about above.
…and to put the carbs topic to bed
We’re again going to bang on about carbs, but this time the importance of not consuming them anywhere near the point you hit the pillow. We’ve talked about hormones already and the reason behind this tip relates to them again. During the night, you become less sensitive to insulin. It means that your body needs to release more so that those carbs you may have just consumed are being used appropriately. As we should all know by now, this is disastrous from a fat burning perspective and will just encourage our bodies to store more fat.
To be precise, you should be avoiding all foods around three hours before bed. To be even more precise, try and limit your final meal to protein-only meals. This should allow your body to build mass during the evening, and not store fat.
Eat little and often
As we all know, calories are key when it comes to taking care of your body. Yet another misconception is that meal frequency doesn’t matter though, as this is something which can affect your overall metabolism. Each time food enters your mouth your metabolism will be turned up a notch. Some foods have bigger effects than others, with protein being one of the best examples. Therefore, rather than reducing the amount of calories you consume through the course of a day, you can simply spread them out over more meals to keep your metabolism ticking.
If you can eat up to eight small meals a day, ideally spaced between two and three hours apart, you’ll be onto a winner. Any more than three hours and you run the risk of your body entering the dreaded starvation mode, which means that you’ll start to store body fat.
For those of you who want a pure mathematic equation to go by, calculate how many calories you need per day and divide that between eight meals. Then, you can comfortably gauge how much each meal is worth.
The glycogen flush
This next tip could be an absolute gem for some of you, as it’s again advice that’s rarely tapped into.
Glycogen is a substance which is crucial when it comes to fat burning. It’s unused carbohydrates which are stored in muscles. The problem is that over time, this glycogen can become stored as fat. Therefore, we need to flush our bodies of it before this occurs.
The easiest way to do this is to consume as few carbs as possible for a couple of days every two weeks. Ideally, you’ll be taking in less than 100g per day, which should make your body turn to your glycogen stores for fuel and burn fat in the process.
Add a bit of nitric oxide to your diet
So far we’ve spent a lot of this guide telling you the do’s and don’ts of a solid fat burning diet. The next tip is slightly different and involves something that few people would expect – nitric oxide.
It has been found that this compound can facilitate fat burning terrifically. It will increase the amount of blood that flows around your muscles, boosting your metabolism in the process. If you can take it before bed, you will immediately allow your body to burn more fat while you snooze.
Suffice to say, this is taken in its non-gas state. There are plenty of supplements out there now which contain it, and make life easier for everyone.
Overtraining could make your pile on the pounds
If you’re desperate to shed the pounds, it might be tempting to go the extra mile and absolutely kill yourself in the gym. The funny thing is, by going this extra distance, you’re probably doing more harm than good.
While you obviously need to exert some pressure on your body, if you go too far you can cause all sorts of issues with your anabolic hormones. Ultimately, it’s your metabolism that is affected, as testosterone and other growth hormones spiral out of control.
Again, to put a number on it, we wouldn’t suggest any more than an hour and fifteen minutes per workout. After this time passes, it’s time for the shower.
There’s a time and a place for the treadmill (or any cardio, for that matter)
You might be attempting to build the biggest six pack in the neighborhood, but you certainly shouldn’t be forgetting about cardio. This will help you burn calories but perhaps more importantly, boost your norepinephrine levels.
However, there’s a time and a place. The best possible time to embark on cardio training is on an empty stomach, as this allows the norepinephrine to hit those dreaded fat cells and burn some serious fat. If you were to eat before cardio, your body is immediately less-able to burn this fat and it almost seems like a pointless exercise.
In practical terms, it means that the mornings are the best time to do cardio (before breakfast, of course).
The bodybuilding cliché: protein is your best friend
We were almost tempted to exclude this rule, as it’s become so obvious for gym-goers around the world. We may have stressed the importance of keeping carbs to a minimum through this piece, but perhaps an even more invaluable piece of advice surrounds the importance of protein.
This is something that you simply have to rely on if you are serious about getting that six pack. Not only will it help you build muscle, but it will also fuel your training sessions and help you reap more out of them. Its impact on your metabolism means that you will be burning fat much more efficiently and this is, after all, the effect we’re looking for.
The general advice in terms of numbers is to consume at least 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. Lean meats are the obvious source (we all know that chicken is a bodybuilder’s best friend), while eggs are another popular choice.
Tune into the peak protein hours
And finally. We’ve stressed the importance of protein, but now it’s all about consuming these foods at the right time. The absolute perfect time for them is immediately after a workout. Here, it’s very difficult for your body to accumulate fat, for the simple reason that muscles are desperate for recovery and just want to soak up any protein that they come across. If you avoid eating at this time, your muscles might struggle to recover.
If you can turn to around 30-40g of protein after a workout, alongside up to 80g of fast-digesting carbs, you’ll be putting your body into a good state.