As sure as the sun shines, summer is on its way and I start getting the inevitable, “How to lose body fat?…FAST!?”
Well, there are a lot of things you can do, but I’ll give you my top 5 tips that will set you up to do some damage to that excess fat in the next few weeks.
But before you get started, you need to figure out where you want to get to and how long you’re willing to dedicate yourself to losing weight.
Always have a master plan that involves a goal with an end date. Aimlessly throwing yourself in a fat loss plan without a finish will keep you from getting the results you want. Trust me. I’ve been there.
Set a date to get to a certain body fat or weight/measurement. When that date hits, it’s time to assess.
Are you where you want to be?
If not, what needs to change?
If so, what’s the next goal?
When is the next end date?
You must be crystal clear with what you want or be prepared to flounder around without ever being fully satisfied with your results.
How to Lose Body Fat Fast with These 5 Tips
1. Lift Heavy While Decreasing Rest Periods
The first thing most people do when they want to drop body fat is start a cardio program or drop the carbs from their diet significantly.
Instead of going with your knee jerk reaction, try incorporating heavier weights while decreasing the rest periods. Raising the weight on the bar or grabbing a heavier kettlebell will significantly raise caloric expenditure (AKA help you burn fat around the middle).
Don’t listen to the “higher reps for toning” bull. All higher reps with low weights will help you do is spin your wheels and eventually burn you out with repetitive use injuries.
Key Takeaway: Start lifting in the 5-8 rep range.
2. Perform Full Body Workouts
If fat loss and muscle retention is your main goal, then aim for full body workouts. Full body workouts will help you get a lot done in a little time and allow you to throw around some heavy weight.
Complete the workout as a circuit with minimal rest between exercises. Of course, this is much tougher if you’re in a conventional gym, so do the best you can.
Try pairing antagonistic movements (push/pull exercises) together as you’ll give your CNS (Central Nervous System) a mini-break when you move to the next movement allowing you to go a little heavier.
Key Takeaway: Pick a push movement and a pull movement and put them together with 30-45 seconds between exercises.
Push Exercises Examples:
Pull Exercises Examples:
Barbell Bent Over Row
– 3-4 rounds with 2 minutes between rounds
3. Track DAILY
This is imperative. Whether you track your meals (decent results), total calories based on your needs (better results) or your macros (protein/fat/carbs) based on your needs (best results), a food journal is imperative for keeping the gains or fat losses coming.
I’ve heard it time and time again, “It’s too hard to track.” The problem is it’s not a habit yet. Trust me, it gets easier every day you stick to tracking. “By having a meal plan you eliminate the guesswork,” says Sean Torbati of High Performance Nutrition. “Have a set plan for your first few meals of the day and let dinner be where you change it up every day.” This is some of the best advice you can follow because it works like a charm.
A 2008 study showed that tracking can cause significant weight loss. A group that was followed for 20 weeks showed an average loss of 13lbs, but what was interesting was the group that didn’t track lost 9lbs while the group that did track their food lost 18lbs. Twice the results for something that takes a few minutes a day? Yeah, that’ll do.
Key Takeaway: Download an app, grab a journal, or start an e-Doc and start tracking. Be consistent with whatever method you choose.
Want to be a night-owl? Well, you’ll have to battle the possibility of gaining more weight. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but I find it significantly easier to lose fat when I get plenty of sleep – especially when I go to bed at a decent hour.
Besides the hormonal effects of getting a good night’s sleep that will help things running properly.Recent studies in humans have shown that the levels of hormones that regulate appetite, leptin and ghrelin, are profoundly influenced by sleep duration.
Seems obvious (and it should be) that the longer you’re awake, the more you’re going to want to eat. Not to mention that sleep deprivation completely jacks up your immunity, putting you at a greater risk for catching colds and flus. No bueno if your goal is train with intensity and consistency.
Key Takeaway: Get plenty of sleep. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each day. Easier said than done, but the results will speak for themselves. For more information on health and nutrition check out the health section of the Onnit Academy.
5. Stick to the Plan and Be Patient
When you decide you want to see results, get on a plan (much like our MBody Transformation Challenge). When you get antsy and want results faster than you should, one of three things happen:
1. You jump from program to program in search of the “perfect plan” and get ZERO results.
2. You do something stupid like take a supplement (legal or not) to speed things up. Very stupid.
3. You lose patience and give up.
Healthy fat loss shouldn’t be more than 2lbs a week (less if you’re already pretty lean and more if you have a lot to lose). But remember that weight isn’t everything. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I don’t know what’s up. The scale hasn’t dropped.”
When I ask how things are fitting they inevitably say, “Well, better.” Yes, this still happens a lot.
You must be measuring yourself consistently. Don’t get frustrated if things don’t move quickly. You need to consider this extreme self-experimentation. Find what works and see what doesn’t. What doesn’t work must be eliminated and what DOES work must be repeated until it stops working.
Key Takeaway: Get a plan and stick to it and do not deviate no matter how sexy and shiny the next thing looks.
With these 5 tips, you’ll be well on your way to getting that crazy strong and lean body you’ve always wanted.