With the summer steadily approaching, many are looking to drop a few extra pounds. Achieving a solid and defined body might seem difficult, but with these five strategies, you can have that perfect beach body this summer.
1). Focus on Diet and Nutrition
No amount of exercise can erase the horrible effects of a bad diet. The simplest yet the most overlooked strategy is diet. Keep a daily food diary and track your caloric intake along with your macronutrients, i.e. carbs, fat and protein. If you are eating more than your caloric requirement and if your macronutrient ratios are not right, you will not make any significant progress. Start off by figuring out your basal metabolic rate. From there, subtract around 200-300 calories in order to put yourself in a caloric deficit. This is the only way one can ensure that you will lose fat, especially around your midsection.
2). Carb Cycling
One of the most effective ways to shed fat is to try cycling your carbohydrate intake. Each week, incorporate at least 2-3 days where you significantly decrease your carbohydrate intake. This will force your metabolism to switch from carbohydrates as its main fuel source to fat. Just make sure that on your low-carb days, you increase your protein and fat intake to prevent your body from breaking down muscle mass for energy.
3). Perform High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
The most effective way to shock your metabolism and burn fat is to center your workouts around performing high intensity interval training. HIIT workouts are designed to spike your heart rate and VO2max in intervals. Workouts such as sprints and tabatas flood your body with catecholamines – hormones that oxidize fatty acids for energy. The other good thing about HIIT is that typically, these sessions last no longer than 35 minutes.
4). Lift heavier weights
It is a common misconception that lifting weights, especially heavy weights (working at around 60%-80% of your one rep max) will make you big and bulky. Actually, weight lifting does exactly the opposite. Although you do not burn as many calories in a weight lifting session compared to cardio, weight lifting temporarily raises your metabolism and burns more calories after your workout in order to repair and strengthen muscle fibers. This is known as the afterburn effect. Intense weight lifting sessions also flood your body with fat melting hormones such as human growth hormone, IGF-1 and testosterone.
5). Cosmetic Surgery
For certain areas that hold onto stubborn body fat, you may want to consider a liposuction procedure. Sometimes, body fat is very hard to burn off with just exercise and diet. Those hard to reach areas such as the lower abdominal region, chest area in men, and arms sometimes require a person to get to dangerously low body fat percentage levels before you see any changes. Liposuction is an excellent and effective way to remove stubborn fat from various areas when you’ve already tried serious dieting and exercise methods.