How I employed a fat loss strategy to finally loose some stubborn weight!
Weight loss, or more particular, fat loss is at the top of almost everyone’s list in terms of goals when they start a fitness plan. Sure, everyone wants muscles but most just want to lose a bit of extra weight before anything. But most people spin their wheels for a few weeks, trying to do a few different things like regular cardio, weight train, eat better, etc. They soon after starting quit because their results are lack luster. They don’t understand how they could work so hard and see little results. The problem is focus. The best way to see better results is to use tailored strategies instead of a general plan that amplifies what you are currently doing. “Diet hacks” and workout “hacks” are common in the fitness industry and can be very effective. I found one last year that I put into my routine that I have really enjoyed.
If your day is like the usual for the masses it will be extremely ineffective for fat loss in general. Even if you have put together a plan and start exercising regularly is still a battle. Most people can lose maybe 1-2 pounds of actual FAT (not water weight) on a strict and structured fat loss plan where they are actually tracking what they are doing in a week. It’s much less if you aren’t. Example. Get up, go to work. Usually eat 3-5 meals throughout that time period and be pushing 2500 calories by 4 pm. Get off work and for 8 hours or more where most people have been sitting at a desk in front of a computer doing nothing but storing energy all day. Let’s say you are pretty committed so you do hit the gym right after work. Better than not going, but the issue is your body has tons of fuel to burn and in fact, has be primed all day to use it just sitting and waiting. This is the wrong fuel to use. You just fed yourself all day to be used as fuel for your workout. You may even feel great as the workout warms up, and you get into your routine with lots of energy and crush a workout, but you have not targeted fat loss, you just burned some of your meals from the day.
After 2-4 weeks on repeat you find you haven’t moved on the scale at all. In fact, some people even gain weight. So, like most people you quit as you’re not getting anywhere anyway and do something else with your time.
It’s time to fix it with fasted morning cardio. This strategy of course is not new. I didn’t invent it, make it up or popularize it. However I implemented it into my routine and not only does it make it extremely easy to stay leaner now, but you can tweak it to burn tones of fat and lose weight fast.
My strategy is simple. My morning workout at 6 am is cardio based. My type of cardio in my home gym is usually something from Beachbody. T25, p90x3, insanity etc. First reason is its 6 am and I don’t want to think that early. Just plug in a DVD and go. Second reason is its more creative, I don’t think anyone wants to do 30 minutes and the treadmill at 6 am. Sounds awful and boring and a sure way to give it up quick. Third reason is it’s usually a fun energizing workout where you know it’s timed and you are done. It’s all a mental game at this time in the morning! The hack for this is of course intermittent fasting. Which over the last few years has become very popular and promoted by a number of fitness gurus in the online community. Google intermittent fasting to get a much better idea for it. I won’t get into the benefits or reasoning behind it in this post or the research.
Starting the night before, my last meal is usually at 6-7 pm. As time rolls into the morning I get up for my morning cardio at 6 am. My body already at almost a 12 hour fast. I perform my 30 minute cardio session fasted, burn 300-400 calories and start my day. I then continue my fast through until noon to bring the total fast to about 16-18 hours. Drinking plenty of water and some tea/coffee throughout. No calories though, or very little. While fasted (12 plus hours) your body starts to feed off energy reserves and fat stores. In its self, intermittent fasting is a great fat loss tool, but paired with specific cardio in the morning on a constant basis it is incredibly effective. After your morning cardio fasted, the “after burn effect” of exercise continues for another 5-6 hours before lunch as you continue your fast and fat loss is greatly increased. You will notice you have great energy and euphoria. For some reason this strategy just makes you feel great. Another benefit is because you have done a workout, with your last meal being so long ago, your meal after your fast is sent right to replenish glycogen stores in the muscle. In a 2 month period while employing this strategy I went from 210 pounds to 180 pounds while gaining muscle with my calisthenics and strength training.
I now use the strategy as maintenance protocol. I always fast through the day, but generally only do a cardio routine 2-3 times in the morning now during the week which is the beauty of this type of hack, once you have some results you can just do maintenance to keep the results you obtained. If I find I have gained some fat I jump back into a few weeks of 4-5 workouts and I am down again to where I like my body fat and then go back to 2-3 per week.
The biggest issue for most people in trying this out, is they don’t think they can go almost 18 hours without a meal, or think it is unhealthy etc. However just doing a bit of research will show you how intermittent fasting is gaining in popularity and no health effects exist. You can adapt it to any schedule and make it enjoyable by eating healthy, dense and nutritious meals after and before your fast. You will be amazed how you feel not having to worry about eating all the time. Do it as out lined with your favorite cardio only 30 minutes during your fasted period and you will finally lose that stubborn fat in those hard to get areas.
If you want to chat on the strategy or more details on how I do it shoot me an email