We all wish for our younger, svelte and trim body, and many of us look back with regret for not appreciating it then. We go through rigorous diets and exercise routines, hoping to shed the unwanted pounds, but it’s not that easy — yes, it takes a lot of planning, discipline, dedication and compromise to see some results.
Many people shed 10, 15, even 20 pounds, only to see themselves not losing any more weight!
There is a reason why people stop losing weight at a certain point, and this should not be considered as a reason to stop reaching your weight loss goals.
So let’s take a look at the 7 pound-zapping ways to throttle your fat burning routine to a maximum and help fast track your weight loss success. In other words, here are 7 ways to maximize your fat burning potential —
1. The Fat-Burning Power of Anaerobic Exercise
No matter what they tell you, you cannot just pedal or run that fat away. Fat is stubborn, and regardless of how many laps you run, it chooses to burn last. In fact, your muscle tissues burn the most calories, and you need to create bigger muscles by lifting weights to burn more calories.
Here’s the principle:
Our bodies burn more calories to maintain 1 pound of muscle, more than it does to maintain fat. Hence, the more muscles you have, the more calories will your body burn even when at rest.
This means, that when you build muscle, you will fire up your metabolism and turn your body into a fat-melting hot rod. And this will improve your overall fat burning and weight loss progress.
This does not mean that you have to kill aerobic exercises off your list; swimming and cycling are still necessary. But your primary source of exercise should be anaerobic, because building bigger muscles is still the undisputed way to lose weight, and keep fat from coming back.
2. Warming Up and Cooling Down
While not considered as an essential to any fat-burning program, pre-exercise warm-ups and post-exercise cool-downs coupled with light exercises are the best ways to prevent injuries.
Even a tiny injury can set you back a few days, even weeks, and this could lead to a slowdown of your weight loss progress. When this happens, you could lose sight of your goal, and lose your drive.
Plan and add an extra 20 to 30 minutes into your weight lifting sessions because warming up and cooling down will greatly reduce your injury potential.
3. Diet, and Diet Some More
If you think that you don’t need to have a strict diet when exercising, think again. Diet and exercise should ALWAYS go hand in hand if you are looking to maximize your fat burning results.
Do not stick to a 3-meal-per-day mentality. Eat 5 times a day, but with smaller portions. Check out the FDA’s new food pyramid; it was designed with the 5-meal-per-day in mind and it can save you from a lot of stress and time figuring out your diet.
4. Always Plan Your Workouts Ahead
Your body is highly complex. You can’t expect to understand your weight loss results if you don’t understand how your exercise routines affect your body.
Ideally, your exercise routine should be done 3 to 4 times a week, with up to 45 minutes duration per session. You absolutely cannot stretch your workout more than this. Why? Because your muscles will break down, you will get burnt out, and you will end up not reaching your goals.
It is always best to consult your physical trainer and seek help in setting up a REALISTIC program that will best suit your body type and weight loss goals.
5. Tap In On Nutritional Supplements
Yes, you lift weights, you eat right, and you lose weight. But sometimes, it’s not just enough. You can augment your results with nutritional supplements, and push your body further to lose more weight.
Forget the shiny stuff that promise you’ll burn fat while eating potato chips and watching TV.
The RIGHT nutritional supplements I’m talking about are those with amino acids, essential fatty acids and whey protein. If you look each of these up you’ll find out that they are highly beneficial in building muscles and keeping your strength up as you work out.
But don’t just pick up the first thing you see in GNC. Always consult your trainer or physician regarding the best supplements that you can use to meet your weight loss goals.
6. Go For Short-term, Weekly Goals
I bet you’ve been there — you just can’t seem to get your body up to go to the gym, instead, you’re thinking, “What the heck, I’d skip this session and pig out on a box of pizza. I’ll make it up for next time, I promise.”
Yep, it happens. But here’s the truth: there is never a next time to make up for lost time. When you see that scale going down, your motivation will flag, and you will lose it.
Don’t stress yourself over long-term goals, because you will always think that you can double-time for that lost session.
Set a weekly goal. It is much easier to track your progress, and will be easier for your brain to digest. You will most likely be able to adhere to your goals if they are chopped down to small chunks.
7. Slap Your Hand Away From Those Late Night Munchies
The key to long-term and realistic weight loss is to keep your metabolism all fired up. You shouldn’t give it a chance to slack off. And boy, does it slack off when you snack before you sleep.
When you eat before going to bed, your body is thrown off its intended cycle. When you wake up, you don’t feel hungry, and you won’t feel the need to eat breakfast. Then you’d be inclined to munch on a bagel on your way to work.
Your body — hungered and thrown off balance — will immediately go into conservation mode. It will stop burning calories quickly, and it will slow down your metabolism.
Then you are in for a bad ride — a cycle that will be difficult to break off of.
The solution is to, again, stick to your 5-meal-a-day routine, where you eat 5 small portioned meals per day so that your metabolism never slows down as your body receives a consistent supply of food.
As you can see, some of the things listed above are so obvious, but we often end up ignoring or neglecting them. But if you adhere to ALL of them and remain consistent, you will naturally help your body maximize its fat burning potential.