The same as meeting any other fitness goal, when burning fat you cannot ignore anything. Diet is critical. Exercise is essential. And Recovery is necessary.
Notice I haven’t said the term “lose weight” yet. We’re not trying to lose weight here. We’re trying to burn fat while, preferable, preserving as much of our hard-earned muscle as possible. If we happen to lose weight (which a significant portion of us will, if not all of us), that just so happens to be a byproduct of our fat loss.
Your diet should consist mainly of fresh produce and proteins along with unrefined oils. If it doesn’t, then you’re not doing it right!
- Boneless skinless chicken breast
- Egg whites
- Greek/Icelandic yogurt
- You’re basically looking for high protein, no added sugar
- Protein powders
- Whey isolate for immediate absorption
- Whey isolate/concentrate + micellar casein blend for extended release
- I like to mix my own because I can choose the ratios and protein powders. Cellucor whey & Muscle Pharm casein are my go-to.
- Remember to choose a healthy protein powder
- Pork (certain cuts)
- Mahi Mahi
- Cottage cheese
- Red meats (certain cuts)
- Spinach / Kale / Lettuce
- Pretty much any green vegetable
Fruits FOR RECOVERY (Carbs)
- When trying to burn fat I aim to only eat sugar (fruit is pretty much sugar) directly after exercise. This is for improved recovery purposes. I like to hit it hard when I’m trying to lean up
Slow Digesting Carbs
- Choose vegetables over this category
- In moderation
- Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
- Brown Rice
- Ezekiel bread, 100% whole wheat bread
- Unrefined oils
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Almond Butter > PB (But PB’s okay too)
- Macadamia nuts (super, super fatty)
- 2% milk, 2% Greek/Icelandic yogurt (realize there’s a lot of carbs and protein here too)
- Throw your body a curve ball
- Change something. Change anything. Your exercise routine, your diet, something. Just don’t let your body adapt. Adaptation is complacency. And if you’re compacent, you’re not moving forward.
Intermittent Fasting (IF)
- Check out Leangains.
- When doing IF I don’t change my diet at all, just when I eat it. I’ll fast for 16 hours and then eat for 8 hours and then fast for more 16 hours. Think of IF in terms of those 16 hour windows. Whenever you finish a window you’ve completed 1 IF cycle. It’s the last few hours in a cycle where you really experience the benefits of IF.
- I don’t recommend zero calorie sweeteners and drinks, but you could do worse.
- IF is not hard. If you’ve done HIIT (see below), you know what hard is.
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- HIIT Options. Repeat for 20-45 minutes
- 1 min slow jog, 1 min sprint
- Stairs / bleachers. Run up, jog down
- Agility drills / cone exercises. Rest 30-60 seconds between sets
- HIIT Options. Repeat for 20-45 minutes
- Cardio & Weight Training 2-a-days
- If you’re conditioned well enough you can get away with doing cardio/weights in the morning and weights/cardio later in the day, and repeating this over a span of multiple days. It’s a great way to annihilate fat. If your body can keep up.
- Eat within a reasonable period of time before or after working out.
- If you’ve eaten before, it depends on how much you ate.
- If you haven’t eaten before, you should eat within 1 hour after working out. Within 30 minutes is probably better.
- Get some sleep. Sleep 7-8+ hours a day for optimal recovery.
- When it comes to strength training, don’t train the same muscle group more than once within 48 hours.
- When it comes to flexibility/cardio paired with strength training, you can actually get away with training the same muscle more frequently. This is a great way to double-up on calories burned while exercising during the day. Just don’t overdo it.
- For example, you can do a lower body strength training session in the morning and go for even a relatively long run (10k) in the afternoon. The DOMS from the strength training session won’t have come into effect yet and if you hit the rest of your recovery, you’ll feel great tomorrow too.
- Eat tons of lean protein
- Go for green vegetables.. or at least vegetables
- Sugar = after exercise only. The remainder of the day you can give yourself a break on sugars that come from things like sweet potatoes, milk, etc., but in general make sure sugar isn’t the primary source of carbs in the item you’re eating
- Slow digesting carbs like quinoa and sweet potatoes are good, but choose vegetables as your first carb source
- Get your fats in
- For example, if you’re struggling to get enough fat, put a tablespoon of olive oil over your vegetables and lean proteins. Or just eat a damn spoonful of peanut butter