Who Wants to BURN FAT?
Oct 7, 2013
If you're reading this, I already know that you want to burn body fat...right?! Even if you're at an ideal weight, the goal is to rely on your body's fat reserves to feul your day-to-day routine, even while you're sleeping. What you don't want is your body to switch into fat STORING and relying simply on carbohydrates for energy throughout the day.
Well, how do I do that, you ask?
There are many things that go into creating a body that is prone to fat burning rather than fat storing. First, let me throw this out there: You know that little diagram that's on every single piece of cardio equipment that shows you how high (or low) your heart rate ought to be in order to "burn fat"? Piece of advice: pretend that diagram doesn't exist! There is truth that at a lower intensity, your body is using fat for energy; however (and a BIG however that is!), working at higher intensities ensures that your body will burn far more fat AFTER the work out is over--even while you're resting! DURING high intensity exercise your body relies on stored carbohydrate that's found in your muscles and liver. But there storage sites empty through intense exercise, and your body switches into fat burning AFTER the workout is done. Pretty cool, huh?!
Anyway, here is the nutshell rundown of what you need to know to become a better fat burner...
- Weight training. This...is...a...MUST! And when I say weight training, I mean lifting heavy objects through a range of motion. Sometimes that "heavy object" may be your own body weight. This is a good thing because it gives you no excuse when you're away from home without a gym. Compound exercises that use several muscle groups are the best. Think push ups, squats, pull ups, overhead presses, dead lifts. Doing these instead of single-muscle exercises that isolate muscles (e.g. bicep curls) will fire up the fat burning post-workout.
- Adequate protein intake. You have to eat some protein, not gobs, but a moderate amount. You're looking to build muscle in order to burn fat. Muscles are made of protein. Get the connection? And if you're heard/read my rant before you know to make it animal-based protein to get all the nutrition your muscles need. None of this "but I had some peanut butter" rationale for getting in protein!
- Appropriate carbohydrate intake. What I mean by "appropriate" is the type of carbs you should be eating in order to build muscle to burn fat. Starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, winter squash, beets, parsnips, and many other root vegetables are what I'm referring to. Start adding these guys into the meal that follows your workout, alongside of the green stuff and protein, that is. Once you get the hang of that, you can add them into the meal prior to your workout to make sure your muscles have enough stored carb to provide energy for your workout. Keep starchy carbs low on days that you’re resting and not working out.
- Don't forget fats. You have to EAT fat to BURN fat. No, not greasy Five Guys kind of fats either…healthy fats like coconut oil, grass-fed butter, avocado, olive oil, macadamia nuts, just to name a few. Rely on these fats especially on days when you’re not working out. Getting the right fats in while you’re not active will help teach your body how to turn on dormant fat burning mechanisms.
- Rest. There is such a thing! That whole saying “I can rest when I’m dead” will only getcha closer to the grave in my opinion. When you’re exercising to build muscle and burn fat, your muscles need to rest and recover to overcome the stress you placed on them during your workout. Plus, we get the benefit of good fat-burning hormones, like growth hormone, when we are at while sleeping.
So, if your goal is fat loss, these are some simple tips to get the furnace going. Remember fat doesn’t just look bad in the mirror. It goes a lot deeper than that…it affects your health for the long term. Not only do you want to look and feel better, you want to be healthy—that’s what’s most important!