By Myprotein Writer Niels Stilling Jakobsen
Burning fat is a difficult concept for some- whether your just starting a weight loss journey or looking to shed those last few pounds. The top three tips for burning fat includes:
- – Nutrition
- – Supplements
- – Training
These are 3 very important factors while you are trying to burn fat and optimize fat loss, simply just eating less than before is not an optimal or effective strategy. If you really want to burn fat fast and keep your muscles, you have to train correctly, take the right supplements and have the right diet.
Believe it or not, but your body actually doesn’t want you to be lean and the body stores fat for survival reasons, so that in time of crisis, it can just break down fat stores and provide adequate sources of energy to survive. In the body glycogen is the main source of fuel during exercise, due to the fact it can be broken down at a fast and effective rate. However during times of low carbohydrate intake and when body fat reaches a low level, the body will start breaking down muscles to reach the muscle glycogen for energy.
Nutrition for Burning Fat.
If you want to burn fat, but not lose all your muscles, knowing what to eat is such an important factor. Since you are in a caloric deficit, your body will be in a catabolic state. This means that your body is breaking down muscle and not building muscle. So how do we minimize this catabolic effect?
Eat Enough Protein
Eating enough protein is so important when trying to lose fat whilst maintaining muscles, whereby you need to keep your muscles fueled all the time. Also getting in enough carbohydrates in your system is essential to help you get through your workout in a caloric deficit, try and place your carbohydrates the meal before and the meal after your workout.
Make Meal Plans
Having a meal plan is always essential when you are trying to burn fat, you know exactly what to eat, how many calories you get and your macro nutrients. It’s important that you have a plan to follow and you are scheduled if you want to get the most out of your weight loss.
Refeed and Refuel
When you are trying to lose fat, you should always implement refeed days into your diet, not cheat days, refeed days. Refeed days is a day where you increase your carbohydrate enough to reach your maintain calories, even get slightly over your maintenance calories when you start to get further into your diet, the reason for this is to speed up your metabolism. Your metabolism will slow down, after weeks of cutting where your body don’t have a lot of calories to fuel it with, so it will slow down its needs and lower the amount of calories you burn. Refeed will speed up this process again and will assist you in your weight loss, specially once you get into lower body fat percentages.
While you are in a caloric deficit, you can’t eat as much as you used to do. This means that you have to lower your protein, carb and fat intake. The problems about doing this is that you will sometimes miss out on some very important nutrients in the foods such as vitamins and BCAA’s.
The first thing I recommend you to do with your supplements on a cut is to change out your regular Whey Protein, with Whey isolate. The thing about whey Isolate is that you get about 20 % more protein in your shake, and less carbs and fats.
The second supplement I recommend you take while trying to burn fat is Bcaa’s. Branches chain amino acids. This will help you keep your muscles while still losing fat. It’s well established that branched-chain amino acids (particularly leucine) stimulate protein synthesis, this is why you will often hear the Bcaa 2:1:1 or Bcaa 4:1:1. This basically means that the leucine level is two times or four times as high as Isoleucine and Valine. When you eat normally you will get BCAA’s from almost every Protein source you eat. Chicken, Beef, Egg whites, Turkey, every meat source out there.
The third supplement I find great for cutting is simply fat burners. This can be things like Carnitine or Green tea extract, or just a supplement put together already like Thermopure. These are proven to ASSIST in burning fat. Which means they really won’t do anything for you, if you sit on the couch all day long. Use a pill before training and use one before cardio and this will speed up your fat loss.
A Pre Workout
The fourth and final supplements I feel is a great way to ensure you are not losing muscle while on a cut is Pre-Workout. The extra energy will be a huge factor when cutting because you will generally have lower energy levels. This helps you maintain your level of training in the gym, which will lead to not losing as much muscle.
There is many different ways people train while trying to lose fat, some will aim to keep their strength and maybe even lower their amount of reps and overall training volume to try and maintain how much they lift. I personally is a believer that you can maintain your muscles, with proper nutrition even if you lower the weight, but just focus on the constant tension on your muscles. Your muscles don’t know how much you lift, they communicate in tension.
Lift Less, Really?
So leave that ego at the door, and lift just slightly less weight when cutting. This will also help you avoid injuries. Instead of taking 5 minutes breaks between sets, lift heavy and activate the neurological system, you should try and lower the breaks times to 1 – 1½ minute between sets, and even superset a lot of your exercises. This will allow you to get more volume into your workout in less time, and also increase your heart rate to burn those extra calories.
Also remember to add cardio to your workouts, my tip is to do it after the workout so you don’t waste that little amount of energy you have in your body for cardio, but just do cardio when you are burned out. Do cardio at least 3 – 4 times a week.
A Take Home Message
When trying to lose fat ignoring one of these three factors may mean a lot of your hard work is going down the drain. Make sure you plan your methods of fat loss and track your progress- that way you can show us you’re results and see where your going wrong!