We’ve all tried the expensive dieting programs, eating low carbs, cutting out all sugars, reducing calorie consumption to as little as possible (i.e. the crash diet). These methods rarely work, and in many cases can do a lot more harm to your body than good. If you really want to burn fat, and you’ve become bored or psychologically resistant to the most familiar methods out there, keep reading. I’m going to tell you about three uncommon ways to lose fat that really work and could put the desire back into your motivation.
Early-morning Low-Intensity Cardio
This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to burn body fat. Mike Chang isn’t normally a proponent of low-intensity cardio workouts because, the majority of the time, they do absolutely nothing for building muscle or losing body fat. However, when the body is subject to low-intensity cardio first thing in the morning, when the stomach is empty, it can produce amazing results.
In the morning, as soon as you wake up – and don’t say you’re day is too busy, get up half an hour earlier if you have to – go for a walk. Start at 10-15 minutes, 3 days a week, then up it to 20 minutes, 4-5 days a week. You can try speed-walking if you’re in shape enough, but do not let your heart rate elevate. Your heart needs to maintain a normal steady pace, otherwise it becomes high-intensity and will burn muscle instead of fat. Because there is no sugar in your body to burn, you will be burning pure body fat throughout the entire workout.
Deadlifts for total Fat Burn
When we think of exercising to get rid of excess fat, the most common focal point is the stomach. For an overweight person, fat is present all over the body, but for someone who isn’t exactly overweight, but lacks muscle tone, the belly is always the number one priority. If you fall into this category, chances are you’ve been doing everything you can think of the remove that layer of fat over your stomach, but just can’t seem to get rid of it. The biggest problem most people make is focusing on exercises that work only the abs.
Crunches and sit-ups are the most common of all abdominal exercises, thus that’s what most of you are doing to eliminate the fat on your stomach. It’s not working, is it? The reason is because crunches and sit-ups only work one area of the body. They will continue to build muscle, but do practically nothing for burning fat. In order to melt that fat off your belly, you need to be working all of your muscle groups. More burn = more fat loss. The best exercise to reach that goal is deadlifting.
A deadlift uses a substantial amount of weight on a barbell. Stand directly in front of the bar, bend down at the knees and place one hand inward on the bar, the other hand facing outward. Stand straight up, lifting the bar up off the ground. Do not attempt to lift the bar outward or even bend your elbows, just straight up off the ground and back down, using your knees, not your back. This technique works out your calf muscles, quads, abs, back, arms – everything! So not only are you building abdominal muscles the same as crunches, you’re getting the maximum fat burn and muscle building from your workout in the process.
Eat More to Lose More
Okay, it sounds crazy, but hear me out. Most people who decide they need to lose weight think they need to eat less calories and food in general. If they are overweight to begin with, their metabolism isn’t very high. Mike Chang defines the metabolism as, “The amount of calories you burn every day, whether you exercise or not.” And it’s a little-known fact that the body’s metabolism is responsible for burning a lot more calories than exercising. A workout can burn a few hundred calories at best, and that’s only during the workout time. The metabolism can actually burn thousands of calories all day long, even without exercising.
When a person suddenly changes their diet by consuming a lot less food, their body has an adverse reaction. Assuming that you have no food to eat, it goes into self-preservation mode and starts storing as much fat as possible. As such, the metabolism crashes and stops burning calories and fat. At the same time, it makes you feel even more hungry, encouraging your brain to make you eat more. Instead of burning fat, your body burns muscle to keep you alive longer. It’s the body’s normal reaction to starvation. Don’t believe me? Think of all the commercials asking for donations to third world countries, where the starving children have super-skinny arms and legs, but a big belly. It’s the truth, and the #1 reason fad diets do not work.
The fact is, the more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolism is. If you’re losing muscle, your metabolism drops. That’s why ‘diet and exercise’ is always recommended in combination. So how do we eat more and lose more at the same time? Instead of eating less food, you should eat the same amount of food you normally, but adjust what your consuming to include at least 80% of healthy foods, particularly whole foods. Anything that is not processed is whole food. If it comes in a bag or a box, or from a fast food restaurant, it’s processed. If it comes in natural form (raw meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts) it’s whole food. The other 20% can be the same junk you’re used to eating, so you won’t go into junk-free shock mode and quit before you get anywhere. Adjusting your body to healthy foods without decreasing the volume will help make the transition to a healthy diet so much easier, both physically and mentally, and will keep your metabolism running in high. Then you can slowly decrease the volume after a few weeks to help speed up the fat loss, so long as your healthy food consumption stays at 80% or more.