Seven Ways to Reduce Fat and Increase Strength Together
Looking to shed fat and build lean muscle mass at the same time? You’re basically looking at the Holy Grail of fitness. But don’t fear – while it does take shedloads of hard work, it’s not impossible.
Here are our top ways to reduce fat and increase strength simultaneously. Some are simple, some require a bit more effort… but combine them and prepare to see your strength and physique hit new heights!
Set Achievable Goals – And Hit Them!
Until you write down your goal on paper, with specifics, nothing’s set in stone. So work out exactly what you want, down to the last detail, write your goal down and be prepared to reach it at all costs.
Doing this gives you a reason to keep going, follow through and overcome any temptations or stumbling blocks in the way. In other words, stop dreaming, start doing!
If you don’t already know the millions of different ways that drinking stacks of water can help your body and your health, where have you been? Try going a few days without water and see how your feel… in fact, maybe don’t!
The truth is that water is used in each and every physiological process the body undertakes and undergoes. And if you’re putting your body until increased pressure and strain – as you do when you’re losing weight and toning up – then you need water more than ever.
You should be looking at drinking at least a gallon of water a day if you’re serious about reducing fat and increasing strength.
Eat Little And Often
Eating five or six small meals every day helps your body’s metabolism keep going, making you more effective at burning calories, quickly. Grazing on small meals every three hours enables the body to burn off what it’s consumed more easily, while opting for one and two can make the metabolism slow down. Skipping meals altogether is a complete no-no – your body will simply store fat as a defence mechanism as if it’s unsure when it’s going to receive its next meal, it will store more fat.
In terms of what you’re eating, meals should consist of:
- Higher protein – to build muscle
- Moderate carbohydrate – to fuel the body
- Low fat – for energy and protection
As a rule of thumb, go for the 50, 40, 10 rule in terms of calories coming from protein, carbs and fat.
Go Crazy For Cardio
Things are pretty simple on this front… you don’t only burn calories while you’re doing cardio – you burn calories throughout the day after working out as cardio makes the body’s metabolic rate skyrocket.
Doing cardio for 20-30 minutes, three to four times a day at maximum intensity, will see huge dividends in terms of weight loss and strength gain. This is best broken down into a five-minute warm up, 20 minutes high intensity cardio and a five-minute cool down.
The key here is to make sure you’re huffing, puffing, going red – if it’s easy, it’s not working! The more you move, the more you burn. The treadmill, the stair master, the recumbent bike and the cross trainer are great examples. No excuses!
Hit The Weights
If you’re looking to reduce fat and increase strength, you should be looking to engage in intense weight training three to four times per week. Why? When your frame becomes more muscular, the body has to burn more calories and spend more energy in order to maintain the muscle tissue.
What’s more, weight training doesn’t only strengthen existing muscle, it adds extra muscle tissue to cope with the greater demands been placed on the muscle – leaving you looking great!
Work Out Your Calorie Consumption – And Reduce It!
No-one enjoys calorie counting, but if you’re serious about losing fat you need to have a clear idea of how many calories you’re consuming – before reducing these so they fall below your energy output levels.
While it can be difficult to decide how much below your output levels your calorie consumption should go, we recommend starting with 150-200 calories below your maintenance levels, tweaking as you go.
Switch 30 for 15
Doing two intense 15 minute cardio sessions instead of one thirty minute session will burn double the calories – difficult to believe, right?
Keep your workouts as high intensity as possible, no messing around, and you’ll see fantastic results.
So there you have it – Seven great ways to reduce fat and increase strength simultaneously!