Over the years I have received numerous questions from men and women who have tried to lose weight by drastic measures in order to try and achieve the body shape they desire; including those who have essentially starved themselves for months, if not years.
When you cut your calories drastically it’s actually very restrictive on your body, and prevents your body from loosing fat. Your body goes into ‘starvation mode’ and starts protecting its fat stores making it very difficult to shift any weight! If you continue in this way your body will start using your muscle stores, and we know that the less muscle we have the fewer calories we require, all contributing to slowing your metabolism down!
So, without spending too much time on the science, I will give you a few suggestions on how you can start firing up a slow metabolism!
Firstly... as mentioned our metabolism is somewhat measured by how much muscle we have, generally if you have more muscle mass you will have a faster metabolism. Muscle also burns more calories than fat! So, a good first step would be to start a weight-training program. An intense weight training session can burn far more calories, and obviously engage many more muscles than what you would train if you were opting for a cardio workout only.
Try planning 5-6 meals per day, little and often. When I commence a competition diet the first changes I make to my regular diet are to begin splitting my meals up more throughout the day. Often during my diets I can eat up to 7- 8 times per day... every 2-3 hours depending where I am in my diet plan. You should never let yourself feel hungry, and eating every few hours will prevent this. Be mindful that if you do start eating like this you must exercise portion control with your food. I personally weigh my food so that I don’t make any mistakes. However you don’t have to be this strict about it. But keep in mind that portions should be small!
Eat breakfast!!!!! This is a sure fire way to kick-start your metabolism! I take on the majority of my carbohydrates during this meal, and add some protein. It’s normally my largest meal of the day and one I would never consider missing!
Eat more protein, it contributes to building muscle and will also help you feel full – which is a feeling that many people dislike about ‘diets’, that they never feel full! If you start eating protein with every meal you will definitely feel fuller for longer. Additionally it actually helps the body release the stored fat so that the body can use it as energy!
Be mindful of what you drink... Remember juices from concentrate, alcohol etc are all packed with calories. However a coffee in the morning can help increase your metabolism.
Try and take some time out to relax... increased stress levels give rise to cortisol, and too much can slow your metabolism. Stress can also cause cravings, and you might find yourself wanting to eat fatty and sugary foods.
Ensure you’re getting adequate sleep each night; sleep helps our bodies repair and grow. Some theory suggests that if you continually go without enough sleep your ability to process carbohydrates is lowered; your body will also struggle with the ability to function properly during the day meaning that it could struggle to burn calories if you’re trying to follow a diet.
If you were looking to speed up your fat loss my best tip would be to exercise on an empty stomach before breakfast. There is a huge body of research to support this tip but in short, upon waking from sleep your body is depleted of glycogen (energy stores), so in theory if you do some form of exercise before breakfast you can utilise your fat stores. This method seems to promote more effective weight loss, although I’ve read other theories that contest this. However if I recall each diet I’ve followed to compete I have always done some steady low impact exercise before breakfast and it certainly works for me!
Written By Louise Rogers, Website: louise-rogers.co.uk
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of cardio created to burn more fat and boost metabolic rates higher in a short period of time.
Usually the HIIT workout sessions vary from anywhere between 9-20 minutes. The original protocol set a 2:1 ratio from work to recovery periods. For example, 20 seconds intense exercise followed by 10-second rest period and repeating the cycle.
One of the most common HIIT strategies is called the TABATA method. Tabata training was discovered by Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.
Dr. Tabata discovered that this type of interval training produces higher quality results than aerobic training (traditional long duration steady state cardio). One result was building as much muscular endurance as forty-five minutes of normal cardio training. In the study the subjects increased their anaerobic capacity by over a quarter as well a substantial increase in their aerobic fitness. For accurate results VO2 levels were measured of athletes that performed the training method.
A Tabata program, just like any other form of HIIT can be versatile and custom made for a specific individual after taking under consideration the experience of the individual/athlete.
Interestingly, major members of the Japanese Speed Skating team had used the high-intensity protocol for several years. Also some studies, such as one by Laval University, state that HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio helps subjects’ lose/burn nine times more fat than those who trained the traditional way. Since the metabolic rate gets boosted higher, the amount of calories burned though the day after your workout is also much higher.
To simplify the above if you want to burn more fat and not muscle in a short period of time plus increase your metabolic rate for the rest of the day, choose HIIT training.
HIIT Sessions should consist of a warm up and stretching period followed by the 9-20 minute HIIT and a cool down and stretching period. You can be really creative with your HIIT workouts since running is only ONE of the options to perform HIIT. I suggest, jump rope, heavy duty rope, parachute sprints, cone sprints, box jumps.
Also keep in mind that you can vary the duration of your HIIT session. I usually suggest a 12-15 minute HIIT. If you had a killer leg day the day before or 2 days before your HIIT and the lower body muscles are still sore, try the rope cardio (picture above) example of a 2 to 1 ratio HIIT (40 secs fast 20 seconds slow) repeated 5 times followed by 2.5 minute recovery period which totals up to 7.5 minutes, then repeat the cycle one more time.
An ideal HIIT workout:
3-5 minute warm up period
5 * (40 sec very fast run (nearly sprinting) followed by a 20 sec slow walk)
2.5 minute moderate speed walk for recovery
REPEAT THE CYCLE ONE MORE TIME
3-5 minute cool off for recovery! (VERY IMPORTANT)
The above HIIT workout consisted of running for the intense part of the program however do not forget that you can integrate the following exercises below instead of running or even alternate every intense part with a different exercise from below.
I hope HIIT works well for you, especially when you are trying to get CUT while staying JACKED! BURN FAT AND PRESERVE MUSCLE with HIIT TRAINING.
Please keep in mind that HIIT training is an intense training method for the advanced athletes however it can be modified to meet your needs and specific goals.
References: Journal of Sports Medicine, interval training.com
Written by Melih F. Cologlu Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Melih-F-Cologlu
Let’s take a look at transforming how your body looks. Many people simply need to stimulate muscle growth in order to attain the level of definition that they seek. Others have to lose body fat in order to see the muscle that they already have. Both problems can be remedied with the presence of muscle. Growing muscle and leaning out can seem to be totally impossible. Becoming muscular and defined can be achieved by incorporating both a bulking cycle and a cutting cycle. Skeletal muscle is nature's fat burner, the less muscle you have on your frame the softer you will be.
The key to growing muscle and seeing unparalleled definition in your body has to do with cycling. Cycling is lifting with a purpose. Cycling enables your body to reach a desired result in a specific time frame at which time you switch gears in both your nutrition as well as your training to attain another predetermined goal. This shocks the human body and also reaps new results by eliciting a new body response. I personally like to begin with longer cycles, the changes that you can make in this time frame are more visible. Cycles that are 8-12 weeks in duration are very good for the beginner. As you near your goal then you should make your cycles shorter in duration - 2 week bulking and cutting cycles make for a good maintenance routine. You would eat and train at an intensity that will elicit a certain response. Let’s say that you wanted to put on as much muscle as possible. To do this you will have to change the amount of food you consume as well as change the way that you lift. To lean out you will have to cut the calories and burn a heightened amount of calories through exercise.
To force muscle to grow you have to create an anabolic environment in the body. You will have to create excess calories for your body to stimulate growth. You get to eat more calories to stimulate growth! One pound of muscle consumes 35-50 more calories per day than fat. Gaining 10lbs of muscle will burn 350-500 calories per week. A major thing to keep in mind is that you should consume slightly more carbohydrates and fats (good fats, flax seed, polyunsaturated fats, nuts, olive oil etc.). Carbohydrates will fuel the taxing workouts that you will have to perform in order to stimulate muscle growth. You will have to push hard during this “Bulking” cycle. For a beginner I will suggest that you start with a 6-8 rep range. Yes, even for you ladies, especially you ladies! Put down those sad 5-10lb weights that you have been lifting for years. You should use a weight that you can barely perform 8 repetitions with not 9 or 12 if $1,000,000 was at stake. Work with that weight for 3-5 sets. Breaks should be 90-120 seconds in duration between sets. A weight that you can only do 6-8 times is too heavy for you. Heavy weight training places a lot of stress on the body. To remain in an anabolic state you will need rest. Sleep is key to muscle growth, and stunts a lot of people’s growth. A high protein diet with slightly higher levels of fats and carbs will fuel the muscle growth needed to become CutAndJacked.
The actual structure of your workouts will vary from person to person. Some people’s bodies’ respond to dropsetting, pyramiding, supersetting, compound setting, straight sets, negatives etc. You will have to make that choice based on trying them all and maybe incorporating some combo of them all into your routine. They can be interchanged during your training cycle. The most important thing is that you train heavy, with good form and plenty of rest. Injury will put a terrible halt to your efforts. By the end of the 12th week of your bulking cycle you should be heavier than when you started. How lean you are would depend on your interpretation of when I said “you should consume slightly more carbohydrates and fats”. At this point you should switch gears.
Switching to the cutting phase will seem very restrictive at first. Keep in mind that this is all for the greater good. You will still need carbohydrates so do not cut them out completely. Your diet should switch from any simple carbs to complex carbs (pasta and rice to veggies and fruit) as well as a reduction in calories -500-700 cals. Now you should work with weight that you cannot do another rep at 10-12 as opposed to 6-8, also add more sets perform 6-8 sets. This will burn more calories and allow you to maintain the muscle that you created over the last 12 weeks. Cardio should be done most if not all days of the week. Two of those days should incorporate short bursts of high intensity cardio. Body fat will start to melt off as you train this way. High intensity interval training will also stimulate muscle growth as you burn massive amounts of calories in short periods of time. Drink about half your body weight in ounces each day in order to keep it all clicking. You may need to utilize glutamine or other amino acids to ensure that you are not moving into a level of muscle wasting. You will know that if despite your weight training efforts your muscles look flat and your strength starts to wain in the gym. The result of cycling growth and cutting phases for a man is a leaner and larger version of your self. The result for a woman is a toned and sculpted goddess.
There can be very good results gained using as little as 4-6 week cycles. The results will also keep the muscles of the body guessing, which is the key to change. As you get closer to the goals that you are working towards you can lessen the amount of time of each cycle. Utilize both bulking and cutting cycles to change your body. You will eventually be able to find the right cycle and rhythm that works for your body.
Written by Dre Farnell
Everyone wants to lose fat, but most people mistakenly indicate “weight loss” as their goal. As I will explain, this is not necessarily the same thing. Reducing body fat and improving one’s body composition is a common goal for both serious athletes and the general fitness enthusiasts. With such a strong interest in “battling the bulge”, fat loss has become a huge industry, with new fad diets, weight loss plans, abdominal toning products, and fat burning supplements popping up on the market every day!
Unfortunately, despite all of the attention directed at this subject, obesity is still on the rise. The purpose of this article is to outline some basic and effective principles for attaining permanent “fat loss” and a transformation of your physical appearance.
We are inundated with so many different diet and exercise programs and there are so many weight loss myths floating around that it becomes difficult to know what to believe. Let me assure you that proper nutrition and exercise (along with certain lifestyle changes) are STILL the solution to losing fat permanently and getting that lean, cut-looking physique. The following 3 Fat Loss Tips will help you achieve your “Fat Loss” goals.
Cutting too many calories, pushes the body to conserve calories rather than burn them. It also forces your body to break down muscle tissue to fuel its vital operations. But muscle tissue is the key to your metabolism (the speed at which you burn calories).
When you go on an extremely low calorie diet, your body goes into starvation mode. This leads to several negatives consequences, including fewer fat-burning enzymes in your body, lower levels of fat burning hormones, muscle wasting, greater appetite, and low energy. The bottom line is that it’s physiologically impossible to achieve permanent fat loss on a “starvation” type diet.
In the short term very low calorie programs may get you some results, but in the long run they can actually make you fatter. You will almost certainly regain additional body fat once your diet ends! Don’t trust a diet plan that recommends the same calories for everyone. If you are more active you will need more energy.
This ties in nicely with the first principle. The key to long term fat loss is to focus on burning the fat, not starving the fat. To metabolize more body fat while only cutting calories slightly below maintenance, you will need to burn more calories by increasing your activity level. I know it sounds obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people look for ways around this, and search for quick fixes in order to avoid putting the extra effort into getting results!
Your physical activity plan for fat loss should focus primarily on resistance training with weights. Whereas you will burn fat as a fuel source during cardiovascular, resistance training will not only metabolize body fat during your workout, but it will stimulate your body to continue eating up your fat stores after exercise as well. This is sometimes referred to as the double-reducing effect, or “after-burn”. This effect is caused by raising your basal metabolic rate: essentially, weight training boosts your metabolism!
Not only will strength training get you “Jacked”, but the more lean tissue you have on your body, and the more active your muscle tissue becomes, the higher your metabolism is. This is why I say it’s a mistake to focus on losing weight, rather than reducing body fat. Muscle weighs much more than fat, but because it is also much denser it takes up less space on your body. So think about “reshaping” your body, rather than shrinking it. This will leave you cut AND jacked, rather than just skinny and soft.
Circuit training involves a single set of each exercise one after another, with minimal rest between sets. An effective way to increase your metabolism in a circuit training workout is to perform a series of exercises alternating between lower body, upper body, and core movements. This can be accomplished using minimal equipment, or by performing bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups, dips, and abdominal exercise variations.
Interval training involves alternating periods of low intensity cardiovascular activity with higher intensity sprint intervals. This not only burns more calories in a shorter amount of time, but it will help to stimulate and preserve your hard-earned lean muscle tissue. An example of an interval training workout could be alternating periods of jogging for 4 minutes and running hard for 1 minute, repeating these intervals for a 20 minute workout.
Exercise alone won't make you leaner. You can still gain fat due to poor eating habits. Here are some important nutritional habits you can adopt to help you lose body fat while maintaining your lean muscle tissue:
This may sound contrary to your objective, but by eating more frequently your metabolism is increased and your portion sizes will be smaller. Controlling portion size is absolutely essential to reducing your body fat. View it as throwing wood chips on the fire (your metabolism) all day long to keep the flames high, rather than smothering it with a log once a day. Try to eat 5 to 6 smaller healthy meals or snacks throughout the day. Eating every 3 hours will help regulate your blood sugar levels and keep your metabolism roaring.
Fat is a misunderstood nutrient. Many people still believe that all fats are “bad”, and think that eating fat makes you fat. However, not all fats are created equal and consuming the right type of fat is not only essential for good health, but it will aid in the metabolism of even more body fat. The good fats are called essential fatty acids (EFA’s) and include the Omega 3, 6, and 9 oils. Foods containing these healthy fats include fish, nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil, among others. Flaxseed oil and fish oil are common sources and are popular in supplement form as well.
Water is the most important nutrient, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. You need it to flush the waste products your body makes when it breaks down fat for energy, or when it processes protein. To stay well hydrated, let water and green tea be your main beverages. Fruit juices, sodas and other beverages contain calories and often have added sugar. Therefore, avoid juice, pop, and sports drinks and focus on drinking plain water and green tea instead. A good guideline for water intake is to drink one liter for every fifty pounds of your bodyweight per day.
Sugar is the enemy if your goal is to lose fat! Sugar contains empty calories (minimal nutrient value), which provide a quick release of energy without actually feeding your body, and then a rapid energy slump soon afterwards. Sugar also interferes with fat loss, because your body will prefer to metabolize the sugar before getting into using fat stores. By including foods high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats you can control this rapid fluctuation in blood sugar. Foods rich in fiber help control blood glucose and insulin levels. Reduce consumption of most processed, low-fiber breads, cereals, breakfast bars, potatoes, and pasta.
Following these basic suggestions will help you lose body fat, increase your metabolism, and improve your health! ....Stay CutAndJacked!!
Written by CutAndJacked Specialist contributing author Josh Hewett
Edited by CutAndJacked.com Owner "Rolsey"
In my years of training, I've learned that there are factors that are absolutely critical when it comes to fat loss. And I've also learned there are many factors that would SEEM to be critical but actually AREN'T!
The critical factors for fat loss are actually pretty simple - you probably know them already. It's the things that WON'T break your fat loss routine that can throw people off!
In this article, I’m going to give a quick rundown on BOTH.
Many of these things I talked about are pretty straightforward, especially what’ll make or break your fat loss. I hope it opened up your eyes about what WON’T make or break you, though! As long as you’re doing the big things right, the small things like training on an empty stomach first thing in the morning won’t be a big deal.
Written by Nick Nilsson