Lose Body Fat Fast – Working Your Way Around Plateaus!
If you have been struggling with your weight loss for a while – no matter what diet or exercise plan you follow you just can’t seem to move the scale into your favor this can be very frustrating. I’ve been there.
You may even think that you are simply unlucky and that your genetics don’t allow you to burn your body fat.
Fortunately nothing is less true, you do not need to win the genetic lottery in order to effectively burn your body fat.
In this article i will share with you the 5 best tips on how to lose body fat fast, from mindset to practical tips – i will help you to get back on track!
Supercharge your weight loss success with these tried and true strategies to work around the plateaus you have run into.
These tips are easy to follow, and free of costs. You can start implementing these into your lifestyle today!
1. The Ketogenic Diet
Arguably the best tip on this list to give your weight loss results a dramatic boost.
The ketogenic diet means that you cut out all grains, sugar & starch out of your diet, and replace those carbohydrates with fats. Both saturated, and unsaturated.(Always avoid trans fats though)
How does this work? Doesn’t eating fat make me fat? The answer is no.
Carbohydrates makes you fat.
Whenever you eat carbs(sugar, starch, grains) your bloodsugar levels rise. In order to bring this down to baseline level, the hormone called ‘insulin‘ is secreted by the pancreatic isles.
The thing is – whenever insulin is present in your system it opens your cells and allows glucose(the molecular version of carbohydrates, after being broken down by your digestive system) to sit in your cells.
Your body functions in a way that it will always prioritize the burning of glucose over your body fat when it is given the choice to burn either one for energy. This is because glucose is easier and quicker to access for your body as a source of fuel, hence why storing fat is sort of a survival mechanism for less prosperous times.
While that may have been ideal when we were still hunters and gatherers, it is not so much in modern times where obesity and insulin resistance are a global problem that keeps increasing every year.
When we avoid the consumption of carbohydrates we work around this metabolic hiccup by giving our body nothing other than dietary fat to burn, except for a moderate amount of protein.
By constantly feeding your body with healthy fats it will learn how to effectively burn those as fuel to keep your body running.
If your body has gotten used to burning fat for fuel, and we then introduce a caloric deficit of say 500 calories – guess what happens…
It will burn what it has now learned to burn effectively through taking in solely dietary fat and protein – body fat.
2. Write Down Short Term Goals
This may seem like a tip a shrink would typically give you, but this one really works.
The reasoning behind this is quite simple if you think about it. If you have no goal to work towards your motivation levels will inevitably perish sooner rather than later because you are not really progressing towards anything.
Start by writing down goals for every other 2 weeks or so, and make sure to keep them within realistic boundaries of course.
These goals could be numeral – like for instance that you want to weigh a certain amount within the goal period of time, but it could also be something completely different.
Maybe you have a pair of jeans laying around that feel just a little tight around your waist at this point, but that might not be the case in 2 weeks!
You can also set long term goals, but in my own experience they are not as efficient. The human mind simply works in a way that it is at it’s motivation peak when events are on the verge of happening. Two weeks, up to a month is definitely the sweet spot!
One study showed that you are 20- to 40% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. This is partly caused by the way your brain stores information.
By writing down your goals and keeping the piece of paper with you, or storing it at a visible location that you often visit, you are constantly reminded of your goal and the positive thoughts you had when writing it down. This will keep you from giving up and keep your motivation sky-high.
3. Exercise On A Regular Basis
Another important activity that helps you to achieve your fat loss goals is exercise.
I’m mainly talking about lifting weights here since it will not only burn more calories than cardiovascular exercise like walking, running & cycling – but also because challenging your muscle with anaerobic exercise(lifting weights) will cause your body to preserve, and if adequate calories and protein are consumed, build muscle mass.
The more muscle mass you have on your frame the more calories you will burn whilst sitting, exercising, sleeping and doing any and all activity for that matter., which will also lead to a greater amount of fat burning during the day(and night)
The reason you conserve muscle mass with anaerobic activity, and not so much with aerobic activity(cardio) is because when your muscles are challenged with heavy weights(of course heavy is relative to your level of advancement, there is no universal standard for this) your body will recognize the need to conserve its mass to be able to still handle this load in the future. Again as a sort of survival mechanism.
A good rule of thumb for both starter, as well as intermediate lifters is to perform 3 full body workout sessions a week, each lasting no longer than 90 minutes. This is optimal in challenging your muscles, without overtraining them which can result in the opposite of what we want – being the loss of muscle mass.
Of course you can incorporate some form of cardio into your workout regimen, but by no means should it be your main physical activity. I would go so far as to say that it is completely optional.
Whereas lifting heavy weights is required to maintain lean mass, cardio doesn’t have that perk. Cardio mainly serves as a tool to create a larger caloric deficit by burning more calories. The same results can be achieved by eating less.
To give you a good idea of how much calories your burn with cardio, an average male of 170 lbs that goes on a light jogging session of 30 minutes will only burn 200 calories, the exact same results can be achieved with eating 2 fewer table spoons of olive oil.
I’m not saying cardio is completely useless – as it is still functional in supporting hearth & artery health, just be mindful that you will burn less calories with it than you may think. Also, never trust the calorie indicators on steady state devices that you find in the gym, they are inaccurate and will often overestimate the calories you actually burn.
My advice is to incorporate 3 light cardio sessions(walking, cycling, jogging, rowing) for no longer than 30 minutes to support cardiovascular health, artery health & create a slightly bigger caloric deficit whilst doing so. If you feel like you don’t have the time to incorporate this into your routine, or if you simply despise cardio you are fine too.
The exact same results can be achieved with only lifting weights and a calorie deficit(albeit a slighty higher deficit in the absence of aerobic exercise)
4. Implement Diet Breaks
After dieting for extended periods of time your body will adjust its metabolic processes to this constant state of a caloric deficit.
Contrary to what you want – which is either burning fat, or building muscle, your body simply wants to be. It strives to maintain its current weight and remain in what is called a state of ‘homeostasis‘ – simply maintaining.
If you induce a caloric deficit(burning more calories than you consume) for an extended period of time, your metabolism(the rate at which your body processes calories) will slow down as a survival mechanism.
This technically means that you need to eat even less to remain effective at shedding the excess pounds. However, at some point your caloric intake becomes so low that it is not really healthy anymore. You may even create vitamin or mineral deficiencies which may further inhibit your fat loss goals.
Luckily there is a way to trick your body, and it is even a pleasant one!
By implementing what is known as a ‘diet break‘ we reset our metabolism to remove our system from what it sees as starvation mode
A diet break is a scheduled period of time in which we allow our metabolism to return to baseline levels by eating at caloric maintenance levels, and while eating a temporary increased amount of calories we will reset some of our hormonal production that has been downscaled to a lower priority whilst we were in a caloric deficit.
At least a week is required to allow the diet break to have some effect, two weeks has been found by many to be the sweet spot. Depending on the intensity of the caloric deficit you maintain, a diet break is advisable to schedule every 6 to 8 weeks for optimal effect.
These are primarily our hunger hormones known as leptin & grehlin, but also testosterone in men, estrogen in women, as well as our thyroid hormones.
Do note that this does not mean you can go crazy on unhealthy food, or binge away. You can eat at caloric maintenance level, which means that you eat exactly the same amount of calories that you burn, and preferably nourish your body with the healthy nutrient dense whole foods that it needs in order to face the upcoming caloric deficit.
If you are unsure what your caloric maintenance level is, you can check out my article ‘How To Figure Out Your Macros On Keto‘ – in which i provide several ways to calculate your daily intake.
After finishing your diet break many people have found that they are less hungry for a period of weeks after the diet break. Additionally, studies have shown that you may lose up to 40% more fat when you are ‘dieting intermittently‘ in comparison to continuously dieting.
Where the control group lost 11 kilograms of fat over the course of 16 weeks, the ‘intermittent dieting’ group(the group that implemented diet breaks) lost 15,5 kilograms of weight over the exact same period of 16 weeks.
These results of course, speak for themselves.
Last but not least, a diet break provides temporary psychological relief in the way that you can finally take in a slightly higher amount of calories a day – which may also brighten your mood, spark your metabolism & boost your workout performance.
While I will be up front and say that supplementation will always be exactly what the word says it is – an addition to mainly your exercise and diet which will be the standard for weight loss and building muscle mass.
However, supplementing with the right products may be beneficial in boosting your results. They are definitely a good help, but keep in mind that they will never be a deal breaker in how successful you are in achieving your goals.
Recommended supplements that actually work, and are not subject to marketing hypes are: EGCG extract(Also known as Green tea extract), Omega 3, Whey protein shakes, Magnesium, a small number of dedicated fat burners & Creatine.
Aside from the formerly mentioned there are some extra supplements that I recommend you use when you are following the keto diet. Since withholding yourself from some carbohydrate sources may be a reason to supplement these in order to prevent deficiencies, especially B vitamins are present in a lot of sources that contain carbohydrates.
Keto supplements that I recommend are: Exogenous ketones, B vitamins, C vitamins, fiber capsules, ketologic keto meal replacement shakes.
Again, these will definitely contribute to your results, but are by no means required.
If you are to buy any of the formerly mentioned supplements, I highly recommend you to check out Samantha’s article on the best tried & true supplements around at the moment.
You Can Do It
If you think about it – fat loss is not that hard to induce. It is a matter of eating less energy in the form of calories than you use, all while keeping insulin levels low by making use of the ketogenic diet which assures that you burn fat for fuel, and not your muscle tissue.
The sparing effect of ketones will allow you to keep most, if not all of your lean mass – even when dieting.
Pair that with a regular exercise regimen to keep your lean mass intact, and burn even more calories while exercising and you are all set.
Of course, after extendend periods of dieting your metabolism will slow down somewhat. However, even this is something we can work around by making use of a diet break. A period of time lasting anywhere from 2 weeks and upwards to a month in which we eat at caloric maintenance level(eat as much as you burn). While you will not directly lose any fat during this phase, it will reset your metabolism and fat burning hormones and processes to prime you for a new phase of burning fat efficiently, as well as giving your mind a psychological break from the low amount of calories.
If you implement these 5 tips i can guarantee that you will see results once again!
That sums it up. Do you have any additional tips you would like to add? What weight loss tips do you have to lose body fat fast?
As always thanks for the read & if you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below