Building muscle is the easy part — the hard part is burning those layers of fat that cover your muscles and prevent your hard work from being proudly flaunted. When you think you’ve tried it all already, whether it’s sticking to a steady weight routine, doing your cardio and training like you’re Rocky about to fight against Clubber Lang, or eating super healthy, but you’re still not seeing the results you want, it may be time to add in a few quick fixes to speed up your fat loss.
Before getting into it, it’s important to do something of a gut check to assess the situation. Take a tape measure and wrap it around your waist, halfway between your ribs and hips. Take a look at the number. Is it less than half your height in inches? If not, it should be. It’s very important when it comes to your health that your height-to-waist ratio be at least 2:1; this can increase your life expectancy by lowering your risk of inflammation issues, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Additionally, you’re also 50% less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction. This, of course, should motivate you to incorporate some of the following tips, which will enable you to burn as much fat as possible and kick-start your metabolism even hours after you’ve stopped working out. Here is your Cheat Sheet guide to help you burn more fat throughout the day.
1. Work out to music
In order to work out harder and with more purpose, compile a favorite fitness playlist with music that gets you excited, as it can help you go up to 20% longer and burn more calories, according to a study out of West London’s Brunnel University. Costas Karageorghis, PhD, the study’s author, says that music tends to block fatigue, and produces feelings of excitement and vigor, which may also help you keep up your pace by synchronizing your workout movements. It’s almost like doing it to the (up)beat of your music.
2. Be a grazer
Not only does eating a hearty breakfast jump-start your metabolism, but it also nourishes your muscles. After eating breakfast, your best bet at keeping the fat burning going is to “graze.” Set up an eating schedule where you eat five to eight small meals every few hours throughout the day, a.k.a. grazing. It provides your body with a constant flow of nourishment to feed your muscles and keep your metabolism surging. Grazing also prevents you from overeating at any point in the day, leaving you constantly satiated.
3. Focus on total body movements
Men’s Health suggests choosing big exercises that involve total body movement in order to help raise your heart rate and leave you out of breath. Try using kettlebell swings, goblet squats, burpees, and any other sort of exercise moves that make you move up and down or back and forth very quickly. By incorporating total-body movements into your workout, you’re going to end up burning a lot more calories while challenging yourself at the same time. As the saying goes: No pain, no gain. So, get moving.
4. Try some green tea
Sounds easy enough, right? Because it is. It’s as simple as drinking a cup of green tea a day. In addition to your protein-packed and healthy-carb diet, adding in green tea will push your fat-burning to another level. It’s loaded with antioxidants, and studies have shown that it can increase fat burning to help you lose weight. Ignore the supplements and try going the natural route by brewing yourself a cup.
5. Focus on cardio bursts
Doing cardio bursts is another way to up the ante. While doing your weight training routine, try inserting short, intense bouts of cardio throughout your workout. For example, if you’re doing an hour long routine, place cardio bursts into the routine every 15 minutes to help get your metabolism kicking — not just during your workout, but long afterwards. Muscle & Fitness refers to this as extended-rest interval training. They recommend completing a 90-second sprint on a treadmill after every exercise during your normal 8 to 10 set. This is a great option that will prevent you from having to spend an additional 20 to 30 minutes at the gym after you finish your last rep. It’s important that you utilize your time well when maximizing you fat burning potential.