If you are on this page, you may have already begun your journey to shed those pounds. Or you may have decided now is the time to start. Regardless of which category you belong to, chances are you will ask the same common question: “What is best for burning fat?”
Today I will be explaining why the old traditional method is the best.
For many years I have tried to build the kind of lean body you see in fitness magazines. For me, building muscle is easy. But losing fat is? That’s an absolute nightmare! However, 12 years of trial and error have taught me 3 things.
Losing fat requires 3 foundational pillars- a good diet, a resistance training programme, and light cardio. This is what I will explore in this post.
So sit back and..
Old is Gold- Diet and Exercise
There’s no escaping it- the modern weight loss industry is HUGE. It was valued at $192.2 billion in 2019(1) and it doesn’t seem to be stopping. This has resulted in us being constantly bombarded with new fad diets, pills, and supplements. All aimed at blasting away that fat.
“Should losing weight be that hard?!”
The answer is no.
Weight Loss Should Not Be Complicated
The industry simply likes to overcomplicate things. This allows them to milk more money from us. We have all probably been tempted by those cleverly marketed diet pills and supplements. And although some have their place in a weight loss plan, many can actually be a danger to our health(2).
When it comes to losing weight the, best way is the good old-fashioned way. You guessed it- diet and exercise reign supreme!
When we are equipped with the knowledge and self-discipline to implement a weight loss plan, we will achieve superior results in the safest way possible.
Keep reading to find out how we can maximise the fat-burning effects of a good diet and exercise plan to reach our dream figure!
Optimise Your Diet to Burn Fat
It is commonly touted in the fitness community that “abs are built in the kitchen”.
For anyone who sports a six-pack physique, you will know this to be true. Now, not all of us are aiming for a fitness model physique. But the underlying point remains the same. Do not underestimate the power of a healthy diet!
The Power Of A Healthy Diet
As we all know, the online world is full of fad diets. Many are unsustainable for long-term weight loss(3). And like diet pills and supplements, many fad diets are downright dangerous(4). They are simply made to monetise from our struggles.
The Calorie Deficit
Maintaining a caloric deficit requires us to count all the calories we consume in a day. When the total amount of calories we consume is less than the energy we expend, we will burn fat. A caloric deficit diet allows us to eat the meals we like, and lose weight at the same time. When implemented correctly results are guaranteed.
However, calorie counting may be too technical for a beginner. You can try making simple life changes to lose weight. Another approach we can all implement is to “clean up” our current diet.
6 Ways To Clean Up Your Diet
Try the tips below to make your current diet healthier. You may see the pounds shed surprisingly fast!
1. Cook Your Own Meals With Whole Foods
Whole foods are those which have not been processed with additives and remain close to their natural state (opposite of processed foods). They are both nutritious and healthy.
Try: fresh meat, seafood, fruit, veg, dairy, nuts, seeds, and grains all count as whole foods.
Eating home-cooked meals limits our consumption of takeout and ready meals. This will naturally decrease our calorie intake(6) by limiting the sugar, salt, and trans-fats we consume.
Be creative in your cooking. Seasonings such as herbs and spices will add zing to meals. But watch out for bottled sauces and dressings. These are usually rich in calories.
Cook your way to a slimmer waistline!
2. Swap the Frying Pan For the Steamer.
Deep and shallow frying are popular cooking methods which add a lot of calories to our meals. This is due to saturated trans-fats which are calorie-rich and responsible for weight gain(7).
Try: steaming, boiling, grilling, or baking. If you must fry, then use healthier oils such as extra-virgin olive and rapeseed oil.
Using healthy cooking methods will eliminate the unhealthy saturated trans-fats entering the body and into the belly!
3. Eat High-Protein Foods.
Protein is well-known in the world of nutritional science to promote weight loss.
Protein helps us consume fewer calories by controlling the hormones responsible for keeping us satiated (8). It also has a high thermic effect, which increases our metabolism(9). And it maintains our muscle mass which is metabolically active tissue and burns calories even at rest (10).
Try: Lean meats, seafood, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, quinoa, and soy (tofu).
Protein is simply the king of nutrients when it comes to weight loss. Aim for 0.75-1.00 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This will prime the body to burn fat!
4. Consume More Fibre.
Another heavy-hitting nutrient to deploy in the battle is to defeat excess weight.
Fibre is responsible for slowing down the movement of food through our digestive system(11). This helps us feel satiated for longer periods of time and facilitates a caloric deficit.
Try: kale, broccoli, beets, whole grains, sweet potato, nuts, and seeds.
As a bonus, fibre consumption is also linked to longevity!(12)
5. Include Fat-Burning Fruits in Your Diet.
Many fruits are associated with weight loss. They help burn fat through different mechanisms. But generally, they contain natural compounds and/or enzymes which promote healthier digestion.
Try: Kiwi, banana, apple, blueberries, watermelon, lemon, and grapefruit.
Swap that bag of chips for a fat-burning fruit when those snack cravings come!
6. Swap Soft Drinks For Natural Alternatives
Excessive consumption of soda and other high-sugar beverages are major culprits in weight gain(13). They are full of “empty calories”. These are not nutritious and don’t keep you satiated
Try: Green tea, ginger tea, coffee, homemade sugar-free lemonade, and water.
Always check the sugar content on store-bought beverages. Even items such as vitamin water, juices, and iced fruit teas are usually packed with sugar. These are deceptively unhealthy.
Start Making Changes To Your Diet Today!
Give it a go and incorporate these 6 simple steps into your diet! When in doubt- remember- swapped processed ingredients for fresh ingredients. You will be surprised to see pounds shed without having to exercise!
But to REALLY SUPERCHARGE weight loss, you should implement an effective exercise plan.
Let’s tie up those laces!
Resistance Training To Lose Weight
Resistance training (also called strength training) is defined as an exercise which involves our muscles contracting against an opposing force.
A popular form of strength training is weight-lifting. But it’s a broad category which also encompasses a variety of other exercises.
Try: bodyweight exercises, resistance bands, kettlebells, hikes and stair climbs, and even heavy housework!
The Power Of Resistance Training
Resistance training is highly effective at expanding calories and burning fat. This happens in three ways.
1. Energy Expenditure
The first is anaerobic respiration. When the exerts itself during resistance training, the muscles consume large amounts of energy. Nutrients from the blood normally supply this energy (this in turn comes from the foods we consume). But when blood nutrients deplete, the body taps into its energy reserves (AKA body fat).
The second way that resistance training helps torch fat is through a process called muscle afterburn. Even after you have stopped resistance training, showered, and gone to bed, the muscles remain in a state of elevated energy consumption. In fact, some studies show the afterburn effect lasting for up to 72 hours!(15)
You can literally burn fat in your sleep!
3. Muscular Hypertrophy
The final way resistance training expends calories is through muscle hypertrophy (increasing muscle size). Muscle is metabolically active tissue. This means that it constantly consumes energy, even at rest.
Think of a muscle like a car engine- the bigger the engine, the more energy it will consume (even when idling!).(10)
Lifting Weights To Burn Fat Is Industry-Vouched!
One thing to note- contrary to popular belief, lifting weights alone will not give us a “bulky” physique. Although muscle hypertrophy will occur, it takes a combination of seriously heavy lifting and a large caloric surplus for our bodies to grow to a significantly bulky size.
There’s a reason why many personal trainers will teach their clients to lift weights to lose weight. It’s a proven strategy!
If you aren’t yet ready for a gym membership, try other options. Home weights can be conveniently purchased online. Or maybe try resistance bands. There is also great content on youtube for highly effective home workouts.
Great! As we near the end of this post, let’s find out how to SUPERCHARGE our weight loss results even further.
Maximise The Fat-Burning Effects Of Cardio
Many beginners resort to excessive cardio to achieve a slimmer waistline.
Whilst treadmill sessions will help us lose weight, many don’t realise that cardio alone is inefficient at torching fat. This is because cardio is an aerobic exercise. These exercises are usually not strenuous enough to deplete our body’s energy reserves and burn calories from fat (unlike anaerobic exercises). Instead, they will steadily burn calories from nutrients in our blood.
Don’t fall for this common mistake of spending hours doing cardio, seeing minimal results, and giving up disheartedly!
Try: light jogging, brisk walking, hiking, or cycling immediately after doing a resistance training workout.
To maximise the fat-burning potential of cardio, you should combine it with resistance training(17). By doing light cardio immediately after resistance training, you will burn calories directly from body fat and not from blood nutrients.
A cardio session doesn’t have to leave you gasping for air to be effective at burning fat. Light cardio is still highly effective if performed after resistance training.
Check out our favourite cardio exercises to burn fat!
There we have it!
Today, we have explained what is best for burning fat.
Fat loss should not be overcomplicated. In fact, all you need is a healthy diet, a resistance training programme, and light cardio.
If you can apply these three things to your life, you WILL lose fat!
Have you tried combining dieting, resistance training, and cardio?
Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions! You can find my details on the “contact us” page.
You may also be interested in the downloadable Kalibre Blueprint PDF which details exactly how I gained 40lbs of lean muscle (it’s 100% free!). It details the exact exercises and nutrition (with printable worksheets) I used to go from skinny to ripped!
Thanks for reading guys!
(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)