Building bulk but missing the muscle? Torch the flab to show it off. Heavy lifts are great — you can’t build muscle without them — but they won’t melt fat. And no matter how much muscle you build, you’ll never be ripped if your body fat percentage remains high. Change your meals to uncover the steel — baby steps or Superman leaps, whichever you can handle.
Losing fat boils down to calories in/calories out. You absolutely must burn more calories than you eat — it’s the only way in the world to lose weight, no matter what supplement companies tell you. Ramp up your workouts and cool it with the food to see the fastest results.
Stop drinking calories. Drink water, tea (no sugar), coffee (black) and zero-calorie diet drinks. Juice is just sugar water, and sports drinks aren’t necessary unless you’ve just run for over 90 minutes. Alcohol counts, too — drinking a six pack will cover yours up. Save your calories for food. Bonus: The more non-caffeinated fluid you drink, the less fluid you’ll retain — less puff, more buff.
No gas station food. Except for the basket of sad-looking bananas at the register, there’s not much in the gas station that won’t own your attempts to drop weight. Tricky labeling, substandard ingredients and insane calorie counts add up to fatty, and you are what you eat. Instead, think ahead and bring healthier, low-calorie snacks with you if you know you’ll be hungry while you’re out. Fruit, raw vegetables, and low-fat cheese are portable and delicious.
Cardio is key. Get at least 30 minutes of continuous heart-pounding activity most days of the week to increase your overall daily calorie burn. Make it something you enjoy, and you’re more likely to stick with it. If you can manage an hour per day, the fat will melt quicker. Bonus: Do your cardio in the morning before breakfast to draw energy straight from fat reserves.
Don’t be a pig. Don’t pile your plate with as much food as it will hold, because you’ll probably finish it whether you really need it or not. Take about half of what you think you want — you can always go back for seconds. Learn to eyeball portion sizes — a serving of pasta is the size of a softball, and a serving of rice is half that. Your steak should be the size of a deck of cards, and cheese should be the size of four dice.
Like a Boss
Call in the science. Use an online calorie calculator to see how many calories you need, and plan out your carb, fat and protein percentages. Planning your diet ahead of time helps you avoid hunger traps that cause bad decisions, and you’ll stick to your diet.
Ramp it up to rip it up. Interval cardio torches fat like no other workout, and takes about half the time. Alternate your pace between “pretty hard” and “really freakin’ hard” every two minutes or so for about 30 minutes total. The slower periods burn calories from fat, while the faster periods burns more overall calories. Bonus: Intense exercise also reduces appetite, so you’ll eat less on top of burning more. Should we schedule a photo shoot now?