Are you frustrated with your fat loss results even though you have lost some fat around your middle and your spare truck tire is now the size of a bicycle tire?
Notice I said FAT LOSS not weight loss, because its FAT you want to lose, not to attain some magical scale weight, which means nothing (unless you are a contestant on the Biggest Loser).
So if you want to say good-bye to that gut, read on to get that fat burning furnace going again…
Basically what happens when you plateau on a fat loss program is your body is adapting to the workouts and caloric intake.
Your body is smart and is catching on to your fat loss efforts. It’s fatty reserves are disappearing faster than your 401K so it’s panicking and holding on to whats left.
It’s like when people who swim continue to be able to swim more laps and thinking that it is a good thing as they are doing more and improving their conditioning and burning more calories.
But your body is adapting to the exercise and burning less calories each time per lap because you are IMPROVING your conditioning.
Remember, the harder your muscles and heart work to move your body, the higher it drives your metabolic rate and the more calories you will burn even at rest.
More specifically it is referred to as E.P.O.C. otherwise known as “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.”
EPOC represents the process your body goes through in which energy is used to recover from exercise.
When you finish exercising, it takes time and energy for your muscle cells to return to resting levels.
Energy is also needed to replenish depleted glucose, protein and fat stores, and to remove accumulated cell waste.
The more rebuilding that needs to be done, the greater the rate of EPOC, which in turn, means more calories from your body’s fat stores are being burned after your workout.
While the primary factor in determining EPOC is exercise intensity, there is also duration to consider — just not to the same extent.
Just visualize spinning one of those Tops you used to have as a kid, as your metabolism. You want to spin it really hard so it will continue to spin on its own when you let go of it.
Studies show your metabolism remains elevated to such a level up to 48 hours after high intensity exercise like weight training or interval cardio.
When intense weight training exercises using your entire body are combined with intervals in the same workout, the positive effects it will have on reshaping your body is astonishing
So its time to shock your body like Susan Boyle shocked us all and cause a metabolic disturbance in your body so you keep losing fat.
Constantly challenging yourself improves your physical fitness as well as your mental fitness.
We all know if you are bored with your current workout routine, you won’t do it. So don’t let your workouts get stale!
1. Change up your weight training workouts to exercises that you haven’t been doing. Use different rep ranges, different angles and shorter rest periods. A study by Arizona State researchers in 2002 found that men who alternated their rep ranges in each of their three weekly workouts doubled the strength increases of men who didn’t vary their repetitions.
2. Stop slaving away on the treadmill for your cardio and use bodyweight exercises and barbell or dumbbell complexes where you superset without rest from one exercise to another. This will burn a ton of calories in a short amount of time because you are using all your bodies major muscles while increasing your heart rate.
3. As for your diet plan, don’t drop your calories too low, too fast. This is a surefire way to lose lean muscle mass which is your body’s fat burning engine and slow down your metabolism.
Take a closer look at your diet and track your caloric intake just for a few days to make sure you are not taking in some hidden calories that you may not be aware of.
Most guys are shocked when they realize the calories in the portions they are eating compared to what the nutritional labels says.
One simple tip for fast fat loss is to only eat starchy carbs like cereals, breads, potatoes, and rice within the 2 hour period AFTER your workout.
For the rest of your daily meals and snacks, eat only fruits and veggies for energy and fiber rich carbohydrates.
The secret to healthy habits that will last a lifetime is to strive for PROGRESS not PERFECTION and stick to your plan 90% of the time so you can enjoy the process as well as the results.
Leave the other 10% to pro bodybuilders and Hollywood celebrities.
A good friend of mine once said that “fat loss is easy once you realize how hard it is.”
So remember you can’t trick basic biology. If you are burning up more calories than you are taking in, you WILL lose fat.
With a few little diet tweaks and adding some variety and intensity into your workout plan the only spare tire you will have left is in the trunk of your car.
Image credit: Geo Cristian, SXC
Sean Barker is a busy dad who finds time for family, fitness and fun. He likes pumping iron as well as producing it, as a heavy equipment
operator in the iron ore mines. He is ALSO a nationally certified personal trainer who writes for Fit Parent and Inside Fitness magazines and is the author of The Dad Fitness System at www.DadFitness.com. Sean also has a Dad Fitness Blog with tips, thoughts, and humor on being a fit dad at DadFitnessBlog.com.