Burn fat, lose weight, and get into better shape with these 5 simple weight loss tips.
If you’re looking to cut some fat to improve your athletic performance or simply look better naked, there are a few minor changes you can make to your diet that will result in drastic changes to your body composition.
Most of the athletes I work with want to lose weight and burn fat as quickly as possible, and the tips below are mindful of as much. But while some are easier than others, all will help you look better, feel better, and optimize your athletic ability.
Cycle Your Carbohydrates
The very first thing to do if looking for immediate results is to cycle your carbs. We discussed this previously in Making a Low Carb Diet Work for Athletes, but the point is your body needs more calories and carbohydrates around your workouts. If you’re pushing hard in the gym and on the field, court, or ice, your muscles need glucose for energy and for recovery. Deprive them of this glucose and your performance will suffer.
But while carbs give you energy and help you recover faster by shuttling protein and amino acids to your muscle tissue, consuming too many carbs on off days (or at points in the day when you don’t need the energy) will force the extra calories to be stored as fat.
So what’s the solution?
Have both high carb and low carb days. Alternate between the two, making sure to place your high carb days on the workout days and the low carb days on the recovery days. Do this and sustain your energy level while still seeing fat loss occur.
Make Sure To Take In Sufficient Minerals
Fat loss diets still require the consumption of sufficient minerals, as tough training sessions will deplete your mineral levels through sweat. Not replenishing these minerals will delay fat loss and lead to sub optimal performance on the field, and in the gym.
The important minerals along with their recommended dosages to be conscientious of include sodium, 3500-5000 mg potassium, 1000 mg of calcium, and 8 mg for males and 18 mg for females of iron. It should be noted that sodium recommendations will vary widely depending on how much exercise is being performed and how much potassium is being consumed, but most athletes will not struggle to get enough of this nutrient included in their diet.
Time Your Calories Wisely
The next important weight loss tip to remember is smart calorie timing, which is really just a way of saying to make sure the bulk of your calories come before and after workout sessions.
Some avoid calories in this window thinking that not eating will help them burn fat faster, but in reality this isn’t the case at all! All it does is decrease your performance, cause your energy level to fall, slow your recovery time, and cause your metabolism to slow down.
For if there’s one time you do actually want to be eating, it’s before and after workouts, as the calories consumed will be used for energy and to build new muscle mass. Knowing that, get the majority of calories you eat each day before and after workouts and cut calories at other times during the day.
Avoid Liquid Calories
You must avoid liquid calories. No juices, soda, Gatorade, or even Vitamin Water. That simple. For while a good pre and post workout shake is a smart move for faster recovery, all other drinks you consume should be calorie free.
Why? Because liquids won’t fill you, the calories end up doing nothing productive, and it makes sticking with a reduced calorie approach next to impossible.
Choose water or zero calorie teas and sports drinks for your beverage selection. Again, it’s that simple.
Be Realistic About Your Rate of Weight Loss
Last but not least, make sure that you’re being realistic about your desired rate of fat loss and weight loss. If attempting to lose one to two pounds per week, realize this is going to require an intense diet and training program.
For athletes who want to sustain performance, go for a half pound of weight loss per week. While it may be slightly slower, it will ensure you don’t end up feeling hungry and tired all the time, and will prevent poor performance on the field.
Five easy to remember fat loss tips. Learn them, use them, and be well on your way to lowering your body fat percentage and maximizing your athletic performance.
To help you burn fat and shed unwanted pounds, 1R would recommend the following supplements: