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The Rules of Fat Loss Hierarchy

January 21, 2013 | Jules Erickson

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The good news: if you do a million crunches, you will develop a six-pack. The bad news: if you're currently overweight, your six-pack will remain hidden under a layer of belly fat. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as spot reduction; so if you target a particular area without making other changes, you won't achieve your desired results. There's a hierarchy to fat loss. Lucky for you, I have the solution.

Fat Loss Hierarchy Rules

If you want to lose belly fat fast and lose fat overall, you need to focus on two things—proper nutrition and calorie-burning activity. You will not only lose fat more efficiently, your athletic performance will benefit as well.

Proper Nutrition

Eat clean and eat often. (See Clean Eating Rules.) Eighty percent of what we look like depends on what we eat. Exercise must be part of it. You can't do it with diet alone. But you absolutely cannot out-train a bad diet. (Read Are There Foods to Help You Lose Belly Fat?)

Calorie-Burning Activity

Perform activities that burn calories, promote lean muscle mass and elevate metabolism, such as metabolic strength workouts, strength training, and high intensity interval training (HIIT). The more lean mass you have, the faster your metabolism runs and the more calories you burn. Strength training also builds lean muscle; but your best bet is metabolic strength training, because it also revs up your heart rate, elevating your metabolism and creating an "after burn" effect, so you burn calories up to 48 hours after your workout.

HIIT training produces the same results: you will maintain lean mass, elevate your metabolism, burn calories and achieve the "after burn" effect. A good example of this type of training is a tempo run. Run at a maximum effort pace (sprint) for a few minutes, then run at a slower pace for a few minutes, and repeat six or seven times.

Sample Total Body Metabolic Workout

Pick weights that are challenging without degrading your form. If you perform these exercises correctly, you'll be dead tired by the end. Set 20 minutes on the timer and get through as many rounds as possible of the following:

Topics: BURN FAT
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