Lose Body Fat With 7 Fat-Burning/Muscle-Building Guidelines

Learn how you can cut weight for your season with seven tips from STACK expert Jim Carpentier.

Lose Fat

In sports and everyday life, losing is negative, but when it comes to excess body fat, which is associated with heart disease, diabetes and cancer, losing is a positive accomplishment! And for both athletes and non-athletes, lean muscle tissue is truly functional—on the field and in daily activities. Below is a game-winning strategy for losing unhealthy body fat.

Burn fat while you sleep

Try to get at least eight or nine hours of deep sleep each night to optimize the release of fat-burning/muscle-building human growth hormone (HGH).

Make water your primary beverage

Water enhances fat-burning metabolism, so be sure you are drinking enough each day. How do you know if you're consuming enough water? Monitor the color of your urine. It should be clear, not yellow. Deep yellow means you're dehydrated.

Have five or six small meals daily, spaced two to three hours apart, comprising protein and carbohydrates to boost metabolism

Eating two or three large meals several hours apart leads to body fat accumulation. Instead, eat more frequent, muscle-building small meals such as fruit and yogurt or whole grain cereal topped with nuts or seeds, or hard-boiled eggs and veggies.

Eliminate beverages and foods that spike body fat

Avoid things like soda, chips, cookies and candy. Instead, consume more foods in their natural state, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, olives, whole grain cereal such as oatmeal and lean meats and fish. These all work to minimize body fat and promote muscle growth in conjunction with weight training.

Eat spicy foods

Hot peppers and beverages like green and black tea enhance fat-burning metabolism.

Do high-intensity weight training combined with interval training 

For optimal fat-burning, hit the weight room three or four days a week—on non-consecutive days to allow for recovery—and perform full-body multi-joint exercises, which engage the most muscles per lift. For high-intensity, fat-burning activity, perform supersets (two exercises for opposing muscle groups—such as Dips and Pull-Ups—with no rest between them), or do regular exercise sets with brief rest periods (30 to 45 seconds). Finish workouts with three to five minutes of interval training—e.g., 10 Squat Thrusts followed by a 30-second sprint, 30 seconds of rest, and 15 seconds of Mountain Climbers interspersed with five more Squat Thrusts. Rest 30 seconds and repeat the sequence.

Try to complete each weight training/interval training workout within 30 to 45 minutes. That means you'll be training at high intensity!

On non-weight training days, do low-intensity physical activity

Light jogging or brisk walks for 30 minutes a day help additional fat-burning metabolism and promote active recovery between weight training/interval training sessions. You don't have to do the 30 minutes all at once. Break it up into two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions.

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