You’ve probably heard it all: to lose weight, you have to do high-intensity cardio; you have to eat less; you have to eat less fattening goods; you have to eat less carbs; you have to work hard in the gym until you break a sweat; you have to this-and-that blah blah blah.
Although most of these things you hear about fat-loss are true, there’s actually only some that you have to live by in order to start seeing significant changes in your body. Here are 5 simple and effective fat-burning rules that I live by that’s helped me stay under 10% bodyfat. Follow these rules and you’ll start to see changes in just a few days.
1. Eat “Real Food” (Whole Foods)
Instead of eating foods that come in boxes and wrappers, focus on eating whole foods that either GROW out of the ground, WALK on the ground, or FLY in the air.
Humans weren’t made to eat anything that’s packaged. As much as possible try to get rid of foods like cereal, chips, candy bars, and boxed macaroni and cheese from your kitchen. If you only limit yourself to eating “real food” (ground meat, chicken, vegetables, etc) I guarantee you that you’re rate of fat loss will be out of this world.
Don’t get me wrong though; this doesn’t mean that you should only eat “clean”. It’s okay to have some “dirty” foods as long as you keep it moderation and as long as you keep an eye on your calorie and macronutrient intake. Got an appetite for fudge brownies at the end of the night? Then go have some!
2. Reduce Your Calories
This is pretty easy for most people. Just find out what your daily calorie needs is, and subtract it by about 500. That’s how much calories you should be eating per day. Your daily calorie needs is basically the amount of calories you should be eating to maintain your body weight. By eating about 500 calories less than that, your body will start to burn fat. But try to stay in the level of a 500-800 calorie deficit. You should only start to eat less if you don’t see any changes.
3. Consume a Lot of Protein
Eating a lot of protein is critical. It helps boost your metabolism and also helps your body burn more fat. How? Your body needs more energy to process protein than it does for carbs. It’s as simple as that. Strive for at least 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. So if someone was 200 pounds, they’d be aiming for at least 200 grams of protein per day.
4. Drink Lots of Water
Your body needs a lot of water in order for it to maintain its daily functions. And for active people like us, increased hydration is a must to ensure optimal liver function for fat loss so it’s critical to take in more water than just the recommended 8 glasses per day. If you can, always keep a bottle of water with you that you can carry around and aim for at least 1 gallon of water a day.
5. Lift Weights!
Losing fat isn’t about doing endless cardio. The goal is to put on some muscle while minimizing fat. You can get the lean physique you want without having to perform any cardio at all just by keeping your diet in check.
But other than doing the 4 other things in this list, lifting weights is a must. It will allow you to retain (and maybe gain) lean body mass while burning calories at the same time. Having a superb diet will get you 70% of the results that you want, but lifting weights will complete the other 30%.