Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 16, 2020

4 Simple Hacks to Lose Fat Fast (And Sustainably)

4 Simple Hacks to Lose Fat Fast (And Sustainably)

In the following article, I will be covering several topics that ‘cutting fat’ encompasses. For example, I will present exercise as a modality, as I have done in the past, namely due to the fact that it has substantial research and evidence to back it’s clear results.

What you should not look for in this article is a ‘magic pill’ or shortcut that will fast-track you to losing weight and cutting fat. Why? Because if such a pill even did exist, due to the fact that no lifestyle change has been made, there is a high-likelihood that any fat-lost will return quickly.

I’m going to quickly share an embarrassing story with you that’ll hopefully put some things into perspective…

The reason why I consider myself an expert in weight loss is because I’ve been progressing my own body composition for several years now.

Initially, I began the journey in 2012 – being about 40lbs/18kg overweight and looking for ways to cut fat quickly. I tried all sorts of fad weight loss modalities that claimed amazing results but simply didn’t work. Sadly enough, I briefly researched surgical (liposuction) to remove fat fast, but thankfully didn’t entertain that notion for long as I knew it came from unrealistic laziness.

Now when I examine the whole concept of liposuction, it has many flaws, namely that anyone undergoing such a procedure has not made sufficient life changes to actually sustain themselves after the operation. The body also undergoes trauma during the operation. Additionally, the body itself has not “worked” for its new composition, and therefor has a high likelihood of reverting back to the previous state.

The take-away here is that, if you want to lose weight, you will need to do the work. But you’ll enjoy it more and more as you progress – trust me!

After having lost the 40lbs/18kg of extra weight through exercise and how, when, and what I ate, my body fat percentage dropped to 7% – where I then began working my way back up in weight but as muscle.

Over the last 2 years, I have been focusing on developing 20lbs/9kg of lean muscle mass – which I estimate will be achieved by 2022 of course through further exercise and dietary habits.

Advertising

I’m writing the below suggestions after having initially gone through the process of losing weight quite effectively.

These steps to losing weight are quite simple:

1. Have a Proper Attitude

Your attitude is one of the most important aspects of the entire weight loss process, and deserves first placement on this list! It encompasses your mental fortitude to create a plan and strategy, and set things in motion in a way that the result is inevitable.

How do you determine which result is ideal for you? Look within your thoughts and see what it is you feel you cannot accomplish and then challenge that – envision yourself as the epitome of that which you seek. That which you can conceptualize you can achieve!

Do you want to align to that healthier, stronger, happier version of yourself? It’s already there! This is the attitude – let’s go.

2. Exercise with a Strategy

Some people reading the heading of ‘exercise’ may immediately want to scroll past and continue reading to the next recommendations, however, those people would be missing out on the true potential exercise has in store for not just losing weight but fortifying your mental attitude.

The best way exercise can support your weight loss efforts is by utilizing Intermittent Fasting or Time Restricted Eating (which we’ll get into under the heading eating) in conjunction with workouts. The exercise strategy should be in the direction of cardiovascular workouts before and after weight lifting training.

A general example of a 60-minute session could look like this:

  • Warm-up cardio workout 10-15 min
    Exercises: quick pace walk, jog, run, bike, elliptical, stairs etc.
  • HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) where not only do you burn more calories, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body’s repair cycle into hyperdrive. Meaning you burn more fat and calories within 24 hours after a HIIT workout compared to a steady-pace run.
    Exercises: sprints, speed bike, sped elliptical, running stairs/hill sprints, plyometrics, burpees etc.
  • Weight lifting training 30-45 min
    Exercises: squats, deadlifts, bent over rows, dumbbell press, bench press, leg press, cable work etc.
  • Cool-down cardio workout 10-15 min
    Exercises: slow pace walk, light jog, casual bike, elliptical etc.

Exercising this way will focus the bulk of your efforts towards weight loss and cutting fat – and if you’ve been fasting during exercise, you’ll reap awesome fat loss benefits!

Advertising

The exact exercises you should focus on, in my opinion, are getting your big movers (muscles) firing because those will support maximal fat burning.

Examples of training that hit the larger muscle groups are mentioned above (squats, deadlifts, leg press etc.) and generally fall under moderate-to-heavy (40-80%+ of one’s maximum) weight lifting.

I cover various training programs and modalities on my YouTube channel — Adam Evans, and invite you to subscribe or have a watch. Otherwise, feel free to browse my other Lifehack articles!

3. Eat the Right Food at the Right Time

When you exercise (run, bike, lift weights, swim etc.), while in a ‘fasted state,’ your body will seek-out stored fat deposits to use for energy, rather than utilizing any sort of food or drink you have consumed. The post-absorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal, which is when you begin to enter the fasted state. It typically takes 12 hours after your last meal to fully enter the fasted state, however I suggest 14 hours after exercising and during your fasting time (while in a fasted state).

In most cases, the body fat which will burn off quicker will be around the belly, mid-section, as much of people’s stored fat tends to be in that region. When applying fasting and exercising, your body goes deep into belly fat deposits — areas that normally may be inaccessible while you are consuming food with or without exercise.

The point of fasting is to open the doorway to burning fat that has been hanging around for years and you have struggled to get rid of it — also known as ‘stubborn fat’.

When it comes to your actual meal time (‘eating window’ in fasting terminology), I highly suggest consuming foods that are easily digestible for you and hit all of your macro-nutrient (‘macros’), as well as some of your micro-nutrient (‘micros’), targets.

What I mean by this is that you will need to consume adequate protein, carbohydrates, and fats in order to support proper muscle-growth and development as well as weight loss.

Beyond hitting your macros, it’s important to get your micros as well – much of which would be covered with a daily multivitamin and other supplementation which I have mentioned in earlier articles such as the best weight loss supplements.

Advertising

Keeping your daily caloric intake below maintenance is also critical to losing weight, and keep in mind when you exercise, you are burning more calories so you will need to eat more to ensure you aren’t flat out starving yourself – that’s not what this is about! Your goal should be to maintain approximately a 10% caloric deficit; if your daily maintenance with no exercise is 2,000 calories, you would consume approximately 1,800 calories within an eating window (after fasting).

If you are exercising, then let’s say you have brought the daily maintenance from 2,000 calories to 3,000 calories because you have burned 1,000 calories while exercising, well simply apply 10% of 3,000 calories to arrive at a deficit of -300 which would position your target at 2,700 calories for the day. Eating this way ensures your body is supporting its recovery and fuelling itself for the next day of fasting and exercise.

When I’m being totally efficient with fasting and my eating window, I consume about 3 meals within a 6 to 8 hour span. There’s a way of doing this to avoid bloating, feeling sluggish, or simply not feeling like eating further and I have experimented with different approaches.

If I consume light macro and micro-nutrient dense foods, it yields the best results in the short and long term. Foods such as Wild Alaskin Salmon with a side salad, or brown rice, or in some cases potatoes work really well to satisfy me but not leave me feeling totally full. This is an important aspect of eating in general — to be satisfied but not full, this means your body has received adequate sustenance without stressing itself in the digestive process.

Many people struggle with Intermittent Fasting, or Time restricted eating, because they stuff their face as soon as the eating window begins, and they consume heavy foods like bread or even fast food. The take-away here is to keep it clean and simple, you can season a chicken breast so many ways to make it different each time.

The same goes for all the various types of fish from Salmon (which I’ve mentioned) to Cod, Tilapia, Haddock, Halibut, Bass, and more! You can also experiment with different types of Steak, and I suggest sticking to the leaner cuts if you are looking to lose weight – such as Top Sirlion, or Striplion, rather than the fattier Rib-Eye or Prime-Rib (as delicious as they may be).

4. Have Quality Deep Sleep

The concept of sleeping well to lose weight seems like a dream (pun intended). There is actually something to this concept however, and it has to do with your metabolism.

Research from a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found when people were starved of sleep, late-night snacking increased, and they were more likely to choose high-carb snacks. In another study done at the University of Chicago, sleep-deprived participants chose snacks with twice as much fat as those who slept at least 8 hours.

A second study found that sleeping too little prompts people to eat bigger portions of all foods, increasing weight gain. And in a review of 18 studies, researchers found that a lack of sleep led to increased cravings for energy-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.

Advertising

Researchers found that when dieters cut back on sleep over a 14-day period, the amount of weight they lost from fat dropped by 55%, even though their calories stayed equal.[1]

Leaving the brain benefits aside for reasons why you need quality deep sleep, the benefits towards weight loss and improved decision making are simply undeniable. Turn off the devices before bed, don’t go to sleep with your TV on, or on a full stomach, and ensure you are properly going through the sleep stages.

Key take-away, you must prioritize sleep!

Bottom Line

If you clicked this article looking for a magic method of weight loss, I’m (not)sorry to disappoint! I like to keep things real, honest, and losing weight is more than just shedding fat – it’s a total lifestyle change mentally and physically.

Don’t just envision yourself physically stronger, more attractive, and all that stuff.. consider your day-to-day quality of life including how you think and operate will be significantly improved. In fact, I’ll bet as you progress along the journey, the physical aesthetic will begin to lose its appeal as motivation, and you will be driven strictly from passion to improve your life and hopefully help others do the same.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out!

More Tips for Losing Fat

Featured photo credit: Maddi Bazzocco via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] WebMD: Sleep More, Weigh Less

More by this author

Adam Evans

BioHacker, competitive athlete, researcher in many fields including health and fitness, science, philosophy, metaphysics, religion.

Intermittent Fasting Diet for Beginners (The Complete Guide) 21 Healthy Dinner Recipes to Lose Weight and Gain Muscle Strength 10 Natural Brain Boosters to Enhance Memory, Energy, and Focus 12 Healthy Brain Foods To Improve Your Concentration What Is Brain Fog: Why It Happens And How To Get Over It

Trending in Exercise & Training

1 15 Static Stretches to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine 2 10 Ways to Quickly Boost Your Workout Motivation 3 15 Important Benefits of Stretching Before, After, and During a Workout 4 The Ultimate Workout Routine for Men (Tailored for Different Fitness Level) 5 5-Day Workout Routine for Women to Get Strong and Toned

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on April 19, 2021

15 Static Stretches to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

15 Static Stretches to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

Stretching is one of those aspects of fitness that many people conveniently forget about. Perhaps you’re one of those who consider stretching nothing but a mere chore meant for ballerinas and gymnasts. While they are great for both, static stretches can offer a boost to any workout routine for people of all fitness levels.

Irrespective of your reasons for working out, be it for sports or personal fitness, one thing is certain: stretching can help you. Static stretches come with myriads of benefits, such as improvement in flexibility and reduction in muscle tightness, which ultimately allow you to go through your workout routines with greater efficiency.

For the purpose of this article, we’ll zero in on several great static stretches and take a look at the benefits and when they should be done.

Benefits of Static Stretches

Static stretches come with tons of benefits that can help you make the most of your workout routine. Some of them include:

Improved Flexibility

If you want to perform better, flexibility is of tremendous importance, irrespective of the specific workouts you do. Luckily enough, static stretches are all you need to get all the flexibility you desire.

Flexibility, also known as the range of motion (ROM) around a joint, has been shown by several studies to be improved by static stretching.[1]

Although the specific mechanism through which this occurs is still unclear, static stretches have been shown to greatly increase muscle and joint flexibility[2] and tissue length[3], which work in tandem to make your workout more effective.

Prevent Injuries

If you’re looking to push yourself to your training limits without coming down with injuries, then stretching will do you a great service. Research has shown time and again that performing the right stretches pre- and post-workout greatly helps with injury prevention.[4]

Think of it this way:

When you stretch, you literally push your joints and muscle fibers to their limit. This increases the stretch tolerance in these muscles and joints over time, and the increased tolerance allows you to perform more rigorous exercises without negatively impacting your body or risking an injury.

Increased Blood Flow to the Joints

Another benefit of stretching is increased blood flow – and by extension, nutrient supply – to the joints and muscles of the target areas. This, in turn, improves the performance of these muscles and joints due to the availability of more nutrients, improved oxygenation, and removal of metabolites.

For static stretching, though, the mechanism of action isn’t as straightforward. When stretching statically, blood flow (capillary oxygenation) temporarily reduces due to vascular compression.

Advertising

However, immediately after releasing the stretch, the blood flow to these areas nearly doubles the pre-stretching levels.[5]

Improvement in Recovery

If you’ve been working out for some time, then you’ve probably discovered that a rigorous workout session can leave you battling sore muscles for days.

Recovery essentially means getting rid of this soreness and returning your muscle fibers back to their tip-top condition.

Research has shown that practicing static stretches after your workout session helps to reduce muscle soreness. And while some may argue that this effect is minimal, the fact still remains that stretching does help shorten your recovery time.

Stretching allows tissues to be better hydrated after the induced tension is released, and this encourages reduced inflammation and faster repair of such tissues.

Other reasons why you really should incorporate stretching into your workout include:

  • Improved relaxation
  • Increased movement efficiency
  • Reduction in the risk of lower back pain
  • Reduction in muscle tension
  • Improvement in neuromuscular coordination
  • Improvement in balance and postural awareness
  • Relief from cramping

15 Static Stretches to Enhance Your Workouts

Here are some amazing exercises that will keep your body in tip-top condition and take your workout routine to the next level.

1. Neck Stretch

    While sitting tall or standing, place your right arm gently on the right side of your head, and place the other arm out to your side. Slowly pull your head towards your right shoulder until you can feel the stretch on the left side of your neck. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing, and repeat for the opposite side.

    Many people tend to hold stress and tension in their neck and shoulders. If you find this is the case, this is one of the best static stretches to use for a muscle release in this area.

    2. Chest Stretch

      Stand upright, with your fingers interlocked behind your back, near your buttocks. While keeping your shoulder blades together and your back straight, push your arms up behind you until you feel the stretch in your chest. Hold for about 20-30 seconds before releasing.

      Advertising

      3. Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch

      Shoulder Cross-Arm Stretch « CASS FITNESS

        Stand upright or sit up tall on a chair or mat, and extend one arm out in front to shoulder height. Grab the extended arm with your other arm, and pull it towards your chest while keeping the extended arm straight. Continue the pull until you feel the stretch in your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat for the other arm.

        4. Triceps Static Stretch

          Lift your arms overhead, with both arms slightly behind your head and bent at the elbow. Use your right hand to pull your left elbow until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Hold for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the other arm.

          Many know this stretch from gym class, but it really is one of the best static stretches for the arms.

          5. Biceps Stretch

          Arm Exercises | Seated Bent-Knee Biceps Stretch

            Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. With your fingers pointing away from your body, place your two palms flat on the floor behind you. While your hands are steadily in place, slowly slide your butt downward toward your feet until you can feel the stretch in your biceps, shoulders, and chest. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing.

            6. Wrist Stretch

            11 Best Tennis Elbow Exercises For Pain Free Mobility [PDF]

              While standing up straight or sitting tall, extend your right arm forward to shoulder height with your fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Grab your right fingers with your left hand, and pull your right hand to bend the wrist until you can feel the stretch. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the opposite arm.

              7. Side Stretch

                Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Take your right arm and reach over your head towards your left side while bending your side. Keep bending your side slowly until you can feel a stretch on your right side. Maintain this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the opposite side.

                The muscles down your side body are notoriously difficult to stretch out. This is one of the best static stretches to try on a consistent basis to get them loosened up.

                Advertising

                8. Abdominal Static Stretch

                  Lie down on your stomach with your face towards the ground and your palms facing the floor as though you’re about to do a push up. While keeping your pelvis firmly on the floor, gently push your upper body up from the ground. This should make your feel some stretch in your abs. Maintain this position for about 30 seconds before releasing.

                  9. Reclined Spinal Twist

                  Supta Matsyendrasana - Supine Spinal Twist - Yogaasan
                    Lie down, with your arms extended to the sides and placed on the floor. While keeping the right leg straight, pull up your left knee towards your chest, tilt it toward your right side, and then drop it slowly over your extended right leg.

                    Keep your shoulder blades flat on the ground, and you should feel the stretch around your back. Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the opposite side.

                    10. Knees to Chest

                    Knee-to-chest exercise from Physical Therapists' Advice to Manage Pain at Home - The Active Times

                      Lie on the ground facing the ceiling, with your knees bent. Hold your shins, and pull your knees toward your chest. This should make you feel some stretch in your lower back. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing. If you’re looking to loosen up your back muscles, this is one of the static stretches you can do daily.

                      11. Hip Flexor Static Stretch

                      How to Do the Standing Lunge Stretch

                        Stand upright in a standard lunge position, and place your two hands on your hips. Step out on your right foot into mini-lunge position, without your knee going beyond your right toe. Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left side.

                        12. Figure 4 Stretch

                        How to Do a Figure 4 Stretch | Openfit

                          Sit tall on the ground with both knees bent and both feet on the floor. Lift your right leg and cross it over your left thigh, while your left knee remains bent. Pull both legs inwards toward your abdomen for a deep stretch of your glutes. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat with the other leg.

                          13. Standing Quad Stretch

                            Stand tall while maintaining a straight posture. With your left hand, grab a pole, wall, or anything durable for balance. With your right hand, grab your right foot and pull up your heels until they touch your buttocks.

                            Advertising

                            Keep your knees close together while doing this, push your hip forward, and you should feel the stretch in your quadriceps. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the other side. This is one of the best static stretches for the quads.

                            14. Hamstring Stretch

                              Sit on the floor with your right leg extended straight in front of you and your left leg bent. Reach forward with your right hand, and touch your right toes. This should cause a stretch in your right hamstring.

                              Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the left leg. If you’re unable to reach your toes, try holding your shin instead, but seek to go further every time you perform the stretch until you can touch your toes.

                              15. Calf Stretch

                                Sit on the ground and extend your right foot straight in front of you. Gently pull your right toes backwards with your right hand. This should cause a noticeable stretch in your calf.

                                Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left leg, if you’re unable to reach your toes, use a rope or towel to pull your toes inward.

                                Bonus: Stretch With a Resistance Band

                                Resistance bands offer a unique benefit from free weights and create tension throughout your movement. Get the free 30 Day Resistance Band Full Workout Challenge, and challenge yourself to stretch with a resistance band.

                                When Should You Do Static Stretches?

                                Static stretching is great when done correctly and at the right time. Over the years, research has shown that static stretching produces best results when done after working out or on rest days,[6] but not as a part of warm up routines before an explosive workout session.

                                This is because static stretches have a cool-down effect on each muscle group and are more effective when done after the muscles are already warm.

                                That doesn’t mean you must never ever perform static stretches before working out, but do it sparingly. Dynamic stretches, which involve more movement, are generally recommended for warming up as it helps the body prepare better for the work ahead.

                                The Bottom Line

                                Carving out the body of your dreams isn’t only about lifting weights and running. You need to keep your body “elastic” if you’re going to make the most of your training, and that’s the whole point of static stretches.

                                Starting today, be sure to incorporate these static stretching exercises into your routine, and in no time, you’ll find yourself recovering faster and performing better than ever before.

                                More Tips on Stretching

                                Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                Read Next