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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

How to Break a Fast When You’re Intermittent Fasting 11 Health Benefits Of Ashwagandha (Backed By Science) 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

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Published on July 23, 2021

7 Best Foam Rollers for Muscle Relaxation

7 Best Foam Rollers for Muscle Relaxation

Foam rollers are one of those pieces of equipment where if you do it right, they can provide you with a deep-tissue massage. They’re commonly cylinder-shaped and they push up against sore muscles while you lay on the floor.

Because foam rollers are such handy tools, there is a wide selection of foam rollers you can choose from. Depending on what kind of exercises you do, a foam roller can aid in relaxing different muscles in your body. Below, I picked out the best foam rollers available on the market depending on the types of exercises and needs that you have.

How I Picked the Best Foam Rollers

Before jumping into the list, here are the criteria that I used when putting together this list of best foam rollers.

  • Weight – Foam rollers, as their name suggests, are designed to be light enough for you to roll around without exerting effort.
  • Compact – Because you’re laying on the ground, you want to have plenty of space. As such, a roller should allow you to lay down and easily perform the exercises you need without too much issue.
  • High-density – The material should also be dense enough so that you won’t accidentally crush the roller under your own weight. The rollers on this list are very durable.

1. Best Overall: LuxFit Premium High-Density Foam Roller

    From dealing with sports injuries to relieving tension points in your body post-workout, this premium high-density foam roller is the best. This foam roller is entirely made from molded polypropylene foam, which means that it has a high density and won’t be losing its shape for a very long time, even if you use it daily.

    Beyond that, it can also repel liquid so it won’t get soggy or wet if you’re particularly sweaty or you’re using the roller near water.

    It comes in three different sizes and can be used to assist your core, cover spinal stabilization, balance, re-educating your muscles, and boost stamina.

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    Pick up LuxFit’s foam roller here.

    2. Best Grid: TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

      If you’re new to foam rollers, this one might be the best choice for you. The reason for that is that each purchase of these TriggerPoint GRID foam rollers comes with a free online instructional video. This video shows you the best practices and how to use a foam roller properly.

      As for the roller itself, the big benefit here is the overall design. It has a rigid hollow core, and the materials used to make this roller are rigid so it won’t be breaking down easily.

      Another aspect to it is its multi-dimensional surface, making it a go-to roller for masseuses to athletes. These rollers can also assist in oxygen flow and heal tissues.

      Pick up TriggerPoint’s foam roller here.

      3. Best for Physical Therapy: Rolling With It Therapeutic Grade Premium EVA Foam Roller

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        Even though this roller is fantastic for physical therapy, it can also be helpful for general use, particularly before you go to work out. By rolling in advance, you’re allowing your muscles to get warmed up for the exercises that you’re doing.

        This is big because when muscles are more relaxed, you’ll be able to extend the period of your workout. You’ll want to care about this if you normally do high-impact routines such as Crossfit, bodybuilding, or general weight training.

        Using this regularly is smart and unlike LuxFit’s roller, this one is eco-friendly and resists flaking and chipping.

        Buy Rolling With It Therapeutic’s foam roller here.

        4. Best Half Roller: OPTP PRO-ROLLER Soft Density Foam Roller

          While rollers are nice, they do have a tendency to slip and slide around. If you prefer to stay still and relax your muscles, OPTP’s half-roller will be a good fit. It’s highly durable with its cross-linked, closed-cell foam. Because of that, it has a perfect balance between softness and firmness.

          Beyond that, because it’s a half roller, you have the option between a flat surface or a rounded surface for versatility. If you’re looking for a softer roller, this one is a good option.

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          Buy OPTP’s foam roller here.

          5. Best Stick: Tiger Tail Massage Stick

          While your standard rollers are great for back rolling, they’re only able to cover large areas of muscles. This becomes an issue if you’re looking to relieve tension to smaller muscles or in specific areas.

          This is where massage sticks are able to shine as they pinpoint specific areas in your body. Out of the various massage sticks we’ve checked, the one from Tiger Tail is ideal. It has three size options to pick from (11-inch, 18-inch, and 22-inch) letting you have good flexibility in what you’re looking for.

          The Tiger Tail is made from a high-quality, non-absorbent, and non-deteriorating closed-cell foam. This ensures that it won’t hurt your skin when using it, making cleaning easier, too. It’s also ergonomically designed so that your hands won’t tire out when using it.

          Buy Tiger Tail’s massage stick here.

          6. Best for Cyclists: Kieba Massage Lacrosse Balls for Myofascial Release

            While it’s no foam roller, lacrosse balls are excellent ways to relieve tension in areas where foam rollers are awkward to reach, such as shoulders, glutes, and neck. All in all, they’re a great addition to your muscle relaxation routine.

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            Every purchase of these lacrosse balls provides you with two balls to use. Through these durable balls, you’ll be able to reach smaller muscle groups easier than you could with any typical foam roller.

            Purchase Kieba’s massage lacrosse balls here.

            7. Best for Shoulders: RumbleRoller Beastie Bar and Stands

              Lastly, if you’re looking for a great way to relax your shoulders, this product from RumbleRoller is ideal. The thing with foam rollers is that reaching your shoulders with these rollers can be awkward. Paired up with shoulders tend to carry a lot of stress, we’re more likely to experience muscle pain in that area.

              Instead of pulling out your roller, this option could be significantly better. This wand features two “Beasties,” which are spiky foam massage balls. Similar to Lacrosse balls, these are able to target small pressure points on your body—in this case, your shoulders and neck.

              It comes with stands that are detachable so you can use just the ball to relieve various points over your body too if need be. Each of the balls is durable and firm so you shouldn’t have issues in relieving muscle pain.

              Buy RumbleRoller’s beastie bar here.

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              Final Thoughts

              You don’t need to be constantly seeing a masseuse whenever you experience muscle pain. In many cases, it’s simply that you put your body through a bit too much stress. Whether it’s from your posture or from working out, foam rollers and other physical therapy tools can help you in dealing with those aches and pains. Just try out a few products from this list of the best foam rollers out there, and choose one that best fits your needs.

              Featured photo credit: Ambitious Creative Co. – Rick Barrett via unsplash.com

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