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If you’re consistently hitting the weight rack and scheduling cardio kickboxing classes at your local gym, you’re already on your way to losing your gut. But stepping into your workout space isn’t the only way to ensure you’re getting the most out of that sweat sesh. If you’ve been sticking to your exercise regimen and not seeing the waist-trimming results you’d hoped for, don’t sweat it; we’ve got some science-backed ways to improve your fat-burning capacity and make every sweat droplet count.
"Protein is great for fat loss. It helps build and preserve lean muscle tissue and can increase the amount of calories you burn. It’s also a great source of energy that helps you feel fuller for longer, so you’re less tempted to snack. Good sources include chicken breast, tuna, eggs, milk and chickpeas. And if you’re finding it difficult to avoid snacks that are high in carbohydrates, try substituting them for protein shakes or bars. Remember also to opt for the lean sources of protein because some sources can be high in saturated fat."
As with most other training goals the fat loss craze has reached epic proportions to where special diets - the more bizarre sounding the more popular they seem - and insane cardio regimes are the norm. With cardio we today see the devoted masses scheduling in one hour - or more- sessions each day of the week and wondering why they are not losing body fat (with all the muscle often lost through such an enterprise it is really no surprise). Further, there are those with even greater discipline who train as if they are preparing for inclusion in an elite military unit, with hour upon hour of endurance work heaped upon exhaustive weight training sessions and supported by starvation diets.
Nuts, the second food to watch, contain a fair amount of carbohydrate, and it’s very easy to unwittingly scarf down large quantities. Cashew nuts are among the worst carb-wise – you’ll find that they contain around 20% carbohydrate by weight. For someone following a strict keto diet with a 20 grams of carbs per day allowance, this means that consuming 100 grams (which happens in a flash!) will have filled their daily quota. Peanuts tend to be around 10-15% carbohydrate – not putting them in the clear either.
The scale is not necessarily your friend. You may want to lose fat – but the scale measures muscles, bone and internal organs as well. Gaining muscle is a good thing. Thus weight or BMI are imperfect ways to measure your progress. This is especially true if you’re just coming off a long period of semi-starvation (calorie counting), as your body may want to restore lost muscles etc. Starting weight training and gaining muscle can also hide your fat loss.
You don't really want dessert, but your friends are having some, and they're urging you to join them. So you give in and order a piece of tiramisu. Sorry to say it, but you've just committed sociotropy, aka people pleasing, a behavior that can make you gain weight. In a recent study, women and men who regularly experienced negative emotions like guilt, anxiety, and anger, and were impulsive and disorganized, tended to be heavier than those who were more even-keeled. "Women score slightly higher than men on people-pleasing measures," says Julie Exline, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University. That may be because guys are raised to be assertive while women are socialized to value relationships and "basically to be nicer," Exline explains. In other words, we're inclined to go along with what the rest of the group wants to do, which includes digging into the tiramisu after dinner. If you feel pressured to pig out, "tell your friends politely but firmly that you're fine with what you have and that you're not hungry for more right now," Exline advises. Hold your ground and your pals will get the message.
Remember: once your glycogen stores are full, adding further carbohydrates without the sets and reps required to burn them up will only result in a burgeoning waistline. Forget fancy diets. If you are finding it hard to lose unwanted weight, along with adopting a basic higher protein and complex carbohydrate (at least 35 and 45 percent of your daily caloric intake respectively), lower fat (around 20 percent) diet, simply eliminate carbohydrate consumption in the evening.
Consuming too many starchy foods, such as potatoes, rice, pasta, and breads (especially at one sitting), provides your body with more than it needs for energy and glycogen stores; anything left over will be stored as fat. "You don't have to eliminate starchy carbs completely," says IFBB pro Mike Matarazzo. "But you should really cut back on them when trying to shed body fat." Limit total starch servings per day to 3-5, where a serving size is one cup of pasta, rice, or sliced potatoes.
This is especially important if you’re reducing your carb intake, as fat is your body’s alternative energy source. However, the benefits of fats extend far beyond that. Fat adds texture and flavour to your diet apart from supporting critical biological functions like storing vitamins and manufacturing hormones. We advise our clients at to avoid trans fats which are ‘man made’ and associated with a number of health complications. Instead, you should base your diet around getting a balance of the different types of fats:
"Only doing abdominal-focused workouts, like crunches, won’t help you banish the bulge. Belly fat is simply where your body stores energy, so you need to take a whole-body approach to tackle it. HIIT training (high intensity interval training) is a great way to burn fat and get your heart rate up. Squats, burpees and treadmill sprints are all examples to try." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXyOlGTT9QE