Here is a step-by-step guide to getting the most weight-loss benefit from your exercise programme.
1. When to train
The best time to exercise for fat loss is first thing in the morning, before you’ve had a meal. This is because your body then has direct access to stored energy (fat cells) to burn off, rather than having to get through the food in your system first.
Does this mean that if you can’t train in the morning you’ll get no results? No! Train whenever you can fit it in. But if you can train early, do so. Increase your results further by having some strong black coffee beforehand to boost your metabolism.
2. What kind of exercise
If fat loss is your goal you have two things to consider when thinking about exercise.
First, you want to lose fat effectively, and second, you want to look great once the fat is gone (you don’t want to look like a bag of bones, right?).
The best way to achieve both of these goals (muscle-building and fat loss) simultaneously is to combine some strength training with some short-burst cardio.
A good example of this would be to do a 30-second ‘sprint’ (hard run), then 12 push-ups, then another run, then 20 sit-ups, then another run, then 15 squats. Repeat this cycle four or five times with a three-minute break between repeats.
3. What to eat after training
Here’s where so many people go wrong. They come out of the gym and eat a gigantic meal. Why? Because they worked out, of course! And training uses calories …
But the whole point is you want to use calories and not replace them. The perfect meal after a gym session is the same meal you would have planned on your diet had you not trained. You don’t need to add calories if you’re trying to lose weight.
4. What to avoid
If you’re training for weight loss and ‘toning’, you don’t need supplements of any description unless you’re short on time and need to drink a protein shake to get a decent meal after gym.
You also don’t need extra calories in your diet or extra sleep (if you’re already sleeping six to eight hours), and you don’t need any crazy training programme. Exercise pays off if you do it consistently for a long period of time (think years, not weeks or months).
Anything that promises fast, dramatic results is probably expensive, and almost certainly fake.
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