Summer is just around the corner!!
That’s right, it really is. This means that if you’re looking to get in shape for that beach body then NOW is the time to start shedding that little bit of extra fat to show off a defined lean body. In this article I’ll be telling you about how you can alter your workout routine, a couple of pointers on how you could alter your diet and what supplements will help you shed the fat off your body. To help you meet your summer goals you have to realise that you cannot rely alone on supplements. It’s a combination of eating the right foods, adjusting your workout routines accordingly and by using the RIGHT supplements which are proven to work.
There are supplements out there which will help you burn fat through different mechanisms of actions. There are supplements which work and some which are just a waste of your money.
The first thing with regards to supplements I’d like to address is your source of protein. Have you ever heard of whey isolate? Other companies might refer to it as “diet” whey. With this form of protein, all the excess calories from carbohydrates and fat have been removed. The removal process is usually quite lengthy and expensive which explains why this type of protein is usually a bit more expensive. A protein serving is usually around 90-95% protein. Avoid ones which have sugar within them. My personal favourites are Maximuscle’s Promax Extreme (Reviewed here) and Myprotein whey isolate (Reviewed here).
The first proven fat burning supplement I’d like to discuss is CLA which I looked at in-depth at over here
Taking 3-5g (3-5x1000mg) a day will help you quickly shed that belly fat as shown by the research in the previously mentioned article. Sticking to using CLA for a 6 week cycle will help you notice some great results.
The active ingredient, CLA is the same regardless who is manufacturing, so from my point of view, Myprotein’s CLA offers the best deal. Each capsule has 1000mg offering a large dose, but the tub contains enough to last you 1-3 months. Pretty awesome if you ask me.
Green tea is one of the other proven supplements which work. Over at: http://www.supplementjudge.net/does-green-tea-extract-help-burn-fat/ I looked at the evidence backing its efficiency. You can drink it as a normal herbal tea, have the extract as a drink or have the extract within a tablet. Personally I drink it as a tea. I go through 3 tea bags a day within a 1.5L jug. Granted it makes you go to the bathroom quite regularly which can be frustrating but that’s a side effect I am capable of living with. I haven’t tried the green tea extract supplements since I rely on the teabags, however feel free to browse through Monster supplements green tea section. When choosing a supplement a couple of things to note are:
- Concentration of green tea per serving.
- Whether caffeine is present or not.
Finally I come onto thermogenics, these are agents which contain a varied selection of herbal extracts which are claimed to “boost your metabolic rate” or “increase your body’s temperature” some of which are genuine facts. They key thing to look out for is how much you’re getting per serving, because if it’s not enough, you wouldn’t notice a change. The amino acid Taurine is one of those supplements which are proven to work. As for the various thermogenic blends around, they vary greatly and it would be implausible to go in depth into all of them, however, out of experience I’d vouch for Maximuscle’s Thermobol which I have used in the past and will be using again for sure.
You can combine CLA and thermogenics within one supplement which usually compromise on serving size meaning you would be better off doubling the servings to get optimal results. I haven’t used any of them, so I’ll leave it for you to explore. Just one note, make sure you check the concentrations per capsule!
For me this is quite straight forward. I am not a fan of doing 100 sit ups a day or enduring through all the varied abdominal exercises. I am a believer in engaging the abs as a secondary muscle group to big compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, clean and jerks. I would recommend you continue going heavy sticking to your 5×5 or 3×8 routine for those. However with everything else cut down the weight and aim for 3/4 sets of 15-25 reps. Mix it up all the time, leave your body second guessing what’s coming up next but at the same time push yourself to the point of fatigue. This doesn’t mean when you think you can’t do any more, but when you are struggling soooo much that you’re in pain even when you’re resting from the set. And when you think that’s it, go back and burn that muscle out with a couple more reps.
This is a huge topic for everyone. Do I do it in the morning? Do I do it after my session? Or before? Should I eat before? or after? and most importantly what should I be doing? These are all questions which run in everyones head. Lets get this clear. The aim here is to burn fat, we are not looking to improve a sport-related fitness levels. So what you do doesn’t matter. Whether you’re rowing or cycling or running or using the cross trainer they would all do the same thing. You want to go for as long you can. Ideally anything from 30 minutes to an hour. I like to run outside because of how varied it is, I aim for 45 min runs which I vary between flat ground and hills. The aim is to keep it continuous and avoid stop-start interruptions.
As for when you have two options. You can do it in the morning, first thing before you even have your breakfast or at the end of your training session in the gym. The reason these two times are great is because your body is deprived of any food/nutrition within so has to rely on fat reserves to fuel your cardio sessions. This stimulus helps you burn fat while you’re running but also boosts your basic metabolic rate meaning you’re still burning fat even when you’re not exercising. How great is that?
I am not the biggest expert on dieting but I have a couple of pointers which I know will help you incase you haven’t heard of them before.
- Split your main meal over 2 or 3 portions spread over 4 hours.
- Avoid carbohydrates/fatty foods after 8PM
- Make sure you have a big breakfast, in the past we looked at how porridge (oatmeal) is such a great meal
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you feel hungry drink a pint of water before assessing whether you’re REALLY hungry. The brain can sometimes confuse thirst and hunger signals. Either way drinking water is the right thing to do. It would get rid of the hunger stimulus and if you’re genuinely hungry it would make you eat less than if you didn’t just have a drink.
- Avoid rummaging meaning have a structured meal plan where everything is pre-planned. Avoid impulsive eating. If you feel the need to eat, refer to point 4!
That’s all I’ve got to say. Stick to these basis and there is no way you cannot meet your summer goals. All that’s left is to wish the best of luck with your summer goals!