… and get “shredded” 🙂
Sometimes the last 5 lbs of fat are the hardest to get rid of. A lot of us will plateau when we get around the last 5 or 10 lbs, or 2 or 3 % of body fat.
It takes more commitment in the gym and in your cardio, but also in your diet. Here are a few tips that’ll help you get rid of that last little bit that won’t seem to go away. I implemented these steps into my routine before a recent trip to Maui to lose 3% of my body-fat. Each helped big time.
1. Eat earlier and bigger
Wake up earlier to get that first meal in, and make sure it’s a big one. High in lean protein, good fats, and good carbohydrates in the form of veggies, fruits or whole wheat grains. A big meal will give your metabolism a boost allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day.
Great food choices for breakfast:
- Eggs or egg whites
- Whey isolate or casein (or a blend) protein powder
- Almond butter
- Apple sauce
2. Split up your cardio and weights
For example, do your weight training early in the am and your cardio later on at night after work. Having a break in between your weights and your cardio will result in more calories expended or burned, even if that break is only 20 minutes.
By splitting the two up you’ll also be able to train at a higher intensity because your body has had a chance to recover in between.
3. Mix upper and lower body exercises in to your cardio routine
Forcing your blood to move from a big muscle group like your thighs, to another big group like your lats results in a greater calorie expenditure. Frog jumps supersetted with burpees into chin-ups is a great combination for a HIIT circuit.
4. Be strict with your diet
Your diet may make the difference between getting rid of those last few pounds of fat, and holding on to them. Make sure every meal has a lean source of protein and good carbohydrates (primarily vegetables), as well as a source of “good fats” like omega-3 fatty acids which boost your metabolism (almonds, fish and fish oils).
You need your metabolism to be at its best. A decrease in calories and the levels of metabolism boosting hormones like leptin begin to decrease, but having a high calorie day once a week will help reset your metabolism. It takes a week for leptin levels to decrease and your metabolism to slow, but only a day of eating high calorie foods to get it back on track.
6. Cardio before breakfast
If you’ve hit a plateau, this can be a helpful change of pace that’ll give your metabolism a boost. Even your cardio needs to be changed every now and then. Going for a light jog or walk before you eat any food can help with fat loss. Only do it if you’ve hit a plateau, then get back to your HIIT after a week or so of steady state cardio exercise.
7. Maintain your muscle mass
The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism is. Continue to train for gaining muscle mass in the gym and provide your body with the right pre and post workout nutrition to make sure your muscle isn’t depleting during exercise.
Gatorade + Prograde Protein Powder + almonds + multivitamin is a great pre and post workout shake. Getting carbs, proteins and fats as fuel sources for your body which has just been depleted during exercise, along with a multivitamin, provides it with the energy it needs to recover and repair the broken down muscle tissue.
What would you add to this list?