How to Slim Down Fast: Tips for Getting Lean and Gaining Muscle
Need to slim down fast? Maybe gain some muscle in the process?
Whether you need to lose belly fat for health reasons, to fit in a wedding dress or your favorite suit, or just because summer is coming, this article is going to show you what exercises to focus on, and how to work smart to accomplish your goal.
"…it is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable."
How Bad Can Belly Fat Be?
Excess visceral fat puts a person at greater risk for dementia, breast cancer, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Visceral fat can show up in fat and thin people who are inactive and is not controlled with diet alone.
Researchers say the best way to avoid storing excess visceral fat is to stay active. Here is a four-step plan for men and women that shows you how to slim down fast and build lifelong habits to keep the excess fat off.
Intense Exercise for Full Body Fat Loss
Step 1: Go hard!
Vigorous exercise is the key to burning fat, but this is relative to the person. For inactive people, start by walking, jogging, biking, or doing another cardiovascular activity for 30 minutes every day. Keep the pace up, but slow down or rest if you feel light-headed, dizzy or numb.
Step 2: Do Whole Body Exercises
Spot-reducing fat is a myth!
However, if you work on your core muscles (abdominals, intercostals, obliques, lumbar, and so on), you are going to feel like you have a tighter waistline which is good motivation to keep going.
The key is to incorporate the whole body, even if you are working your core. Engage in exercises and activities that involve multiple muscle groups and burn more calories.
Here are several examples of bodyweight core exercises using the whole body:
"That visible subcutaneous fat is hard for the body to carry around, and can lead to serious health risks related to our vital organs, including the heart, liver, kidney and others."
Bodyweight Exercises for Multiple Muscle Groups
- Good Mornings
- Bodyweight Squats:
- Squat to Stand
- Mountain Climbers
Adding weights to your workout, you could build an entire program around the following compound (multiple muscle group) exercises:
- Clean&Press or Clean&Jerk
- Dumbbell or Kettlebell swings
- High Pull/High Pull Snatch
- Renegade Rows
This short list of bodyweight and free weight exercises incorporates multiple muscle groups, which forces the body to use more energy; i.e, burn more calories while building muscles that continue to burn energy long after your workout.
Good Nutrition for Weight Loss
Step 3: Eat Healthy
Good nutrition is more than half the battle. Make a conscious decision to eliminate processed foods, excess sugar, soda, and fast burning, calorie dense carbs like pasta and white rice.
These changes alone will alter your body chemistry and help you trim that waistline faster than exercise alone. Get the most out of what you do eat by replacing all those harmful foods with fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meats, or vegetarian protein sources.
Drink water instead of other beverages and ease off the alcohol. Eat plenty of good fats in the form of olive oils, coconut oils, avocados, fatty fish, and even nuts. Not only will this give you plenty of energy to burn, but it can boost your brain power as well.
Give yourself a treat! According to Tim Ferris and thousands of successful fans, you can lose a lot of weight by sticking to a slow carb diet six days a week.
And on the 7th day? You get to eat whatever you want! In fact, Mr. Ferris claims the diet works best when you really cut loose on your cheat day.
Read more about it at The Tim Ferris blog, or look up "How to Lose 100 Pounds on the Slow Carb Diet."
Make Exercise a Lifestyle
Step 4: Stay With Your Exercise Program!
Losing weight takes time (it also takes time to gain it!) and once in a while you are going to feel like your efforts are not working.
Remember that this is a lifestyle change, and the results are going to be seen over weeks and months, not hours and days.
That being said, if the scale isn't moving and your pants still don't fit after a few weeks, re-evaluate your program and make adjustments.
Up the intensity, record your calories and find out where the extras are coming from, or consult with a personal trainer. No matter what you do, don't quit.
When you feel like giving up, consider this quote from personal trainer Craig Ballantyne:
“No matter how much you might feel like you are struggling, never give up. Never, ever, ever give in. Keep moving towards your vision. Never stand still. Believe in yourself.”
Good advice. Now go trim that gut!
Scale not moving? Focus on these instead.
So you've been working out hard and the scale hasn't budged? Here are some signs your hard work is paying off:
-You're stronger. You lift heavier weights, run farther, and so on
-You're not craving junk food or sweets as much
-You're not as hungry or have developed a huge appetite-this is normal and you may need the calories for your workout
-You're clothes fit better
-You feel well rested
See? You're making progress!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.