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So you have worked hard in the gym the last few months and have gained a lot of muscle, unfortunately as you have been bulking you have also gained a bit of fat too.
To really make your hard work stand out you will need to lose this fat, but how?
Here are some tips that will help you to burn fat and cut quickly, which will help you to look as good as possible in a short space of time.
#1: Eat plenty of protein
You have no doubt been consuming protein as it can help to repair and build muscle.
It can also be helpful when trying to cut fat too as it helps to fill you up and keep you fuller for longer. This is because it is slow to digest.
If you feel full then you are less likely to want to overeat, which can help to cut your calorie intake. Yet the protein itself will ensure you do not lose too much of that hard earned muscle, an issue that is often found when attempting to cut.
#2: Consume leafy greens
While it is a good idea to increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, by far the best type are leafy greens.
They are full of nutrients but do not contain the natural sugars that can make certain fruits unsuitable for fat loss.
Two of the best leafy greens to consume are kale and bok choy.
While you were building muscle and bulking you were probably told to limit your cardio.
Now that you want to cut the fat then it is now time to start doing a bit more cardio.
Of course any cardio is better than none for fat burning, to get the maximum benefit for your time I would suggest that you start performing HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training.
For this type of workout you will perform at maximum intensity for short periods of time with very few breaks between exercises.
HIIT is extremely effective for burning fat and is particularly useful for those who are short of time, as most workouts do not last too long.
A great way to burn fat is not through steady-state cardio like walking or jogging but through sprinting instead.
When you sprint you will be using those fast twitch muscles. These require a lot of energy and oxygen, which will cause an increase in your metabolic rate.
#5: Vary your calorie intake
If you stick to the same calorie intake month after month then your body will go into a sort of metabolic plateau, whereby your body will only be able to burn off so many calories.
What I would suggest is that you vary your intake some days to get your metabolism working again.
#6: Eat fats
If you are trying to cut body fat you maybe tempted to cut fat from your diet entirely.
While certain fats are best avoided, there are good fats that your body needs. Both in terms of energy, plus various other important bodily functions; for example transporting vitamins throughout your body or to prevent blood clotting.
I would suggest that you include the following healthy fats in your diet:
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
#7: Use caffeine pre-workout
Caffeine is a natural stimulant that will give you an energy burst that you can use during your workout.
I would not recommend adding sugar and cream to your coffee though, if this is how you wish to consume your caffeine, as these added calories can derail your efforts.
You should also be aware that too much caffeine can cause various side effects including insomnia and a raised heart rate, so it is best that you watch how much you consume and what effects it will have on you.
#8: Plan your meals ahead of time
If you lead a busy life it can be difficult to eat healthily all the time, sometimes life just get in the way.
What I suggest is that you prepare your meals at the start of the week so that you can simply warm them up when you are ready to eat.
This will save you the time of preparing a healthy meal each night, while also ensuring you do not rush to the local takeaway when you are hungry and do not have any time spare to cook.
#9: Take BCAAs
BCAAs or Branched Chain Amino Acids are important when you are cutting fat as they will help to maintain your current muscle mass.
Often when you cut calories your body will turn to its muscle for energy, however the use of BCAAs will help to stop this from occurring.
#10: Perform yoga
Stress has been shown to promote weight gain as it can mess with the hormones that control your appetite.
Yoga can help de-stress you, which will help to prevent this weight gain from occurring.
You can also use yoga to improve your flexibility, so that you can reduce the risk of injury while working out.
#11: Keep track of your progress
To avoid becoming unmotivated I would suggest to you that you keep track of your progress.
The easiest way to do this is to simply take photos of yourself during the process. You can then look back at these when you are feeling like quitting to see just how much your body had changed.
Sometimes this will be enough to get you working towards your goal.
#12: Try a different workout
If you perform the same workout each time you visit the gym then you will not be seeing the benefits that you should.
After a while of the same workouts your body will get used to them and plateau. By trying a different workout you will be able to surprise your muscles and see better results.
#13: Be more active in general
Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle? Perhaps you sit at a desk all day.
If this sounds familiar and you are looking to lose fat then you will need to try and be more active during the day.
Just because you are stuck in an office does not mean you cannot move around. Perhaps stand up whenever you get a phone call.
There are plenty of ways that you can burn calories throughout the day, you could walk to work rather than drive, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Each little activity will move you one step closer to a leaner body.