Looking to slim down? Want to look your very best in that little black dress you plan to wear to your anniversary dinner? If you have a timeline to hit and you want to lean out as quickly as possible, it pays to follow a few smart tips and guidelines.
Losing body fat and firming your muscles does not require a secret approach. Rather, it requires followed, tried and true strategies that you can rely on time after time.
Let’s take a closer look at 10 tips to drop body fat quickly and enhance your level of muscle definition.
The number one mistake that most women are making when they hit the gym is simply not challenging themselves enough. They are too worried that lifting much more than five or ten pounds will have them looking ‘manly’.
This isn’t the case. Always remember that your body does not possess enough of the hormone called testosterone, to develop large amounts of muscle bulk.
Instead, when you do lift heavier weights, you’ll achieve better overall muscle tone and definition, while also increasing your overall fat burning capacity as well. This will make your workout sessions that much more intense and the more intense those sessions are, the more calories you burn not only during the workouts, but after the workouts as well.
Moving on, the second must-do to get serious results is to stop all those marathon cardio workouts you’re doing. If you’re the type to force yourself out of bed an hour earlier first thing every morning to have your scheduled date with the treadmill, this needs to stop.
Too much of this steady state cardio is just going to cause your body to look flat and lacking all muscle definition. You may burn calories while doing this, but usually you won’t be losing that much body fat.
Plus, all that cardio can make you hungrier than ever, which only leads to you consuming more food than you otherwise would be eating.
Intervals. Hop on the treadmill and go as fast as you possibly can for 30 seconds. Then slow to a walk for 60. Then repeat this process ten more times. Once that’s done, tell me you didn’t just have the cardio workout of your life.
This form of cardio will always produce better results than all that steady state cardio you were doing.
Next, you’ll also want to learn how to use carbohydrates to your advantage. Here’s the thing: carbohydrates do matter. Used poorly in your program and they will lead to fat gain. On the opposite side of things, used wisely and they can actually boost your metabolic rate, enhance your energy level, and accelerate your fat loss results.
So how do you make the most of this nutrient? First, you want to schedule the bulk of your carbohydrates around your workout sessions. Before and immediately following exercise are when your body is most likely to use those carbohydrates for energy and to replenish the muscle glycogen stores in the body.
This is also the time when you are least likely to utilize them for body fat gain. Then during the rest of the day, you’ll want to focus primarily on fiber-rich carbohydrates coming from fresh fruits and vegetables.
Another diet change you’ll want to be making is ensuring that you are getting sufficient lean protein into your meal plan. Protein is a must for everyone who is looking to firm their body and accelerate fat burning. Again, many women are afraid of consuming too much protein as they fear it will cause them to develop muscle bulk.
It’s only if you consume far too many calories will you start to get ‘bulky’ and usually that bulk is not muscle, but rather, excess body fat.
Lean protein rich foods are going to help to boost your metabolic rate, increase your overall level of fat oxidation, decrease hunger, and help you best build lean muscle mass tissue.
If you aren’t eating enough protein, it’ll also be harder to recover from the workout sessions that you are doing, so this could keep you out of the gym longer between sessions. The less frequently you are exercising, the slower your results will be as well.
Focus on lean proteins such as chicken breast, turkey breast, lean grass fed beef, eggs and egg whites, as well as plenty of fish and seafood. Whey protein powder is also an excellent option and something that almost every woman should have in their fat loss diet plan.
Hydration is another area of focus for any woman looking to melt fat and tone up. Ask yourself this, what are you drinking throughout the day?
Are you consuming plenty of water? Or do your hydration choices pile on the calories to your day? If you are consuming calorie dense beverages like fruit smoothies, energy drinks, fruit juice, gourmet coffees, or the worst choice of all, alcoholic beverages, this needs to change if you are going to lose weight successfully.
You simply won’t feel as full from these calorie containing beverages and as such, will rarely reduce your total calorie intake because of them. This then may mean that you are overeating in calories, thus will experience weight gain.
Alcohol is an especially poor choice as the minute that alcohol enters your system, it acts as a toxin and all fat burning will stop until it’s fully burned off. Each time you take a drink of alcohol, think of it as if you were taking a break from your fat loss program.
Instead, focus on drinking beverages such as water or herbal tea. Both of these will help optimize your hydration, which in turn can also speed up the overall rate of fat burning that you see.
Black coffee in moderation is also okay and may give you a bit more of a boost given the fact it does contain the caffeine. Just avoid drinking coffee too close to bedtime or sleep may be compromised.
One big mistake that many women make is getting up and trying to make it through the day while eating as little as possible. They fast through breakfast, eat nothing much more than a salad for lunch, and by the time they get home in the evening, they are primed to eat everything in sight.
Sound familiar? This is another big mistake that is doing nothing to help get you to your end goal.
The problem here is that by refusing to eat when your body needs the fuel, you are going to have a higher chance of burning up lean muscle mass tissue for energy. Then when you do eat (and eat in abundance!), you are just going to deposit all those calories as excess body fat stores. Late in the evening you aren’t likely all that active (unless you are doing a late-night workout), so there is a much higher chance that you are going to end up gaining body fat because of it.
Instead, spread those calories out over the course of the day. Not only will this give your body a better chance to use the energy you are feeding it, but in addition to that, you’ll feel a whole lot better as well. If you are often low in energy mid-way through the day, this is very likely why.
Don’t ‘bank’ those calories until the evening. Use them when you need them the most.
Here’s one thing that most women completely neglect in their program –‘me’ time. I know. You have a million and one things to do and a number of obligations to take care of.
Still. You need to schedule at least one hour a week to yourself. Read a book. Take a bath. See a movie that you’ve wanted to watch. Do something to help combat stress and keep yourself sane.
Women who spread themselves too thin often lose motivation to maintain their healthy eating plan and also experience such high stress levels that it can cause them to turn to eating foods in a highly emotional state.
When you have some time carved out each week just to yourself, you can help prevent this.
If you can get some time in each day for yourself, even better. Remember, when you feel great and healthy, you’ll be able to do more during the other hours of the day, so your entire schedule may move along more smoothly.
The next thing that you may want to consider adding to your protocol to help increase your overall rate of fat burning is a good pre-workout supplement. There are many of these on the market now and you don’t need something too elaborate and should not fall for one that promises any unrealistic claims, but this said, it is wise to have something in your court to give you the boost when you need it.
Look for a pre-workout supplement that contains a moderate dose of caffeine (around 150-200 mg) along with other energizing ingredients such as citrulline malate, carnitine, as well as tyrosine.
These will all help give you a mental edge while you are in the gym doing your workout and may also help enhance your overall metabolic rate as well.
Also focus on trying new activities as regularly as possible. Break away from your traditional workouts from time to time or work with a trainer who will keep your workouts varied.
This will not only keep you more mentally stimulated as you go about each session, but also help keep your body guessing as to what’s coming next.
If you hit the gym and do the same workout over and over again, soon your body will adapt and you’ll stop seeing the results that you’re looking for.
Change things up. You’ll work muscles you may have been neglecting and this can really go a long way towards helping you develop a well-rounded physique.
Finally, don’t overlook the influence your sleep schedule is having on your ability to burn fat and tone up. You must be sleeping at least seven, if not eight hours each and every night to see maximum results.
Don’t take sleep for granted. If you aren’t sleeping enough, you’ll likely find that your hunger level during the day is much higher and your appetite may be completely insatiable.
Likewise, you may also notice that you are struggling to work up the energy to hit the gym and even if you do, you aren’t performing at an intensity level that’s optimal. This will dramatically reduce your post-workout calorie burn and could even set you up to experience injury. Those who exercise while in a fatigued state are far more likely to use sloppy form and this can be one of the leading causes of injury.
Have a serious look at your agenda each day. Are you spending time watching TV, browsing the Internet, or checking your social media feeds that could be much better spent sleeping?
If so, make some changes. Once you realize just how much better you feel on a good night’s rest, you’ll never want to go without again.
So there you have ten steps to know and remember that will all help you get leaner and achieve the muscle tone that you’ve been looking for. It’s not always about working harder to see great results, but sometimes, just about working smarter. If you can make a few tweaks to your current routine so that you are following all of these principles, you can rest assured you’ll be in your dream body in no time.