Battle of the bulge
Published on March 1, 2014
The average man’s body houses 43.2 pounds of fat. And at any one moment, that number is constantly increasing or decreasing — it’s never stagnant.
Therefore, spend more of each day burning fat than you do storing it, and over time, you’ll bury your belly forever. Keeping this in perspective, The Community offers you exclusive tips designed to help you lose your love handles, bust your gut, and define your abs. Simply incorporate three or four of these tips into your life every day, and you’ll finish off your fat easier and faster than you ever imagined.
EAT MORE PROTEIN
About 25-30 per cent of calories in each gram of protein are burnt in digestion, compared to 6-8 per cent of the calories in carbs. Do the maths: You save 41 calories every time you substitute 50 grams of protein for an equal amount of carbs.
GET OFF AND MOVE
Always exercise standing instead of sitting. You’ll burn 30 per cent more calories. The solution for the bench press? Dips.
MIX UP YOUR MOVEMENTS
When you lift, perform supersets in which you alternate between sets of lower body exercises and upper body exercises. That way, your lower body rests while your upper body is working. This allows you to work your muscles maximally with very little downtime between sets for a faster, more effective workout.
When you’re using the elliptical trainer, let go of the handles and close your eyes. Without the visual feedback, your core muscles will have to work harder to keep you balanced, burning more calories.
View any type of physical activity — even those you try to avoid, such as mowing
the lawn — as a chance to burn fat and condition your body.
TAKE LARGER STEPS
Skip one step out of every five steps. Then take one large step to get back to your normal walking pattern. This step recruits additional muscle, upping fat loss.
Once a week, watch a movie that inspires you to exercise. Examples: Rocky (for the gym), American Flyers (for cycling), Hoosiers (for team sports), and Chariots of Fire and Without Limits (both for running).
BREAK A RECORD
Challenge yourself to run farther in the same amount of time — even if it’s just one-tenth of a mile — every single workout.
This ensures you’re burning more calories from one workout to the next.
SMASH YOUR DINNER PLATES
And buy smaller ones. That way, even if you fill your plate to capacity, you’re ultimately eating less than what you would likely pile on your existing platters.
FILL UP ON HIGH-FIBRE FOODS
Consider them “good carbs.” Their bulk takes up space in your stomach, helping you feel full and eat less. The top fibre food: beans, which contain eight grams per 1/2 cup. Research shows men who had 12 grams of fibre a day to their diet lost a quarter of an inch from their love handles.
LIFT FIRST, THEN RUN
By doing cardio after you’ve lifted — when you’re already tired — the same speed or intensity will have a greater effect than had you done it beforehand.
Try this interval-training trick on the elliptical trainer: Ride for 30 seconds as fast as you can, then reverse your direction and ride for 30 seconds more just as fast in the opposite direction. Rest 60 seconds and repeat. The force of stopping your momentum and going from a dead stop to full speed twice in the same interval, will give your fat-burning efforts a boost.
In just one of many recent studies, a Journal of Nutrition report found that men who reduced their carb intake to just 8 per cent of their daily calories lost seven pounds of fat and gained two pounds of muscle in six weeks.
SALAD WITH VINAIGRETTE DRESSING
Studies show that acidic foods such as vinegar and lemon work like lighter fluid in your body’s fat incinerator, increasing carb combustion 20-40 per cent. Researchers believe acids blunt insulin spikes and slow the rate at which food is digested. Pickles and yogurt are also good.
DON’T SKIP MEALS
Not eating for long periods of time puts your body into a catabolic state, meaning it starts to break down muscle tissue to energy — and conserves fat.
TRY THE VERSACLIMBER
The more vertical you are when doing cardio, the more calories you burn.
DON’T BE A COUCH POTATO
If you’re a TV junkie, add up the number of hours you watch right now, and cut out all reruns. Spend the time you save on your feet: outdoors or in the gym.
HIT THE WEIGHTS
If you’re lazy, it’s not as bad as you think — just 10 minutes a day of lifting, three days a week, will help. Harvard research shows that 30 minutes of weight training per week has a greater reduction on waist size than almost any other variable.
PASS ON THE POTATOES
Mashed and baked, French fries, potato chips — pass them on. They raise insulin levels, triggering body to stop burning and start storing fat. Sweet potatoes are acceptable; they have nutrients and fibre.
EAT YOUR MEAL AFTER YOU LIFT
Researchers at the University of Nevada found that it takes 73 per cent more calories to process food after a weight-training session than if you hadn’t worked out.
CHUG H20 BEFORE A MEAL
The water will take up room in your stomach, making you feel more full and reducing your appetite.
Any time your restaurant entree comes with a side of pasta, potatoes or rice, ask for vegetables instead. Your server will be more than happy to accommodate you.
JOIN A LEAGUE
That is, sign up for a sport such as softball, soccer, or even kickball. It’ll automatically schedule exercise sessions into your week, and because you’re part of a team, you’ll have peer pressure that’ll ensure you keep showing up.
BREAK BETWEEN SCOOPS
That is, if you can’t live without ice cream, cake, or other calorie-laden desserts, go ahead and have one scoop (about 1/2 cup) or one small slice. Then, if you still want more, wait 20 minutes. Typically, you’ll find that while you wait, hormones kick in and trigger a feeling of fullness, reducing desire for that second serving.
BRUSH YOUR TEETH OFTEN
In a recent Japanese study of 14,000 people, researchers found that men who brushed their teeth frequently
were leaner than men who did not.
EAT AN UNBALANCED DIET
By cycling your calorie intake so that you eat less calories one day and more the next, you’ll keep your metabolism on its toes. This will keep burning fat at a high rate. The key: Shoot for an average of 2,000 calories a day over a week’s time.
DIAL UP AN INCLINE
When you run outside, you apply force to the ground and propel your body weight forward all by yourself. When you run on a treadmill, the belt helps you. To counteract this, always walk or run on at least a one per cent incline.
STICK TO NO-CALORIE DRINKS
That means coffee, tea, diet soda, mixes and, of course, water.
Research from Harvard and Boston’s Children’s Hospital shows that obesity rates are 35-50 per cent lower in people who eat breakfast regularly, compared with folks who don’t. Nutritionists believe am meals help regulate insulin levels and hunger,
so you’re less likely to overeat later.
AVOID FOODS IN A BAG OR BOX
Typically, these are highly processed carbs — foods that quickly raise blood-sugar levels and shut down your body’s ability to burn fat.
SNACK BETWEEN MEALS
This not only keeps you from being ravenous and overeating at lunch and dinner, it forces your body to process food all day long, which keeps your metabolism stoked