Rule # 1: Calorie deficit!
The first and most important rule to burn fat is to be in a caloric deficit. If you consume more calories than you need you will gain weight. If you consume as many calories as you need you will maintain your weight. If you consume fewer calories than you need (i.e. calorie deficit) you will reduce your weight. Simple, but many people forget how important this rule is!
Rule # 2: Balance your carbs!
Carbohydrate intake should be low to moderate in most foods, except the meal after training. Choose mostly slow (complex) digestive carbohydrates with a low glycemic index and limit sugars that can quickly raise blood sugar levels.
Rule # 3: Increase your intake of protein!
Consumption of protein in each meal speeds up metabolism due to a high thermic effect of protein. Also, protein intake increases the levels of anabolic hormones (testosterone and growth hormone) and preventing muscle loss during a caloric deficit. You will need to choose foods rich in essential amino acids (building blocks of protein that our body can’t produce by itself) such as dairy and meat. However, plant-based meals are also an option. Furthermore, you will need to combine plants because they don’t contain all essential amino acids.
Rule # 4: Eliminate trans fats and consume enough “good” fats!
Replace deadly trans fats with polyunsaturated (oily fish, flaxseed and walnut oil) and monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts). These are the “good” fats that under no circumstances you should cut from your diet. However, be careful because fat is the most calorie-dense of the three macronutrients – 9 kcal per gram vs. 4 kcal per gram in proteins and carbohydrates.
Rule # 5: Never ignore strength training!
Even if your goal is simply to lose excess fat and not accumulating muscle mass, strength training should not be excluded!
Most people look at weightlifting solely as a means by which to make big muscles and for one reason or another do not want their bodies to be bulky and entirely ignore strength training. The truth is that if you want a shapely and tight body with low body fat percentage strength training are those who can give it to you. Poorly known and underestimated is the fact that the more muscle mass you have (this does not necessarily mean huge muscles) the higher is the base metabolism which means more calories burnt even at rest. Yes, you burn more calories even when resting! Without committing anyone my personal opinion is that strength training is just as important for burning fat as cardio workouts – if not more! Train with weights or own weight three to four days a week in about 30-60 second rest between sets. To maintain levels of anabolic hormones and low catabolic levels the training should last no longer than one hour.
Rule # 6: Do aerobic (cardio) exercise!
Cardio workouts – whether low or variable intensity (HIIT) – are key to burning calories and fat. It is important how you combine cardio and strength training. One option is to do cardio immediately after strength training. The other option is to do cardio in the remaining 3-4 non-training days of the week. My opinion is that optimal results are achieved through the second option! You fight against excess fat by consuming fewer calories than you need. High-intensity cardio immediately after strength training would rather give negative (will burn your muscles) than a positive effect.
Rule # 7: Consume the full range of vitamins and minerals!
Compliance with this rule is very important but difficult. Intake of adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals protects you from all possible deficits that could sabotage the process of burning fat and worsen your health. As you know, nutrients responsible for our metabolism, health, efficiency and overall for our welfare are countless. Therefore, deficits in one or more of them are not uncommon. Researchers in this area constantly prove and provide information about the negative effects on the body when a specific nutrient is insufficient. Adequate nutrient intake of quality multivitamins and minerals (micronutrients) always guarantee optimal fat burning and good health. This brings us to Rule # 8.
Rule # 8: Use only the best nutritional supplements!
Be sure you make the right choice! Quality supplements are those who are able to speed up your metabolism, increase energy, prevent the loss of muscle mass and suppress appetite, but also do not contain harmful ingredients and sweeteners. Dietary supplements which I personally count on are L-carnitine (preferably in a liquid form), whey protein and solid multivitamins. I can assure you that when used properly supplements can really speed up the burning of excess fat.
Rule # 9: Increase your fibre intake!
The increased fibre intake is associated with improved digestion and slow release of nutrients which leads to easier weight loss. When you consume foods rich in fibre make sure you obtain the necessary vitamins, minerals and valuable antioxidants. The easiest and surest way to increase fibre intake has regularly consumed any kind of fibrous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, carrots, celery, beets and more. Raw vegetables will enrich and fill your diet that will help to suppress appetite. Remember that foods rich in fibre usually have a low glycemic index!
Rule # 10: Do not forget to drink enough water!
My advice is to drink 8-10 glasses of water per day – in some cases more, but never less. This will prevent dehydration, help for the release of fat from fat stores and thus in their faster burning. This rule is the most ignored and underrated in the fight against fat. Remember that increased intake of protein requires more water intake!
Well, that was my 10 golden rules in the fight against fat! Compliance requires a lot of effort, willpower and perseverance – I know that from personal experience. But it will make the fight with overweight successful.