You are probably already aware of some of the most common diet rules for muscle build up – eat 6 to 8 times a day, take some carbohydrates and lots of protein, and so on. There are, however, some other tricks that are not so well-known, yet proven scientifically or through the practice that works for both muscle growth and fat loss. Include them in your diet plan and enjoy greatly improved results.
- Cheat Meals
To get rid of fat, you need to keep a certain diet – that’s clear. Sometimes, however, non-compliance can actually help burn fat even faster! You could include the so-called cheat meals. When you eat high calorie and carbohydrate foods – such as pizza, burgers, fries – that you can afford in large quantities … but only for one day.
Why it works: When you follow a strict diet, levels of the leptin hormone in your body begin to decrease. This hormone is responsible for rapid metabolism and hunger suppression. When it decreases, you start to burn fewer calories, making you feel more hungry. Periodic overeating increases leptin levels, thereby speeding up metabolism and reducing hunger in the coming days.
Do the following: increase calories by 25-50% (with carbohydrate intake increased at least twice) on a day of the week.
- Eat before bedtime
As you sleep, your body is forced to use the amino acids from the muscles to feed the brain as there is no other food. And because the loss of muscle mass has a negative effect on metabolism, it also slows down fat removal.
Why it works: when you eat just before bedtime, the amino acids needed will be taken from the swallowed food, not from the muscles. It is preferable to consume proteins and/or fats, but not carbohydrates. Casein is particularly suitable as it also helps burn fat during the night.
Do the following: Before going to sleep, eat 220 g of low-fat cottage cheese or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or take 1 dose of casein.
- Before training – slow-burning carbohydrates
Many people prefer fast-digesting carbohydrates before training because of the momentary energy influx. However, low-glycemic index low carb carbohydrates are the better choice as they help fat burning.
Why it works: because it is proven by experience. Research on the subject always points to the same thing: Athletes that consume slow-acting carbohydrates before training not only burn more fat but are also able to train longer before they get exhausted. The reason is that slow-burning carbohydrates give a steady flow of energy, unlike the brief “blast” received by fast-paced people.
Do the following: 30 minutes before training, consume 20 to 40 grams of low glycemic index carbs (whole grain bread, oatmeal, fruit, sweet potatoes) plus 20 grams of whey protein.
- Do not overlook fat
Many people drastically reduce fat when dieting. And this is not a good idea at all. Healthy omega-3 fatty acids, as well as monounsaturated fats, actually help shed body fat.
Why it works: foods like fat fish (salmon and trout) and walnuts are great sources of omega-3, and olive oil, peanut butter, avocados and eggs (eggs are the perfect breakfast) are rich in monounsaturated fats. It is a proven fact that a low-calorie diet, which consumes more healthy fats, succeeds in reducing fat from a diet with more carbohydrates.
Do the following: get 20-30% of the daily calories from fat.
- Eat fruits that accelerate fat burning
Fruits are always recommended (and rightly enough) for diets, but some are better choices than others when goals are cleared.
Why it works: Consider the two most effective fruits in this regard – grapefruit and apple. Grapefruit is able to lower insulin levels and speed up metabolism. Apples, on the other hand, contain the antioxidants polyphenols, which not only give strength and endurance but also burn fat around the abdomen.
Do the following: eat half a grapefruit in addition to breakfast and lunch. Before training, eat one big apple – so you get approximately 30 grams of slow-growing carbohydrates.
- Take calcium
Dairy products are not only useful because of its high protein content; The calcium in them is a major contributor to the removal of fat, especially in the abdomen.
Why it works: Adequate calcium intake suppresses the action of the calcitriol hormone that limits fat burning and helps build up. Also, calcium reduces the amount of dietary fat that absorbs the intestines.
Do the following: 2 to 3 times a day eat dairy products, such as low-fat cottage cheese and Greek yoghurt. If you’re wondering exactly why Greek yoghurt – because it contains almost twice as much protein as regular and almost twice as low carbohydrates.
- Eat Organic Foods
Yes, they are a bit more expensive, but often this extra price is worth it, and their natural origin can be of great help in eliminating fat.
Why it works: Organic products have a much higher content of beneficial substances than ordinary products. For example, organic cow’s milk contains 70% more omega-3 than conventional and up to 500% more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Also, the meat of organically grown (fed) cows contains significantly more omega-3 and CLA; And they are important not only for the cleansing of fat but also for the building of muscles.
Do the following: When buying dairy and meat products – milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yoghurt, beef – choose organic.
- Drink cold water
Perhaps it seems too easy for you, but it is true – cold water helps burn fat.
Why it works: Drinking sufficient amounts of cold water could speeds up metabolism by about 30%. The reason is that the intake of water leads to increased release of the hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline). When you drink that amount between meals, then you eat less food, which also leads to weight loss.
Do the following: Drink plenty of cold water between meals. For more information check this article: Water: Source of Power and Health.
Do not, however, do the following: When dieting people often choose dietary non-alcoholic and other artificially sweetened beverages to satisfy their desire for something sweet. These beverages, however, boost the appetite, which greatly complicates compliance with the already annoying diet. In addition, although theoretically, they do not contain sugar, they can still raise insulin levels, which significantly slow the fat burning process.
- Do not ignore soy
You may not have a very good opinion about it, but it is a fact that soy is lowering the cholesterol and acts as a powerful fat burner.
Why it works: Studies have shown that 20 grams of soy protein per day manage to burn significantly more fat than usual, especially around the abdomen. Soybean also increases growth hormone levels, which not only promotes muscle building but also helps shed body fat.
Do the following: Add 10 grams of soy protein to your pre-training and post-training shakes.
Anderson, J.W., Johnstone, B.M. and Cook-Newell, M.E., 1995. Meta-analysis of the effects of soy protein intake on serum lipids. New England Journal of Medicine, 333(5), pp.276-282.
Kinsella, J.E., 1979. Functional properties of soy proteins. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 56(3), pp.242-258.