Fat Burning Workout Regimen
You’ll find countless “guaranteed” routines and diets to bust fat, but what really works is a regimen you can stick to. This type of regimen offers flexibility and customization, so you don’t feel punished.
It’s time to take your fitness seriously
Battling excess fat is a common problem for many Americans, and it requires a lifestyle change to avoid yo-yo dieting and long bouts at the gym (followed by even longer “breaks”).
The first step is understanding why we carry excess fat.
It can take the human brain and body a long time to catch up with current conditions. For instance, some people’s bodies may cling to fat because our ancestors were used to binge eating in the rare times of plentiful food because the “starvation days” were so common.
Starvation is no longer a risk for most Americans, but that doesn’t mean our bodies have stopped doing such a good job of storing excess fat when they can.
Unhealthy Eating Habits
There’s also the issue of hidden calories, oversized portions that seem normal, and addictive foods that make you want to keep eating even when you’re full.
Emotions can play a big role in overeating, and it’s very common to lean on food for comfort. Eating disorders are also rampant, which include both restriction and overeating.
These are just a few potential contributors to why getting rid of excess fat is so difficult. However, also keep in mind that what you consider excess fat is relative.
You might be at a healthy weight for your body, age, and gender—only a doctor can tell you that (not an Instagram model).
Fat Burning Workout Regimen
If you are carrying extra weight, or if you want to burn fat efficiently and stay at a healthy weight, here are a few options to consider adding to your own fat burning workout regimen.
1. Pinpoint excess calories
Diet is the major player in weight control, while working out is a complement (working out is very important to muscle building, cardio health, and other elements of wellness, though).
One of the biggest calorie bombs is alcohol. Even the lowest-calorie options like rum or a light beer is around 100 calories per serving. If you need resources to stop drinking, know that there are many options available.
2. Try fasted workouts
Working out while fasted is somewhat controversial, but as long as you workout in the morning it’s worth giving it a shot.
The theory is that when you’re fasted (at least eight hours since your last meal) your body is forced to depend on stored fat instead of recently-consumed calories for energy. Even if you get a placebo effect from it, it can be a helpful tool in your fat loss journey.
3. Build more muscle
There are a few ways to maximize calories burned, and one is simply having more muscle. Younger people naturally have more muscle, which is one reason they burn more calories.
You can also build more muscle as part of your strengthening routine and start burning more calories in every activity (even sleeping!).
4. Calorie control
Counting calories can be tedious and a gateway if you’re already at risk of an eating disorder. However, it’s also important to understand what you’re putting into your body and to have a general idea of how many calories you should be consuming per day.
It’ll take some trial and error to see how many calories let you sustain or lose weight, with 2,000 being just an average (many women need a little less). Make those calories count. Learn to read nutritional labels and, when possible, choose whole foods like veggies and fruits.
You’ll realize some of your common foods are calorie bombs while you can enjoy heaping servings of some foods (like broccoli) for very little calories.
5. Lift weights first, do cardio second
What order you work out in also plays a big role. If you want to build muscle, you want as much energy as possible and that means lifting or strength training first.
You won’t have quite as much endurance for cardio, but you’ll still burn calories. It’s best to only lift every other day, so you can always do your cardio workouts on non-lifting days.
Burning fat is a science, but it’s a science that’s a little unique for every person.
Measure yourself and avoid the scale to get a more accurate read and to track your progress.
Remember that burning fat gets more challenging with age, and you’ll need to adjust your routine regularly to account not just for getting older but for your body getting used to your workouts.