The 5 proven steps to getting shredded
Losing weight might seem like a tough task, but these five evidence-based tips can get you shredded in no time
Conflicting science, fad diets and ineffective supplements - just a few reasons why losing weight can seem like a tricky process. It doesn't have to be that way. Burning a whole load of body fat and looking your best doesn't have to be difficult.
The fitness industry is awash with information overload, but what really works is simple.
Here's a breakdown of what you need to get shredded this summer:
1. Create a calorie deficit
Ask yourself this: what do all successful diets have in common? The answer - a calorie deficit has been created.
This is just basic science, but you'd be surprised how many forget it and overcomplicate matters. Put simply, if you burn off more calories than you take in from food and drink, you will lose weight.
A recent study outlined the right way to structure a diet. It isn't as basic as constantly cutting back every single day. It involves just THREE days of dieting.
For example, if you need 2500 calories to maintain your weight, take 33% of this figure and then consume that amount.
The other four days? These can be maintenance days, where you consume as many calories as you burn off. That way, your hormones stay in check and your diet is easier to stick to.
2. Prioritise protein
The type of food you eat plays a pivotal role in shedding body fat. There are three main macronutrients (food groups); four if you count fibre.
Everyone associates protein with training and nutrition - your Mum, your boss and even that old guy down the pub who just sits there sipping cider all day.
There's ample reason for this. Protein has the highest thermic effect of all the food groups, which means you burn more energy digesting protein than you do carbs or fats.
Protein is also needed for retaining muscle mass while dieting. Lose fat, not weight.
3. Meal frequency
Where fat loss is the goal, you shouldn't obsess too much over how many meals you're eating each day.
Regardless of whether you prefer three, four or five meals per day, meeting your calorie target is the main thing.
This is a view reinforced by Dr. Brad Schoenfeld, who spoke to JOE recently. Schoenfeld is a leading exercise scientist based at Lehman College, New York.
'From a fat loss standpoint, it really doesn’t matter. We reviewed all the research on meal frequency and found similar results, regardless of how many meals you eat - provided calories are equated.'
4. Food quality
Calories are crucial, of course - but so is the quality of what you eat.
Buying local meat, fruit and veg ensures that their full vitamin and mineral content is retained. This is often lost when food is shipped across the globe.
Berries are a great belly-blasting fruit to consume.
In particular, blackberries and raspberries have a high flavonoid content. Flavonoids can fuel fat loss by restricting the absorption of fat and increasing levels of healthy gut bacteria.
5. Supplement sensibly
There are some worthy supplements which can help you get ripped. The real problem is that many people prioritise supps over food, training and recovery, when this is a big mistake.
The word 'supplement' means to add to what is already there. If your training, nutrition and recovery from exercise are sub-standard, then your results will also be - irrespective of whatever supplement you're taking.
Not all supps are created equal.
That hot mug of coffee you swig down your neck is a proven fat loss aid. Caffeine can increase your metabolic rate and also makes exercise seem less strenuous. This simply means you can ramp up the effort, training harder for longer!
Kim Kardashian's appetite-suppressing lollipops, on the other hand? Get in the bin.