First and foremost, the key to any weight loss is through dieting. Exercise is a perfect partner that accompanies your dieting strategies along the way. This is an essential aspect of changing body composition, increasing muscle mass and developing strength. You may receive small results whilst eating a mediocre diet, but imagine the progress when you practice the necessary dietary requirements as well? It will take your results beyond what you could ever imagine!
Let’s first tackle the most important parts of nutrition before I go into some practical and strategic exercises that will decrease your belly and thigh fat.
4 Essential dietary requirements for fat loss
- Consume high-grade protein with every single meal Protein is the essential macro for hitting your weight-loss, muscle building and preservation goals. It will hit all these three targets, which are critical for maintaining a lively and active metabolism so that you are burning calories at rest. Protein also inhibits cravings and keeps you sustained for more extended periods. Another remarkable aspect of protein is that it increases thermogenesis. This means, your body burns calories to digest it. What a powerhouse macro-nutrient we have at any time, that can be utilised with every single meal. Choose chicken breast, turkey, eggs or even fish sources. These are very low calorie, but still, create satiety and thermogenesis.
- Add cruciferous vegetables to your protein sources. These are powerhouse plants that contain fibre, vitamins and minerals. Fibre keeps us full for more extended periods, and also provide antioxidant values. Think fo broccoli, kale, asparagus, spinach and cabbage. Eat as many green vegetables as you can, and watch your body thrive as a result.
- Eliminate refined sugars and carbs from your eating plan I know this one is tough, but you must eliminate all processed and refined sugars, carbs and additives from your diet. These provide void nutritional positives, and at face value, only offer comfort and craving. When you begin to start eating to serve your weight loss goals, these cravings will eliminate, and the need to consume refined foods will diminish. Will it be hard sometimes – yes, but over your long term goals, it will become a piece of cake (figuratively speaking!) to disassociate from it.
- Intermittently fast regularly – every day if you can. This one is significant! Fasting is a long term, effective and sustainable solution to weight loss. Fasting also makes us insulin sensitive, so we can better utilise all the foods we eat whilst increasing our fat-burning potential and longevity. Unlike calorie restriction – where you have potential to lower your metabolic rate over time, because of the lack of nutrients over long stretches, fasting does not send the body into panic mode since we are only restricting the window of eating. This is the difference that makes the difference! If we use IF, we tap into our bodies full potential, without jeopardising our genetic disposition in the process.
Now, if I can pick 3 exercise protocols that will help diminish thigh and belly fat, this is what they would be:
Three belly and thigh-burning strategies
- HIIT – sprint intervals Sprints are the best way to tap into that stubborn body fat (especially on the belly and thigh area) whilst retaining your precious muscle mass. I would suggest alternating between outdoor and indoor sessions. Find a steep hill or some stairs, and give it your all to run up them as fast as possible. Then rest for 60 seconds. Begin the process again, and repeat 5–10 times (Depending on your energy, fitness and time). Always try to hit that sweet spot of 20 minutes at a time, 30 minutes if you are too fit. But please – always remember, more of this kind of training is not going to help you! It’s all about the quality of your session, not the quantity.
- Use compound movements Think squats, back squats, lunges, deadlift, bench presses, pull and chin-ups. These exercises provide the most benefits in terms of the most muscle fibres activated, therefore, producing the best strength, muscular and fat burning potential – all at the same time! It would be best if you pushed yourself into doing these kinds of exercises as much as you possibly can during the week. Pick a day to do legs, and deadlift, lunge, leg extensions and even calf raises. Save the usage of machines at the end of your workout, unless your strategy is one of pre-exhausting the muscles.
- I cannot stress enough how vital conditioning is when it comes to completely changing your body shape and burning body fat at the same time. The results take consistent lifting, as well as the proper execution of each exercise and regularly! Watch your body shape change as you keep lifting, slowly increasing your poundage’s as well as the magic of your diet.
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