I haven’t talked specifically about fat loss in a while. That’s mostly because I prefer to focus on getting stronger to look better. You don’t have to focus on losing body fat in order to achieve it. My clients focus on getting stronger and improving their performance in the gym; fat loss is just a great side effect.
However, summer is quickly approaching, and that means people will be flocking to the beach, lake, and pool parties. Inevitably, it also means people will be searching for the latest and greatest (and most miraculous) ways to lose body fat as quickly as possible.
Well, I’m not going to tell you I have discovered the holy grail of fat loss or anything like that. Anyone who claims to have a miracle pill or program is only after your money. There is no overnight cure for fat loss – like it or not, you will have to put in the time and work to lose body fat.
I am going to share with you my three favorite ways to lose body fat so you can get swim suit ready.
I thrive on keeping things simple – from my training, to nutrition, to how I live my life in general; I am all about simplicity.
When it comes to losing fat, I like to follow the same format. The simpler, the better. The three methods I am about to share with you for increasing fat loss are incredibly simple, but they produce results.
My Three Favorite Fat Loss Methods
1) Go for a walk every day – now I know many people have ranted and raved that low intensity cardio doesn’t work for fat loss. Well, that is not the experience my clients and I have had. Granted, we also eat smart and lift heavy weights, but adding in a few walks each week definitely helps burn some extra calories.
This is the simplest method to incorporate into your current regimen. Start by going for a brisk 30 minute walk about five times per week (or every day) first thing in the morning. Why first thing in the morning? Because if you wait until later in the day you’ll be more likely to come up with an excuse for not going on a walk. Get it done first thing and get on with your day.
Every two weeks increase the time by five minutes. You can even add in a second walk later in the day.
Let me give you a personal example. I was finishing up my degree at the University of Louisville a few years ago, and I lived in a small apartment. I brought my dog back with me after I visited home one weekend, and I knew I was going to be busy walking her because she is a very high energy dog.
Each morning I’d take her for about a 40 minute walk. When I came home in the early afternoon I’d take her out again for about 15 minutes. And then we’d go out for one more 40 minute walk to end the day. That added up to an extra 95 minutes of additional activity every day.
The result – after a few weeks I dropped a couple pounds of fat without even trying. I usually check my weight every couple of weeks just to see how things are going, and I was shocked when I saw my weight was two pounds less than it normally had been. I had consistently weighed 122 for a few months, but it was down to 120 after a few weeks of walking my dog.
It wasn’t my intention to lose body fat, but it happened because of all the extra activity. And I didn’t lose any muscle either, because I was still improving my performance in the gym.
As I announced to everyone a couple of weeks ago, I moved again. I was living out in the country and my dog could run around all day. Now I’m back in town and once again I find myself going for a few dog walks each day.
I recorded my weight and measurements a week ago, and I’ll keep track of what happens from adding in the additional activity of walking every day.
Like I said – going for a walk every day does burn fat if you do it consistently. But keep in mind I am eating smart and also deadlifting, squatting, rowing, and pressing heavy every week.
2) Run hill sprints – this is another favorite of mine that I really like to use during the summer. Not only is running hill sprints very effective for burning fat, but just like going for a walk outside each day, it allows you to get some fresh air and sunshine.
There is also something “freeing” about running hill sprints. I can’t really explain it, but if you’ve ever busted your butt running up a hill, you know what I mean. It just feels good to run.
Adding in some hill sprints two to three times per week can kick your fat loss up a notch.
3) Swing a kettlebell – I really like kettlebell swings, and I like them even more for fat loss. Dan John wrote an article for T Nation about how to properly perform a kettlebell swing, and also the many benefits as well. You can check it out here.
In that article he discussed how kettlebell swings are excellent for fat loss. A simple way to incorporate swings for fat loss is to perform them multiple times per week, or even every day.
Dan suggests performing a set number each day or several times per week. For example, you can have a goal of 100 swings every day. You don’t perform them all at once, but in “bite size” pieces throughout the day. For example, you could perform two sets of 20 reps in the morning, two sets of 20 reps in the afternoon, and then a final set of 20 reps later in the evening.
Just add the swings into your current training program and see what happens.
So there you have it – my three favorite methods for losing body fat. If you want to burn some extra fat before summer, pick one of those methods and apply it consistently.
You can even alternate them: perform method number one for 4-6 weeks, and then method number two for 4-6 weeks, and then perform method number three for 4-6 weeks. That way you don’t get bored and your body doesn’t get used to one single method.