Working out more usually means you have to eat more. After a hard session or a long run, you can often feel like you’re a bottomless pit. This insatiable hunger after exercise is what makes quick fat loss seem nigh on impossible.
It’s scientifically proven that exercise makes you feel hungrier – your appetite triggers become more responsive because of hormone changes in your body following training. This is actually known as the “compensation effect”.
So how can you actually lose fat fast if your body keeps telling you to eat and eat, like you’ve got hollow legs?
One common answer for quick fat loss is to effectively starve yourself. We don’t condone this here at Auro. This quick fat loss is obviously not sustainable. Your body goes into what is effectively a state of starvation, eating at your fat stores to survive. In the short term, you do appear to lose fat. However as soon as you resume normal eating habits and exercise, all the weight magically reappears.
It actually really depends on your typical work out, and your exercise goals and weight loss goals.
Diets are tough. For runners, especially so. Have you ever wondered how you can keep on losing weight, simultaneously doing the necessary carb-loading? Cutting calories just doesn’t work in this situation.
Cutting calories or those devilish carbs when you’re running a lot is counterproductive. It’ll make you feel sluggish, have low energy, a poor recovery, and you might not be able to handle or progress with challenging yourself to longer/tougher training sessions.
So what to do? You’ve got to train smart.
If your training is geared towards a time goal, you’ll actually lose weight. Faster runs, longer runs, and even just running more often will all help you lose weight.
Typically speaking, running or jogging for a long time at one continuous pace is not going to get you anywhere, fat loss wise. I’ve spoken about this before, your body is a machine and wants to be as efficient as possible. If you keep doing the same run, at the same pace, your body goes into a sort of autopilot where you do exercises using as little effort as possible. It’s evolutionary. We are genetically programmed to store fat to protect us in case of famine, so this constant level of exertion becomes the new normal. It’s not maximising your work out, so to speak.
How to combat this? Structure your running training to promote weight loss.
Try to incorporate HIIT (high intensity interval training) into your cardio workouts. This will boost your metabolic rate, helping to burn calories even after you’ve stopped exercising. Stimulate the body…..
Not a runner? Not a problem
You can take this up a notch with strength training or weight lifting. Predictable, I’m sure, but muscle building exercises are a really great way to bolster your metabolism.
Be dynamic in your workout. A lot of people fall victim to getting distracted by their phones, chatting to friends, and aren’t truly maximising their training. Stand up rather than sitting on a machine – free weights are king!
To further maximise your workout, progress to lifting heavier weight at a lower rep rate. Light weight sessions offer little stimulation to actually build up muscle mass and, although higher reps are more active, don’t properly tax your body. So if you want those #gains, train with weights as heavy as possible with various rep ranges. Remember, more isn’t always better. If you push your body too far, you can find that your body will start to push back.
All of this is somewhat useless if your diet is a shambles. Recovery in exercise is hugely important. Your body only has a finite number of resources to aid recovery, so if you go too hard, soon enough you’ll exhaust yourself.
So you’ve got to fuel yourself properly. You can’t out train a poor diet, and it’ll catch up with you eventually.
With better food decisions, you can control your weight gain/loss, and maintain it. There are plenty of diets claiming to help fat fall from your frame, but they can be gimmicky, super restrictive, and unsustainable. Low calorie diets, generally speaking, won’t let you workout to your full potential – so what’s even the point?
To start with, focus your meals of nutrient dense foods. think of foods with as few ingredients as possible. Whole, unprocessed meals which are healthier and filling are ideal. What you need to do is actually satisfy your appetite. Rewarding yourself with bagels and biscuits after a tough workout is often well-deserved, but in the long run won’t keep you full. If weight loss is your goal, foods that are high in nutrients but lower in calorie should be the foundation of your diet. These include vegetables, legumes, grains, fruit, and protein.
This isn’t necessarily a restrictive diet – it’s simply making a better choice with what you put in your body.
Nix sugary drinks and juices – unsurprisingly, these are super high in sugar. Avoiding these can help you lose weight by simply reducing extra calories consumed which wouldn’t actually fill you up.
Tim Ferris actually has a pretty informative post about quick fat loss through dieting. Check it out for a more structured dining plan.
Hard and fast rule?
As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. Quick fat loss is possible, but not easily maintained. The human body is a remarkable adaptation organism, but only for short periods. If you want sustainable fat loss, you need to gradually change your diet, exercise routine, and reduce your stress.
Diet wise, focus on your food’s quality and not those mysterious calories. Many people fail to lose weight due to poor insulin regulation. Your insulin levels spike when you eat simple carbohydrates, especially refined sugars such as baked goods and soda.
Focus on nutrient rich foods. Cut back on the sugar, gradually reduce your carbohydrate intake, and you’ll see results.
For exercise, commit to training 3 or 4 times a week. Do a mix of strength training and HIIT to build on muscle mass and improve your resting metabolism.