TIP#3.12 - 5 Steps To Beach Body Abs

How much muscle you build is ultimately down to effective Training. No amount of good food will help your muscle to grow if it hasn't been appropriately stimulated. However, your body composition (Body Fat %) can be greatly helped by your Nutrition. Believe it or not but more Fat can be burnt sitting on the couch then in the gym - purely because of a magic word called; metabolism. Our daily energy consumption relates to the requirement of our individual metabolic needs, from fat burn and energy usage to nutritious sustenance of important cells. The more important cells that require maintenance and sustenance the higher our metabolic needs. Muscle cells are important and expensive in both energy and nutrient requirements. Hence, the more muscle an individual has the higher the metabolic rate. So, all we have to do to burn huge amounts of Fat is to increase our metabolism. Now, if we devise a nutrition principle in which the majority of the energy our metabolism uses comes from our own fat stores then we have the fastest most effective way to burn fat and get lean. See below for 5 steps to getting rid of unwanted fat for the summer!

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1. Increase Metabolic Rate

After cardio vascular focused training, metabolic rate increases for only a few hours after your workout. However, after intense weight training your metabolic rate increases by a huge 30% for upwards of 48hrs after the workout! That means that your energy consumption, just sitting on the couch is 30% higher than usual - you will literally be burning energy fast while doing absolutely nothing! Throw in 3-4 weight training sessions per week and you will raise your metabolic rate for the entire time. This is generally the reason why people who train with weights are leaner, healthier and happier then people who do cardio based training exclusively. Click here to learn how to lift weights properly.

2. Don't Try To 'Work' OR 'Starve' The Fat Off

Good Nutrition will undoubtedly get you to your goals faster, easier and healthier than just trying to 'work' the fat off. The truth is, our bodies are very energy efficient, so when we workout for 1hr even with heavy weights our energy consumption during the workout is actually very low, only 200 or 300 calories. With correct dieting we can make sure our bodies are burning an extra 500 calories from our fat stores not by rapidly decreasing food intake (which causes the loss of valuable muscle) but by just choosing the correct food. Burning the equivalent energy in the gym would mean training for over 2hrs daily, on top of weight training! If you workout too much, and try to burn fat in the gym all day you will end up producing too much stress hormone - which leads to fat storage and muscle loss, the worst nightmare of someone working towards their summer body!

3. Choose The Correct Foods

Protein and Fat are the most important Macro Nutrients, they are what we call 'essential nutrients'. There are no essential Carbohydrates, they are basically just 'energy' and have no nutritional aid to our body cells. Our Muscle cells need Protein and Fat to maintain, sustain and build themselves, and they only use Carbohydrate (glucose) for energy - something that our own bodies produce any way from stored fat (or protein), without the need for it to be in our diets (hence 'un-essential'). So, as you can probably guess, the over consumption of carbohydrates (glucose) will lead to fat storage, and a lower consumption will lead to fat loss. So we must reduce them down to approximately 20% of our daily calorie consumption. 50% will come from Protein, and 30% from Fat. This will be the basis of your fat burning diet. Start with 1.7g of Protein per pound of body weight and calculate the other ratios from that result. E.g. 160lbs body weight x 1.7 = 272 = 272g Protein, and therefore 108g Carbohydrate, 72g Fat. Total = 2,176kcals.

- Carb: 1g=4kcals, Protein: 1g=4kcals, Fat: 1g=9kcals.

4. Timing of Carbohydrate Intake

As we know, Metabolism is key to body composition. Weight training will increase our Metabolism due to the high energy damands of Muscle Repair (from tough workouts) and due to eventually more overall muscle tissue requiring maintenance and energy. As we've discovered that Carbohydrates are just energy, and offer no nutrition value, it makes sense for our bodies to use our own stored fat for energy instead of using the Carbohydrates in our diet. The best way to maximise this is to force the body to use stored fat for energy during the period when our metabolisms are most active, early on in the day. This method goes against other theories that say eating Carbohydrate during the day is better as you can burn it off... Well, would you rather burn energy from food or your own body fat? Your choice. This means that you can eat your required amount of carbs (using the equation above as a basis) in the early evening, when muscle glucose levels are low and dietary Carbohydrate is less likely to be stored as fat.

5. Meal Timing

Insulin is a very important hormone with regard to Fat burning. It is stimulated by the digestion of food, most notably by Carbohydrate. Insulin is a storing hormone and when it is spiked/raised (stimulated) then absolutely no fat burning can occur. Insulin is an energy storing hormone, and Fat burning requires the consuming of energy from stored Fat - the two cannot occur at the same time. As you can see, it would benefit our fat burning ability if we were to spend as much time as possible with our Insulin very low, so the environment in our bodies is suited for Fat burn. We can do this by leaving 3-4hrs between meals and choosing foods that don't stimulate Insulin very much, like Protein and Fat. If we were to be eating constantly all day, i.e. snacking every half hour, then no matter what we eat it might be difficult for our bodies to do any fat burning at all due to the constant stimulation of Insulin. Divide your required food into 4-5 manageable meals (supplements can form a small fraction of required nutrients) and spread them equally throughout the day to ensure Insulin levels can recover after each meal.

Thanks so much for Reading!

Matt The Trainer

Personal Trainer London

Click here for more info on Nutrition.

NOTE: I am an exercise Professional and I am qualified to give advice about Training and Nutrition. It is perfectly healthy for a normal person to eat this way. However, if you suffer from any illness, disease or health condition then please consult your physician before embarking on a Training or Diet program. If you are unsure if you suffer from a health condition then consult your physician to make sure. Thank You.

#nutrition #diet #abs

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