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8 Legitimate Ways to Boost Fat Loss

I won’t make you drink my breakfast smoothie

 

 

It is important that I stress the importance of the word ‘legitimate’ in the title. Anyone that suggests you drink fit tea or wear a waist trainer deserves the fate of Ned Stark. It is also important to use these tools strategically. Here you have eight options to ensure you never hit a plateau. If you use all of these tools at once, you will basically sabotage your progress in the long run. Don’t pull a Mike Ditka and trade all those draft picks for the quick fix.

Mike Ditka notoriously traded every single draft pick in 1999 to the Redskins to select Ricky Williams

 

 

 

  1. Cut Calories

Let’s just get the obvious ones out of the way first. Calories matter, no matter what guru will tell you. They matter in every single diet, even the ketogenic diet where you are completely changing your body’s main fuel source. If you cut calories you will lose weight, but you have to know where to cut from. Choosing an arbitrary number as you new caloric total is akin to throwing darts blindfolded. It pays in the long run to calculate your maintenance calorie total (the amount you need to maintain the weight you are right now) and work from there.

2. Add Cardio

Sometimes we forget that energy balance works in two ways. We here the phrase “I need to go on a diet” far more often than “I need to increase my energy output.” But it’s true; adding more cardiovascular exercise is just as effective as decreasing calories. More on specific types of cardio later.

3. Cycle Your Carbohydrates

There is a drawback to steadily lowering calories, and it is has to do with the relationship between calorie intake and metabolism. Metabolism has a direct relationship to calorie intake; if you eat less eventually your metabolic rate will also decrease. Carb cycling negates this. In a nutshell, carb cycling is manipulating you carb intake over time (i.e. 2 low carb days, followed by 1 high day). The periodic high carbohydrate days are basically a ‘reset’ for your metabolism. Things become problematic when high carb days get out of control and become massive cheat days. Be responsible with your carb refeeds, it’s not a free for all.

4. Change Your Cardio

No no, I don’t mean start doing fasted cardio. Okay I suckered myself into this one. For anyone wondering, fasted cardio is no better or worse than fed cardio for fat loss if all other variables are equal. If you like it, do it, but it’s not necessary. What I mean by changing cardio is taking more of a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) approach. LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) cardio will eventually fail you because it is… low intensity. Your body is quick to adapt to low intensity cardio. High intensity cardio will have you approaching your max heart rate during every session, which means you never truly adapt to it. It is also way more convenient and efficient. You can complete a high intensity cardio session in as little as 15 minutes.

5. Change Macronutrient Ratios Within Same Caloric Total

Protein will likely remain a constant on any diet, but carbohydrate and fat ratios can certainly be adjusted. Certain people can tolerate carbs better than fats and vice versa. This strategy is particularly useful when one’s calories are already low and the person may be hesitant to drop them further for fear of jeopardizing their health.

6. Change Carbohydrate Timing

We can argue all day about the role meal timing plays, but I think most would agree that our bodies are more insulin sensitive and thus can process carbohydrates more efficiently after a workout. As a result, shifting a greater portion of your carbs to your post workout meal may be a better strategy than cutting carbs.

7. Change Your Food Choices

Perhaps you can’t do IIFYM the way others do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying tracking macros doesn’t work (see #1, I’m all about the numbers). This is more about compliance. We all have trigger foods. Trigger foods are the things that send us off the deep end. Triggers foods are foods that we can’t eat just one of. In the end, the best diets are the ones that we can follow. If you keep foods around that test your willpower, it’s a recipe for disaster. There’s a reason you won’t find peanut butter in my pantry.

8. Supplements 

Hear me out, there’s some decent research behind some supplement ingredients with regard to fat loss. Caffeine, Yohimbine, Synephrine, and Carnitine are all things I look for when shopping for a thermogenic supplement. Other ingredients like CLA and Raspberry Ketones are popular in the fat loss category, but I feel lack the research to be considered effective. I’m not avoiding them by any means, but won’t go out of my way to purchase them.

UFC Will Surpass Baseball or Completely Flame Out

Most young sports fans, myself included, were not around when boxing was king in America.  But it was.  Ali, Foreman, and Frazier were must see TV in the 60’s and 70’s.  As the heavyweight division became weaker, baseball reclaimed its place at the top.  It’s called ‘America’s Pastime’ for a reason.  Now, football has the country’s attention by a landslide with baseball falling to second or third.

Point is, sports are cyclical.  The UFC is at the height of its popularity and Major League Baseball is struggling in the post-steroid era.  Mixed martial arts is a unique sport, in the sense that it’s only been around for about 20 years.  In the early years, it was regarded as a freak show due its no holds barred nature.  Now, it’s getting more attention and becoming a fixture on Sportscenter and Fox Sports.  Can it take the next step in terms of popularity?

 

 

Argument in favor of UFC

 

Today’s youth will gravitate towards mixed martial arts

This applies to both men and women.  Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey showed that you can make serious money and become a national star as a mixed martial artist.  I feel that young women in particular view female professional fighters as strong and even heroic.  For the boys, there’s now something to strive for after high school wrestling.  High school wrestling is a big deal and amateur wrestling is considered to be the best skillset to have for MMA.  This is how sport popularity transitions take place.  A great young athlete will most likely thrive in any sport they choose.  The question is, what sport will that be?

 

Aside from the NFL, all professional leagues are vulnerable

Baseball is dying.  It lacks the stars, personalities, and home runs that draw in the casual fan.  Who is the face of Major League Baseball?  Bryce Harper?  Mike Trout?  Ask the average person if they know who those guys are.  Then ask them if they know who Tom Brady or Lebron James are.  Speaking of the NBA, it too is in an unusual position.  Super teams like the Warriors and the Lebron/Wade Heat teams make for drama in the playoffs, but destroy the intrigue of the regular season.  Last year the Warriors broke a regular season wins record that seemed untouchable, yet it was considered one of the most boring regular seasons in recent memory.  When stars are stockpiled on three or four teams, there is a lack of competitive matchups.

 

 

 

Argument against the UFC

 

The UFC is TOO unpredictable

There have been six title changes so far in 2016, and it’s only August.  The volatility of every fight makes it interesting, but it can be difficult to develop stars if the title is passed around like a hot potato.  Last year Holly Holm was on top of the world, now she’s lost two straight fights and is reportedly taking some time off.  Certain fighters can survive a losing streak and remain a draw, but they are few and far between.  The unpredictability of mixed martial arts and punching with 8 ounce gloves can be both a blessing and a curse.  As strong as the UFC brand is, you still need individual stars.

 

The C word

We can thank the NFL’s mishandling of the concussion issue for bringing it into the public eye.  Hell they even made a movie about it.  I mentioned earlier that every league aside from the NFL is vulnerable, and I’m sticking with it.  Concussions and the resulting brain trauma are for real, but I think that the system for dealing with them is evolving and improving.  Any contact with the head is basically illegal and there are new precedents in place for penalizing teams that do not diagnose concussions properly.  The NFL is not a noble organization by any means, but the new safety precautions are better for player health.

Fighters know the inherent risks of the sport, but is the juice worth the squeeze?  There is a huge gap in pay from a main eventer to a guy on the prelims.  Brock Lesnar made $2.5 million at UFC 200, Enrique Marin made $13,000.  An NFL practice squad player still makes six figures.  Can the UFC grow fast enough to satisfy the needs of an average fighter?

 

 

Final Thoughts

The good news for the UFC is that it does not yet have the Muhammad Ali or Junior Seau-like figure that illustrates the dangers of its sport.  As mentioned earlier, the sport itself is so new that it really hasn’t had the opportunity to show the long term dangers.  It’s safe to say that it has surpassed boxing, but catching a sport like baseball is a much larger task.  The UFC was recently sold to WME-IMG for four billion dollars.  They have to keep the momentum going and develop new young stars while Conor carries the torch.  Jon Jones’ suspension was a killer for them, as he is considered the best fighter in the world and a polarizing figure.  UFC 200 was a letdown, they need to capitalize on the New York card in November.

Quickie: I went out for a drink and immediately stopped

At first I thought this was a bit off topic, but it’s still related to health.  I don’t go out too much; I’m trying to run a friggin’ business here.  But a friend of mine was home for Easter and asked me if I wanted to go out for a beer.  I thought what the hell, I haven’t seen him in a long time.  We met up and had a Bud Light.  We finished and he asked if I wanted another one while walking up to the counter (thus pretty much assuming I’d say yes).

beerI don’t know what triggered me to do this, but I stopped, looked around at my surroundings and saw:

  • Red, bloated faces
  • Guts
  • Bags under eyes
  • Overall, a sluggish vibe

I said “Nah man I’m good.”  He had a bit of a surprised look on his face.  I’m not anti-drinking by any means, hence why I accepted the invite in the first place.  But let’s be real, this shit isn’t good for you.  The people I described above were not old men and women either.  Most were in their 20’s or 30’s.  I won’t be joining any straight edge forums but it’s safe to say the booze will be reserved for special occasions.