Pump Up The Protein
Consuming adequate protein—roughly 30 percent of your daily calories—is so important that I had to include it twice!
Remove Nutritional Vices
Keeping that half-eaten bag of chips in the kitchen cupboard won’t help you resist temptation. Why unnecessarily test your will power? Clear all the chips, sugary drinks, ice cream, and other processed goodies from your kitchen. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it.
Getting accustomed to reading the nutritional facts is a good habit to get into. But don’t stop at the protein, carbohydrate, and fat content— read the entire list of ingredients. You’ll be amazed at how many foods are loaded with America’s “favorite nutrient”: high fructose corn syrup. Which is code for “more sugar.”
Don’t Forget Your Bcaas
Branch chain amino acids (BCAA) are the building blocks of the body. Put more simply, they make up 35 percent of your muscle mass and must be present for molecular growth to take place. They help to halt muscle breakdown and activate protein synthesis. Drinking BCAAs during an interval cardio session can help you burn more fat when your carbohydrates are low.
Take ZMA Before Bed
ZMA—a combination of zinc, magnesium aspirate, and a hint of vitamin B6—can be taken at bedtime to help you relax and get a good night’s sleep. Proper sleep is not only important for muscle building, but is also essential for optimizing fat-loss hormones such as human growth hormone and leptin. Intense training can deplete your mineral stores. The zinc in ZMA will help keep zinc levels up, which is important for metabolic and immune functions, including supporting testosterone levels.
Drink Green Tea
Green tea is a fat-loss powerhouse. It is calorie-free and contains an antioxidant/caffeine combination that will boost your weight loss.
Caffeinate Before Workouts
If you’re not too sensitive to caffeine, gulping down 200 mg before your workout—whether it’s cardio or weights—can help liberate some of that stubborn stored body fat. The extra energy boost from caffeine will also help keep your lifts high and help combat any fatigue you might be feeling from your reduced-calorie diet.
Supplement with Fish Oil
In addition to research pointing towards fish oil andomega-3 supplements as a means to help slow down the body’s aging process, fish oil decreases your resting heart rate. Why is this beneficial? A slower heart rate means you’ll have to work harder (i.e., burn more calories) to reach your target heart rate during your cardio sessions.
Skipping out on low-rep training just because you’re dieting is a terrible idea. The easiest way to hold on to lean mass while dieting is to remind your body that it needs all the muscle it has. To maintain maximum muscle while dieting, start your training sessions off with a big compound moment in the 3-5 or 4-6 rep range. Low-rep training stimulates all muscle fibers—from slow to fast twitch. Choose a heavy weight that’s challenging.
Make Compound Movement Your Foundation
The benefits of compound movements are pretty simple: They allow you to lift heavier weights, recruit more muscles, and burn more calories. Lose the leg extensions, and squat instead!