Get Shredded for Summer - 7 Steps to Fat Loss

The dark, bleak months of winter are finally over, and summer is just around the corner. And with that comes parties, barbecues and most important of all beach season, which means it’s time to shed the fat from the winter bulk and get shredded! 

But, what’s the most effective way to get a dynamite beach body and how do you go about attaining one? That’s where we come in!

Follow these tips to get the shredded beach body you’ve always wanted!

Steps to Getting Ripped

1. Formulate a Plan

This seems fairly obvious, but before you start exercising, weighing food, or anything else, you need have a plan of action...without one, you’re bound to fail. Depending on how much weight you want / need to lose will determine how long your cut needs to be planned out. There’s no set rules, but here’s a general guideline:

    0 - 10 lbs = start cutting 2-3 months ahead of summer

    20+ lbs = start cutting 4-5 months ahead.

    Add 1-2 weeks for any major foreseeable obstacles.

      Note: Allow for 1-2 weeks for an “adjustment” period to monitor fluctuations in weight loss and tweak calorie deficit.

      Note 2: Aim to lose 1-2 lbs each week, any more than that, and you risk losing a good bit of muscle in addition to fat!

       

      2. Calculate Your Calories

        Time for some math!
        You need to determine your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) to see where your current maintenance calories are. To do so, you’ll need to know a few things:
        - Weight
        - Approximate body fat %
        - Height
        - Age
        - Activity Level (i.e. how many days / week you exercise vigorously)
        From there, simply plug the above numbers into anyone of the easily accessible online caloric calculators and you’ll get your TDEE!

         

            3. Reduce Calories

            Now that you know your TDEE, it’s time to cut calories...but not too much! It’s generally recommended to cut approximately 500 calories per day from your TDEE. This has you losing roughly 1 lb / week, as 1 lb of fat is approximately 3500 calories (500 calorie deficit / day * 7 days = 3500 calorie deficit / week).

               
              4. Track Macros

              Here’s the most critical part thus far in regards to nutrition -- you MUST track how much food, and what types you're eating. First and foremost, prioritize protein! Aim for 1-1.5g / lb of protein while cutting. This ensures you have ample amino acids to maintain your muscle mass while restricting calories, and helps fill you up since protein is incredibly satiating.

              After protein, set fat at 0.5 g / lb bodyweight. Fats are needed for joint health and hormone production, so just because you’re dieting doesn’t mean you should completely eliminate fats.

              Finally, fill the remainder of your calories with carbohydrates.

              Confused? Here’s an example:

              Calorie Limit / Day: 2500
              Current bodyweight: 165
              Protein goal = 165 *1 g / day = 165 g / day
              Fat = 165 * 0.5 = 82.5 g / day
              Carbs = 2500 - (165*4) - (82.5*9)
                         = 2500 - 660 - 742.5
                         = 1097.5 calories, then divide by 4 (4 cals / g Carb)
              = 274g Carbs / day

               

                   

                  5. Lift Heavy

                   

                  Don’t be fooled by all the things you’ve heard on the news or read online about lifting light weights for high reps when cutting so you can “tone up.” That’s bunk!
                  You retain muscle by still hitting the weights just as hard as you did before. Your stamina and endurance might be hindered from reduced calories, but still strive to lift the same amount of weight as you did while bulking to preserve lean body mass, i.e. MUSCLE.

                     

                    6. HIIT It!

                    Cardio is frequently recommended as a great “add on” to traditional weight training to increase caloric expenditure and accelerate fat loss. However, traditional cardio training (i.e. steady-state cardio) doesn't do a whole heck of a lot for fat loss.

                    Many may scoff at that statement, but it’s the truth. Similar to weight training, you have to attack your cardio with intensity, and thus for minimal time wasted doing cardio for maximum benefit you should opt for High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT for short.

                    Rather than slog away on the bike or treadmill for hours on end, doing short (20 - 30 minutes) bouts of HIIT gives you all the fat loss benefits if cardio without wasting your time or eating away at your muscle.

                    We’ll go into the various forms of HIIT in a future post, so stay tuned!

                       

                      7. Supplements

                      Supplements should be the final stop on your way to getting shredded. Only after you’ve got a solid foundation with a structured weight training program and diet, should you look into fat burners.

                      Remember, all the weight loss aids in the world won’t make one bit of difference if you’re overeating and not pushing yourself in the gym!

                      Some useful ingredients that may help stimulate the release of fatty acids (a process known as lipolysis), suppress appetite, and increase metabolic rate include:
                        - Caffeine
                        - Synephrine
                        - Higenamine (a.k.a. Norcoclaurine),
                        - Green tea extract,
                        - Forskolin (Coleus Forskohlii)

                         

                        There’s several others that also fit the bill, but choosing an effective fat burner is a whole topic unto itself!

                         

                        Takeaway

                         

                        There’s no secret formula to getting ripped for summer. It takes planning, dedication, and grit to get the body you want. You’ll be tempted to cheat on your diet by friends wanting to party all night, or co workers wanting to grab drinks after work. But you’ve got more important goals that the immediate gratification of a piece of cake or alcoholic beverage.
                         
                        You’ve got to get ripped and ready for summer, and with these tips, you will have the beachbody everyone else is dreaming of!

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