You worked hard through spring to shred down to a lean, chiselled physique. You did everything you needed to achieve the coveted summer body and showcased it proudly in the sun. With fall fast approaching you’re not keen on losing all the gains you’ve made this year. So, we’re bringing you three simple steps to staying lean after summer.
Step 1 – Keep your calories at maintenance
Chances are you had to diet hard to get where you are. You tracked your calories like a pro and didn’t let your diet slip, which shows in your dedication and definition.
However, eating like you did to shred down to low levels of body fat isn’t sustainable.
After a while of dieting, say a month or so, you should return you calories to maintenance. This is simply the amount you need to not gain or lose any more weight. It’s important to return to this way of eating once you’ve hit your goal.
What this does is give your body a break from the constant negative energy balance. It allows your hormones to reset and thrive, while also giving your metabolism a much-needed reboot. Your muscle mass will be grateful too and you’ll be much stronger and powerful in the gym.
Cutting calories for too long is a slow death for your physique. It learns to adapt and compensates by slowing down your metabolism and restricting certain functions. So, what you might find is that you become weaker, lethargic, and have possible issues with your testosterone. You might eventually start to lose the lean muscle mass you fought to create.
When bringing your calories back up to maintenance, it’s better to take it slow. Try to stick around at your ideal body fat for around a fortnight to see how you suit the weight. Then, add 100 calories a day in the form of some high-quality protein, carbs, or fat.
Eventually, you’ll hit your maintenance calories, so it’s a good idea to keep weighting and/or measuring yourself to see how lean you are staying. You can always try before and after pictures over a few weeks if you’re not a fan of the scales or tape measure.
To put it all simply, don’t diet forever. Feed your body the right amount of nutrients it demands to keep you fit, strong, and healthy.
Step 2 – Lift heavy and often, but reduce your cardio
Lifting heavy weights is fun – fact. But how many of us stop to think how important it is to staying lean?
When you were shredding down to your peak summer physique you were no doubt hitting the gym hard, and the pavement harder. After all, getting down to admirably low levels of body fat is never easy.
However, now is the time to cut back a little on the volume and focus on intensity. Because like we just mentioned, how you’re looking at the height of summer is a peaking phase. If you try to maintain by working out as frantically, you’re soon to overreach, and eventually overtrain. But you’re too smart to even get that far, because you’re going to cut back the hours and focus on quality, hard work instead.
Lifting heavy weights is important for three reasons. Number one, it’s pretty much essential for building and maintaining lean muscle mass. Your body needs that stimulus of challenged muscle fibers to keep them and your hormones firing on all cylinders. Without the stimulus, they have no need to stay strong and mighty.
Number two, lifting hard and heavy is an efficient way to burn fat. Not only when you’re working out either, no no. In fact, studies show that resistance training can even make you use up more calories post-workout as your body adjusts back to baseline.
The third and final reason is pretty simple – muscles need more calories than fat to function. So, by default, training to build and maintain your lean mass helps you keep your metabolism ramped up. One study saw that 24-weeks of weight training can increase a man’s resting metabolism by 9%.
Try to keep yourself in the gym four to five times a week. Concentrate on intense, compound lifts to maximize your time and make your body more efficient. Multi-joint movements allow you to lift a lot more weight and can seriously challenge your mind and muscle. They’re notorious for blasting through body fat too.
Start your workout with your bigger main move, like a squat, and then move into higher-rep accessories. Mix in your cardio as you like – just make sure your body feels as good as it looks.
Step 3 – Eat the right foods
By now you’re a veteran at eating for results. So, we’re not going to try to talk to you about macros because the proof is in the body you’ve build.
This final step is all about fat fighting foods – aka ingredients with a high thermogenic effect.
First on the list is always protein. Okay, we know we said we weren’t talking about macros, but this is a different context. Protein is incredibly difficult for your body to breakdown. Therefore, it takes a lot of energy to process. This gives protein a high thermic effect, meaning it increases your body temperature and takes a lot of calories to unlock and utilize. As a result, eating plenty of protein can significantly boost your metabolism throughout the day.
Other powerful thermogenic ingredients often come in on a much more micro level. Take capsaicin for example, the potent fiery compound that’s active in chilli peppers. You’ll have felt this light up your tongue and send hot waves all the way through your body. That’s it’s thermic effect, and your body has to work double-time to bring your temperature back down to baseline. As a result, you naturally ramp up your metabolism.
Next, we’ve got something we know you love – coffee. The caffeine inside coffee is famed for its ability to help you feel alert, energized and focused. Part of this is thanks for its ability to trigger the release of noradrenaline. When this influential neurotransmitter begins to flow, it creates a series of events that results in your body breaking down fat more efficiently for fuel. Not only that, but it too increases your resting metabolism, just like capsaicin.
Finally, we have another drink that’s more popular among health-conscious heroes rather than goal-crushing go-getters: green tea. Green tea has a small amount of caffeine, adding to its thermic effect. However, it’s the amazing powers green tea’s key antioxidant EGCG that steals the show. EGCG has the ability to promote fat breakdown during both exercise and rest. Apparently, caffeine and EGCG work synergistically as a team too.
A lot of these ingredients can be compiled into a high-quality fat burning supplements. These are products designed to optimize people’s efforts to stay lean by giving them a mixture of thermogenic compounds, alongside essential vitamins and other nutrients. For a lot of men, a fat burner is an easy and efficient way of supplying their physique with these ingredients without scouring online or the grocery store. You can see a collection of the markets top choices reviewed here: https://bestsupplements2019.com/