18 Quick Tips For Last Minute Leanness

Got a before and after picture you want to take? Getting ready for a fitness competition? Ready to get your gear off?

If not, employ these emergency solutions to make radical improvements to your body fat – so you can breathe out with ease when the going gets hot.

 

1. Get more sleep

Slashing your Zs makes you hungry and more likely to snack on poor food choices, found research at the University of Chicago. But there is a nutritional antidote: protein. Shooting for a lower body fat while taking in 0.75g of protein for each pound of bodyweight daily helped improve sleep quality, found a study at Purdue University.

 

2. Become inefficient

As with all training, your body builds tolerance for cardio and you become a fuel-efficient machine, burning the fewest amount of calories possible, leaving you with excess baggage you might not want seen on the beach. You can and must still do cardio, but try failing at it a little by varying your form on cardio machines. Use an underhand grip on the rowing machine or backwards on the treadmill. You won’t be as good at it, which will in turn make you very good at burning fat.

 

3. Cheat

No matter what dietary do-gooders say, cheating is essential because the body runs on homeostasis in an effort to keep balance. Research in the American Journal of Physiology suggests cheating can be a useful nutritional tool in metabolism management. It’s also an important aspect mentally that can deliver extra motivation. So enjoy your vice foods once a week to give your metabolism a little breathing room, then hit your nutrition hard the following week.

 

4. Embrace bromance

It’s a vicious circle: stress boosts hormones that increase fat, which in turn makes you feel stressed. Try buddying up with a bro. Research done at the University of California suggests male bonding could have the same healthful effects as romantic relationships, especially when dealing with stress. Just take it easy with the beers.

 

5. Sweat it out

Saunas will not only get you prepped for the heat, they could also increase your exercise capacity. A study in JAMA Internal Medicine found regular saunas improved heart health. A stronger heart will help you push bigger numbers while doing long-distance exercise, leading to better weight loss.

 

6. Opt for a Mediterranean diet

Try pairing a nutritional slip-up with the right kind of diet. Researchers at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, tested over 15,000 people and found those who ate a Mediterranean diet weren’t as harmed when eating fatty junk food. That doesn’t mean a few olives give you impunity at McDonalds.

 

7. Eat your fats

Rewire your thoughts on fat because it can help you get lean. Ben Coomber, expert nutritionist, suggests: “Overall you should keep your fat intake to roughly 30% of your daily calories. Also, add coconut oil to your diet to think faster and lift harder.” It’s simple: use fat to get fit.

 

8. Snap before eating

It might be worth becoming one of those chumps who posts their meals on Instagram. Looking at too many pics of food can make it less enjoyable, found research at Brigham Young University. Reverse engineer this to your advantage by taking several snaps of high-calorie food options you’re eating, look at them several times and then tuck in. OK, so you might look a little odd while doing it but you may not eat as much of it.

 

9. Eat your beans

Eating just 130g of beans, peas, lentils or chickpeas daily can help keep you lean without making any other dietary changes, found research in The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition. It helped guys lose ¾lb over six weeks, so spill the pintos at least once a day because every little bit counts.

 

10. Switch to vegan

Even if you’re a die-hard carnivore, try going vegan for a while if you want to lose weight. Research in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found vegan dieters lost more weight than those on weightloss programs that included meat, losing as much as 4.5lb more in the short term.

 

11. Get organized

A cluttered kitchen is a calorific one. People who were offered cookies in a kitchen ate fewer if they were in a clean one compared to a messy one, found research in Environment and Behavior. Don’t limit this to your kitchen: tidy your office and car to eliminate more unwanted calories.

 

12. Trick yourself

How full you feel after a meal is all about perception. Boffins at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior showed people a large or small portion of fruit and told them it was being blended into a smoothie. Those shown the large portion felt fuller for longer – even though both got the same sized smoothie.

 

13. Clear the bench

Here’s the clincher for clutterfree workspaces. People who had cereal sitting on their counters weighed 20lb more than their neighbors who didn’t, and those who had a fruit bowl weighed 13lb less, found a study in Health Education and Behavior. If you want to be lean, do as lean people do.

 

14. Try fasting

Fewer calories coming in versus more calories going out might be the golden rule for weight loss but what happens when there are no calories coming in – at all? Well, a study in Cell Metabolism got dieters to eat as they normally would for 25 days out of a month and then fast for five.

On day one of the fast, they’d eat 1,090 calories: 10% protein, 56% fat and 34% carbohydrates. For days two through to five they ate 725 calories: 9% protein, 44% fat, 47% carbohydrates. In the study, participants consumed a lot of vegetable soup and chamomile tea which all created dramatic weight loss – all the while clearing out damaged cells and regenerating new ones. Could be a good option if you only have short staying power for diet plans.

 

15. Cereal isn’t just for breakfast

Cereal isn’t just for breakfast, because when it’s combined with a little milk it becomes a great high-protein snack – providing it isn’t loaded with sugar. However, if you’re eating it late at night, choose the brand with the biggest flakes because research at Penn State found you’ll eat fewer calories than brands with more diminutive ones. Small change that’ll help your weight loss flake the grade.

 

16. Focus on your food

Even a healthy TV dinner could be as bad as a fast-food trip. Research in Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice found people distracted while eating consumed far more calories than those focused on their meal, especially at the family dinner table. De-tech for dinner to activate weight loss.

 

17. Map it out

Distance can be painfully subjective and even destroy your fitness goals. Research presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences found overweight people saw a 25m distance as 30m, while a fit person saw it as 15m. So if your running route seems too far, use a fitness tracker to remove the subjectivity from the equation and let yourself know precisely what you’re capable of.

 

18. Bring your abs to the boil

Swapping the banana for broccoli allows you to keep the necessary nutrients and antioxidants while reducing your overall sugar, carb and calories intake. To put this into perspective, one apple consists of 116 calories and 30.80g of carbs, as opposed to a pepper, which has 40 calories and 5g of carbs. You do the lean math.

 

Find tips and inspiration and more in every issue of TRAIN magazine.

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