25 Unconventional Fat Shredding Tips

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Has your fat loss come to a screeching halt? Does it seem like no matter what you try, you just can’t seem to drop those last few pounds of body fat?

Have you tried all the traditional methods for cutting fat but the scale isn’t moving? If so, check out these 25 unconventional fat shredding tips.

Tip #1 – Cycle Your Carbs

Carbohydrate cycling is an excellent technique to ensure your body burns as much body fat as possible and utilizes carbohydrates only when they’re necessary – during high intensity exercise. Chronic low carbohydrate intake can downregulate thyroid function, decrease metabolism and increase fatigue.

Consuming carbohydrates only around the workout window, pre/intra/post-workout, ensures fat burning, thyroid and energy levels are optimized. Alternatively you can alternative low-carb and high carb days depending on the weight training workout you perform that day.

Tip #2 – Practice Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has exploded in popularity over the past few years and for good reason. It’s an excellent eating style to manage hunger levels, maximize fat burning, provide cardioprotective benefits and discourage unhealthy eating practices (e.g. following a strict eating schedule). [1]

Intermittent fasting has proven especially effective for eliminating fat in stubborn areas such as the lower back/love handles in men; butt, hips, and thighs in women; and lower abdominals in both genders. [2] Popular intermittent fasting strategies include alternate day fasting (ADF), Leangains (16 hours of fasting/8 hour feeding window), and the Warrior Diet (20 hours of fasting/4 hour feeding window)

32 male volunteers that consumed 20g of casein protein 30 minutes prior a meal ate significantly less and reported significantly higher levels of satiety.

Tip #3 – Perform Workout Finishers

Workout finishers, performed after your usual workout, are an excellent way to burn calories and torch fat. Some of my favorite workout finishers include sled pushes/pulls, barbell complexes, bodyweight exercise circuits, battle ropes and kettlebell swings.

The workout finisher doesn’t always have to heavily involve the muscles you used during the weight training session, but I can promise you sled pushes after a leg day is quite possibly the most humbling combination in existence.

Tip #4 – Nap for 15 to 30

Sleep deprivation has been repeatedly shown to increase perceived feelings of hunger via increased ghrelin and decreased leptin levels. When we’re sleep deprived we’re more likely to deviate from out diet and make poor food choices – high in processed carbohydrates and unhealthy fats.

If you’re feeling rundown and contemplating that extra cookie, try to nap for 15 to 30 minutes. Upon waking you will likely experience decreased hunger and increased energy.

Tip #5 – Eat Single Ingredient Foods

Most of us have no problem adhering to our diet when it includes lean protein, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. However, when the cookies, cakes and snack foods come out, we’re tempted to deviate from our diet.

These processed foods, high in processed carbohydrates and unhealthy fats typically contain a laundry list of ingredients. If you stick to consuming single ingredient foods you’re less likely to overeat; these foods typically provide satiety and discourage binge eating. However, don’t use this rule as an excuse to consume a gallon of olive oil since it’s one ingredient.

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Tip #6 – Supplement With Psyllium Husk

Psyllium husk is a bulk-forming indigestible fiber that absorbs liquid in the small intestine, increases perceived satiety and fullness, as well as ensures regular bowel movements. One study of 14 participants confirmed that psyllium husk decreases caloric intake, increases satiety, and increases the time allowed intestinal absorption. [3]

The typically recommended well-tolerated dose is 5 grams of psyllium husk taken with meals. [4] Be sure to consume this psyllium husk with at least 8 ounces of liquid (milk, water, juice, etc…) to prevent choking.

Tip #7 – Consume 5-HTP

When 20 patients consumed either 750mg of 5-HTP per day or placebo for two consecutive weeks, those who consumed 5-HTP reduced their caloric intake via decreased carbohydrate and fat quantities, which led to a reduction in body weight. [5] When 20 obese patients consumed either 900mg of 5-HTP per day or placebo, those who consumed 5-HTP naturally reduced their carbohydrate intake and reported increased satiety compared to the control group. [6]

Dosages of 100 to 500mg have also been reported to stave off cravings and suppress appetite. [7][8]

Tip #8 – Eat Spicy Foods High in Capsaicin

When subjects consumed 2.56mg of capsaicin via 1.03g of red chili pepper with every meal, fat oxidation increased in a negative energy balance environment (re: eating at a caloric deficit). [9] Another study found that when subjects consumed either 136mg of capsaicin per day or placebo, fat oxidation was higher compared to placebo during the weight maintenance phase after a 4-week very low calorie diet. [10]

These studies indicate that capsaicin can be an effective fat oxidation agent during both fat loss and recomposition phases.

Andy Haman from Team Dymatize explains the benefits of a slow digesting casein protein powder.

Tip #9 – Sip Green Tea

Green tea is cardio-protective, high in antioxidants and offers promising fat-burning properties.

14 recreationally active males consumed with 571mg of decaffeinated green tea extract or placebo for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks the decaffeinated green tea group had a 24.9% higher total fat oxidation rate as well as decreased their body fat by 1.63% compared to 0% in the placebo group. [11]

Tip #10 – Eat Seaweed and Don’t Avoid Table Salt

Both seaweed and table salt contain iodine, a trace mineral crucial for normal thyroid function; a lack of iodine can decrease your metabolism (re: hypothyroidism). Many fitness enthusiasts are quick to shun table salt in favor of sea salt, but sea salt lacks this crucial mineral.

If you choose to use only sea salt, consume foods high in iodine like seafood, kelp, and dairy products.

Tip #11 – Perform Bodyweight Exercises Between Television Commercials

If you’re looking for a time-efficient way to burn extra calories and increase your weekly workout volume, perform bodyweight exercises during television commercials. Choose exercises like push-ups, lunges, squats and pull-ups (if you have a bar). Perform them for a preset number of reps, seconds, or the entire duration of the commercial break.

If you notice fatigue switch to using these exercises every 2nd or 3rd commercials to ensure your recovery isn’t significantly hindered for your next workout.

Tip #12 – Increase Your Calcium Intake

Sierra Merchant, Dymatize Athlete

Sierra Merchant, Dymatize Athlete

When eating at a caloric deficit, chronic and acute high calcium intake increased fat oxidation by 11% and 19% respectively. These fat oxidation effects are more pronounced when the participant consumed had a low calcium intake of less than 700mg per day. [12]

Another study found that increased calcium intake from dairy was more effective as reducing fat absorption compared to using a calcium carbonate supplement. In this study the co-ingestion of 172mg of calcium, coming from dairy sources, per ~239 calories, was most effective as blocking fat absorption up to 420 minutes post-mealtime. [13]

Tip #13 – Chew Gum

Chewing gum for 45+ minutes significantly decreased perceived hunger, appetite and food cravings as well as increased perceived fullness. Compared to placebo chewing gum leads to a 10% decrease in total snack food consumed (by weight). [14]

Gum appears to be an exceptional low-calorie investment to help keep your diet on-track.

Tip #14 – Switch From Long Chain Triglycerides (LCTs) to Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)

After analysis of 13 trials comprised of 749 participants, MCTs reduced body weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, total body fat, total subcutaneous fat and visceral fat to a greater degree than LCTs. [15] However, this analysis did not provide an optimal percentage or number of calories that should come from MCTs.

Another study found that consuming MCTs for 80% of total fat intake led to an increased oxidation of long chain saturated fatty acids compared to consuming only LCTs. [16]

Tip #15 – Don’t Eat in Front of a Television, Computer, or Phone

During lunch 44 participants were observed after being split in to two groups – a distracted group who played a computer game and a control group who ate without distraction. The distracted group experienced less satiety and fullness after lunch as well as consumed more calories than the control group. [17]

Be mindful what you’re doing while you’re eating a meal – stop scrolling through Facebook, checking Instagram, or watching Netflix.

Tip #16 – Consider a Calorie-Controlled High-Fat Diet

Seven men consumed either a low fat diet (30% fat, 55% carbs, 15% protein) or high fat diet (60% fat, 25% carbs, 15% protein). Those who consumed the high fat diet experienced a gradual increase in fat oxidation over the 24-hour measurement period. After seven days those eating a high fat diet experienced a greater fat oxidation rate at rest and during exercise. [18]

This study once again confirms that you shouldn’t be afraid of fat during a fat loss phase; however eating at a caloric deficit will still be the primary driver for fat loss.

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Tip #17 – Watch the Carbs Pre-Workout

11 moderately trained individuals fasted overnight and then consumed 75 grams of glucose or a placebo beverage 45 minutes prior to performing two exercise tests. Those who consumed the carbohydrates experienced a 28% lower maximal rate of fat oxidation. [19]

If you’re looking to burn maximal fat during your workout it would be wise to choose a low carb, high protein and moderate fat meal.

Tip #18 – Train Fasted

After an overnight fast, eight study participants exercised in a fasted state and were compared against those who consumed a 400 calorie low glycemic index or 400 calorie high glycemic index meal pre-workout. All groups burned 400 calories via treadmill exercise but the participants who trained fasted oxidized the highest amount of fat during and 2 hours post-exercise. [20]

These findings appear to apply to not just cardiovascular exercise but also resistance training and other high intensity activities.

Tip #19 – Consume Casein or Pea Protein Before a Meal

When 32 male volunteers consumed either 20g of casein, whey, pea protein, egg albumin, maltodextrin or control (water) 30 minutes prior a meal, those who consumed casein or pea protein ate significantly less and reported significantly higher levels of satiety. Researchers also found that consuming the protein 30 minutes prior to the meal was more effective than consuming it immediately before the beginning of a meal. [21]

Tip #20 – Don’t Drop Your Fat Intake Too Low

Andy Haman, Dymatize

Andy Haman, Dymatize Athlete

Many dieters are quick to cut out fat during their fat loss phase, but doing so too drastically can do more harm than good. When researchers measured the fat oxidation of endurance-trained cyclists, the group eating 2% of its calories from fat experienced a 27% reduction in total fat oxidation and 19% decrease in whole body lipolysis (fat burning) compared to the group who ate 22% of its calories from fat. [22]

Tip #21 – Get Your Vitamin D!

Vitamin D is excellent compound for reducing cancer, heart disease and diabetes risk; suboptimal levels may also lead to depressions and decreased testosterone levels. Researchers found that supplementing rats with 15,000 IUs of Vitamin D3 per kilogram of food stabilized blood glucose levels and limited fat gain due to a high fat diet. [23]

Vitamin D truly appears to be a super vitamin!

Tip #22 – Consume Resistant Starch

Resistant starch is a unique compound; considered both a dietary fiber and functional fiber. It’s not completely broken down but rather converted in to short-chain fatty acids in the intestine.

Researchers have identified resistant starch as a potent compound for increasing satiety, increasing the thermic effect of food (through its fiber-like characteristics), increasing fat oxidation and reducing fat storage in adipocytes (fat cells). [24]

Tip #23 – Consume Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

We know that BCAA consumption improves muscular endurance and helps with muscle recovery. BCAAs are also effective for helping athletes to burn fat. Consuming 300mg of BCAAs per kilogram of bodyweight significantly increases fat oxidation compared to placebo. [25]

Tip #24 – Use a Standing Desk

If you’re a desk jockey living the 9 to 5 lifestyle, then you’re well aware of the negative posture and metabolic implications of sitting for such a long time. Standing burns 14 to 33% more calories per hour compared to sitting. [26][27]

Standing 8 hours per day, 5 days per week could be just the fat shredded technique you need to shred that last bit of fat!

Tip #25 – Expose Yourself to Cold

30 minutes of exposure to 4o celsius temperature significantly increased lipolysis (re: fat burn) intensity via increased glycerol concentration in plasma and dialysate. [28] Another study analyzing 10 males who walked or ran for 60 minutes in a 0 degree or 22 degree environment found that those in the 0 degree environment experienced significantly increased fat utilization, fat oxidation and contribution of fat to total energy expenditure. [29]

These studies show you don’t have to give yourself hypothermia to benefit from the fat burning effects of cold exposure.

Editor’s note: Hard work is NOT enough. You must work just as hard out of the gym. Back up your efforts with a proper nutrition and supplementation program. Dymatize supplements offer superior quality and amazing taste, helping you to build lean muscle, shred fat and build the body you want. 

References

1) “Cardioprotective Effect of Intermittent Fasting is Associated with an Elevation of Adiponectin Levels in Rats.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
2) “Intermittent Fasting and Stubborn Body Fat.” Intermittent Fasting Diet for Fat Loss, Muscle Gain and Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
3) “Effect of Psyllium on Gastric Emptying, Hunger Feeling and Food Int… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
4) “Psyllium – Scientific Review on Usage, Dosage, Side Effects.” Examine.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
5) “Effects of Oral 5-hydroxy-tryptophan on Energy Intake and Macronutr… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
6) “Effects of Oral 5-hydroxy-tryptophan on Energy Intake and Macronutr… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
7) “Cravings Supplement Stack.” Examine.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
8) “Appetite (Suppression) Supplement Stack.” Examine.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
9) “Acute Effects of Capsaicin on Energy Expenditure and Fat Oxidation in Negative Energy Balance.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
10) “Effect of Capsaicin on Substrate Oxidation and Weight Maintenance A… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
11) “The Effect of a Decaffeinated Green Tea Extract Formula on Fat Oxid… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
12) “Effect of Calcium Intake on Fat Oxidation in Adults: a Meta-analysi… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
13) “Effect of Dairy Calcium or Supplementary Calcium Intake on Postprandial Fat Metabolism, Appetite, and Subsequent Energy Intake.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
14) “Effects of Chewing Gum on Short-term Appetite Regulation in Moderat… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
15) “Effects of Medium-chain Triglycerides on Weight Loss and Body Compo… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
16) “Endogenous Fat Oxidation During Medium Chain Versus Long Chain Trig… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
17) “Playing a Computer Game During Lunch Affects Fullness, Memory for L… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
18) “Increase in Fat Oxidation on a High-fat Diet is Accompanied by an I… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
19) “The Effect of Pre-exercise Carbohydrate Feedings on the Intensity T… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
20) “Acute Effects of Exercise Timing and Breakfast Meal Glycemic Index … – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
21) “Effect of Different Protein Sources on Satiation and Short-term Sat… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
22) “Low-fat Diet Alters Intramuscular Substrates and Reduces Lipolysis … – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
23) “Vitamin D Protects Against Diet-induced Obesity by Enhancing Fatty … – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
24) “Resistant Starch and Energy Balance: Impact on Weight Loss and Main… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
25) “Branched-chain Amino Acids Supplementation Enhances Exercise Capaci… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
26) “The Evaluation of the Impact of a Stand-biased Desk on Energy Expen… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
27) “Difference in Caloric Expenditure in Sitting Versus Standing Desks. – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
28) “Endocrine Regulation of Subcutaneous Fat Metabolism During Cold Exp… – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
29) “Cold Exposure Enhances Fat Utilization but Not Non-esterified Fatty Acids, Glycerol or Catecholamines Availability During Submaximal Walking and Running.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.

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Name: Nick Ludlow

Bio: When it comes to fitness I enjoy reading about historic weight lifters, non-conventional weightlifting approaches, nutritional protocols, and the science behind supplements.