Fat disappears when there's a calorie deficit.
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Unsightly fat accumulates just under the skin when consuming more calories than burned. To shed fat, you need to do the opposite -- burn more calories than you consume. The fastest way to do this is to make changes in your exercise program and diet simultaneously so that you burn more calories in your workouts and eat fewer calories at each meal.
Plan an exercise schedule at the beginning of each week tailored to your fitness level -- include cardio and strength training. If you're new to working out or haven't exercised in a while and are trying to get in shape, you only need 2.5 hours of moderate to intense cardio exercise each week to see fast results. It's best to spread your cardio workouts evenly throughout the week. They can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as an hour. As your fitness level improves, add more workouts into your schedule, or make them longer.
Plan to strength train all your major muscle groups at least twice a week. To burn more fat in each workout, start your workout with strength training, and then do cardio. Larger muscles burn more fat, and the largest muscle groups are your glutes, quads, hamstrings and abs. Start your workout with exercises that target these, like deadlifts, hamstring curls, leg extensions and crunches. Exercises that work more than one large muscle group at once, such as squats and lunges, also burn more fat in less time.3.
Optimize your cardio exercises for fat burning by adding short bursts of high intensity to a steady-state cardio workout. This causes more fat-burning hormones to be released and boosts your metabolism for hours after your workout so you end up burning more calories. Choose a cardio exercise like running or swimming, and go at a normal pace for a few minutes, then at 80 to 100 percent of your maximal intensity for 30 to 90 seconds.4.
Incorporate an advanced type of interval training that burns even more fat, called Tabata training, into two or more workouts a week once you've been doing high-intensity interval training for a few consecutive weeks. To do a Tabata, choose any cardio exercise you feel comfortable doing at your absolute maximal intensity. Do it at this max for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat seven times for a total of eight reps, which totals to four extreme minutes of maximal intensity.
Change the way you eat to help you consume fewer calories. According to The Diet Channel, eating more slowly can help you realize when you're full and prevent over-eating. Because your metabolism slumps after eating a large meal, eat smaller but more frequent meals throughout the day to burn more calories.2.
Reduce your fat consumption by limiting your intake of greasy foods, processed foods and other sources of saturated fat. You don't necessarily need to cut out healthy unsaturated fats, such as raw nuts.3.
Keep a food diary to write down all the foods and drinks you consume each day. This way you can calculate how many calories you're eating in a day and plan your meals to reduce your calorie intake. Record how many calories you're burning in your workouts using a stop watch or heart rate monitor that calculates calories burned. This way, you can get an idea of whether you're burning more calories than you consume in your day, and ensure you're creating a calorie deficit.
- Food diary
- Stopwatch, preferably one that counts calories burned
- Don't over-train your muscles. Be sure to eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep so you can fully recover from workouts. Do not ignore hunger when dieting. Instead of eating less, replace higher calorie foods with low-calorie options.