Stop reading for a second and look down.
Do you have a bit more belly than you did last month?
Has a recent period of binging or less-than-perfect eating affected your fat to muscle ratio in a less-than-ideal way?
Does it seem a bit disheartening to consider the prospect of trying to burn it all off with long multi-hour training sessions and treadmill mondo-runs?
Despite what you’ve probably been led to believe, churning away like a rat on a treadmill is really not the best way to burn fat fast, and can instead lead to the common cortisol and catabolic hormone release that accompanies excessive aerobic exercise. This type of overtraining results in hormonal imbalances, fluid retention, overtraining and injury – and it’s why the folks who approach fat loss by staying on a cardio machine for as long as possible are usually the folks who fail.
Instead, with a strategic combination of dietary and exercise modification, you can embark on a 30 day rapid fat loss journey without sacrificing your health, body or performance.
And with the safe, healthy and effective guide below, you can melt away your belly fat in a fraction of the time compared to your over-exercising friends.
The 30 day rapid fat loss guide below is split into three separate 10 day cycles – the first 10 days will involve calorie restriction, intermittent fasting and fasted fat burning sessions; the next 10 days will add a slightly higher calorie intake and body weight training; and the final 10 days will round out the routine by adding high intensity intervals, weight training, and higher calorie intake.
Ready? Roll up your sleeves, tighten your belt, and jump right in.
Days 1-10: “Cleanse”
Exercise: For the first 10 days, exercise is simple. Because your calories are restricted, there will be no hard or long exercise sessions. For many active individuals, this will be practice in self-control and moderation, since overachievers are notorious for eating whatever we want then trying to burn it off with excessive exercise.
But days 1-10 of this plan are the exact opposite: limited exercise with caloric control. The side benefit of this approach is that it will also give you body a chance to rest, recover and “re-boot”, which can assist with rebalancing any hormonal deficits that remain from your previous race season.
For each of these 10 days, you will simply do a morning fasted fat burning session of 20-30 minutes. You get to choose the activity: light jogging, cycling, elliptical trainer, brisk walking or hiking, or any other type of easy exercise will suffice.
For intensity, you’ll want to be in your fat-burning zone, which occurs at 45-65% of your maximum heart rate, or about 20 beats below your lactate threshold heart rate. If you’ve had anaerobic or lactic acid threshold testing done in a lab or field, simply take that heart rate, subtract 20 beats, and you’re set. If not, simply do the following:
-Warm up on a bike for 10 minutes.
-Pedal at your maximum sustainable pace for 20 minutes. You should be breathing hard and your legs should be burning, but you should be able to maintain the same intensity for the full 20 minutes.
-Record your average heart rate during those 20 minutes.
-Subtract 20 beats from that heart rate. Add and subtract 3 beats from the resulting number to get a range, and that is your peak fat burning zone.
For example, if your average heart rate was 160, 160-20 is 140, 140+3 is 143, 140-3 is 147, and so your peak fat burning zone is when you have a heart rate of 137-143 beats per minute.
As mentioned, you’ll need to do these sessions in a fasted state. This means that you do not eat within 2 hours of bedtime the night before, and you do these exercises sometime before breakfast in the morning. It is fine to drink a cup of coffee or green tea 15-30 minutes before this session, and the caffeine and green tea catechins may actually help accelerate fat loss.
Any fat loss supplement that contains bitter orange extract (also known as advantra Z) can also help in this scenario.
You’ll see better results if you can stay as active as possible the rest of the day after the fasted fat burning session. This can include standing, walking as much as possible, stretching or yoga and light physical activity. But no “extra workouts”.
Diet: The diet for the first 10 days will involve a very limited amount of carbohydrates and proteins, and primarily appetite satiating fiber from vegetables and fatty acids from fats. Here are the best foods to choose from these two categories, straight from the Superhuman Food Pyramid:
|Asparagus||Macadamia Nut Oil|
|Cabbage||Organic Grass-Fed Butter|
|Naturally Fermented Sauerkraut||Organic Yogurt (Full-Fat)|
|Naturally Fermented Pickles||Ghee|
|Bok Choy||Free Range Eggs (With Yolk)|
|Collards||Grass-Fed Beef, Bison or Buffalo or Lamb|
|Swiss Chard||Sardines, Anchovies or Haddock in Water or Olive Oil|
|Kale||Wild Salmon, Trout, Tilapia or Flounder|
|Mustard Greens||Triglyceride-Based Fish Oil|
|Nori (Seaweed)||Pure Cod Liver Oil|
|Organic Greens Powder or Capsule|
For example, breakfast can be eggs and spinach cooked in coconut oil, lunch can be Nori wraps with chopped vegetables and avocado, and dinner can be roasted fish with steamed bok choy. For added benefit during this phase, I recommend including probiotic and digestive enzyme supplements to assist with digestion.
You may not know your resting metabolic rate, but you can find it out by simply searching for “Harris Benedict” equation on Google, or get a free metabolic rate calculator by clicking here.
Once you find your metabolic rate, eat 300-500 fewer calories than are in your metabolic rate for this first phase. Don’t worry – you won’t go into “starvation” phase, since it takes several weeks for that to happen.
Days 11-20: “Build”
Exercise: For this next phase, you’ll continue with the morning fasted fat burning sessions exactly as you have done, but include a second afternoon or early evening exercise session consisting of body weight exercises and calisthenics. You should do this second routine as a circuit, consisting of:
-Push-up variation: 15-20 reps
-30-60 seconds calisthenics (jumping jacks, jump rope, running in place, side-to-side hops, etc.)
-Squat variation: 15-20 reps
-Repeat 30-60 second effort
-Pull-up or row variation: 15-20 reps
-Repeat 30-60 second effort
-Lunge variation: 15-20 reps per leg
-Repeat 30-60 second effort
Complete this circuit 4-6 times through with minimal rest. It should take you about 20-40 minutes.
Diet: Continue with a similar diet to the first 10 days, with the addition of:
A) “safe” easy-to-digest carbohydrates and
B) limited amounts of protein to repair muscle damage from body weight exercise sessions.
|Sweet Potatoes||Free Range Eggs (With Yolk)|
|Yams||Free Range Eggs (With Yolk)|
|Wild Rice||Grass-Fed Beef, Bison or Buffalo or Lamb|
|Brown Or White Rice||Pasture-Raised, Organic Pork|
|Sprouted, Organic Quinoa, Amaranth Or Millet||Sardines, Anchovies or Haddock in Water or Olive Oil|
|Sprouted Legumes (Beans & Lentils)||Wild Salmon, Trout, Tilapia or Flounder|
|Gluten-Free Oats||Organic Whey/Casein Protein Powder|
|Organic Full-Fat Yogurt||Organic Rice/Pea Protein Powder|
|Organic Hemp Protein Powder|
|Free Range Eggs (With Yolk)|
|Grass-Fed Beef, Bison or Buffalo or Lamb|
|Pasture-Raised, Organic Pork|
|Sardines, Anchovies or Haddock in Water or Olive Oil|
|Wild Salmon, Trout, Tilapia or Flounder|
|Organic Whey/Casein Protein Powder|
For example, you could include fried sweet potato slices with your breakfast, and protein powder stirred into yogurt after your afternoon body weight workout. Continue to try to avoid consuming non-vegetable based carbohydrates with your evening meal. With your meals or as a morning or afternoon “snack”, you can also begin to include naturally sweetened beverages, such as kombucha or coconut water.
During this phase, you should eat at least as many calories as are in your metabolic rate, and you are extremely hungry, you can exceed your metabolic rate by 150-300 calories per day.
Days 21-30: Burn
Exercise: Finally, for you exercise masochists out there, the addition of higher intensity cardio intervals is now a reality. You’re going to continue with the morning fasted fat burning sessions (trust me, they work like a charm – you can make it 10 more days), but now you’re going to replace afternoon or evening body weight sessions with a full body, functional weight training session and high intensity cardiovascular intervals.
Choose four, full body weight training exercises, which will elicit a higher hormonal fat-burning response, and perform them back-to-back as a circuit, combined with 2 minutes of high intensity cardio at the end of each circuit. For example:
-Exercise 1: Woodchopper – 10 reps per side
-Exercise 2: Turkish Get-Up – 5 reps per side
-Exercise 3: Single Leg Deadlift – 10 reps per side
-Exercise 4: Cleans – 10 reps
-Cardio: 2 minutes maximum bicycling effort
You can view videos of any of these exercises at YouTube.com/BenGreenfieldFitness.
Diet: Due to the carbohydrate-depleting weight training sessions and high intensity cardio intervals, you’ll need slightly higher calorie intake, and for this phase, you can achieve this by simply adding extra carbohydrates in your evening meal. So if you’ve been having roasted fish or meat with steamed vegetables, you can begin to include a side of rice, quinoa, amaranth millet, sweet potato or yam.
Compared to the previous two phases, you’ll want to increase total calories again, this time about 300-500 calories over your resting metabolic rate.
Once you’ve reached the end of 30 days, simply start into whatever workout program that you’ve planned for the year. The bonus of this fat burning guide is that it will prepare you aerobically and biomechanically to successfully launch into any other exercise protocol, such as triathlon training, Crossfit, etc.
Using the program above, you can expect an initial weight loss of 4-8 pounds in the first 10 days, followed by 2-4 pounds in each of the next two phases. And although they don’t include specific meal plans and recipes like the book, the dietary portions of this article are adapted from my 20-24 week REV diet book (RevDiet.com), which is designed to similarly “Reboot”, “Evolve” and finally “Vitalize” the body.
Once you’re through the first 30 days, you can work with a Superhuman Certified Coach to help you move on to a year long workout and nutrition plan that is customized for you. Click here to request a coach who is perfect for you.
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