Caffeine gets a bad wrap from people relying on it or chugging down energy drinks all day. Caffeine is found in lots of fat burner supplements as well as pre workouts. There is good reason for this.
Caffeine has been praised for its ability to enhance sports performance and improve body composition. (Acheson et al., 1980, Goldstein et al., 2010)
Start with around a 200mg dose to evaluate your sensitivity. Those that drink lots of coffee each day may use up to 400mg before a workout. This can be bought in a pill form from your chemist.
- Revaluate your plan:
Are you even following a plan or simply going to the gym and working out? If it’s the latter then it’s time to knuckle down and get yourself a proven plan that delivers.
If you are currently following a plan and it’s not working, perhaps it’s not the plan for you. Maybe it’s not intense enough…maybe it’s too intense. Is it geared towards building muscle or is it focusing on fat loss? I always train for muscle growth and performance and add cardio for fat loss.
- Eat more protein:
Chances are you are not eating enough protein. Protein is great for dieting because it’s very hard to gain fat from over eating it. Studies have shown that those that eat extra calories in the form of protein gain less, if any fat than those that eat extra calories from carbohydrates.
The reason for this, protein requires more energy to digest. This means that for every 100 calories you consume of protein, roughly 35 of that is used just to digest it!
- HIIT It:
Let’s face it, steady state cardio is dead. There is enough science that proves that you can get away with 10 minutes of HIIT versus 40 minutes of jogging/walking on the treadmill.
HIIT is hard though. It should not be fun to do. Use a spin bike if you have never done HIIT before and start with 30 seconds of absolute maximum effort. By the time you hit 20-25 seconds, your legs should be struggling to move the pedals and by the 30th second should bring you to a halt. Rest for 2 minutes and do it again!
- Ditch the processed foods:
Did you know that your body absorbs a higher percentage of calories from peanut butter than it does peanuts? If you were too consume 100 calories of peanut butter, you would absorb around 95 of those calories versus around 60-70 from eating raw nuts.
The more processed the food, the less work your body must do. This allows your body to digest it faster and absorb more.
- Eat some raw foods:
When food is cooked, more often than not, more calories are released. Eating raw foods means consuming less calories. Just choose your foods wisely. I can’t imagine a raw steak tasting very nice…
- Stand up:
You can hit the gym each day but if you are sedentary all day then it will be very hard to not store fat. Daily movements account for up to 40% of the calories we burn. Your gym session doesn’t even burn that much.
This can be as simple as adding a 30 minute walk to your lunch break, avoiding elevators, riding a bike to work, or getting a standing desk.