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How do I burn fat without excess cardio?

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Q: Are there any other ways to burn fat and get in shape other than spending hours on the treadmill and starving myself?

A: If you want to burn fat, there are certain things you can do to make this goal a reality, but it may surprise you to learn it doesn't involve starving or massive amounts of cardio. Instead, learn to build more muscle to power the metabolic engine and your body will take ca|e of the rest. Here are a few ways you can accomplish this goal.

Make legs a priority

Too often, legs are the least important part of a training program, and it's common for people to skip or minimize leg day and add extra sets to smaller, less important muscles like biceps and triceps. This is a huge mistake for those trying to lose fat because the legs are a large group of muscles and about 40 percent of your overall muscle mass.

Training them properly can burn a very large amount of calories in a short period of time. Exercises like squats, lunges and leg presses will require a lot more fuel than single-joint exercises that work only smaller muscles.

Also, leg training gives you a great chance to add leaner tissue to your frame because they are larger and can grow faster, so be sure not to neglect your wheels.

Eat enough protein

Think of protein as the bricks and mortar you need to build quality muscle because it feeds and repairs lean tissue after a hard workout and allows you to grow and become stronger. The more muscle you add, the more calories you burn and the leaner your body will be because muscle burns calories at a rate three times faster than fat.

Unfortunately, as we get older, the body's hormones decline and we lose an average of 1-3 pounds of muscle a year, but research has proven that including more lean protein in one's diet combined with proper weight training can not only stall the aging process but build more lean muscle even as we grow older.

Morning starved cardio

One of the most productive times to do cardio is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach because your body has just burned a boatload of calories while you were sleeping and wakes in the morning ready to tap fat stores to fuel your workout.

To make fat burning even more optimal, increase the intensity by adding interval training to your morning session as well as delaying all carbohydrate consumption until at least lunch, and you can extend the afterburn for a longer period of time.

Drink more water

Drinking enough water can dramatically accelerate the fat-burning process for several reasons.

First, your body is made of approximately 75 percent water, and it loses fluid constantly through every human function from breathing and moving to using the bathroom. If water stores are not replenished, the body will hold onto old, stale water, and weight loss will be slow and disappointing. Secondly, water helps the liver convert fat into energy, and if the body is not getting enough H20, the fat-burning process can be severely impaired. Lastly, people tend to confuse thirst with hunger, so if you drink 100 to 128 oz. per day, chances are you won't binge eat between meals.

Include compound movements

Compound movements are exercises that force groups of muscles to work together, like deadlifts, squats and bench presses. These exercises are far better for fat burning than single-joint exercises like bicep curls and tricep extensions because they burn more calories and require move energy to complete.

Compound exercises will also increase strength and size, and boost the fat-burning process, so be sure to include a couple in each workout.

So if you want to get leaner, combine the above techniques for best results and teach your body to burn fat more efficiently without starving yourself or spending your life on the treadmill.

Copyright 2016 Cape Gazette, Lewes, Delaware. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: May 27, 2016

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