Most people have a routine of exercise and regimen of nutrition for achieving fat loss, but there are tons of different methods that you may not have ever considered.
In this article, I’ll discuss 15 of my favorite science-based methods and techniques for promoting fat loss.
Use Compound Exercises
One of the best first steps to take when building a training program for fat loss is to focus on compound movements, meaning that the movement requires multiple joints to move.
Exercises like the squat, deadlift, burpees, bench press and overhead press recruit large amounts of muscle which means more overall calorie burn compared to isolation movements.
Use Traditional HIIT
Traditional HIIT methods like sprinting outside or one a treadmill or on a stationary cycle have been used for years, even in laboratory settings and have all been shown to be beneficial for weight loss.
Traditional methods like cycling or running allow you to expend very large amounts of energy in a very short amount of time. Not to mention, doing so optimizes fat burning for hours after the training session (1, 2).
Use Foreign Exercises
Interestingly, one of the easiest ways to increase energy expenditure is to occasionally use exercises you aren’t used to. As you adapt to exercises by getting bigger and stronger, the body also adapts by becoming more efficient in those movements.
If your body is more efficient, that means that you burn fewer calories to complete the same movement. By mixing it up, the body is forced to burn more calories until it adapts to that new movement as well.
Use Metabolic Resistance Training
While most people use cardio to drop body fat, metabolic resistance training is just as good, if not better. Metabolic resistance training is simply lifting weights, but doing so using high repetitions and short rest periods. In essence, it’s HIIT with weights.
By keeping rest intervals short, while using resistance, you’re using a large amount of muscle at a high intensity, forcing calorie burn to skyrocket, while even potentially stimulating muscle growth (3).
Try Super Sets & Giant Sets
Super and giant sets are somewhat related to metabolic resistance training in that you’ll pick two (super) or 3 or more (giant) exercises and complete them back to back with little to no rest in between.
This method is not only potentially good for muscle growth, but also allows for a very high-energy expenditure, since intensity is kept so high. Thus, it’s a perfect training method for both time efficiency and fat burning (4, 5).
Cinnamon is a natural ingredient that not only helps make bland food taste better, but it might actually help with fat loss.
Interestingly, cinnamon has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which could lead to easier weight loss. Additionally, cinnamon even acts on enzymes in the liver, which regulate glucose entering the blood, which again may be advantageous for fat loss (6, 7, 8).
Turn Old Workouts Into Circuits
Rather than following your typical structure, reduce rest intervals, while also completing exercises back to back, rather than the traditional structure of completing all sets at once.
By using this method, you can incorporate some novelty while increasing energy expenditure due to the nature of high intensity circuits.
Use Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a fairly new dieting technique which has recently come to mainstream attention. It is based on fasting periods ranging from 12-16 hours, followed by feeding for the remainder of time within the 24-hour period.
Interestingly, much research indicates that this method is not only effective for weight loss, but also for losing body fat and retaining lean muscle mass. Intermittent fasting is definitely worth considering (9, 10, 11).
Take Green Tea Extract
Green Tea Extract is easily one of the more popular fat loss supplements on the market, simply because it actually works.
Studies have revealed that a particular antioxidant known as EGCG, found in green tea is a potent fat burner. Additionally, it acts on cells to ensure fatty acids enter the bloodstream, so they can be burned off for energy purposes (12, 13, 14).
Consider using a supplement containing Green tea, rich in EGCG, such as CapLabs Green Tea supplement.
Eat Large Amounts Of Protein
Protein is most commonly known for its ability to build muscle, but it’s also quite beneficial for fat loss.
Due to protein’s 3-dimensional structure, it actually presents the body with quite an intensive job to break it down and metabolize it. When large amounts of protein are in the gut, energy expenditure is increased and it also helps keep you feeling fuller for longer, allowing you to eat less and lose fat faster (15, 16, 17).
Eat A Lot Of Vegetables (Fiber)
Veggies are great, not only due to their micronutrients but also because they have a large volume to calorie ratio, in addition to lots of fiber.
Fiber absorbs water in the gut, which forms a gel, making motility of food slower. In turn, this reduces appetite, allowing better control over your food intake (18, 19, 20).
Additionally, vegetables often have a large volume yet only a small amount of calories. This allows you to eat much more food than normal, but still manage your calories appropriately for weight loss.
Drink Protein Before Meals
A recent study shows that if you’re trying to lose weight, simply drinking whey protein may do the trick.
Researchers had participants consume whey protein around 30 minutes before a regularly scheduled meal. They found that this resulted in subjects eating fewer calories and so ended up losing weight (21).
Not only do you have a reduced appetite, but you also increase your protein intake, helping to maintain muscle or even build it.
Sprint Before Meals
Similarly, to the previous suggestion, research indicates that sprinting before a meal might actually help you eat less.
The researchers determined that when you sprint at your own ability roughly 45 to 30 minutes before a meal, you might actually have reduced cravings during your actual meal, which means you eat less and can potentially lose weight (22).
Make Breakfast Protein-Centric
Most people think breakfast is the most important meal of the day but really, that’s only true if it means better management of your food intake for the rest of the day. While most carb-focused breakfasts don’t do that, a breakfast high in protein might.
Research actually indicates that breakfast high in protein reduces cravings and may actually influence how your brain responds to hunger and being presented with high calorie junk food (17).
I suggest making protein and fat the primary focus of your breakfasts to maximize this effect.
Combine HIIT & LISS
While most people either do high intensity or low intensity cardio, I suggest combining the two for the best fat burning cardio approach.
See, HIIT is good at liberating fatty acids from fat tissue, but not so great at actually using those fatty acids as fuel. LIIS (low intensity steady state) exercise is, however, optimized for fat burning.
By using HIIT first and following it up with LISS, you create a system of liberating fatty acids from fat tissue because of HIIT and then actually burning those fatty acids during the LISS session (23).
Consider doing a couple of sprints on a bike or treadmill, waiting 15 minutes and doing a LISS session for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
15 Science-Based Methods For Shredding Body Fat
If you’re hoping to shred body fat, there are tons of different methods that you can incorporate into your routine that might actually help you achieve the body you are chasing.
With these techniques, you’ll supercharge your fat loss and get the body you’ve always desired.
- Bracken RM, Linnane DM, Brooks S (2009)Plasma catecholamine and nephrine responses to brief intermittent maximal intensity exercise. Amino Acids. 36: 209-217.
- Trapp, E. G., Chisholm, D. J., Freund, J., & Boutcher, S. H. (2008). The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. International journal of obesity, 32(4), 684-691.
- Hagerman, F. C., Walsh, S. J., Staron, R. S., Hikida, R. S., Gilders, R. M., Murray, T. F., … & Ragg, K. E. (2000). Effects of high-intensity resistance training on untrained older men. I. Strength, cardiovascular, and metabolic responses. The journals of gerontology series A: Biological Sciences and medical sciences, 55(7), B336-B346.
- Kelleher, Andrew R., et al. “The metabolic costs of reciprocal supersets vs. traditional resistance exercise in young recreationally active adults.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 24.4 (2010): 1043-1051.
- Maia, Marianna F., et al. “Effects of different rest intervals between antagonist paired sets on repetition performance and muscle activation.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 28.9 (2014): 2529-2535.
- Jarvill-Taylor, K. J., Anderson, R. A., & Graves, D. J. (2001). A hydroxychalcone derived from cinnamon functions as a mimetic for insulin in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 20(4), 327-336.
- Shihabudeen, H. M. S., Priscilla, D. H., & Thirumurugan, K. (2011). Cinnamon extract inhibits α-glucosidase activity and dampens postprandial glucose excursion in diabetic rats. Nutrition & metabolism, 8(1), 46.
- Adisakwattana, S., Lerdsuwankij, O., Poputtachai, U., Minipun, A., & Suparpprom, C. (2011). Inhibitory activity of cinnamon bark species and their combination effect with acarbose against intestinal α-glucosidase and pancreatic α-amylase. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 66(2), 143-148.
- Klempel, M. C., Kroeger, C. M., Bhutani, S., Trepanowski, J. F., & Varady, K. A. (2012). Intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction is effective for weight loss and cardio-protection in obese women. Nutrition journal, 11(1), 98.
- Mattson, M. P., & Wan, R. (2005). Beneficial effects of intermittent fasting and caloric restriction on the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry, 16(3), 129-137.
- Kacimi, S., Ref’at, A., Fararjeh, M. A., Bustanji, Y. K., Mohammad, M. K., & Salem, M. L. (2012). Intermittent fasting during Ramadan attenuates proinflammatory cytokines and immune cells in healthy subjects. Nutrition research, 32(12), 947-955.
- Hsu, C. H., Tsai, T. H., Kao, Y. H., Hwang, K. C., Tseng, T. Y., & Chou, P. (2008). Effect of green tea extract on obese women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Clinical nutrition, 27(3), 363-370.
- Venables, M. C., Hulston, C. J., Cox, H. R., & Jeukendrup, A. E. (2008). Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 87(3), 778-784.
- Wang, H., Wen, Y., Du, Y., Yan, X., Guo, H., Rycroft, J. A., … & Mela, D. J. (2010). Effects of catechin enriched green tea on body composition. Obesity, 18(4), 773-779.
- Luscombe, N. D., Clifton, P. M., Noakes, M., Farnsworth, E., & Wittert, G. (2003). Effect of a high-protein, energy-restricted diet on weight loss and energy expenditure after weight stabilization in hyperinsulinemic subjects. International journal of obesity, 27(5), 582-590.
- Veldhorst, M., Smeets, A. J. P. G., Soenen, S., Hochstenbach-Waelen, A., Hursel, R., Diepvens, K., … & Westerterp-Plantenga, M. (2008). Protein-induced satiety: effects and mechanisms of different proteins. Physiology & behavior, 94(2), 300-307.
- Leidy, H. J., Lepping, R. J., Savage, C. R., & Harris, C. T. (2011). Neural responses to visual food stimuli after a normal vs. higher protein breakfast in breakfast‐skipping teens: a pilot fMRI study. Obesity, 19(10), 2019-2025.
- Bolton, R. P., Heaton, K. W., & Burroughs, L. F. (1981). The role of dietary fiber in satiety, glucose, and insulin: studies with fruit and fruit juice. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 34(2), 211-217.
- Cho, S. S., Case, I. L., & Nishi, S. (2009). Fiber and Satiety. Weight Control and Slimming Ingredients in Food Technology, 227.
- Lefranc-Millot, C., Macioce, V., Guérin-Deremaux, L., Lee, A. W., & Cho, S. S. (2012). Fiber and Satiety. Dietary Fiber and Health, 83.
- MacKenzie-Shalders, K. L., Byrne, N. M., Slater, G. J., & King, N. A. (2015). The effect of a whey protein supplement dose on satiety and food intake in resistance training athletes. Appetite, 92, 178-184.
- Holliday, A., & Blannin, A. K. (2017). Very Low Volume Sprint Interval Exercise Suppresses Subjective Appetite, Lowers Acylated Ghrelin, and Elevates GLP-1 in Overweight Individuals: A Pilot Study. Nutrients, 9(4), 362.
- Scotto, D. P. A., Guerra, E., Orlandi, C., Bazzucchi, I., & Sacchetti, M. (2017). Effect of combined resistance and endurance exercise training on regional fat loss. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 57(6), 794