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Having low body fat is great. Your abs are ripped, your body is lean, you have veins popping out and your confidence is sky high.
Getting your body fat down isn’t easy though, it takes a proper diet as well as the right training and conditioning.
On top of that, once you get your body fat down to a nice level it can be hard to keep it there. For most people, their bodies aren’t accustomed to it or aren’t made to have their body fat that low and their body wants to add fat. This makes it a challenge but if you follow these tips you can get your body fat low and stay ripped all year long.
1 Drink More Water
This one is an easy one that requires little effort. One thing about water is that it is calorie free, obviously. The nice thing about it being calorie free is that the more water you consume the fuller you are and the less you eat. One good trick to eat less is to have a glass of water before you have a meal. This way the water will have you partially full before you even start eating, this means you won’t need to eat as much to get full and will end up consuming less calories. Consuming cold water also helps since your body burns extra calories to bring up the temperature of the cold water in your stomach. Consuming 6-8 glasses of water is a good range to shoot for.
2 Avoid Sugar
This one is a big one you probably know about. Sugar is full of carbs and any carbs you consume that are not used by the body are stored as fat. The fastest way to increase body fat is to consume too many sugary fast carbs. Keeping lean means you need to avoid sugary foods and drinks like soda pop, pastries, candy, fruit juice, white breads and pastas and other sugary foods.
3 Use Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a great way to either get ripped or help you stay ripped. For a detailed look at this subject, you can check out our article on how to do intermittent fasting and the benefits. In short, intermittent fasting is where you alternate periods of not eating (fasting) followed by periods where you are allowed to eat (feeding period). This is beneficial because fasting puts your body into the most effective fat burning environment possible by stimulating your hormones that burn fat and suppressing your hormones that create fat. Another good thing about intermittent fasting is that you can eat whatever you want during your feeding periods. This makes it a good choice for people who don’t like to restrict what foods they eat.
4 Get Your Fiber
Fiber is good for keeping insulin levels low, this is good because higher insulin levels lead to more fat being produced by the body. Fiber also helps fill your stomach so you eat fewer calories. Some foods that are high in fiber include oats, bran, beans, quinoa, and peas. Fiber is also good at keeping you regular and avoiding constipation so be sure you get enough.
5 Use a Quality Fat Burner
A quality fat burner can be a big help to keep your body fat low all year long. Fat burners work in 2 ways, first off they have ingredients that will help to naturally boost your bodies metabolism. Having a higher metabolism means your body will burn more fat day and night. Secondly, a good fat burner has ingredients to reduce your appetite so you consume less calories during the day. Those things combine make fat burners a great way to help you get and stay ripped. Check out our article on good fat burners for men as well as the top fat burners for women to find one that works for you.
6 Use Carb Cycling
Carb cycling is another great way to either shed or help you stay ripped when you are there. For a detailed look at this subject check out our article on how to lose fat with carb cycling. In a nutshell, cycling is a way of dieting where you cycle your carbs so you have low carb days to help burn fat cycle with high carb days to keep your body from adapting to the low carb diet. Be sure to eat mostly slow digesting carbs on your high carb days though or it won’t be as effective.
7 Do Your Sprints
Sprints are one of the best exercises you can do overall and they are excellent when it comes to burning fat and staying shredded. Think about it, have you ever seen a “bulky” sprinter? No way! These guys stay shredded all year long because of all the sprint work they do.
The nice thing is you don’t even have to do a ton of sprints for them to be effective either. In a 2015 study by Jenna B. Gillen et al. found that doing HIIT style sprints for just 10 minutes burned as much fat as 50 minutes of steady state cardio. The incredible thing is, during the study the participants only did 3 20 second sprints over that ten minutes. The rest of the time was warm up and cool down and slower paced running. In a nutshell, 3 20 second sprints in an HIIT style burn as much fat as 50 minutes of jogging. Now just imagine how much fat you could burn if you did more than just 3 sprints like they did in the study.
Related: HIIT Sprint Workouts That Blast Fat
8 Eat Fewer Calories
This one is a no brainer but it needs to be said. Many people nowadays seem to forget the the time old weight loss method of simply reducing the number of calories you eat in a day. As easy as the counting calories may be it does take a good deal of will power and having to calculate where you are each day calorie wise but it is effective. The good news is technology has made it much easier to keep track of how many calories you consume, this will be discussed further in number 19. Keep it so you consume fewer calories than you burn and you are sure to stay ripped!
9 Down more Veggies
Turns out your mom was giving you good advice when she told you to eat your veggies as a kid. While I doubt your mom was trying to get you ripped, vegetables are a good food to be eating. They can also help keep you lean because they are high in nutrients while being low in calories. This means you can get full on veggies without the guilt of eating all those calories. They are also high in fiber and as we discussed earlier fiber is also very beneficial to digestion and staying lean.
This may seem counter productive but it isn’t. There are a couple of reasons why cheating on your diet can actually be beneficial. The first reason is simply because many people can’t eat a healthy and strict diet at all times or they will go nuts. They need a quick cheat to get that fix so they can continue on the diet without their head exploding. Another reason it is good to cheat is that your body can get accustomed to the healthy food or low carb diet and the cheat meal gives it a bit of a shock to help keep your metabolism from slowing down. Don’t overdo it though, I would stay with just one cheat meal per week is best.
11 Use a Good Finisher
Another great way to keep your body fat low is to use a great finisher. A finisher is an exercise or combination of exercises you perform at the end of a workout when your energy stores are low which can lead to great fat loss. You shouldn’t use barbell exercises like deadlifts or cleans as a finisher, do those exercises at the start of your workout when you can go heavier, plus doing those exercises when near exhaustion isn’t very safe. Some good examples of exercises to use for finishers are kettlebell swings, sled pushes, loaded carries, sprints, burpees and rowing. For a deeper look at this subject check out our article on finishers for fat loss.
12 Use a Fat Burning Pre-Workout
Most of you know that a good pre-workout can take your workout experience to the next level. They use ingredients that give you energy, focus and build muscle. There are also pre-workouts out there like PreSeries Lean that are designed to burn fat while giving you a great workout experience. Try adding one of these to your supplementation for better workouts and increased fat burning.
13 Don’t Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is an important meal and should not be skipped unless you are doing intermittent fasting. A good breakfast is a great way to get your metabolism started in the morning. This doesn’t mean that you should be eating bowls of sugary cereals or McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches though. You should try and consume wholesome foods like oatmeal, eggs, whole grain cereals, fresh fruits and Greek yogurt.
14 Use Tabata Training
Tabata training is another great way for you to blast the fat off or help keep your body fat low. When using Tabata training you do 8 rounds of 20 seconds of going all out followed by 10 seconds of rest. This ads up to just 4 minutes total but it can be really brutal and it will melt the fat off. Some good exercises to use for Tabata training are kettlebell swings, burpees, rowing and the assault bike. For a more in depth look at Tabata training check out our article on using Tabata training to get ripped.
15 Try Going Low Carb
Going low carb is another way to keep your body fat low. This is because our body will convert the carbs we don’t burn to stored fat. Also when you use a low carb diet your body is not getting enough carbs from food so it will burn fat instead for energy. You should not eliminate carbs entirely though. Mix in good carbs like brown rice, oatmeal, vegetables, quinoa and whole grains.
16 Drink Coffee Before You Workout
As you know coffee has caffeine in it and it has been shown that caffeine causes the body to rely more on burning stored fat for energy especially during a workout. This effect is lowered if you have high carb meal with it though so be sure to stay low carb with the coffee before your workout for more fat burning. Try and go without any cream or sugar also which will give you unwanted calories and fat. You should also try not to drink coffee at other times of the day or it desensitize you to the fat burning effects.
17 Relax Bruh
Life is hectic and busy and it can be stressful for sure. You need to take time to relax though. This is because heavy stress triggers the release of cortisol and increased cortisol leads to increased fat production as well as decreased testosterone. That is not a combination you want. Some great ways to beat stress include working out, doing yoga, getting a massage and use meditation.
18 Manage Your Macros
Another way you can keep lean is to manage your macros. Managing your macros means keeping track of how much protein, carbs and fat you have had throughout the day. This offers more flexible dieting due to the fact that you can eat whatever you want as long as you meet your macro goals. Check out our article on how athletes should eat which covers the topic of macros in great detail to help you keep your body fat low.
19 Use an App
One important thing when it comes to losing weight or keeping yourself lean is to keep track of everything you are eating. When it comes to managing your macros or counting calories it can be really hard to do in your head or even on paper. There are fitness and diet apps out today like MyFitnessPal that make it easy to track everything you eat as well as your calories burned, food analysis, calorie goals, you can also scan bar codes and much more. Many people I know have had great success with these apps so it is something you should really look at since I am sure they would work for you.
20 Get Your Protein
Of course, if you want to build muscle you need to get your protein but it can also help you stay lean and preserve muscle. Protein instead of carbs is a great way to stay lean. Try to get 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. You should try to consume good sources of protein as well like chicken breast, salmon, lean beef, eggs, quinoa, and yogurt. You should also avoid processed meats along with fried chicken and the like.
21 Avoid Cutting Too Many Calories
While cutting calories will certainly help you stay ripped you need to be sure you don’t cut them too drastically. This is because a drastic reduction in can cause metabolic damage and you don’t want that. Metabolic damage is when your metabolism gets all out of whack. It can do real long-term damage to your metabolism, making it even more difficult to gain muscle and lose fat in the future. While cutting calories is ok just don’t take it too far or this can happen to you.