Sunday, April 28, 2013

Defeat Love Handles!

"Love handles" the commonly used nickname for lower back fat. There no fun to have and many thin, in shape people  suffer from them. When I began swimming in high school I was very... Well... Fat. I swam and I swam and I swam some more and became pretty good and trimmed up a lot, but not everything. The summer going into college I was on a mission to destroy my body fat, I lowered down to 7-8% and had tremendous success as a D2 swimmer, but yet small pouches of fat still remained on my lower back. Even on a successful 7% body fat endurance athlete the handles remained. Now that I am not swimming and train for more aesthetic purposes I decided to declare war on my lower back fat, let me tell you how I did it. Follow my 10 steps and I promise you will burn off those hard to reach areas of fat!
1. Intermittent Fasting- I know I know you're thinking "Wait 6-8 meals is best for weight loss!" This may work well for decreasing body fat at first but your hard to reach areas will most likely remain untapped. IF is very simple, and its not a diet or starvation, you simply choose a 4-8 hour eating window and fast for the remained 16-20 hours. This is the famine or emergency situation that your body needs to burn the fat it stored for that purpose. And in case you're worried about burning off muscle, keep in mind the lower your blood sugar is, the more human growth hormone you will produce; the HGH will serve to protect your muscles while your body burns off its emergency fat storages. IF has enough content to fill thousands of blogs. To learn more, keep reading my other blogs or look it up!
2. Wait 2-3 hours post exercise to eat- Once again, a very shocking statement. Before you run back to the good old 30 minute eating window post exercise give this a read. Your body does not start to burn muscle for roughly 48 hours of starvation; you will be burning fat for recovery to your muscles! If you are an athlete this may not be ideal, but athletes also should not be concerned with body fat while in season. This is a tip for an athlete who is in the off season that may need to lower their body fat or for average joes, like myself now, who train for aesthetic purposes. By waiting this long, your anabolic hormones will be forced to compensate for the lack of macro nutrients. A combination of these hormones with no immediate fuel will inevitably result in the burning of fat. Tip: drink some aminos with a mutli vitamin post workout that contain little to no calories. This will provide some nutrients for your hormones to work with. After 2-3 hours give your body a good meal and your muscles will suck it all up.
3. Gymnema- This amazing herb prevents sugar from being absorbed in the liver and can stimulate the pancreas to secrete healthy amounts of insulin. Since love handles are a product of insulin resistance,  this herb will be a great addition to your diet. It has also been shown to control sugar cravings.
4. Fenugreek- This herb has been shown to slow sugar absorption and promote healthy insulin levels.
5. Rhodiola- While Rhodiola has no immediate effect on blood sugar it does promote healthy Seratonin production. This is critically important due to the fact that consuming carbohydrates raises Seratonin, a big reason why eating them is so rewarding! So when you begin to decrease your carb intake your brain will cry out for more Seratonin, instead of reaching for the bread, reach for some Rhodiola and satisfy your need for the happy hormone Seratonin.
6. Green Coffee Bean- There are many benefits to Green Coffee Bean. For the purpose of this blog all I will say is it helps preserve glycogen (sugar) to burn fat. This will help your burn a higher ratio fats to carbs and help while your are eating less carbs than you are burning.
7. Slow digesting carbs- This is common sense, just eat healthy carbs: Whole grains, fruits, quinoa, etc. This will prevent blood sugar from spiking and give you more prolonged energy during your calorie deficit.
8. High Intensity Exerise- Weight lifting, fast running, fast anything. Workout hard and with intensity. This burns off sugar and increases insulin sensitivity; and unlike most people who recommend either high intensity or low intensity, I am about to recommend both. After your intense workout and on your off days, walk, play, or do some thing low intensity for more fat burning and stress relief.
9. Apple Cider Vinegar/ Magnesium/ Chromium- All of these have been shown to promote healthy blood sugar and insulin.
10. Cheat Meal- Onces a week, or every other week if your prefer, allow your self an anything goes day. This serves to keep your metabolism strong, and gives a mental break. You will notice you will feel and look best after your cheat day, so long as you were good the other 6 days.