It’s that time of year where again where holidays, festivals and events are coming around thick and fast and its more than likely that one of your goals is probably to look your best for some date in the near future. Dresses, shorts and t-shirts all tend to put a lot of skin on show so getting that lean physique is nearly always the desired goal in the lead up to summer.
I’ve spoken in countless podcasts about how to reduce your body fat and the bread and butter basics for doing that.
- Get into a calorie deficit (eat less than you burn)
- Follow a decent exercise program that is in alignment with your goal
- Add in some supportive supplements to help you get there faster.
This is the bottom of the pyramid of prioritisation. It is literally the secret to losing bodyfat, becoming leaner and getting in shape. However, there are few more tips than can potentially help you to reach your end goal faster so they will be the focus for today’s blog. Lets start with the most basic and move our way up as we go along.
1. Move more:
This is the ‘low hanging fruit’ that nearly anybody can reach for and take. Regardless of whether you have three hyper active kids, work 9-5 in an office or work in a high intensity job, moving more can help you burn more calories throughout the entire day.
In my 6 Week BKF Online Program (before and afters), I work with some very busy people who struggle to get all their workouts in every week. Some do great with a 20 minute bodyweight HIIT workout to do first thing in the morning or when they arrive home from work (see sample HIIT video below) but others do equally well with these tips below that help them move more.
BKF Online Graduates:
- Take the stairs instead of the lift: This is especially useful if you work in an office and sit for long periods during the day or if you’re on holiday and you cant make a workout your priority. If you’re in the office, switch the lift for the stairs and if you’re on holiday, take the stairs anytime you have that as an option.
take the stairs at every opportunity for the entire summer.
- Get a Fitbitt, Garmin, Apple Watch or download a step counter app on your phone: If you’ve ever read any books on ancestral fitness, the general recommended step count is 10,000 steps a day. This is actually a much easier target to achieve if you track it with a fitness watch or app. Personally, I’ve found the Fitbitt to be best for tracking steps but Garmin watches work great too. Alternatively, you can download a free ‘step counter’ app on your phone. As long as your phone is in your pocket at all times, they can work very well too.
take 10,000 steps every day (especially if you miss your workout or it’s a rest
- Walk to work or the gym on sunny days: If you’ve ever drove to the gym to walk on the treadmill or took the lift in the gym to climb on the Stairmaster, then you’ve just lost a golden opportunity to make better use of your time. Although the weather can be a bit temperamental in Ireland and the UK (even in the summer), try and walk or bike to work if possible on the sunnier days. Not only will you burn more calories, but the Vitamin D from the sun can have a huge mood boosting effect also..
Bring a stopwatch to your workouts (a phone timer or wrist watch works too)
This goes for your actual workouts and your time spent between sets. One of my girls on my BKF Online Program last summer told me that her workouts were taking her over an hour and a half to complete (all the workouts in the program take no longer than 55 minutes normally) so I got her to take a stop watch and time her rest periods between sets and between each exercise.
Instead of the recommended 60 seconds rest period that was calculated in her program, she was averaging nearly three minutes between sets and instead of the 2 minutes rest between exercise transition, she was spending an average of 8 minutes between them. Granted this was skewed by a 20 minute talk with a friend half way through the workout but it doesn’t take long to see how this adds so much ‘junk time’ to your gym sessions. Be strict with your rest time. Bring a watch with you, time your rest periods and focus on ‘quality over quantity’ in all of your workouts.
Side note: by all means, talk to your
friends and socialise at the gym – sometimes that’s the best part. Just save it
for before or after your actual training
3: Increase intensity with finishers
This is really for the more advanced trainers. On week 3 and week 6 of my BKF Online program, I add ‘finishers’ in place of cardio. I have loads of examples of finishers on my Instagram page and because of my hatred for boring long bouts of steady state low intensity cardio, this is my predominate form of cardio when I’m trying to lower body fat. Try some from my Instagram page below.
4: Stick with whole foods especially if you’re in a calorie
It is true that you don’t need to eat mostly wholefoods, lean meats and nutrient dense fruits and vegetables to get in great shape. Provided you are in a calorie deficit, have a good training program alongside some decent genetics; you can get in great shape with processed foods, protein bars and cans of energy drinks. It just tends to be more difficult and a less sustainable way to to lose body fat as your energy levels tend to be lower or you’re fuelled with ‘fake energy’ i.e. caffeine from energy drinks, pre workouts or fat burners.
In the nutrition section of my first book ‘The Fitness Mindset’ that entire section is based around eating mostly whole and ‘real’ food whenever possible. The subtitle of that the book is ‘eat for energy, train for tension, manage your mindset, reap the results’ and the ‘eat for energy’ is the key message here.
If you’re eating a calorie deficit i.e.
consuming less calories than you’re burning, then keeping your energy levels
high is going to be a key ingredient for your long and even short term success.
If you’re eating crap food, you’ll have crap energy. If you’re eating quality
food, you’ll have quality energy. It really is that simple.
Try and stick with complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, lean meats or fish and lots of fruits and vegetables and you’ll get all the fat loss without the massive drop in energy. One of the majors feedbacks from my both my GAA Lean Body Program and my BKF Online Program is ‘I cant believe I get to each so much food and lose so much body fat’ – or a variation of those words. That’s down to understanding the calorie energy and nutrient density of food. Some food has lots of energy density (high calories) and low nutrients (sweets biscuits, chocolates) and other foods has low energy density (low calorie) and high nutrient density (vegetables, certain fruits etc.).
Understanding that alone can be the difference between losing body fat, having a low energy and being a bad mood all day to losing body fat, feeling great and not even feeling like you’re on a diet.
5: Focus on quality sleep
I’ve covered the importance of sleep when it comes to fat loss on a podcast with Ben Greenfield but I will add one more thing to consider adding to your sleep regimen and that’s CBD Oil.
Personally, this has been the single
best supplement I have ever used for sleep. From my own experience, I cannot recommend
it enough. Although the research is still relatively new, from anecdotal knowledge,
this will be part of my supplement arsenal for a long time to come.
For more on CBD Oil, check out the podcast episode I did with Hemp Heros co-owner David Hartigan.
For 10% off any orders on Hemp Heroes, enter the code briank10
6: Use fat loss supplements that wont make you rebound
In the supplement section of ‘The Fitness Mindset’ I spoke about how diet and training is your figurative heavy ammunition but certain fat loss supplements are the scope on the sniper rifle. They can help you hit your target quicker and more effectively. I have a couple of personal favourites that I will link below. I’ve also linked up with ROS nutrition for this blog post so enter the code briank20 for 20% off any of the products on their website:
ROS: Acytle l-carnitine
Use it for helping to push fat cells into the mitochondria to be burnt as fuel. I take 3g about thirty minutes before training sessions.
ROS: Green tea extract:
Use it to burn more calories throughout the day. I use 1-2g thirty minutes before training.
Code: briank20 for 20% off
7: Set a target date for 6 weeks from now
Lastly, I advise that you set a date for
your body composition goal. For some of you that might be a wedding, festival,
event or even a photo shoot but set some date in the future that you are working
I’ve been training more than 17 years and I still have to set target dates to work towards. In the past it was always for a football match, bodybuilding show, a fitness shoot or an event I planned to attend. Now in 2019, it’s normally an ultra marathon or some ultra endurance event; but I still set those target dates regularly as they help me to stay focused.
pick a date in the near future that you are going to work towards or sign up to
a 6, 8 or 12 week program that keeps your mind focused as you work towards your
As I mentioned at the start of the post, its your overall nutrition, training and supplementation that are going to determine your results and if you need the accountability and a specific plan, check out my BKF online program or talk to personal trainers in your gym or other online coaches who might be able to serve you better.
Although these tips can be useful, random training and random eating leads to random results so arm yourself with everything you need to hit your end goal and use the tips above to help get you there faster.
Be sure to check out more on fat loss
and getting into shape on my podcast ‘The Brian Keane Podcast’