We often hear of short-cuts to getting that ideal body – self-appointed workout gurus make strong claims about how you can go from flabby to flaunting rippling muscles in just a few short weeks. But how long does it really take to melt away your fat and get that shredded six-pack we all dream of? And are there “cheats” you can take advantage of, to get body-beautiful without putting hours in at the gym?
How to Get Fit, Fast
As with anything in life, getting in shape can be a matter of prioritising – because, if you want to see serious results quickly, you’re going to have to put in some real effort. Whether you’re overweight and want to slim down, or you’ve simply got a bit of unsightly flab to lose, your results will depend on your dedication – there are no cheats when it comes to getting in shape in a short timeframe. You’re going to need to work out most days, and change your diet dramatically – and we’re not talking about spending half an hour jogging on a treadmill or simply cutting out cookies, either. We’re talking about high intensity, painful workouts and a low-carb, calorie-cutting diet – so losing weight, fast, does require some commitment.
Calculating Your Calories
Exercise is crucial for good health, fitness and developing muscle definition, and thus should be a key part of any getting in shape regime – but when it comes to simply losing weight, your diet is the single most important factor. Nutritional biochemist Shawn M Talbott, PhD, has stated that weight loss is roughly 75% diet to 25% exercise – which makes sense, as we all know that losing weight involves calorie restriction, and restricting calories at source is the simplest way of going about it.
However, it’s not as simple as just cutting down your calories – you also need to make sure you’re eating the right kind of calories, especially if you want to build muscle. And it’s important not to restrict your calories too much, either – if you take in fewer calories than your basal metabolic rate (BMR) requires, you’ll go into adaptive thermogenesis (sometimes known as starvation mode), meaning your body will lower your metabolic rate and do everything it can to conserve its precious fat reserves – including breaking down your muscle for energy, instead . This is quite the opposite of what you want – so calculate your BMR, make sure you consume that number of calories as a minimum, and follow a low-carbohydrate diet with plenty of vegetables, fat and protein to lose weight while building muscle.
Does When You Eat Matter as Much as What You Eat?
Although keeping track of your calorie consumption is undeniably important, it may not be the only aspect of eating practices to consider. Research by Dr. Satchin Panda of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has suggested that when you eat can also play a part in weight loss and keeping healthy. Panda’s research has suggested that restricting eating to an 8-12 hour window could help you to lose weight and promotes a generally healthier body, even if you consume the same calories in the window as you would have done otherwise. While not conclusively proven for humans, Panda’s research does suggest that it may be worthwhile keeping your eating to a fixed period, if you’re looking to lose weight.
Put Your Body Under Stress for Success
Building muscle is an essential part of looking ripped – and few people can achieve an enviable physique through dieting alone. Supporting your diet with exercise keeps you healthy, reduces the likelihood of unfortunate weight-loss side effects like excess skin, and ensures that you’re building muscle and burning fat, not the other way around. To get the most out of your workout, bear in mind that intensity is as important in your workout as duration – which is why interval training, or HIIT is so effective at getting weight off quickly . But if you’re doing a shorter work out, you really need to give it your all – don’t cheat yourself out of results.
Cheats and Tricks
Did I say don’t cheat? Well, if you want a quick fix but you don’t fancy the cost or downtime of liposuction, you can cheat your way to great results, celebrity-style, by booking some CoolSculpting sessions. It’s a non-invasive, minimal downtime procedure which works by cooling targeted fat cells to eliminate them – your body then processes the cells over the next few months as waste. It might sound like a recipe for freezer burn, but, when performed properly with branded CoolSculpting technology, the machine has a special sensor which monitors your skin to prevent damage – which is why it’s important to get it done at a reputable clinic. Results can be seen around a month later, and the results are permanent (as long as you don’t start bingeing on cookies!), so it’s a great way of getting rid of excess fat without hours on the cross-trainer.
You don’t need to feel too guilty about having CoolSculpting though – it’s most effective when supported by a healthy lifestyle, so despite its impressive results, it won’t give you an excuse to give up on the gym entirely. It’s a great way of getting rid of stubborn fat fast, so that you simply need to maintain your physique – without the invasive surgery or side effects of liposuction.
However you choose to get in shape, it’ll require some level of commitment – but by following these tips, you can get the best results you can, in the shortest time possible. Just make sure you consult a doctor before undertaking any radical diet or exercise changes, and always make sure you choose a trusted clinic if you’re undergoing a non-invasive procedure – because your body isn’t the place to cut costs!