Get Lean For Summer!

This time of year my inbox gets a significant influx in emails from individuals looking to get lean for the summer.

I’ve put together 4 key key points for you to follow to help drop your body fat levels ready for the summer and ultimately improve your body composition all year round.

1 - Calorie control

No amount of training is going to help you if you’re not applying some form of calorie control on your diet because you need to be able to create an environment where you’re in an energy deficit. This is ultimately how you’re going to bring your fat levels down. With that said you need to have a good understanding of exactly how many calories you are consuming and from what sources of macronutrients. This will give you a clear indication of where your total calorie intake is at and where it potentially needs to be in order to start seeing the scales move.

2 - Nutrient quality

Calorie intake is absolutely essential but so is nutrient quality. For instance, grass fed beef is significantly better than non-grass fed beef because of the omega 3 content which contributes greatly towards positive body composition changes and general health. You must focus on putting quality nutrients into your body rather than just focusing on numbers, without any concern for the quality.

As you continue in an energy deficit you will be more prone to hunger kicking in as well, which is why nutrient quality is also so important. For instance, eating low calorie foods such as vegetables and fruit will give you more physical food for the same calories as something very calorie dense. This is great because it keeps you feeling full and satisfied, whilst staying within your calorie requirements.

Quality is KEY, don’t forget this!!

3 - Meal frequency

To maximise your fat loss results and muscle maintenance I want you to follow a high meal frequency plan, eating every 2-4 hours during the day. This will help stabilise your blood sugar levels, which will directly have a positive impact on your insulin sensitivity (provided nutrient quality, timing and calorie intake is on point). Insulin control is a key factor in relation to burning body fat, so don’t overlook this point!

Another key factor to controlling insulin healthy along with meal frequency and calorie control is consuming enough fibre to help mediate the insulin response from certain foods. Consuming plenty of fibrous vegetables will help.

4 - Cardio

Hitting fasted cardio first thing in the morning is a great way to help reduce your fat levels because you’re increasing your calorie burning throughout the day, therefore raising your metabolic rate. Start small here and build as you need to in order to overcome plateaus. I’d recommend for most people to start somewhere in the region of 20-25 minutes 3-5 days a week initially and build from there as you need to. Make the pace of your cardio fast paced walking so you do get some elevation within your heart rate.

Until next time.

Neil Hill