Foods That Burn Fat: The Top 10 Lists

July 11, 2008

lose belly fatAnytime the topic of discussion in my blogs, articles or newsletters has turned to my own personal grocery shopping list, there has always been a spike in interest. It seems that many people are not only curious about what foods a natural bodybuilder eats to maintain single digit body fat, but they also want to be taken by the hand and told exactly what foods to eat themselves while on fat-burning or muscle building programs. That’s why I decided to put together four separate “top 10” lists of healthy foods that burn fat and build muscle.

Exact quantities and menus are not listed, just the individual foods, and of course my food intake does vary. I aim to get as many different varieties of fruits and vegetables as possible over the course of every week and there are a lot of substitutions made, so you are not seeing the full list of everything I eat, only what foods I eat most of the time.

I also want to point out that while I don’t believe that extreme low carbs are necessary or most effective when you look at the long term, research has shown that there are some definite advantages to a low to moderate carb and higher protein diet for fat loss purposes. These include reduced appetite, higher thermic effect of food and “automatic” calorie control.

Personally, I reduce my carb intake moderately and temporarily prior to bodybuilding competitions. Specifically, it’s the foods that are on the starchy carbs and grains list that go down during the brief pre-competition period when I’m working on that really “ripped” look. I keep the green and fibrous veggie intake very high however, along with large amounts of lean protein, small amounts of fruit, and adequate amounts of essential fats.

This list reflects my personal preferences, so this is not a prescription to all readers to eat as I do. It’s very important for compliance to choose foods you enjoy and to have the option for a wide variety of choices. In the past several years, nutrition and obesity research – in studying ALL types of diets – has continued to conclude that almost any hypocaloric diet that is not completely “moronic” can work, at least in the short term.

It’s not so much about the high carb – low carb argument or any other debate as much as it is about calorie control and compliance. The trouble is, restricted diets and staying in a calorie deficit is difficult, so most people can’t stick with any program and they fall off the wagon, whichever wagon that may be.

I believe that a lot of our attention needs to shift away from pointless debates (for example, low carb vs. high carb is getting really old… so like… get over it everyone, its a calorie deficit that makes you lose weight, not the amount of carbs).

Instead, our focus should shift towards these questions:

* How can we build an eating program that we can enjoy while still getting us leaner and healthier?

* How can we build an eating program that helps us control calories?

* How can we build an eating program that improves compliance?

Here’s one good answer: Eat a wide variety of high nutrient density, low calorie density foods that you enjoy which still fit within healthy, fat-burning, muscle-building guidelines!

Here are the lists of foods I choose to achieve these three outcomes. This eating plan is not difficult to stick with at all, by the way. I enjoy eating like this and it feels almost weird not to eat like this after doing it for so long.

Remember, habits work in both directions, and as motivational speaker Jim Rohn has said, “Bad habits are easy to form and hard to live with and good habits are hard to form but easy to live with.”

These are listed in the order I frequently consume them. So for example, if oatmeal is on the top of the list, it means that is the food I am most likely to eat every single day.

My 10 top natural starchy carb and whole grains

1. Oatmeal (old fashioned)
2. Yams
3. Brown rice (a favorite is basmati, a long grain aromatic rice)
4. Sweet potatoes (almost same as yams)
5. Multi grain hot cereal (mix or barley, oats, rye. titricale and a few others)
6. White potatoes
7. 100% whole wheat bread
8. 100% whole wheat pasta
9. Beans (great for healthy chili recipes)
10. Cream of rice hot cereal

My Top 10 top vegetables

1. Broccoli
2. Asparagus
3. Spinach
4. Salad greens
5. Tomatoes
6. Peppers (green, red or yellow)
7. Onions
8. Mushrooms
9. Cucumbers
10. Zucchini

My top 10 lean proteins

1. Egg whites (whole eggs in limited quantities)
2. Whey or Casein protein (protein powder supplements)
3. Chicken Breast
4. Salmon (wild Alaskan)
5. Turkey Breast
6. Top round steak (grass fed beef)
7. Flank Steak (grass fed beef)
8. Lean Ground Turkey
9. Bison/Buffalo
10. Trout

My top 10 fruits

1. Grapefruit
2. Apples
3. Blueberries
4. Canteloupe
5. Oranges
6. Bananas
7. Peaches
8. Grapes
9. Strawberries
10. Pineapple

Note: I DO include healthy fats as well, such as walnuts, almonds, extra virgin olive oil, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil (supplement – not to cook with), avocado and a few others.

Also, I do eat dairy products and have nothing against them, nor am I lactose intolerant. I simply don’t eat as much dairy as the rest of the stuff on my lists. When I eat dairy, its usually skim milk, low or non fat cottage cheese, low or non fat yogurt and low or non fat cheese (great for omelettes).

Last but not least, I usually follow a compliance rate of about 95%, which means I take two or three meals per week of whatever I want (stuff that is NOT on these lists – like pizza, sushi, big fatty restaurant steaks, etc)

I hope you found this helpful and interesting. Keep in mind, this is MY food list, and although you probably couldn’t go wrong to emulate it, you need to choose natural foods you enjoy in order to develop habits you can stick with long term. In the fruits and vegetables categories alone, there are hundreds of other choices out there, so enjoy them all!

Lose Belly Fat

About the Author:

Tom Venuto is a natural bodybuilder, certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) and a certified personal trainer (CPT). Tom is the author of “Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle,” which teaches you how to get lean without drugs or supplements using methods of the world’s best bodybuilders and fitness models. Learn how to get rid of stubborn fat and increase your metabolism by visiting: www.burnthefat.com

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2 Cardio Mistakes You’re Still Making

May 28, 2008

By Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS
www.BurnTheFat.com
absThe controversies over cardio for fat loss are endless: steady state versus intervals, fed versus fasted, long and easy versus short and intense, and so on. Obviously there is a lot of interest in cardio training and how to do it right. Sadly, most people are still doing 2 things terribly wrong and it’s killing their results…… As best as I can figure, there are two major reasons why people are still mucking up their cardio programs for fat loss.

REASON #1: NOT ENOUGH FOCUS ON TOTAL CALORIES BURNED

Most people aren’t burning enough darn calories.

 Why? Well, I guess they are too busy worrying about the “proper” type of exercise (which machine or activity), the mode (steady state or intervals), the “optimal” ratio of intervals, or the “best” duration.

 Some people coast along on the treadmill at 2.3 miles per hour or some similar sloth-like pace and they think that just by hitting a TIME goal, such as 45 or 60 minutes, that with “X” duration completed, they are assured to get the results they want.

 On the other extreme, we have folks who have found or created some mega-intense, super-duper short training protocol like the “4-minute wonder workout from Japan.” Just because the workout is high in intensity and it is performed in intervals, they too think they are assured to get the results they want.

 What’s missing in both cases is the realization that total fat loss over time is a function of total calories burned over time (assuming you don’t blow your diet, of course).

 AND…

 Total calories burned is a product of INTENSITY times DURATION, not intensity OR duration.

 Too much focus on one variable at the exclusion of the other can lead to a less than optimal total calorie burn and disappointing results. And remember, intensity and duration are *variables* not absolutes! (“Variable” means you can change them… even if your “guru” says you can’t!)

 When you understand the relationship and interplay between INTENSITY X DURATION you will find a “SWEET SPOT” where the product of those variables produces the maximal calorie burn and maximum fat loss, based on your current health condition and your need for time efficiency.

 REASON #2: TOO MUCH FOCUS ON WHAT TYPE OF CALORIES BURNED

As best as I can figure, there is one whopper of a mistake that is still KILLING most people’s cardio programs and that is…

 Way too much focus on WHAT you are burning during the workout – fats or carbohydrates – also known as “substrate utilization.”

 This idea comes from the notorious “fat burning zone” myth which actually tells people to exercise SLOWER and LESS intensely to burn more fat.

 Hold on a minute. Pop quiz. Which workout burns more calories?

 (A) A 30 minute leisurely stroll through the park
(B) A 30 minute, sweat-pouring, heart-pounding, lung-burning run?

 Like, DUH!

 And yet we have trainers, authors and infomercial gurus STILL telling us we have to slow down if we want to burn more fat??? Bizarre.

 The reason people still buy it is because the “fat burning zone” myth sounds so plausible because of two little science facts:

  • The higher your intensity, the more carbs you burn during the workout
  • The lower your intensity, the more fat you burn during the workout
And that’s the problem. You should be focusing on total calories and total fat burned during the workout and all day long, not just what type or percentage of fuel you are burning during the workout.

 It’s not that fat oxidation doesn’t matter, but what if you have a high percentage of fat oxidation but an extremely low number of calories burned?

If you really want to be in the “fat burn zone,” you could sit on your couch all day long and that will keep you there quite nicely because “couch sitting” is a really low intensity (“fat-burning”) activity.

(Of course, “couch sitting” only burns 37 calories per half hour…)

 HERE’S THE FAT-BURNING SOLUTION!

In both cases, the solution to burning more fat is drop dead simple: Focus your attention on how you can burn more TOTAL calories during your workout and all day long.

 If you want to burn more fat, burn more calories and you can do that by manipulating ANY of the variables : intensity, duration and also frequency.

 If you build your training program around this concept, you will be on the right track almost every time.

 BUT WAIT – THERE IS MORE TO IT…

Naturally, we could argue that it’s not quite this simple and that there are hundreds of other reasons why your cardio program might not be working… and I would agree, of course. But on the exercise side, the ideas above should be foremost in your mind.

 On the nutrition side, you have to get your act together there too.

 For example, many people increase their food intake at the same time as they start a cardio training program thereby putting back in every calorie they burned during the workout! Then some of them have the nerve to say, “SEE, cardio doesn’t work!”

 Incidentally, this is the exact reason that a few studies show that adding cardio or aerobic training to a diet “did not improve fat loss”: It’s not because the cardio didn’t work, it was because the researchers didn’t control for diet and the subjects ate more!!

It should go without saying that nutrition is the foundation on which every fat loss program is built.

Choose the combination of type, intensity, duration and frequency that suits your lifestyle and preferences the best, and WORK THE VARIABLES to get the fat loss results you want, but whichever cardio program you choose, remember that a solid fat burning nutrition program, such as Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle is necessary to help you make the most of it.

Train hard and expect success,

Tom Venuto
Fat Loss Coach
www.BurnTheFat.com

Tom Venuto is a natural bodybuilder, certified personal trainer and freelance fitness writer. Tom is the author of “Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle,” which teaches you how to get lean without drugs or supplements using secrets of the world’s best bodybuilders and fitness models. Learn how to get rid of stubborn fat and increase your metabolism by visiting: www.burnthefat.com

The Best Way To Fire Up Your Metabolism, Burn Fat Fast & Developing Lasting Health

May 8, 2008

By Rob Poulos, Fat Loss & Fitness Expert & Author of “Fat Burning Furnace”

Ask ten people what type of exercise they should be doing to burn fat and fire up their metabolism and they’ll all probably tell you the same thing.  They’ll tell you that you need to do 30-40 minutes of moderately-paced aerobic exercise on a treadmill, elliptical machine, stair climber, etc. for 3-5 times per week.  They’ll probably also tell you that more is better…4 times per week would be better than 3, and 5 times per week would be even better.

People will tell you this because that’s been and continues to be the mainstream recommendation for fat burning by many fitness professionals.  Get in a certain target heart rate and stay at that heart rate for 30 minutes or so, several times per week.  I am here to tell you there is a better way.  Sure, you’ll burn some calories while you’re running to nowhere on a treadmill, but you won’t make a complete physique transformation with this type of exercise alone.

In fact, this type of exercise can actually be counterproductive to burning fat.  Here are just a couple of reasons:

Long duration, lower intensity aerobics calls upon your stored body fat for energy during the sessions.  While this may sound good, this can actually cause your body to create more body fat in reserve after the workout is over to have ready for your next workout.  Yikes!

What’s worse, this type of exercise when done frequently as typically suggested, trains your cardiovascular system to be efficient.  Again, while this sounds good, your heart and lungs can actually reduce their capacity for work as they are getting more efficient at doing easy work (your long duration, low intensity aerobic workouts), which reduces their ability to handle stress.  This can lead to a host of other problems including higher change of heart attack.  You are only working within your current aerobic capacity because you’re never challenging it to go beyond what it’s capable of.   And anything that is easy will not yield results even close to what’s challenging for the body to accomplish.  Instead, you should be challenging the body to increase its capacity, so that it is stronger and able to deal with stress more easily.  How is this done?

The fastest and most efficient way to rev up your metabolism, burn fat faster, and develop lifelong health and fitness is to add lean muscle to your body through resistance training – period. You want life changing results in the quickest possible time? Get stronger and build some muscle. When you add lean muscle to your body you’ll be literally turning your body into a fat burning machine!

Let’s say that you were eating the amount of calories that allow you to maintain your current bodyweight, but began to add lean muscle to your body through proper resistance training…you’ll need to use some of those calories you’re eating to feed the new muscle, creating a calorie deficit in your body.

In addition, when you stimulate your body with proper resistance training like I teach my students, the repair and growth process will call upon your stored body fat for energy.  This calorie deficit combined with the repair and growth process will allow you to burn fat all day long, every day.  You’ll even get these fat burning effects when you’re sitting around doing nothing at all. 

Also, properly conducted resistance training actually increases your heart and lung’s capacity for work.  By placing intense demands on your body, it is forced into being ready for anything you throw at it.  This makes you more resistant to cardiovascular health problems that plague most people…even those that exercise with aerobics frequently.

And the beauty is I’ve discovered that you don’t have to spend much time working out to get the fat loss effects, and strength and muscle gains that will create this environment…you can actually get it done with 2 or 3 weekly workouts that last between 20 and 30 minutes, and even less time at an advanced level.  And it’s easy to make this type of exercise part of your life because of its efficiency…and it will help keep you lean and healthy for the rest of it…muscle is the stuff that fat burning furnaces are made of!  That I can promise you.

Claim your free copy of Rob Poulos’s “7 Secrets Of Permanent Fat Loss & Fitness” at his website: http://www.fatburningfurnace.com

Rob Poulos is a celebrated fitness author, fat loss expert, and the founder and CEO of Zero to Hero Fitness.  Rob created the world’s most efficient method for fast and permanent fat loss with his “Fat Burning Furnace” system to help those looking to put an end to restrictive fad diets, long boring cardio workouts, and the need for super-human willpower for good.


How To Triple Your Fat Burning Workout Results

May 7, 2008

lose belly fatBy Rob Poulos, Fat Loss & Fitness Expert & Author of “Fat Burning Furnace”

Do you want to know how to triple your results from your resistance training? Why wouldn’t you?

Properly conducted resistance training can give you startling fat loss results, along with muscle and strength gains.  On top of that, when using the techniques I describe in the Fat Burning Furnace eBook, you’ll also receive “top drawer” cardiovascular health benefits.  And all from 2-3  workouts each week lasting just 15-20 minutes on average.

But, you’ve got to do them right, not like the average resistance trainer is taught these days.  Walk into any fitness center or gym and you’ll see at least half if not more of the exercisers performing their workouts in a less than optimal way…and that’s being kind.

So let’s get right to one of the ways you can triple your resistance training results immediately.  It has to do with how you specifically perform the repetitions.  To better understand this, let’s examine our 3 different strength levels in any resistance exercise.

Take the dumbbell curl exercise for the biceps for example.  In this movement, you begin with the weight down at your sides. You proceed to smoothly and slowly curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders.  This movement trains your positive strength level. You should then pause briefly and contract your biceps at the top of the movement.  This trains your static strength level.

Finally, you would want to lower the dumbbells slowly back to the starting position.  This trains your negative strength level.

Now the problem is that most people don’t even bother with the static or negative strength levels.  They put all of the focus on the “lifting” or positive portion of the movement, while not pausing or contracting sufficiently at the top, and not taking nearly enough time on the negative portion.

In effect they are getting only one third of the benefits that this exercise can give them.  Actually, it’s less than that because the static and negative portions can actually create deeper inroads into your existing strength levels.  This is something you want, as it will lead to greater progress faster assuming you give your body appropriate time to recover.

Why do we care so much about strength?  Outside of the obvious reasons, strength leads to muscle growth, which leads to a faster resting metabolism, which leads to faster fat loss and various other improved health factors that could take up another couple of pages at least ;-).

In the Fat Burning Furnace eBook & Deluxe Program, I take these concepts to the next level.  Here we are using techniques to maximize your static and negative strength levels in order to push the limits of your lean and healthy genetic potential to the max.  That’s when the real fun begins.

So make sure not to neglect the static and negative strength levels when performing your next resistance training workout. Don’t waste the opportunity to triple your results!

Claim your free copy of Rob Poulos’s “7 Secrets Of Permanent Fat Loss & Fitness” at his website: http://www.fatburningfurnace.com

Rob Poulos is a celebrated fitness author, fat loss expert, and the founder and CEO of Zero to Hero Fitness.  Rob created the world’s most efficient method for fast and permanent fat loss with his “Fat Burning Furnace” system to help those looking to put an end to restrictive fad diets, long boring cardio workouts, and the need for super-human willpower for good.


3 Vital Principles You Must Know

May 5, 2008

By Rob Poulos, Fat Loss & Fitness Expert & Author of “Fat Burning Furnace”

By now, most people realize that adding lean muscle mass to your body does wonders for your metabolism and fat loss, as well as a host of other benefits that allow you to live out your life as healthy as possible. 

Unfortunately, most people I see performing weight training or resistance training at the gym are spending too much time with the exercise and not working hard enough.  They’re not going to burn very much fat this way.  The secret I’ve found is that training for lean muscle and strength requires the proper application of three vital elements that are often ignored by those who attempt it.  Those three elements are:

-Intensity

-Volume & Frequency

-Progression

The intensity is how hard it is to perform for you, given your current condition.  The volume and frequency are how much and how often you perform the exercise.  The progression is related to how much the demands increase from workout to workout.  Most times, weight training, is carried on for too long and performed too many times per week.  It is unfortunately treated much the same way as so-called fat burning aerobic exercise.  But they are vastly different forms of exercise.  In fact, they’re complete opposites.

Aerobic exercise typically is characterized by low to moderate intensity, high volume and frequency, and little progression.  Anaerobic exercise, or weight training, must be performed at a high intensity, lower volume and frequency, and with progression to be as effective as possible.  No amount of weight training performed at a low or moderate intensity will provide significant muscle or strength building benefit beyond the first few weeks.  On a high level view, it is simply the combination of sufficient intensity, coupled with attempting to increase either the number of repetitions of a weight training exercise or the amount of weight used each and every workout that will keep your body evolving into the ultimate fat burning machine!

You also have to pay attention to other details when creating an effective and efficient routine to maximize your workout and minimize your time spent in the gym.  Why?  Because perhaps even more important that the workout itself is the rest period that follows.  You’re not going to get stronger or more muscular if you don’t rest.

You see, when you strength train properly, you are creating tiny injuries to your muscles.  You then have to let the body repair itself, and then overcompensate and build upon the already existing amount of muscle mass you have.  If you workout again before that process in completed, you’ll experience lackluster, if any, muscle building or fat burning results.  So make sure to get proper rest between workouts, which typically means a minimum of 1 to 3 full days of rest between properly executed resistance workouts.

Now upon hearing the idea that you’ve got add muscle to your body to ensure the maximum fat burning environment, a lot of people, women especially, start thinking, “But I don’t want to get bigger, I want to lose weight!”  But this is such a shame, because it’s very unlikely to happen, and countless women are losing out on these fat burning benefits because of it. You see, most men and almost all women simply lack the necessary genetic traits required to produce such muscle gains that would cause them to look bulky or overly-developed to most people.  These traits include testosterone levels, muscle fiber makeup, muscle belly length, and others.

Those competitive bodybuilders you’ve seen on TV and in the magazines are the genetic cream of the crop for muscle development and they are typically on heavy doses of anabolic steroids, growth hormone, and other bodybuilding drugs.  Don’t be fooled by these images, or those that scare you into thinking this way.  Also, lean muscle is more compact that fat, as it takes up less space in your body, so you will actually be getting smaller when replacing the fat on your body with lean muscle.

Please understand that you’re putting yourself in the best position to succeed with your fat loss and fitness goals when you perform properly conducted intense resistance training, no matter who you are.  But make sure you understand and apply the three critical principles I discussed above.  If you don’t, you’ll ultimately be unhappy with your results, both in your ability to burn fat and realize the lean, strong, and healthy body you deserve.

Claim your free copy of Rob Poulos’s “7 Secrets Of Permanent Fat Loss & Fitness” at his website: http://www.fatburningfurnace.com

Rob Poulos is a celebrated fitness author, fat loss expert, and the founder and CEO of Zero to Hero Fitness.  Rob created the world’s most efficient method for fast and permanent fat loss with his “Fat Burning Furnace” system to help those looking to put an end to restrictive fad diets, long boring cardio workouts, and the need for super-human willpower for good.


A Simple Change In Mindset Will Burn More Fat Fast

May 4, 2008

By Rob Poulos, Fat Loss & Fitness Expert & Author of “Fat Burning Furnace”

Most people that I talk to about health and fitness talk about “getting in shape”.   But I don’t think they realize that their words are actually counterproductive to their aspirations of burning fat.  You hear a lot of people lamenting about being out of shape and saying, “I need to get in shape and burn fat”, or, “I want to get in shape and burn fat.”  What you don’t hear them saying is, “I want to get in shape, burn fat, and stay that way.”  They may want to stay in shape, but their mindset is focused on getting in shape.  This makes you more susceptible to the fad diets and latest exercise gimmick on the market.  You’re so focused on getting in shape that you’ll try almost anything regardless of how silly or difficult to follow it might seem, because you’re entirely focused on the short term goal.

lose belly fat

A simple change in the “quick fix” mindset to one of long term success will steer you down the correct path.  You’ll be less enticed by the late night TV hype, and more focused on doing the right things most of the time.  Wouldn’t you agree that life long health and fitness is what’s most important?  Of course creating an environment in your body that allows you to burn fat fast is essential to this goal.  A person who is in shape in their 50s and 60s is a lot more impressive to me than someone who is lean and fit in their 20s and 30s. That’s because the dedication to maintaining the proper exercise plan and a sensible nutrition strategy for the rest of your life is rare to find.  It’s a rare mindset.

If you really want to transform your physique and your health for good, you must make it a lifestyle, a habit.  And that starts in your mind.  That’s what the people who are lean for life do.  In fact, if I think about all of the people I personally know that are in great shape and have been for a while, I start to understand that they have their minds on staying in shape.  They think about it day and night, not obsessively, but with each thing they do…they subconsciously think, “Is this going to positively or negatively impact my long term health and fitness?”. “Am I doing everything I reasonable can to burn fat and live a healthy lifestyle?”.

The good news is that research shows you can develop simple habits like those involved in eating and exercising properly in under a month…sometimes even sooner.  And with the type of exercise and diet tips I recommend to my Fat Burning Furnace students, you don’t need o give up your life’s pursuits so that you are working out every day,  nor do you need to follow a wacky diet you can’t reasonably make a lifestyle out of. And after a few months of practicing these methods, I’ve found that your body will start telling you it wants to keep exercising and eating right…you just won’t feel right with out it.  Why?  Because your body naturally wants to be healthy and lean.

So I urge you to forgo the “get in shape” mindset, and instead embrace the idea of staying in shape and creating that fat burning furnace that is so essential to life long health and fitness.  Imagine yourself in the body of your dreams, today, tomorrow, and 5, 10, 20 or more years from now.  What will you be doing then, in your lean, strong, and healthy body?  Chances are, you won’t be trying to “get in shape”.  Instead, you’ll be burning fat 24/7, and enjoying life as you should…full of vitality and passion.

Claim your free copy of Rob Poulos’s “7 Secrets Of Permanent Fat Loss & Fitness” at his website: http://www.fatburningfurnace.com
Rob Poulos is a celebrated fitness author, fat loss expert, and the founder and CEO of Zero to Hero Fitness.  Rob created the world’s most efficient method for fast and permanent fat loss with his “Fat Burning Furnace” system to help those looking to put an end to restrictive fad diets, long boring cardio workouts, and the need for super-human willpower for good.

Rest, Sleep, And Burn More Fat Fast

May 4, 2008

By Rob Poulos, Fat Loss & Fitness Expert & Author of “Fat Burning Furnace”

In order to reap the benefits from the intense exercise I recommend to my Fat Burning Furnace students, you must get adequate rest.  I can’t stress this fact enough.  In fact, rest is just as important, if not more important that the actual exercise.  During the high intensity resistance exercise that my students perform, the muscles experience tiny injuries or tears.  The body’s response is to adapt and repair, getting stronger and larger muscles, which of course leads to burning more fat and a leaner body.

But this growth and repair process won’t take place if the body is not allowed the time to do its job.  Too often, people rush back into the gym, as many have been inundated with the “more is better” axiom when it comes to exercise.  But if we don’t get out of the body’s way and let it do its magic, we will experience poor results.  We won’t burn fat like we want to, and we will just end up demotivated or possibly give up our efforts altogether.

If you don’t get enough rest or sleep, you’ll have a very difficult time building the fat-burning muscle that will transform your body.  And you’ll also have a tough time burning fat off too!  That’s why we can’t work out too long or too often when using a sufficient intensity level.  When giving the body an intense stimulus, such as proper weight training, you can’t keep hammering it into the ground.  If you did this, you’d quickly over train your muscles and negate your body’s ability to recover from exercise.   Your immune system could become so worn down in fact, that you might even get sick…this happened to me a few times in the past when I wasn’t paying attention to getting adequate rest and sleep. 

And this repair and recover process doesn’t happen overnight, it usually takes 2 days or more, So make sure to keep between 1-3 days of rest between your properly conducted resistance training workouts, or you will be short-circuiting your chances of success to burn fat and build lean, strong, muscle.

Now that we know how important rest is to burning fat and building muscle, we also must understand the most important component of rest…otherwise know as sleep.  Sleep is the ultimate recovery tool, and not only for recovery from exercise.  It’s a recovery tool from any stress you take in throughout the day.  Whether it’s from family pressures, work issues, or finances, etc., increased stress can be dissolved by adequate sleep.  And don’t think you can burn fat maximally when you’re over-stressed by other things in your life.  A high stress level can shut down the effectiveness of your ability to burn fat, among other things. 

So make sure to get adequate sleep.  What’s ideal?  I would recommend no less than seven or more than nine hours.  In fact, seven and half hours per night might be the perfect amount!  Research has shown that we sleep in cycles of 90 minutes or so.  It has been suggested that if we wake up too far before or after one of these 90 minute cycles, you will probably feel groggy for a good part of the day. So try the 5 90 minutes sleep cycles, or 7 and a half hours…you’ll most likely wake up feeling well-rested and energized, and your fat burning furnace will show it’s appreciation, allowing you to burn more fat faster.

Claim your free copy of Rob Poulos’s “7 Secrets Of Permanent Fat Loss & Fitness” at his website: http://www.fatburningfurnace.com

Rob Poulos is a celebrated fitness author, fat loss expert, and the founder and CEO of Zero to Hero Fitness.  Rob created the world’s most efficient method for fast and permanent fat loss with his “Fat Burning Furnace” system to help those looking to put an end to restrictive fad diets, long boring cardio workouts, and the need for super-human willpower for good.