Personal trainer Nicholas Polo explains how to lose fat quickly – it’s not what you think – and brings you tips and tricks to lose fat in as little as ten days
The difference between losing fat and losing fat in record time is the same as driving on a road with speed bumps vs cruising on the highway. Which one is more fun? Understanding why fat loss takes longer than you expect will help you develop strategies to stay on target.
Hormonally speaking women tend to burn fat at a slower pace than men. Bad news? Not necessarily. Women in general are more mentally determined and can stay more focused at the task in hand.
under the right training and nutrition programme a person can lose an average of five per cent body fat in as little as ten days.
The truth is that under the right training and nutrition programme a person can lose an average of five per cent body fat in as little as ten days. During those ten days, you will have to take your journey seriously. You will have to think like an athlete going for the gold or an actor transforming themselves for an upcoming role. That means you will have to train daily and intensively but for no more than 20 minutes, stay away from foods that increase blood sugar and fuel up with all the necessary vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
That will give your body a good jump start and set your hormones in a metabolic boost that will quickly fight the fat away.
Following your ten day diet, things can relax but by then you will know what works best for your body and what doesn’t which will help you not only maintain your results but continue improving them over time.
12 steps to losing fat in ten days
This is a resistance training technique where you perform an exercise at the maximum possible resistance (weight) for a number of reps. Then you reduce the weight immediately without break and continue for more reps until you reach failure. Perform 3 to 4 sets and limit the reps of each set to 6 to ensure body definition and strength increase rather than bulkiness. That means that the weight you start on your first set should be heavy enough so that you will not be able to do more than 6 reps without reducing the weight. Once you finish one exercise quickly proceed to the next one. For a great read on lifting heavy try Bob Harper’s The Skinny Rules (£10.99 Random House)
2. Keep it short and sweet
Following drop sets weight training means your workout is going to be pretty intense. As you are going to be training on a daily basis for 10 days or so, limit your workout to 20 minutes to avoid overtraining.
More in women than men, overtraining has been linked to increased levels of stress and cortisol which set your body into a defence mode trying to save fat instead of burning it.
An intense but short daily workout will do just the trick. Follow a split routine programme (day 1: legs and abs, day 2: chest and triceps, day 3: shoulders and abs, day 4: back and biceps, etc.) to allow sufficient muscle rest in between workouts.
3. Cardio, Not!
Prolonged cardio anyway. Doing cardio for over 20 minutes will burn fat but will also burn muscle. This is not your healthiest option. As we age we lose about 5 per cent muscle mass every decade.
Muscle gain is a key to fat loss as it improves your metabolism.
Studies have shown that for every pound of muscle we gain, we burn about 50 extra calories a day. So, lift, pull and push weights and go for drop sets. Getting your cardio in from a short drop set workout is much more efficient and effective compared to the traditional hour long workouts.
4. Lift heavy
Don’t worry, you will not become Arnold. That would take a couple of hours of daily training and a lot more testosterone than you could possibly wish for. Lifting heavy weights in a drop set workout is one of the best ways to maximize fat burn in the shortest period of time without getting bulky.
5. Go sugar free
Our body is fuelled with carbohydrates, fat and proteins which are used as our energy source throughout our day. Although fat is what we want to shave off, ironically, fatty food itself, does not make you fat. Our body utilises sugar and carbs with high Glycaemic Index (GI) and high Glycaemic Load (GL) as a first source of energy before it starts to burn fat.
By limiting the sugary foods that cause high blood sugar for 10 days, you force your body to start burning the fat that otherwise is stored for good and is not going anywhere.
Your flat stomach’s best friend is food that keeps your blood sugar at a steady state and not set you through hunger spikes and binging. So no breads, flour, gluten grains, rice and potato. A typical breakfast could be eggs with bacon; salmon or prawns with avocado for lunch and beef or bison with lettuce for dinner. Plan your dinner so that there is a 2-hour fast before bedtime. Add plenty of olive oil and get your fats from the right source. For your 10 day diet period, limit your fruit intake to avocado; yes it is a fruit! Following your 10 day diet you may increase your fruit intake variety by adding berries, grapefruit and apricots.
6. No Alcohol
I always said this went without saying but because I was asked this before, I thought I’d mention it again. So, no alcohol! Most of the alcohol you drink is converted into your body’s primary source of fuel for energy. Your body will use that fuel before it uses the fat. So you will store the fat from the fish and chips you had because your body is getting all its energy from the beer you chucked down instead!
Studies show fat metabolism drops by 70% for several hours after two drinks.
More than 2 drinks could mean your metabolism is stalled for as long as 3 days. If you are on a 10 day fat loss programme, you don’t have 3 days to waste!
Sure it’s best to get your vitamins and fibre from food but if you want to have an unfair advantage over those sceptic minds who want to stay average, you need to make sure you stay fuelled up.
Your must-have daily supplements are a multivitamin / mineral, vitamins C, D3 and B complex especially during your sugar free diet
Protein shakes and creatine are equally important when you train to ensure a progressive fat loss and not muscle loss. Go for protein shakes with low sugar content. SPIRUTEIN powder has had good results with all my clients but there are others. Same goes for Omegas-3 fats and fibre. Psyllium Husk fibre is an excellent supplement that will keep you regular and not bloated. Take 1-tsp in the evening with a full glass of water.
8. Plan ahead
They say success is the residue of good planning. Record fat loss means you have to get the maximum results in the shortest time. That means no room for error. If you are going to go on a 10 day diet, it’s best to do that during a period few or no social outings and dinner parties. Always pre-plan your meals to avoid derails and setbacks. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t leave home without your lunch box. There are some good choices out there if you happen to be out and about. Wagamama’s tuna steak salad is a good example but best to ask to substitute the quinoa with avocado and green salad. Pret A Manger’s crayfish with avocado salad, but with olive oil instead of its packaged dressing, is another good choice.
9. Monitor your progress
This shall be done by photos, measurements and test. Before and after photos may sound vein, but it is amazing what emotional satisfaction people get once they see that the hard work paid off. But apart from the mental boost, the idea is to know that the plan works and quantify its success so you can stay on track way past your 10 day programme. The BodPod test offered by the Westminster University is a scientifically proven body composition test that tells you very accurately your fat percentage in just a few minutes. Knowing what that figure is and periodically checking it again will set your mind in the right path and help you stay on course over time.
10. Drink Korean Ginseng or green tea
If you check the diet plan of body competitors you will find that almost everyone is on green tea. The truth is many kinds of teas have been associated with fat loss. However the one that I have found the best in getting rid of the bloating and keep the stomach flat is Korean Ginseng Tea
This is because among other health benefits, the Korean Ginseng tea is a great blood sugar stabiliser. Korean Ginseng (the brand) is a great product out there not just for taste but also results. So cheers to that!
11. Drink your water
While we are on the subject of fluids, everyone agrees water is important from fat loss all the way to muscle gain however most of us tend to forget to drink enough. Trick yourself to drinking enough by getting a good quality water bottle. That will help you stay on course without having to keep track of all the cups you had during the day. Stick to still as bottled sparkling carries extra salt.
Stick to still as bottled water as sparkling carries extra salt
12. Clock in your cycle
Women tend to eat differently depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle. Changes in hormones, bloating, cravings as well as decrease in your iron level could affect the results of your 10 day diet. Best to schedule your diet to start after your period.
Get support! Having a personal trainer is not affordable for everyone and some will say my view on this is somewhat biased. But the truth is there is no substitute to a one-to-one training. The world’s best athletes have all coaches. There is a reason for it!
Nicholas Polo is a personal trainer based in London. His specialty is record time fat loss though an anti-aging fitness method that combines high intensity interval training (HIIT), a 10 day nutrition plan and anti-aging supplements. His results have got him clients in the media, political and celebrity world. For more information, log on to Nicholas’ website.