"Slow Burn" trainer Fred Hahn offers up 20 fat-burning ideas!
After reading and reviewing his fantastic book entitled The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution in January, I was not just enamored by the overall fitness philosophy of personal trainer Fred Hahn who advocates lifting weights slowly as the safest, most effective way to build muscle. But after interviewing him at my blog and realizing he promotes a solid controlled-carbohydrate nutritional approach to work in tandem with the "Slow Burn" program, I knew Fred was somebody I wanted to hear more from in the future.
In fact, my favorite quote from that interview is what Fred Hahn recommends as the perfect post-workout meal:
A juicy bacon cheeseburger (no bun) with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and avocado, or steak and eggs with sliced tomatoes.
YEAH BABY!!! Now that's what I'm talking about! :D If you like that kind of honest opinions and information about what to do regarding your own health and fitness routine, then you'll want to bookmark Fred Hahn's blog and visit often. He is always posting some interesting thoughts, so visit early and visit often. There's never a dull moment with Fred in the blogosphere! ;)
Today I have a very special surprise from our friend Fred Hahn. As part of his Slow Burn Fitness System--a special combination of insulin-controlled diet and strength training exercise--he has graciously provided me a list of 20 of his most effective fat loss tips to impart to the wonderful readers of the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog. This program has been proven to be highly efficient at helping its participants begin burning fat, gaining strength, improving their health, and becoming more energetic and youthful than they have ever been in their entire lives.
To complement what you are already doing as part of your healthy low-carb lifestyle, Fred recommends the following 20 tips to boost your fat loss results. ENJOY!
1. DRINK A GALLON OF REFRIGERATED WATER A DAY
A gallon of cold water will burn around 150 calories of energy to heat the cold water to body temperature for voiding! (And it's good for your skin and hair too!)
Note from Jimmy: I would only caution you to watch your body temperature if you decide to do this tip because I used to drink my water cold until a doctor told me I was freezing my insides. I was drinking upwards of 1-2 gallons a day and was ALWAYS cold. Even now, when I drink large amounts of TAP water, my hands get as cold as ice.
2. BEFORE YOU CHEAT, DRINK WATER AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH
If you get hungry and feel you're going to cheat, quickly drink a big glass of cool water and brush and floss your teeth. While doing so, think this thought: "There is no food that tastes as good as being lean and strong feels!"
Note from Jimmy: This REALLY works and you'll be surprised how well it does, too. If you aren't in a position to brush your teeth when the craving comes on, then pop a sugar-free mint or piece of mint-flavored sugar-free gum. In those very rare occasions when you don't have access to those things (always keep them handy!), eat something high-fat to ward off the sugar/carb cravings. Works every time!
3. TAKE A CASUAL STROLL 30 MINUTES AFTER DINNER
A half hour after dinner, take a casual stroll for 15-20 minutes whenever possible. Do not walk fast or jog. Just take a pleasant, easy stroll and enjoy your time outdoors. This keeps from from snacking after dinner.
Note from Jimmy: If you make this stroll a regular part of your dinnertime routine, then it will also keep you from stuffing yourself too full because you'll be too uncomfortable even for a casual stroll around the block. What a perfect opportunity to get in some quality time with your family in the process, too.
4. AVOID SUGAR/STARCHY CARBS BEFORE BEDTIME
Avoid eating sugar or starches a few hours before bedtime. This can decrease growth hormone release at night and store unwanted calories as fat.
Note from Jimmy: Better yet, why not avoid sugar and starches ALL THE TIME? Sounds like a plan to me! :D
5. GET A SOLID EIGHT HOURS OF SLEEP A NIGHT
Get a full 8 hours of sleep as often as possible. Avoid TV and other distractions as much as you can at night. Deep sleep is when your body is regulating and upgrading your hormonal tone. So get some rest!
Note from Jimmy: And just laying in bed doesn't count as sleep. I know there are some nights it can take me 2-3 hours to get to sleep because I'm thinking about things in my life, worrying about upcoming events, or just so exhausted and tired that sleep evades me. Try to leave all that stuff outside your bedroom and use every moment for tremendous restful sleep. A good workout a few hours before bedtime can help!
6. DRESS AND SLEEP AS COOL AS YOU CAN
Dress and sleep cool. The cooler you stay, the more heat your body must produce to keep you warm and this means more calories burned. Feeling a bit on the chilly side means you are a fat burning dynamo! Always keep as cool as you can when you are exercising. Sweating is overheating and staying cool is much better for exercise performance as well as for fat loss.
Note from Jimmy: I showed this tip to my wife Christine as a reason for running the fan at night in our bedroom. But when she started shivering and her teeth were chattering, I had to stop. Instead of wallowing in the blankets now, I try to sleep with as little cover as possible to stay cool. Working out, though, is another matter. I still sweat quite a bit during exercise, especially when working with my trainer. Every time I feel the sweat dripping down my face, I tell my trainer I'm overheating (as per what Fred said in this tip). My complaints are usually ignored as I'm instructed to continue the workout. Isn't it ironic that you can burn more fat staying cool rather than dripping soaking wet with sweat?
7. EAT SLOWLY AND STOP WHEN HUNGER CEASES
Eat slowly and stop when you are no longer hungry before you feel full.
Note from Jimmy: This is an important tip because most of us eat all the way until we are full. But try going through a day where your purpose in eating is to simply take away your hunger. For some people, this could be as little as just a few bites. Savor each bite and you'll probably feel more satisfied than if you "hork" (thanks for sharing this GREAT word, Christin!) it all down in just a few minutes. You may end up eating every 2-3 hours as the hunger bug returns, but that's okay, too. Let your body tell you when to eat, not the time on the clock.
8. DON'T EAT OUT AT RESTAURANTS
Make and take your meals with you. Refrain from eating out. There are tons of hidden calories in most restaurant foods. (You'll save lots of money too!)
Note from Jimmy: Boy, is Fred ever right about this one! When you go out to a restaurant to eat, you can never really know what they're putting in the food. From IHOP putting pancake batter in their omelets to hidden sugars injected into the steaks at Applebee's, you're just better off making the food yourself at home. It'll save you a lot of heartache on the scale later on if you just make all of your own food.
9. POST MEANINGFUL REMINDERS AND INSPIRATIONAL SAYINGS
Pin notes on your refrigerator, front door, bedroom mirror, etc. with phrases such as "Take your lunch!" "Drink your water!" and "I will succeed!" Anything that will remind you of what to do and why you are doing it is a very potent motivational tool.
Note from Jimmy: Most of us who have allowed our weight to get out of control have issues with self-esteem and feeling worthy. So writing things like "You are AWESOME!" "I'm so proud of what you are accomplishing!" and "NEVER GIVE UP!!!" are an essential part of keeping yourself uplifted and inspired in your daily struggle to lose the weight and get healthy. Don't underestimate the power of such a simple act because it can reap BIG DIVIDENDS for you with constant positive reinforcement on a daily basis.
10. NEVER SKIP A MAJOR MEAL
Never skip breakfast or any main meal. Thinking you will lose fat faster by skipping meals is a huge step in the wrong direction. Huge! Your body need to feel "satisfied" and requires adequate nutrition to shed body fat and build muscle.
Note from Jimmy: There was a 10-year study published in the September 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association that concluded eating breakfast leads to lower body mass index compared to those who skip breakfast. And it's true! You need to fuel up for your day with a hearty high-fat, moderate protein meal to give your body the energy it needs to get through the day. That's why I like to begin my day with some delicious eggs cooked in butter along with a side of bacon or sausage. Mmm mmm--a nutritious way to start your day!
11. PURCHASE A GOAL OUTFIT AND TRY IT ON WEEKLY
Select a piece of clothing that you want to fit into again and try it on once a week.
Note from Jimmy: Actually, I did this when I weighed 410 pounds. My wife Christine and I went to JCPenney's in January 2004 and at the time I was wearing size 62-inch waist pants. So, imagine the surprise on Christine's face when I picked up a pair of 42-inch waist khaki pants! Yep, she was shocked to say the least. But I put those "goal pants" up on the wall and dreamed of being able to fit into them by the end of that year. In early November 2004 after losing around 165 pounds, I tried them on and they FINALLY fit me (albeit, they were tight, but they got around me!). It was such a thrilling moment in my weight loss journey and those pants went on to become very loose on me by the end of the year. WOO HOO!
12. READ ONE HEALTH-RELATED BOOK A WEEK
Read a book a week that is health related or motivational in nature.
Note from Jimmy: Because I run a diet and health-focused blog that gets a fair share of daily traffic, access to the latest health and motivational books is easy for me. The ones I think are the best get featured at my blog, so be on the lookout for my posts featuring books that may help you in your healthy lifestyle. Some blog posts where I have featured new books on nutrition and fitness can be found here, here, here, here, and here.
13. AVOID ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES WITH EMPTY CALORIES
Limit or avoid alcohol. Drinks can be very high in calories so beware!
Note from Jimmy: I'm not a drinker, but I equate drinking alcohol with those people who drink sugary sodas. Both will stop the fat-burning process until all the carbs (alcohol included) is burned first. While the low-carb beer market has experienced a tremendous growth spurt over the past year, the fact remains that alcohol will inhibit fat-burning and weight loss just as much as eating a slice of chocolate cake would. So if you can do without it, you'll do your body some good!
14. GET BUSY WITH A FAVORITE ACTIVITY AT NIGHT
Find a hobby that keeps you occupied in the evening. You're less likely to snack if your hands are busy and you may be surprised what you can accomplish!
Note from Jimmy: I can think of a few things to do...at night! ;)
15. EAT HIGH-FIBER VEGGIES, LOW-SUGAR FRUITS
Eat fruits and veggies instead of cakes and sweets and when you think fruit think berries. The higher the fiber content in the food, the better.
Note from Jimmy: I happen to think the generic recommendation to "eat more fruits and vegetables" is a big fat copout by those who claim to care about the weight and health of overweight and obese people. As I stated repeatedly to Dr. Dean Ornish during my recent interview with him, the KIND of fruits and vegetables is extremely important when you are talking to people about what's good for them and what is not. Fried potatoes, which dominates the "veggie" intake of nearly half of kids and one-fourth of adults, is very clearly NOT the kind of vegetable people should be eating. Non-starchy veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, spinach, and kale are excellent choices. And Fred is so right about fruit--stick with the berries!
16. AVOID THE BREAD, EAT A SALAD, DRINK LOTS OF WATER
If you must eat out, send the bread basket back once it arrives. Order a salad as your appetizer and an appetizer as your main course. Keep that ice water coming!
Note from Jimmy: Whenever I eat out somewhere often enough, the servers KNOW not to bring me crackers or bread with my meal. If they forget and bring it to me anyway, I simply look at it and state, "I won't be needing that, thank you!" It's better not to even have it on the table with you so you'll never be tempted. If you do decide to order a meal from one of the main courses, keep in mind the portion size may be much bigger than your body actually needs to get rid of your hunger. Don't be afraid to take some food home in a carryout box.
17. COMPLETELY AVOID ALL FOODS TOUTING "LOW-FAT"
Avoid purchasing and eating foods that are labeled as "low fat" or "no fat."
Note from Jimmy: Wanna hear a dirty little secret about these so-called "healthy" low-fat or fat-free foods you see in the stores these days? When they remove the fat from them, guess what they have to ADD to them to make them taste at least halfway close to the original (yeah right!)? SUGAR!!! And many times it is in the form of high-fructose corn syrup which is even worse. Why do that to yourself? Just eat the full-fat foods with confidence and let the low-fatties suffer eating fat-free cheese that tastes like cardboard and the watery skim milk!
18. PRACTICE DAILY VISUALIZATION OF THE NEW YOU TO COME
Try to visualize your leaner, stronger, healthier self a few times each day. See yourself as you wish to be. Imagine that new you and think everyday you are one step closer to achieving your goal. Care about yourself. You're worth it!
Note from Jimmy: You just don't realize how powerful this is! As I previously stated, most of us have a self-worth that is next to nothing when we began our low-carb weight loss journey. It's difficult enough trying to lose weight, but then we pile on all this extra baggage from the circumstances in our life that it's almost impossible to ever imagine life as a thin and happy person. But that's exactly what you must do to prepare yourself mentally for the BIG CHANGES that are to come. Believe me, getting your mind to believe in what is to come makes it that much easier to accept the new physical you when it gets here. Start thinking you look good NOW!
19. RESIST THE URGE TO OVER-EXERCISE
Avoid excessive amounts of exercise. Too much exercise makes cortisol levels rise which in turn causes muscle wasting and can aid in fat storage. You do not receive benefits from exercise when you are exercising. You receive the benefits when you are resting and recovering from the exercise. If your eating habits are proper, you do not need to try and burn off additional fat via exercise. You'll save yourself from orthopedic problems as well.
Note from Jimmy: It seems logical--the more you exercise, the more calories you can burn off and weight loss will happen. And yet there is the risk of inflammation from doing too much exercise and the cortisol issue as Fred explained. This is a controversial recommendation since most people don't get nearly ENOUGH exercise. But I've seen the workaholics in the gym who spend hours upon hours beating their bodies to a pulp trying to salvage every last bit of energy out of themselves thinking that's gonna make them a lean, mean fighting machine. In a word, NOPE! Get in a solid workout, eat healthy low-carb meals with plenty of fat and protein, and let your body do the rest. It's no more difficult than that!
20. GET REAL WITH YOURSELF
BE REALISTIC. This is perhaps the most important tip of all. Do not try to avoid every bad food in the whole world everyday. Do not expect your program to transform your physique into a Greek god or goddess. We can't all look like movie start--but we can all dramatically change our bodies for the better and live long, healthy lives following the very simple and extremely efficient Slow Burn Program.
Note from Jimmy: Fred is right! Livin' la vida low-carb isn't about what you CAN'T have as much as it is what you CAN. I challenge anyone to tell me that this way of eating isn't the most luxurious, delicious "diet" plan you could possibly go on and still lose body fat while vastly improving your health. It truly is a miracle and I'm thrilled to be eating this way for the rest of my life. Combining low-carb living with the "Slow Burn" resistance training developed by Fred Hahn will have you looking better than you ever thought possible. YOU CAN DO IT!!!