[I’ve been working on a new metabolic workout program for a while now and am pumped that it’s finally ready.
- want short, quick, effective workouts to burn fat?
- want to improve work capacity and stamina?
- want to boost your metabolism?
- want convenient workouts that take less than 20 minutes?
- want to improve your conditioning and boost results?
If this applies to you then I’ve got something special for you at the end of this article]
Stress is more complicated than people realize and it’s not often thought of as something that could affect your fat loss progress.
Many people just think if they eat pretty good and exercise a ton they’ll lose body fat.
Except that fat loss and stress are enemies.
You’ve got bills to pay and maybe a family to take care of. You have work and appointments, and stuff that is really important.
Did you know that high levels of stress have been associated with weight gain? Yea, it’s true. When you stress out, your cortisol levels go through the roof, increasing your appetite and causing you to reach for extra calories.
Rather than continuing to add to your stress levels, I’ve got 5 tips to improve your training and nutrition during stressful times so you can continue to make fat loss progress.
#1 Reduce Training Frequency
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when their progress slows due to stress is adding more training sessions.
Think about it.
You’re already stressed and are having trouble recovering. The last thing your body needs is more stress (via more training/exercise). Of course, exercise can be therapeutic but there’s no doubt about it, one of the reasons we benefit from lifting weights is because we break tissues down during the session, they recover and repair, and we make progress.
The problem comes from the lack of recovery. If stress levels are high you simply won’t recover. So adding more work on top is not going to be beneficial.
If you’re currently training 4-6 times per week and feeling stressed and run down, consider scaling it back to 3 days of lifting and replacing a day or two with low-intensity cardio or metabolic circuits to burn fat and boost recovery.
#2 Reduce Training Duration
I’m all for getting after it in the gym. Trust me, if I could be in the gym for hours and hours I would be (ok, I’m guilty of doing this from time to time.)
But here’s the thing: you can still get effective workouts in less time provided you’re using the most bang-for-your-buck exercises. When you’re looking to cut back on training time the compound lifts are very beneficial.
If you aren’t able to do the regular squat, bench, deadlift, row, pullup etc you can do variations of these lifts. The idea is that you want to work as many muscle groups in as little time as possible. This is where a compound exercise would be more beneficial than an isolation exercise. There’s nothing wrong with targeted isolation exercises, but if you’re limited on time and want to get in and out, then compound exercises should be your go-to.
#3 Improve Workout Structure
Another valuable way to get in an effective training session without compromising the quality of that session is to utilize supersets and total body workouts.
Supersets (pairing two exercises together, usually opposing muscle groups) is highly effective for increasing training density (the amount of work you can do in a certain period of time).
Some of my favorite supersets are:
-Barbell Bench Press supersetted with Barbell Row
-Overhead Press supersetted with Pullup or Lat Pulldown
-Squat variation supersetted with Hamstring dominant exercise like RDL/Leg Curl
-Deadlift variation supersetted with upper body push like Dips
While supersets are a great option, you can also use total-body training sessions 2-3 times per week to make sure you hit all the major muscle groups and continue to at least maintain muscle mass.
When stress levels are out of control the best thing you can do is focus on quality training sessions that fit your schedule. Super stressed out periods of your life are probably not going to be the best times to do an aggressive fat loss phase or mass building phase. With these modifications though, you’ll be able to continue losing body fat by reducing stress levels and allowing your body to recover from hard training.
Focus on quality training that enhances your life, not training that detracts from it.
#4 Simplify your Diet
On the nutrition side of things, it’s best to keep it simple when it comes to your diet. Do not go radically changing your day-to-day diet or begin a new crazy diet.
-Focus on getting in adequate protein, I like to recommend 1-2 palms of protein at every meal on average. The more meals you eat the less you’ll need at each meal. Shoot for about 1g per pound of bodyweight.
-get in tons of vegetables. Vegetables contain important micronutrients and fiber which are very important especially during stressful times.
-eat mostly whole food sources of carbohydrates. Foods like sweet potatoes, rice, oatmeal, fruits etc will help fuel workouts and provide you with some satiety.
-get in some healthy fats. Olive oil, avocado, natural peanut butter are all great sources of healthy fats and will help slow digestion of proteins and carbs and help to reduce inflammation (something that can be elevated during stressful periods).
-drink plenty of water and 0 calorie beverages
#5 Make Time to Prep
Take time to prep food?
It might sound kinda crazy to take more time away from things you need to get done, but trust me, having quality food prepped will become a huge benefit.
And, it’ll actually remove a lot of stress associated with having good meals. You won’t have to worry as much about what to eat because you’ll have quality options already made.
I’d suggest taking 1 hour on a weekend day to prep proteins, veggies, and carbs, or to simply have some quality foods on hand for the week. You can also make super shakes if you find time is limited during the week to sit down and eat a lunch or meal.
For those that aren’t big cooks, simply buying a few rotisserie chickens and microwaveable rice would be a good start. Throw some fresh or frozen veggies with it and you’ve got a quick and healthy meal in a couple minutes.
Carry protein powder, nuts, protein bars, greek yogurts, fruit and foods like this to have something convenient at all times.
Preparing a little bit ahead of time will save you so much stress when it comes to food and will give you quality fat loss meals at your fingertips.
Bye Bye Stress, Hello Fat Loss
With the tips above, you should be pretty well-armed to deal with stress while continuing to get in quality training sessions and lose fat.
Look, we all go through periods of time where things get stressful. Instead of beating yourself into the ground, focus on the important things to keep making progress without adding more stress to your life.
Below, I’ve got more info on something I feel will be a huge benefit during stressful, busy times.
[Metabolic Fat Loss-Important Info]
I’m very excited to tell you more about my new program, Metabolic Fat Loss.
- want short, quick, effective workouts to burn fat
- want to improve work capacity and stamina
- want to boost your metabolism
- want convenient workouts that take less than 20 minutes
- want to improve your conditioning and boost results
Then Metabolic Fat Loss will be right up your alley.
I’ve compiled 28 of my all-time favorite circuits into a pretty little PDF that you can open anywhere you go. They’re perfect as standalone workouts or can be used as finishers after a lifting session to help you burn loads of calories and keep the fat blast going.
If you’re interested in Metabolic Fat Loss shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll give you the rest of the details.