Strategy 1: Cut Carbs in Half
When carbohydrate intake is lowered, the body turns to fat for energy. So to start shedding some fat, cut your carbs drastically—in this case, by half—for four straight days while maintaining your regular workout plan. Not only does this reduce calories, but it also helps control insulin, the hormone released with carb consumption that can increase the appetite.
The easiest way to implement this step is to halve your carbohydrate portion size at meals. Instead of a full bagel, for example, eat half. In lieu of a medium plate of pasta, have a small plate. Eat only three-quarters of a cup of rice compared to the rounded cup you may typically consume. You’ll burn fat and your desire to eat should also subside.
Following a lower-carb diet for too long can backfire for some, decreasing leptin levels and slowing the metabolism, so return to your regular portions after four days. Introducing carbs back into your diet after this kind of drastic reduction kicks up leptin levels and, therefore, your metabolism. In addition, when the body comes out of a brief, modified lower-carb diet, it becomes more efficient at storing carbohydrate as muscle glycogen, key for pushing through your workouts with the type of intensity you need to elicit growth. Glycogen not only powers your training but acts as an anabolic stimulus, allowing the body to retain muscle even as you attempt to whittle away a few extra pounds. And because it pulls water into the muscles with it, it makes them fuller and larger.
Strategy 2: Elevate Your (GH) Status
Yes, getting lean is about calories, but it’s also about hormones, so we’ll go ahead and cover all your bases just to be safe. Happily, this will be a bedtime chore and, over the next six weeks, should become as routine as brushing yout teeth. To make it a bit simpler and to get your hormones working in your favor, drop all carbohydrates from your final meal of the day—every day—to slash calories. When you go to bed with a lower blood-sugar level as a result of avoiding carbs in your last meal, the body is more apt to increase its production of growth hormone (GH), which accelerates fat loss by mildly increasing the metabolism and boosting muscle growth.
Also, try adding arginine to your list of supplements to increase GH levels. Arginine, which converts to nitric oxide in the body and increases blood flow, has also been shown to boost the release of GH and support metabolism. In addition to supplementing with 3-6g in the morning on an empty stomach, take 3-6g of arginine before going to bed.