How to get Ripped: 39 Tips to Start Shredding Fat!
We’re sure you’ve heard the saying, “Summer bodies are made in the winter”, and, well, it’s the truth. As the winter months are in full swing, this is your chance to get your beach body ready for summer. Getting ripped and shredding fat involves time, effort, SOME luck (genetics), and planning. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you on your journey to getting shredded with 39 tips to start shredding fat and getting ripped!
Protein is a key nutrient in your body composition. By not getting enough protein in your diet you run the risk of your body using muscle for energy if its glycogen stores are depleted. Because protein builds muscle, and muscle burns calories, it only makes sense that keeping your protein levels high will put you on the fast track to getting shredded. Not sure how much protein you need? Read our full guide here on how much protein you should get!
Protein can come from many sources including your diet and supplementation. Foods like meats, beans, dairy products, and nuts are all packed full of protein. To get the most out of your proteins, be sure to mix your protein sources. For example, casein protein found in dairy digests slightly different than protein found in red meats.
Supplementation of protein is another easy way to add protein to your diet. Just like in foods, there are several different types of protein for supplementation that digest differently. Whey protein isolate is a faster digesting protein perfect for post workouts, while casein protein is a longer digested protein better suited for right after waking or before going to sleep.
Looking for protein? Check out our favorites!
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder
- MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder
- JYM Supplement Science Mass Chocolate Mousse Protein
2. Don’t overdo cardio
While cardio is important in shredding fat, it’s not the only thing and can often do overdone. Light cardio is great at burning fat but too much and you’ll start losing muscle instead of fat. We recommend no more than 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week in order to burn fat without using muscle. In addition to losing muscle, excess cardio also runs the risk of injury, setting you back even more on your journey.
3. But do do cardio
It is equally important to do cardio as it is not to do excess cardio. Cardio will play an important role in your body transformation, specifically getting rid of that unwanted fat. 30 minutes, 4 days per week should do the trick.
Just like proteins, mixing up your cardio will aid in staying healthy and avoiding injury. Try mixing cycling, elliptical, swimming, and running. These different types of cardio will work different muscles ensuring you don’t overwork a single muscle group.
4. Calories in – calories out
Understanding the basics of nutrition is important when trying to lose fat. Knowing how many calories your body needs verse how many calories you consume is the crux of transforming your body. If your body needs 2,100 calories to maintain its’ weight and you consume 2,500 calories a day, your body will store the excess calories.
When shredding fat, you’ll need to be in a calorie deficit in order to lose the weight. You might think that you’re doing yourself a favor by cutting your calories quickly however this can be detrimental to your fat loss journey. Cutting many calories at once can cause your body to use muscle for energy instead of the glycogen in your cells.
Stress can lead to many negative side effects and high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This stress hormone is released by the adrenal gland in response to stress or fear. When your cortisol levels rise, your metabolism is disrupted, signaling to your body to store any excess energy as fat.
What are some ways to de-stress?
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are the building blocks of protein. These amino acids are essential and must be consumed in your diet or via supplementation. BCAAs can be used for energy when your muscles glycogen stores are empty.
7. Get more sleep
Did you know that your body grows when you sleep? That’s right, during your slumber your muscles repairs themselves. It’s no wonder why many people swear by getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night. By getting more sleep, your body can prepare itself for a hard training session and give your mind the mental break it needs to stay motivated during your journey to getting shredded.
8. Healthy fats
Typically, when people think of fat, they think of the devil. But in some cases, that’s simply not true. There are in fact healthy fat. Foods such as avocados, nuts, fish, and yes, even some chocolate contain these healthy fats. These healthy fats can reduce your risk of heart disease, decrease inflammation, and help you lose weight.
When eating foods high in these healthy fats, it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, they are still calories. And fat does contain the most calories per gram (9). Be sure to mix some healthy fats in your diet daily, but do not splurge on them.
9. Wake up earlier
Waking up early has a plethora of benefits including:
- Helps you become more productive
- Helps you stay motivated
- Increases mental and physical energy
- Helps you make better choices
By waking up earlier, you can make your tougher decisions in the morning when you have the least mental fatigue. This can help you make healthier decisions than at the end of the day when your mind is ready for a break. Try waking up one hour earlier than normal and moving your training sessions during that hour.
10. Take a nap
Napping can have a profound impact on your energy levels. The key to napping is not napping too long. A short, 20-30 minute nap is all it takes to boost your energy levels. Napping more than 30 minutes can cause you to fall into REM (deep) sleep, which will cause you to be drowsy and tired when you awake.
11. Drink more coffee
Coffee is known for its benefits of increasing alertness, endurance, and awareness. In addition, many studies have found coffee to lower your risk of heart disease, Parkinsons and dementia, and certain types of cancer. Even more, coffee can increase your metabolic rate by 3-11%. When trying to burn fat, even a small increase in your metabolic rate can make a difference. Try to drink 2 8 ounce cups of coffee per day.
12. Stay hydrated with water
Staying hydrated is critical when attempting to lose fat. By drinking plenty of water, you will feel fuller for longer which will help you avoid snacking and eating throughout the day. So how much water do you need? This is a tricky question that depends on several factors. For example, you will need to consume more water when working out than you would if you were sitting at your desk all day. The outside temperature also matters. If you’re outside in 100-degree weather, you will need to consume more water than if you stay inside all day. As a general rule, try to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day. On training days, aim to get 1 gallon (128 ounces) of water.
13. Fill up on low-calorie snacks
There are going to be times in between meals that you cannot resist snacking. That’s okay! When you snack, skip the chips and switch to a healthier alternative. Foods such as celery, beef jerky, or greek yogurt are great alternatives that will keep you full with less than 150 calories.
Swimming is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise because of its lack of stress put on joints. Unlike running, swimming puts virtually zero stress on your joints eliminating the chance of developing joint related injuries such as stress fractures. In addition, because swimming uses many different muscle groups, you also lower the risk of developing muscle related injuries. You can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour swimming, depending on your weight. Adding a couple 30-minute swimming sessions to your training routine can help you burn an extra 1,000 calories per week.
15. Vitamin D
You’ve probably heard one of the largest benefits of Vitamin D is healthier, stronger bones. While this is true, it’s not the only benefit of vitamin D. A vitamin D deficiency has been linked to type 2 muscle atrophy. This muscle loss is something no one wants.
16. Take the stairs
Want an easy way to burn an extra 25-50 calories per day? Stop using the elevator and escalator and take the stairs! It’s the simplest way to burn a few extra calories every day.
17. Fat burner supplements
Fat burning supplements can aid your metabolism. Fat burners normally have caffeine, amino acids, tea, and coffee extracts. It’s important to note that fat burners do NOT actually burn fat. They only aid in fat loss.
18. Stay focused
Your fat loss journey is not going to be an easy one. It will take much planning, dedication, and determination. When times get tough, remember why you started and realize that it’s all part of the journey.
19. Realize you will mess up
On your journey, you will mess up. DON’T let your mistake define the rest of your journey. Start the next day with a fresh state of mind and move forward. Start your day with a healthy meal or hard workout to stay motivated.
20. Have a cheat meal
After a couple of weeks, you may seem to lose some of the motivation you initially had. You may get bored of eating similar foods all of the time. It’s time to have a cheat meal. Indulge in your favorite foods, but don’t overdo it. Be sure to have your next meal planned as it can be easy to keep cheating on your diet.
21. Take a cold shower
Cold showers have a few benefits that can aid in fat loss including:
- Increased alertness
- Improved circulation
- Speeds up muscle recovery
Stretching can help increase your blood circulation which allows your body to spend less time recovering from muscle soreness and injuries and more time growing. Try stretching 3 times per week.
23. Try yoga
Yoga has many benefits including:
- Improves posture and flexibility, which in turns improves exercise form
- Reduces stress
- Reduces the chance of injury
24. Drink tea or water instead of soda
We all know how soda is notoriously bad for you. Yet almost 50% 0f Americans drink soda daily! Try cutting your soda consumption in half and substitute it for tea or water. Not only will this reduces the risks associated with soda, but it will also keep you more hydrated.
25. Keep track of your progress
Knowing how you’re progressing in your journey is on of the keys to staying motivated. Be sure to track your weight and what you’re eating so that you can look back and notice what you’re doing right (or wrong).
Try keeping a journal and note your weight, nutrition, training, and any other notes daily to track your progress.
26. Train your abs
Part of losing fat and getting ripped is building muscle. Train your abs 2-3 days per week to get rid of that belly fat quicker. Not only will you build your abdominal muscles, but you’ll also burn calories in the process, reducing body fat!
27. Check your body fat
Your weight fluctuates daily. Eating, drinking, exercise, bowel movements all impact your bodyweight. This makes it hard to determine if you’re losing fat or not. There are several things you can do to help. Weigh yourself daily at the same time (as soon as you wake up is recommended) so that you can track your bodyweight over time.
For the most accurate way to track your body fat, you can use a body fat caliper. This uses skin folds to determine body fat across several sites. You can learn more about how to use a body fat caliper here!
28. Plan your meals
Planning your meals will help you avoid making bad decisions when under stress or when in a time crunch. Try planning your meals for the week on Sunday morning, giving you the chance to go to the grocery if needed.
29. Get a workout buddy
Get a workout buddy to help you stay motivated and also hold you accountable. A workout buddy can help you avoid the “I’ll start tomorrow” mentality.
30. Strength train 4-5 days per week
When trying to shed fat, putting on some additional muscle can help you lose fat. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will need to maintain them. In addition, you’ll burn calories while strength training.
31. Don’t overtrain
Overtraining brings all sorts of risks to your health. From sleeplessness to physical pain, when you overtrain you run the risk of injury, setting you back even more. How do you know if you’re overtraining? Here are some of the most common side effects:
- Not being able to sleep
- Longer periods of muscle soreness
- Rapid increase in your training regimen
- Acute injuries
32. Don’t binge eat
So you’ve eaten healthy all week, but it’s Friday night and your cheat meal is finally here. While it may be tempting to say “it’s my cheat meal, I can eat whatever I want”, try to avoid binge eating just because it’s your cheat day. Sure, you can indulge in that ice cream, french fries, or a juicy steak. But don’t overdo it. Try not to eat any more than 1,500 calories for your “cheat meal” each week.
33. Listen to music
While music doesn’t have any physical benefits to fat loss, the mental benefits are worthwhile. Listening to an upbeat song while training can increase your performance. Music can also help you relax and reduce stress. Which in turn helps your body recover quicker.
34. Reevaluate after a couple weeks
You’re a couple weeks in now. Are you seeing the results you want? Have you noticed some things that are helping you on your journey or hurting you? Do you feel healthier? If not, reevaluate what you are doing. Are you sticking to your diet? Are there triggers or certain times that break your diet? Try to find solutions to these things and keep reevaluating your results every couple of weeks.
35. Watch out for dairy
Despite the protein that comes with dairy products, there are some caveats that come with it. Some people do not digest dairy well, which can cause problems digesting other foods as well. In addition to digestion problems, dairy can also cause problems with hormones being disrupted.
36. Take a multivitamin
Multivitamins will help you be sure that you are not in any vitamin deficiency. Whether you know it or not, your body could have a vitamin deficiency you might not know about. By taking a multivitamin, you avoid the risks associated with vitamin deficiencies.
37. Take a day off
A day off from the gym is essential in both preventing overtraining and also helping your mental health. Take at least one day off every week from training. In addition, take a 3-day break from training once every 4-5 weeks to allow your body to fully recover from all of the hard training sessions.
38. Tart cherry juice
Tart cherry juice has several benefits including:
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces pain
- High in potassium
- Contains flavonoids (anthocyanins) that help fight weight gain
Try drinking one glass of tart cherry juice every morning to reduce swelling in your muscles.
Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation. You’ve probably heard of RICE before. When trying to lose fat, keeping your body well rested is crucial. RICE will help prevent overtraining and the injuries that come with it.
These are our 39 tips to shredding fat and getting ripped. While it’s not going to be easy, if you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to a rockstar body! What are your tips to shredding fat? Comment below!