Winter comes around, but that is no excuse to put on dirty mass. With this simple bodybuilding secret you can drop weight quickly.
Fat contains over 3,000 calories per pound! Whether you are beginning the fat shedding process or trying to drop into the single-digit percentages, a fasted morning walk can be just the trick to get there. In this guide, I will show you how.
Natural bodybuilders have used this trick to shed stubborn body fat quickly:
- Fast for 12+ hours. Delay breakfast until after this process.
- Drink at least 2 cups of water with a pinch of salt to hydrate yourself.
- Stimulate with a cup of coffee or tea for enhanced fat burning (optional).
- Walk for about 20 minutes or 1 mile. Whichever you prefer.
- Stack with reading, an audiobook, or catching up with a friend (optional)
How It Works
1. Insulin: The Fat Burning Fuel Switch
Burning calories in a low-insulin state is key to fat loss.
Liver glycogen stores deplete in about 12 hours. Assuming you skip breakfast, the body will then turn to stored body fat for fuel.
If you eat before exercise, you burn those calories instead.
Hormones are long-range chemical messengers that impact the entire body. Insulin, the aging & storage hormone, “chooses” what fuel to use for energy.
The process of burning fat is known as lipolysis and can only occur in the absence of insulin.
The absolute fastest way to spike insulin and shutdown fat burning? Eating carbohydrates — especially simple, refined carbs and sugars.
2. Water: Hydration Is More Than It Seems
Overconsuming water is not hydration. Electrolytes help transmit your body’s electric signals. Without them overconsuming water effectively waterlogs you.
Breathing expels water. Over the course of a night this water loss can add up.
So why is water before the walk so important?
- Dehydration causes an overly aggressive stress hormone release.
- Hydrated fat cells expose more receptors sites for hormones to break them down
- You need your liver to breakdown body fat, and dehydration causes unnecessary strain. Worse liver function means less weight-loss ability.
- Water sends a powerful signal to the body that there is no threat of famine.
So what can you do?
Either get a complete electrolyte supplement, or at least add a pinch of a clean sea salt to balance your electrolytes.
3. Coffee: Stimulate Fat Burning
A small dose of coffee or green tea can add an extra boost to your fat burning routine. If you are hydrated, the caffeine will stimulate the breakdown of fat into fatty acids for use as fuel. More fatty acids available means more energy to burn.
Limit yourself to one or two cups before the walk. Too much caffeine adds additional strain to the liver and adrenals — two key fat loss organs.
4. Burn Fatty Acids
Contrary to popular belief, slogging away at a treadmill for hours is mostly a waste of time when it comes to fat loss. Extended intense cardio shoots cortisol through the roof and sends a genetic signal for your body to store fat (since it is such a good energy source). Instead, you can reap the benefits with less.
A 20-minute outdoor walk is in line with most recommendations and an easily achievable goal.
Why You Should Walk 20 Minutes Daily
Blue Zones are places with the highest average life expectancy. They do not engage in long gym sessions nor do they run triple-digit miles every week. What they do it walk. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Delaying breakfast keeps you in a low-insulin state. The free fatty acids flowing through your blood are ideal for fat loss, and the production of brain-boosting ketones.
Exposing You to Sunlight
- UV rays from the sun hitting the skin cause the body to produce vitamin D and a variety of other biochemicals.
- Don’t mind weird looks? By walking shirtless you expose more skin and thus maximize your vitamin D levels.
Aligning the Circadian Rhythm
- The sleep hormone melatonin responds strongly to light. In the morning you want to shut it down quickly. 1,000 LUX, a measure of light intensity, accomplishes exactly that. No sun, no problem. Even a cloudy day will have in the ballpark of 20,000 LUX.
- Indoor lighting isn’t enough. It ranges between a measly 50-200 LUX — insufficient to shutdown melatonin.
Fluctuating Between Hot or Cold Temperatures
- Saunas and exposure to the cold get a lot of press these days. Albeit less extreme, passive temperature fluctuations cause the body to overreact in an adaptation process known as hormesis. By wearing fewer layers in the cold (or more in the hot) climates, your body works hard to maintain a constant temperature. As a bonus, it makes you more resilient to future unpleasant temperatures.
Keeping Stress Hormones Low
- Cortisol and norepinephrine (adrenaline) are released by stressful exercise. This process is necessary for the fight-or-flight response and to provide energy for intense workouts, but comes at a cost. These hormones are catabolic meaning that they destroy tissue. A process called gluconeogenesis breaks down muscle tissue into its constituent amino acids in order to maintain stable blood glucose levels. Since most of us experience enough stress already, why tax this system further?
- Walking keeps stress hormones low.
- Can’t help but crave unhealthy foods after your morning workout? Blame cortisol. When blood sugar drops from exercise, cortisol is released to breakdown tissues and restabilize blood sugar. Processed foods spike blood sugar fast. The result? Intense cravings when blood sugar drops. A morning walk is easy on cortisol levels and keeps your diet on track.
- A quick tip for fasting: an easy walk has powerful appetite-reducing effects. Numerous hormones are optimized by walking. Give it a try next time a hunger wave hits during a fast.
- The lymphatic system is a part of the immune system responsible for eliminating toxins, waste, and cellular debris. Unlike the cardiovascular system, lymph has no heart to pump the fluid throughout the body. The best ways to circulate lymph and remove debris? Exercise and walking!
Making Unhealthy Foods Healthier
- To power your walk, the muscles burn their stores of glucose. Recall from earlier that insulin is the hormone deciding whether those calories go toward rebuilding glycogen-depleted muscles or stored away as fat. In the depleted state, insulin spiking carbohydrates are more likely to go toward rebuilding tissue than stored as fat. This can help make your post-walk breakfast healthier, but avoid going wild with your food choices: a walk only partially depletes your muscle glycogen stores.
Improving Learning and Memory
- The icing on the (keto) cake is that walking improves your ability to learn by increasing a protein dubbed “miracle-grow” for the brain. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), as it is called, helps protect, grow, and regenerate brain cells.
- And that’s only one of the well-known mechanisms by which learning promotes learning.
5. Make the Walk Productive (or Unproductive)
Depending on how you feel, you can vary what you do on the walk. Sometimes I read, listen to an audiobook, call a friend, catch up on a favorite podcast, or do nothing at all. Walking in the present moment with no distractions can be a soothing alternative to eyes-closed meditation.
There you have it.
A quick, simple routine that shreds fat, improves cognition, and starts the day right.
This can be customized to any schedule or lifestyle.
Have a daily client call each morning? Take it outside while you walk. Already walk to work? Bring your breakfast with you and consume it from the office.
To recap the basics:
- Skip breakfast
- Hydrate with water and a pinch of salt
- Optional: have a cup of coffee or tea
- Walk for 20 minutes or 1 mile (give or take)
- Go about your day
What does your morning routine look like?