Despite what you’ve probably been led to believe, churning away like a rat on a treadmill is really not the best way to burn the snowman belly you built over the holidays, and can instead lead to the common cortisol and catabolic hormone release that accompanies excessive aerobic exercise. This can result in hormonal imbalances, fluid retention, overtraining and injury – and it’s why the folks who approach New Year’s fat loss by staying on a cardio machine for as long as possible are usually the ones who fail.

Instead, with a strategic combination of dietary and exercise modification, you can lose fat without sacrificing your health, body or performance. And with the safe, healthy and effective guide below, you can melt your snowman belly in a fraction of the time of your over-exercising friends.

The 30 day rapid fat loss guide below is split into three separate 10 day cycles – the first 10 days will involve calorie restriction, intermittent fasting and fasted fat burning sessions. The next 10 days will add a slightly higher calorie intake and body weight training. And the final 10 days will round out the routine by adding high intensity intervals, weight training, and higher calorie intake.

Are you ready? Roll up your sleeves, tighten your belt, and jump right in.

Days 1-10: Burn
Exercise: For the first 10 days, exercise is simple. For each of these 10 days, you will simply do a morning fasted fat burning session of 20-60 minutes. You get to choose the activity: light jogging, cycling, elliptical training, brisk walking or hiking, or any other type of easy exercise will suffice. Intensity is easy, aerobic and conversational.

Days 11-20: Build
Exercise: For this next phase, you’ll continue with the morning fasted fat burning sessions exactly as you have done, but every other day include a second afternoon or early evening exercise session consisting of body weight exercises and calisthenics. For example, a perfect body weight circuit would be:

Push-up variation: 15-20 reps

30-60 seconds calisthenics (jumping jacks, jump rope, running in place, side-to-side hops, etc.)

Squat variation: 15-20 reps

Repeat 30-60 seconds of calisthenics

Lunge variation: 15-20 reps per leg

Repeat 30-60 seconds of calisthenics

Complete this circuit 4-6 times through with minimal rest. It should take you about 20-40 minutes.

 

Days 21-30: Tone
Exercise: Finally, in the third phase, you add higher intensity cardio intervals. Continue with the morning fasted fat burning sessions, but now replace afternoon or evening body weight sessions with a full-body, functional weight training session and high-intensity cardiovascular intervals. For example, you can do 1 set of 5 reps of heavy squats, 1 set of heavy overhead presses, 1 set of pull-ups and 1 set of weight lunges, and 1 hard 60-second cardio effort 4 times through. Once again, do these every other day while continuing to do the fat burning sessions every day.

And that’s it! Within 30 days, you’ll begin to see your winter snowman belly melt away – and you can simply repeat this 30 day cycle throughout the year if you’d like to continue to get good results without overtraining.

Author Ben Greenfield has just finished writing “Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life,” which you can find now at BeyondTrainingBook.com