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'Extreme Weight Loss' star Chris Powell: Carb-cycling diet blasts belly fat fast

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"Extreme Weight Loss" star Chris Powell said implementing a carb cycling diet and combining weight-training with cardio exercise are the keys to getting a great beach body.

Powell, who has helped hundreds of morbidly obese people lose thousands of pounds over the years, said cardio exercise is the fastest way to burn a lot of calories. "Keep up the cardio," Chris told ABC News. "It’s important to get your heart rate up, and the best way to do that is to run."

Cardio Exercise and Weight-Lifting Are Unbeatable Combo

However, Powell underscored that you also have to do weight-training to build lean muscle mass, which helps burns calories and fat around the clock.

Another summer weight-loss tip is to make sure you drink enough water. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, so it's important to stay hydrated.

"Drink a gallon of water every day," said Powell. "You don’t have to drink it all at once, but make sure your total water consumption for the day equals a gallon."

Chris: Carb Cycling Accelerates Weight Loss

Powell is a proponent of a carb-cycling diet, or alternating between days of high-carb intake and low-carb intake, to keep your metabolism fired up. Chris detailed his rapid weight-loss plan in his bestseller, Choose to Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution.

On Powell's carb-cycling meal plan, you can eat 1,200 calories on a low-carb day, 1,500 calories on a high-carb day, and up to 2,400 calories on a cheat day (with varying amounts of carbs for each day).

Chris' carb-cycling meal plan breakdown looks like this:

  • Eat five meals a day.
  • Eat a high-carb breakfast that includes both protein and carbs within 30 minutes of waking.
  • Eat your remaining four meals, either high-carb or low-carb, every three hours.
  • Drink a gallon of water a day.

Chris said cycling carbs is better than an extreme low-carb diet, which he says do help you lose weight, but may backfire over the long haul, resulting in stalled weight loss or rebound weight gain.

Powell, who also wrote Choose More, Lose More For Life, advocates daily workouts, but said if you're not a regular exerciser, start off by doing something five minutes a day.

"It can be anything from running around the block, or just marching in place when you're watching television," he said. "When it comes to creating a lifestyle of fitness, we need to start out small. We need to focus on something attainable that everyone can do."

Powell currently appears on season 4 of "Extreme Weight Loss," and continues to be inspired by the incredible personal stories of the people he helps. "They never cease to amaze us," he said.

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