Who wants to burn more fat, hands up!
Everybody hates excess fat that builds up in an unsightly manner and makes it hard for you to fit into your size 6 jeans. I think that there’s hardly anyone out there, who would not like to flatten that stomach, wave bye bye to those love-handles or tone up those thighs. So how does one burn more fat, and build more muscle? Well, here are 12 practical ways to burn more fat, which I find really easy to execute.
My top 12 Ways to burn More Fat are..
1. Eat Breakfast
Eating breakfast keeps your energy up and keeps you going till lunch. It’s also a great way to boost your metabolism. I don’t know about you but come lunch, I am usually ravenous. But choosing the right things to eat for breakfast is also important. A balanced and nutritious breakfast should provide enough calories, which is a quarter of your daily calories intake. A healthy breakfast should provide some protein, a reasonable amount of complex carbohydrate, a little fat and a variety of vitamins and minerals.
2. Don’t Diet
Great news people – staying trim is not about eating less – it’s about eating more! After dieting for more than 3 days, your body goes into starvation mode. This then tells your body to reduce your metabolism rate so that you can hold on to existing energy stores. In the long run, you will start to burn muscle and look terrible. Not only that, with less muscle, visceral fat actually has an advantage so you will end up a skinny fat person. Not a great state to be in at all.
3. Eat Watermelon
Watermelon contains the amino acid arginine, which could possibly promote weight loss, according to the Journal of Nutrition. In a laboratory study, adding this amino acid to the diet of obese mice enhanced the oxidation of fat and glucose. Snack on watermelon and other arginine sources, such as seafood, nuts, and seeds, year-round to stay slim and trim. I like watermelon after my run – it serves two purposes – keeping me hydrated and keeping me from getting too hungry before I reach dinner.
photo credit – The Candid Street
4. Sleep Early
My mum is a big advocate of sleeping early, and sleeping often. She really loves her afternoon naps and boy does she look young. They say, if you want to see how you will age – look at your mother (lucky me!) Just to prove the sleep theory – a study in Finland looked at sets of identical twins and discovered that in each set of siblings, the twin who slept less and was under more stress had more visceral fat. So sleep your blues and your fats away!
5. Eat Protein
Your body needs protein to maintain lean muscle. In a 2006 article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers argued that the current recommended daily intake for protein, 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, is woefully inadequate for anyone doing resistance training and recommend that women get between 0.54 and 1 gram per pound of body weight. Add a serving, like 3 ounces of lean meat, 2 tablespoons of nuts, or 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt, to every meal and snack. Research also shows that after your work out, eating protein can burn calories by up to 35 percent.
6. Drink Green Tea
Green Tea is great – it helps pump up my metabolism, yet it does not cause me any gastric side effects, unlike coffee on an empty stomach. The proposed mechanism for green tea’s calorie-burning properties lies in the ability of EGCG to increase thermogenesis, or heat production, by influencing enzymes in the metabolic process. EGCG seems to increase the amount of calories burned throughout the day for all activities, from digesting food to climbing stairs to typing. Other food components, like caffeine or capsaicin (in hot peppers) can boost calorie burning, but EGCG has a stronger effect.
Whether you sit or stand at work plays a big role on your waistline! Inactivity of more than 4 hours, causes a near shut- down of an enzyme that controls fat and cholesterol metabolism in our bodies. To keep this enzyme active, walk around – walk to the fax machine, walk to the toilet, walk from the car park to your office (even if it is on the 6th floor). Move baby move!
8. Get More Vitamin D
In a 2010 study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that boosting your levels of vitamin D (and intake of dairy-derived calcium) may increase the likelihood of weight loss while dieting. Vitamin D may help thwart the weight gain that often occurs in middle-aged women, according to a 2007 study from the Archives of Internal Medicine. For the study, 36,282 postmenopausal women were assigned to receive 400 IU of vitamin D and 1,000 mg of calcium in supplement form or a placebo daily. After three years, supplement-taking participants who had skimped on calcium prior to the study were found to be 11 percent less likely to gain weight (compared to those assigned to a placebo). So, Vitamin D, exposure to sun and calcium intake are important factors for your health. Great news for me because I love the sun!
9. Eat Chillies
It turns out that chillies, boosts your sympathetic nervous system, that which is responsible for your fight-or-flight response, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology. Chilies can spike your metabolism by up to 23 percent. Not bad from just eating something you love.
10. Get Fiber
Research shows that some fiber can fire up your fat burn by as much as 30 percent. With the recent popularity of low-carb plans like Atkins and the South Beach diet, it’s hard to remember a time when filling up on fibre was trendy. However, following huge amounts of scientific research, health professionals suddenly revealed that if you wanted to stay healthy and lose weight, you should eat more dietary fibre. Previously called ‘roughage’, dietary fibre is the term that describes the carbohydrates that human’s can’t digest. Dietary fibre is found in plant foods such as cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables and occurs mainly in the plant cell wall where it provides structural support for the plant.
11. Eat Iron
Iron is needed to make red blood cells and is a vital component of haemoglobin, which gives blood its colour and transports oxygen around the body to the cells. A low iron intake means haemoglobin levels drop with the result that the blood carries insufficient oxygen to the cells –this is what’s known as iron deficiency anaemia. Typical symptoms, which you’ve probably already experienced, include extreme tiredness, fatigue, breathlessness on light exertion, dizzy spells and an unnaturally pale complexion. Iron is essential for carrying the oxygen your muscles need to burn fat. Unless you restock your stores, you run the risk of low energy and a sagging metabolism. Shellfish, lean meats, beans, fortified cereals, and spinach are excellent sources.
12. Stay Hydrated
Don’t roll your eyes! The potion for losing that excess body fat is all around you. It covers two thirds of the planet. If you eat right and exercise at the intensity, frequency and duration proper for you, but still can’t get rid of a little paunch here and there, you’re probably just not drinking enough water. Drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before breakfast, lunch, and dinner while also cutting back on portions may help you lose weight and keep it off for at least a year, according to research presented today at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, in Boston. While each person’s hydration needs are different, the Institute of Medicine advises that men and women try to consume about 3.7 and 2.7 liters of water a day, respectively, including water found in food and other beverages.