Reducing your total body fat not only helps you lose weight but also can have significant improvements in your health. Lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea are just a few benefits of losing excess fat. With so much advice on how to lose weight out there, it’s hard to know where to start. The good news is that you don’t have to buy fancy equipment or diet books to start losing fat. When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s ideal to lose only excess fat. However, without proper planning, dieting can also lead to the loss of lean muscle mass. Creating a plan that makes sense for your physical needs and sticking to it is the best way to slim down. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? While you’ll see a reduction in your overall weight, losing muscle mass may lead to weakness, fatigue, poor athletic performance, and decreased metabolism. A well-balanced diet can help you lose excess fat mass, minimize muscle loss and improve your overall health.
Here are some tips for losing fat:-
1. Jump-Starting Fat Loss with a New Diet,
Studies show that eating lean proteins like chicken, lean beef, beans, and healthy fats found in fish, avocados, nuts, and seeds promote fat loss. Choose proteins and fats that are hormone-free and unprocessed.
- Consuming 1200 mg calcium per day may help you reduce your body fat. Aim for three servings of dairy a day. Choose products made from skim milk to lower the number of calories you take in from dairy each day.
- Choose olive oil and grapeseed oil over canola oil and butter when you cook.
2. Exercising to Decrease Fat,
Include cardio exercises. Cardio is the quickest way to burn calories immediately. Include moderate to vigorous-intensity exercise a few times a week and focus on exercises that involve intervals to aid in fat burning. This will help burn calories from fat in addition to boosting your cardiovascular health.
- Aim to include at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity (where you can say a short sentence fairly easily) activity each week. However, adding in vigorous activity (where you can’t say more than one to two words at a time) burns more calories per minute.
- You don’t have to force yourself to pound the pavement in a dead sprint. Swimming, cycling, boxing, and tennis all offer effective alternatives to running and elliptical machines.
- If you’re not quite ready for vigorous exercise, start walking briskly on a treadmill at an uphill climb, use a stationary bike, or get acquainted with an elliptical machine. You can do these at a level catered to your ability.
- To lose the most amount of fat, a combination of weight training and cardio is the most effective exercise plan.
3. Drink a lot of water,
Studies show that drinking plenty of water actually increases the body’s metabolic rate, leading to more fat loss. Aim for 2 litres of water per day, more if you’re active.
- Replace alcohol, soda (including diet soda), coffee, and other drinks with water.
- Start your day by drinking a large glass of water when you wake up before you eat breakfast.
4. Build muscle with strength training,
Although cardio burns more calories in the short-term, weight lifting or strength training helps build lean muscle mass that can increase how many calories you burn over the long-term.
- Include at least 20 minutes of strength training at least two times a week. However, the more time you spend doing strength training exercises, the more lean muscle mass you can build.
- Gaining lean muscle can work wonders for your metabolism. Studies have shown that increased muscle mass helps increase your metabolism and burn more calories even when your body is at rest.
5. Eat breakfast every day,
Starting your day off with a healthy breakfast gives you the right foundation for eating well all day long. Because your metabolism slows down at night, eating breakfast in the morning can boost your metabolism to a more active state. If you skip breakfast, you’ll be more likely to eat too much or lose your willpower to eat nutritious foods later in the day.
- Eat a lot of protein and fiber at breakfast to keep you full for several hours. Fruit, eggs, and vegetable smoothies are great breakfast choices.
- Avoid eating pancakes and other baked goods for breakfast. These give your body a shot of sugar without wholesome nutrients, so you’ll get hungry faster. Plus, you’ll be starting the day at a dietary disadvantage.
6. Include interval training,
Exercise does increase your metabolism, but interval training does so even more. High-intensity interval training has been shown to be more effective at burning calories from fat than other forms of exercise.
- Interval training has also been shown to increase your metabolism and keep it raised for up to 24 hours after your work out.
- Interval training is a short workout that alternates between short bursts of very high-intensity activity and moderate-intensity activity. These workouts should last between 15-25 minutes and you should feel very, very out of breath at the end of the workout.
- Interval training can be difficult and may not be appropriate for all fitness levels. Always speak to your doctor and take your first interval training workout slowly until you feel comfortable with it.
7. Fill your day with fiber,
Soluble fiber, which is found in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, lowers insulin levels in your body and leads to fat loss. Eating plenty of fiber with every meal will also make you feel full faster, so you won’t be as tempted to eat high-calorie foods.
- Eat whole fruits and vegetables. Fresh, whole vegetables and fruits like apples, cherries, oranges, broccoli, spinach, kale, and sweet potatoes have a lot of fiber.
- Eat whole grains. Try steel-cut oatmeal instead of instant, and choose whole wheat over white every time. Quinoa is another delicious whole grain to incorporate into your diet.
- Don’t drink fruit juice. Fruit contains a lot of sugar, which is fine when you consume it along with the fruit’s fiber. But when a fruit is juiced, its sugars are extracted and the fiber is discarded, leaving you with pure sugar.
8. Increase your lifestyle activity,
Lifestyle activity are activities and movement that you do in a typical day. Increasing how much you move throughout your daily routine can help burn more calories and fat.
- Lifestyle activity typically falls into low to moderate-intensity exercise. That means you’re active and your heart rate is raised slightly but you’re not out of breath. Activities may include: walking to and from your car, walking while you shop for groceries, taking the stairs to your office or household chores (like mopping or gardening).
- These types of activities fall into a category known as the “fat-burning zone.” Although you burn fewer calories overall in this zone, the calories burned are primarily from fat stores.
- A combination of planned exercise (like a 30-minute jog) in addition to increased lifestyle activity (like parking your car farther from the door) can help you lose a significant amount of fat mass.
9. Don’t eat foods with empty calories,
For some people, it really is that simple. Certain foods are more easily converted to fat in your body. They provide a lot of calories, but the calories don’t come with the nutrients and fiber your body needs to stay healthy. The first step to losing fat is cutting back or eliminating foods like:
- Sugar. Sugary sodas, baked goods, and candies can lead to a greater accumulation of fat. When you cut these foods out of your diet, you’ll likely see results within the first week.
- White flour. Processed white flour that is used to make bread, pastries, cakes, pasta, and other wheat products should be avoided.
- Fried foods. The process of frying food makes it much less nutritious, leading to more fat. Cut back on french fries, fried chicken, and any other food with a fried breading. Most fast foods fall into this category.
- Processed snacks and meats. Snack foods, pre-packaged dinners, bacon, and lunch meat are processed with chemicals and preservatives that are bad for your health. They pack a lot of calories without nourishing your body, so avoid these while you’re trying to lose fat. Use smaller plates so if you fill your plate it’s less likely that you’ll end up not eating all your food as if you would with a larger plate.
10. Limit carbohydrates,
Studies have shown that low-carb diets result in greater initial weight loss and greater fat reduction long-term compared to low-fat diets. Limiting the number of carbohydrates you consume can help you lose weight, but specifically, reduce the amount of excess fat you carry.
- Carbohydrates are found in a wide variety of foods including fruit, dairy, legumes, grains, and starchy vegetables. Because they are so widespread, it’s not ideal or safe to go on a very low or no-carb diet as you would be limiting a large variety of foods. Aim to consume a moderate amount of carbohydrates, not avoid them.
- Limit carbohydrates from grains like bread, rice, pasta or crackers as these foods are not as nutrient-dense as other carbohydrates like starchy vegetables or fruit. It’s also important to limit grains that are refined or made from white flour like white bread, plain pasta, or white rice.
- If you’re choosing to consume a grain-based food, choose 100% whole grains over refined grains. Whole grains are higher in fiber and other nutrients that are healthy for you. Choose foods like 100% whole grain bread, brown rice, or whole-grain oats
11. Find creative ways to be more active,
We burn calories throughout the day, not just when we’re working out. Being more active in general can make a big difference in your daily calorie burn. Try these tips to be more physically active, especially if you have a job that involves sitting all day:
- Take the stairs. This is a classic tip, but it really does make a difference! Instead of taking the elevator or escalator, walk up the stairs. When you leave the building, walk down the stairs.
- Take a walk during your breaks. Even if it just means leaving the building to eat lunch outside, get up and go somewhere.
- Take evening walks with a friend or partner. After dinner walks help you unwind, digest your food, and burn a few extra calories.
- Walk, bike, or take public transportation to work. Driving involves less physical activity than any of these transportation methods. Even taking the bus or train to work requires more activity than driving, since you have to walk to the bus or train station first.
12. Avoid dieting pills,
There are a variety of pills on the market that promise a host of dieting benefits — including quick weight and fat reduction. Diet pills are not regulated by the FDA and may have serious consequences. These fads are not only potentially dangerous; they are also not proven effective.
- Some studies conducted by the FDA found that many of these over-the-counter diet pills have been tainted or contaminated with other harmful medications or are a combination of medications that is harmful to your body. Take great caution prior to consuming any diet pills.
- Do not take any over-the-counter medications without consulting with your doctor first. These medications may interfere with your prescription medications or current health conditions.
- Avoid pills or products that claim quick or easy weight fixes. For example “lose 10 pounds in 1 week” or “drop 2 pant sizes in 2 days.” If it looks easy and too good to be true, it probably is.
13. Getting Mentally Motivated,
See your doctor. Before starting any type of intensive weight loss program, it’s a good idea to meet with your doctor to discuss what’s healthy for you.
- Make sure that losing body fat won’t affect any preexisting conditions you may have.
14. Take measurements,
As you continue to diet, exercise, and lose weight, a good way to measure your progress is to regularly weigh yourself or take your measurements. This can be a motivator for you to keep ongoing.
- Weigh yourself every day.
- Also try taking a variety of body measurements. For example, measure your waist, hips or thighs. As you lose weight and decrease fat, you’ll notice your whole body shrinking.
15. Make a promise to yourself,
BEST OF LUCK FOR YOUR JOURNEY.