Many believe that burning fat and losing weight requires hard work and plenty of effort. However, there are ways to do this without depriving yourself of entire food groups or doing physically demanding workouts on a regular basis.
This, of course, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do the hard stuff because you should– exercise is great for your health, after all. But if you just want to burn fat and lose weight, consider doing the following tips instead; you might actually find them easier to do.
Don’t go on a diet
There’s a misconception that going on a diet, which usually involves limiting the intake of food, would help you lose weight. But according to numerous studies, most individuals who went on a diet regain the weight anyway. In fact, many of the dieters ended up heavier than they were before their special regimen.
If you want to burn fat and lose weight, the answer isn’t eating less and depriving yourself of food; it’s about eating more nutrient-filled food. Furthermore, limiting the intake of food would slow your metabolism, burn more tissue, and make it more difficult to burn fat and lose weight.
Get enough sleep
Here’s an interesting fact: lack of sleep can cause you to gain weight. There two reasons for this: first, your metabolism slows down if you don’t have enough sleep. Next, lack of sleep affects the production of certain night hormones in your body. Ghrelin tells your body when to eat, and leptin tells your body when to stop eating. If you don’t have enough sleep, you’ll have less leptin and more ghrelin, which means you’ll eat more and often.
The solution? You’ll need to get enough sleep to get your metabolism going and regulate your production of ghrelin and leptin. It’s easier said than done, but fret not–there are ways to sleep better.
Drink green tea
Aside from helping fight cancer, heart disease, and several other conditions, green tea stimulates your body to burn more calories and reduce body fat, thanks to a chemical called catechins. According to research, catechins in green tea also lower LDL (i.e. bad cholesterol) and boost the metabolism. Some studies reveal that taking green tea thrice a day resulted in a 4 per cent increase in metabolic rate, which leads to about 60 more calories per day.
Eat more protein
In several ways, eating more protein would help you burn fat quickly. For starters, your body uses up more energy to digest protein, resulting in more calories burned. Protein also helps you feel more full for longer periods, which may lead to reduced food intake, calorie consumption, and less weight regain. Just remember to keep your protein intake to within 20 per cent to 35 per cent of your total diet to avoid straining your kidneys and storing large amounts of fat.
Increase your water intake
Did you know that your metabolic rate depends on the amount of water in your body? If you don’t drink enough water and get dehydrated, your body would burn about 2 per cent fewer calories overall. You can also increase your metabolism by up to 30 per cent by drinking about two more glasses within a certain time.
It gets more interesting: if you drink cold water, you can increase your resting metabolism. Consider that the body expends one calorie to increase the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius. So if the water is ice cold, it would burn more calories when it raises the water temperature to your body’s temperature.
Stay away from alcohol
If you want to burn fat more quickly without going on a strict workout program, then add “avoiding alcohol” in your to-do list. Apparently, booze slows down your metabolic rate; since the body can’t store alcohol, it makes metabolising alcohol a priority over anything else being absorbed by the body. If alcohol is added to a fatty meal, your body would burn less dietary fat and store it as body fat instead.
Sitting down for long periods can cause major health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. To avoid this, you’ll have to make a conscious effort to stand up more often. Stand up when you answer a phone call, read an article, fiddle with your smartphone, watch television, and do other daily activities. For best results on your metabolism, start up every 30 minutes.
Spice up your life
Another way to get your metabolism going is to consume capsaicin, the compound that makes chili peppers hot. Eating a tablespoon of chopped peppers results in a temporary metabolic increase of around 23 per cent.
Have a substantial breakfast
Stay away from sugary cereals for breakfast. Instead, have something more substantial like lean sausages, scrambled eggs, or salmon, which (as mentioned earlier) will keep you feeling sated for longer periods than any fatty or sugary treats ever could.
Add more fibre to your diet
Fibre is the ultimate weight-loss food. It slows down your digestion, makes you feel sated for longer periods, lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol, and improves your blood circulation. If you want to burn fat more quickly, add more fibre to your diet. How much more? Aim for 30 to 40 grams of fibre per day.
Avoid starchy food
Starchy foods like potatoes, bread, and rice cause your insulin levels to shoot up and your metabolism to slow down. Carbohydrates are still an important part of a balanced diet, but you can get them from other sources like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which are healthier and do not slow down your metabolic rate.
Try a new sport
Physical activity is one way to burn fat and get healthy. If you’re already active, think about taking up a new sport. Here’s why: engaging in a sport regularly means your body gets used to an activity, resulting in fewer calories burned. A new sport, however, means you’ll work different muscle groups and result in higher post-exercise oxygen consumption (or metabolic afterburn).
Have healthy snacks
Skipping or delaying snacks and meals would lead you to overeat, which almost always results in weight gain. To avoid this, you should have healthy snacks (e.g. fruits, skim milk, almonds, and whole wheat crackers) between meals to sustain you and minimise your appetite during lunch and dinner. Snacking also makes your body think that you’re continuously eating, which means your metabolic rate won’t go down.