13 Tips for Burning Body Fat and Getting in Shape
Working out can be daunting. And with a seemingly endless amount of conflicting information about what is best, it can make it even more intimidating. That being said there are a few things you can start doing today that will make a huge difference in your life. These tips will help you realize your fitness goals or just get started!
#1 Get on a program (and stick to it!)
The program that works is the one you can stick to! It really doesn’t matter what it is, if you can do it and stay consistent, you will see results. Find one that you like! If you enjoy doing it, there’s a higher chance you’ll stay motivated and achieve your goals. Typically the best programs for fat loss use a combination of weight lifting (compound movements!) with cardio right after.
#2 Intermittent fast
Intermittent fasting is a tried and true method for burning body fat. And all it requires is eating only within a certain time frame. It improves insulin sensitivity, increases growth hormone and helps your body repair itself and clear waste through something called autophagy. Click here to learn more!
#3 Interval training
Using intervals in place of traditional cardio burns a lot more calories (and for longer) because it uses different energy systems (typically 15 minutes of intervals burns more calories than an hour of steady state). Studies have shown many benefits of training this way: it saves time, increases insulin sensitivity, you burn more calories, increase VO2 max more than traditional cardio, boosts growth hormone (you stay leaner!) and is lowers systolic blood pressure more than traditional. The benefits are immense, I plan on doing a whole post on the mechanisms of it, but for now, do intervals!!! I like to do 1 minute of moderate with 30 seconds sprint intervals in between, give it a try.
#4 Count calories
Probably the most tedious method (but very effective) is counting calories. This takes some serious dedication, but it’s a good habit to get into just so you can start to get an idea of how many calories you’re actually eating in a day, and more importantly how many calories your body actually needs. There are tons of calorie counters online that will help you figure out about how many calories you need in a day. Aim to eat ~500 calories below your maintenance and you should find yourself losing about a pound a week!
#5 Up your healthy fats and lower carbs (but not completely!)
A lot of people try to cut out carbohydrates completely to cause their bodies to oxidize fat (use it as energy instead of primarily glucose). This does work but will leave you feeling much more fatigued and can have an effect on your concentration levels as well. Try to just eat more healthy fats and cut out some of your carbs. Avocado, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil. There are a number of studies that have shown that high-fat diets are correlated with weight loss, like this one.
#6 Limit the sugar
Refined sugars and simple carbs cause a quick spike in your blood sugar. Although sugar itself doesn’t make you fat (calories in calories out!), it is processed very quickly and its effect on your body can lead you to overeat by messing with your insulin sensitivity and other hormones. Try to stick to complex carbs! They digest slower due to fiber, have more nutrients, and will cause a more gradual rise in blood sugar, which won’t mess with your hormone levels as much.
#7 Drink more water
Studies have shown that drinking more water is associated with better weight maintenance. Staying hydrated gives your metabolism a boost (Check out this study!) and also fills you up, meaning you’ll be less hungry. Also… It’s good for you. Drink lots of water!
#8 Drink green tea!
Caffeine gives your metabolism a boost and drinking green tea comes with AMAZING benefits. Studies have shown that green tea boosts metabolism, aids in fat oxidation, has many good antioxidants, improves blood flow, raises HDL (good cholesterol), and reduces the risk of many chronic diseases.
#9 Eat protein!
Having a protein shake in the morning or making sure you get a protein-filled breakfast can help you lose weight and will keep you fuller for longer. Studies have shown that eating a higher protein diet is linked to higher satiety and fat loss, check it out!
#10 Sleep more
Studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived have a higher risk of obesity. The reason for this is due to the hormone imbalance your body goes through when you don’t get enough sleep. If you’ve never heard of leptin, its often referred to as the satiety hormone because it lets your body know when you’re full. Sleep deprivation results in lower levels of this hormone, causing you to overeat. The benefits of being well-rested are immense, besides the fact that you feel amazing. Lower levels of stress, weight loss, mental clarity, and faster recovery, to name a few. Get some Z’s, 7 to 8 hours!
#11 Eat real food!
This is one of the best tips I could give. Changing your eating habits is going to give you the best chance at getting lean and staying healthy long after as well. If you can focus on eating real foods, you will not only look better, but feel better too. Try and stick to the perimeters of the grocery store, eat produce, and avoid canned and processed foods and especially refined sugars.
#12 Sign up for a class or find a gym buddy
Motivation loves company. Finding a (consistent) gym partner will help you get and stay in shape. Just make sure you choose one who wants it as much as you do! If you can’t find one, join a class, something that you’re interested in. It’ll guide you, and keep you involved and motivated through team camaraderie.
#13 Make changes (small consistent ones!)
The biggest mistake I see people make is trying to make too many changes too quickly. Change it up, but take small steps. It’s a lot easier to make new habits if they involve small changes, and 9 times out of 10 they work and can have an AMAZING impact because you’re more likely to stick to them. Little things done consistently come with amazing results, big, uprooting changes can cause stress and end in failure, leaving you unmotivated in the future. I would recommend making a change and sticking to it for a month (they say 21 days builds a habit) before adding something new. I promise this will give you the highest chance of being successful. Don’t go on a diet, make healthy habit changes, in the long run these will bring you much better results than drastic, restricting diets that you might not stick to.
I hope this was helpful, if you have any feedback, questions or suggestions about future content, feel free to contact me!