Unfortunately a calorie is not just a calorie, if it were the diet industry wouldn’t be a multi-million dollar industry. You don’t have to starve yourself to get rid of body fat, but you do need to switch your mindset. The number one way to lose muscle and gain body fat is by starving yourself of vital nutrients. These tips can help nourish your body and jumpstart your metabolism’s ability to torch fat!
1. Eat More Protein
In order to digest protein, the body requires 10-20 % of each calorie versus 5-7% for carbohydrates and 1-3% percent for fat. Simply by increasing protein intake you increase your metabolic rate. Protein should be included in all meals, but making sure you have a good size portion at breakfast can promote stable blood sugar making it easier for your body to burn fat throughout the whole day.
2. Eat More Omega 3
Specifically EPA and DHA, the active Omega 3’s in fish oil. These anti-inflammatory fats promote the breakdown of fat for energy and increase insulin sensitivity (keeping blood sugar stable.)
3. Incorporate Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil is touted for containing a high proportion of MCT’s (Medium Chain Triglyceride). These particular fats are easily absorbed and can be utilized as an immediate source of fuel in the body. Incorporation of MCT oil in a study done with 31 participants found greater over all weight loss, with a trend toward greater fat loss overall and in the trunk/abdomen area over olive oil. Swap out your olive oil for coconut oil for stir fry’s and cooking!
4. Lift (Heavy) Things
Strength training is the number one way to torch fat. Incorporating heavy weights into your workouts can help you burn more after your workout through raising EPOC (post exercise oxygen consumption). As you build strength and muscle your body will require more calories to maintain it, raising your metabolic rate and helping you torch fat.
5. Vary Your Cardio
Incorporate High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to raise your metabolic rate helping you torch calories. Low Intensity Steady State can help you torch a higher a percent of your calories from fat, for best results time lower intensity cardio directly after a HIIT training session!
6. Drink Green Tea
There are numerous studies showing the benefits of Green Tea on metabolism and fat loss. While the effects are minimal and/or modest, it’s also full of antioxidants, which boost your immune system keeping you going strong so you can make it to the gym.
7. Drink ½ Your Body Weight In Ounces of Water, Or More!
Do you know what the number one sign of dehydration is? If you said thirst, try again, it’s actually hunger! Simply by increasing your water intake you can help naturally regulate your hunger and satiety cues. Water also helps you perform your best during a workout, which indirectly helps you torch calories and fat.
8. Replace Refined Carbohydrates With Whole Foods
Avoid skyrocketing blood sugar so that your body can burn fat more easily. Chose unprocessed, high quality carbohydrate sources such as sweet potatoes, plantains, beans or quinoa that are naturally higher in protein and fiber. Keep the quantity reasonable for your activity level, leading to more stable blood sugar and easier fat burning.
9. Combat Stress
Cortisol, our natural stress hormone, stimulates an increase in blood sugar leading to weight gain, particularly in the mid-section. Using meditation, yoga, the sauna, stretching, and other relaxation techniques can help fight cortisol and belly fat.
10. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is the key to muscle recovery, hormone balance, and blood sugar control. Since they all play an important factor in the bodies willingness to let go of fat, it’s crucial that you set the tone by consistently getting enough sleep.