For many, the approaching Summer season is motivation enough to burn fat and improve ones physique, but burning fat and maintaining a healthy weight may seem like an impossible feat. Great news is, it isn’t as hard as what you think. If you really put your mind to it and replace unhealthy habits with healthier ones, the results will happen faster than you expect. The key to any successful weight loss/fat loss goal is incorporating those changes into your lifestyle. Here are some simple tips you can incorporate immediately to start you off on your fat loss journey today:
Lifting weights increases overall muscle mass and in turn increases resting metabolism. This increase in metabolism from new found muscle requires more energy from the body to maintain the muscular increase. Simply put, the more muscle you have, the more energy you burn both at rest and during exercise. Recent studies have proven that you burn more calories from a 30 mins weight lifting session compared to running 30 mins on the treadmill. This is due to the ‘recovery’ phase after weight training where the body requires even more energy to help repair micro tears created during weight training.
To the women out there thinking that they’ll end up resembling The Hulk, simply put, you won’t. The female body doesn’t have the same amount of testosterone as the male body and as such, cannot develop the same amount of muscle. Also, if you ever think that you’re starting to get too ‘bulky’ you can always taper off your weight training program to a more ‘maintenance’ style program.
Eat Plenty of Protein
Protein is essential for muscular growth and are the building blocks of muscle. As mentioned earlier in this article, the more muscle you have the greater your caloric loss. Protein is also slow digesting, keeping you fuller for longer and stabilises insulin (hormone responsible for fat storage).
Feed on Fibre
Fibre is a carbohydrate which cannot be broken down into glucose (unused glucose is stored as fat for later use). Foods high in fibre keep you fuller for longer, and also stabilises insulin by slowing down the release of carbohydrates. This restricted release of carbohydrates keeps you energised for longer periods of time as insulin spikes are controlled.
Quality of sleep is a commonly overlooked by most when trying to burn fat. Sleep is not only important for muscular repair and for the restoration of energy levels from and for intense workouts, but also helps to control cortisol levels.
Increased cortisol levels:
- Increases blood sugar levels – Improves the risk of diabetes.
- Increases appetite (comfort eating) – Increase of unnecessary calories which leads to excessive fat stores.
- Reduces the ability to process amino acids for muscle development.
- Reduces growth hormone production.
Water is a natural appetite suppressant and improves fat metabolism. Dehydration has been shown to cause an increase in fat deposits due to a decrease in fat metabolic ability by the kidneys (which is one of it’s primary functions). The reduced ability to metabolise fat results in greater fat storage by the body.
Implement these tips to help you on your way to a slimmer summer. Enjoy your ‘naughty – not so healthy’ foods in moderation. Being able to have a cheat meal every now and then not only keeps you sane but also helps with the longevity of any successful meal plan. aim for an 80% ratio of good, wholesome foods to 20% treats.
- Lift weights at least three times per week.
- Have a portion of protein with every meal.
- Have vegetables or salads with most if not every meal (alternatively take a fibre supplement).
- Aim for 8 hours of sleep each night. If this is not feasible, take a nap when you need it.
- Aim for 8 cups of water each day.
To get lean, train mean and eat clean!