When it comes to shedding some of that unwanted body fat a lot of people think heading to the gym for a sweat session on the treadmill, xtrainer or spin bike a few times per week is all that’s needed.
While they all can definitely play a part there’s a little more your body needs and would appreciate than a bit of ‘cardio.’
If you aren’t already, try implementing some of these regularly into your routine and if done consistently will help you in your pursuit of a leaner physique.
1 – Lift weights
Its a fact – the more muscle you have the harder your body has to work to maintain it and therefore more calories will be expended in the process. Your metabolic rate will be elevated and this promotes fat burning which in turn leads to more definition and tone.
Ladies this goes for you too! There’s a big misconception amongst females that lifting heavy weights will make you look bulky and masculine. This is untrue.
Naturally females don’t have enough testosterone present in their bodies so any female you see with pipes like Arnie’s has been doing a bit of ‘you know what’ behind closed doors
2 – Drink plenty of water
As well as the perfect alternative to high calorie sugary drinks water has other benefits.
In one study of healthy men and women, published in The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, drinking about 500 ml of water temporarily spiked participants’ metabolic rate by 30 percent. The researchers concluded that increasing water intake by 1.5 litres per day would increase daily caloric burn by about 200 calories.
3 – Have a caffeine hit
Coffee is a much preferred alternative in my view than ‘pre-workout’ supplements. Not only does coffee give you an energy boost (which can in turn boost performance) but studies have shown it can increase the rate at which you burn calories.
Be careful though as too much coffee in one day can lead to dehydration as it is a diuretic so it’s always about finding a balance.
4 – Sleep well baby cakes ?
Are you getting enough sleep? 7-8 hours experts say.
Lack of quality sleep slows the metabolism and inhibits fat loss. Sleep deprivation affects your body’s ability to use insulin (the process where fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your bloodstream and prevent storage).
When this has been disrupted, fats circulate in your blood and pump out more insulin. This excess insulin ends up getting stored as fat ??
Cortisol levels also rise when you aren’t sleeping enough. The result – your brain says ‘feed me’ regardless of your stomach being full or empty. Pardon the pun but it’s a recipe for disaster!
5 – Protein, Protein, Protein
Protein has a huge effect on your metabolism. It feeds and preserves lean muscle mass which therefore increases the body’s energy expenditure.
According to ‘The Abs Diet’ by David Zinczenko protein has a thermic effect, meaning that 25 to 30 out of every 100 calories from protein get burned in the process of digesting it. Carbohydrates and fats have a much lower thermic effect.
6 – Eat more
What? Eat more? Yep that’s right!
More lean protein, plenty of vegetables and good sources of fats.
When it comes to weight loss a lot of people think eating little or next to nothing will do the trick. Initially yes this may be the case and they may see some kgs drop off. Let it be clear however that this is generally a result of fluid loss (not body fat).
Adding to this your body won’t tolerate the deprivation of vital nutrients for too long and will eventually go in to survival mode once it realises it’s being ‘starved’.
In cases of extreme dieting your metabolism will start slowing down preventing the burning of fat and will break down muscle tissue to use it as fuel.
Simply put – food is fuel for your body. If you don’t eat then your body can’t function. If your body can’t function you’ll lose the ability to burn calories.
7 – Meditate
Meditation has a number of benefits and one of those is contributing indirectly to lower body fat levels. Too much stress in the body releases the hormone cortisol which can increase your appetite and drive cravings especially for ‘junk food’.
Your sleep patterns can also be affected by stress and as mentioned above can slow the metabolism resulting in less calories burned throughout the day. Regular meditation can give you the ability to calm your mind and ‘destress.’
Set aside 10-20 minutes per day for yourself. It can make a huge difference!
Hope these can help in some way on your health and fitness journey!
See you in the gym 🙂