Losing weight can be difficult, particularly when there are so many ways to do it and no guarantee on how effective they are. However, in this blog, we demystify the 12 best ways to burn fat and achieve the shape you’ve always desired.
Learn how to create healthy meals that leave you feeling full Discover the training tips that will help you lose weight and keep it off. Reveal the secrets to making cardio more effective and more exciting. Learn the training techniques to help you burn fat fast. Find out how to make healthy and nutritious meals that taste great. Arm yourself with the knowledge to lose weight and tone-up
It is reported that out of the world’s total population, over 39% of adults are considered overweight and 13% are considered obese. These statistics are incredibly shocking, but is it any wonder that these rates are on the rise when we’re living increasingly sedentary lifestyles and convenience food has become king?
Many of us have the intention of being fit and healthy, but there are things that get in the way. Perhaps you have an office job which requires you to sit at a desk for many hours a day. Perhaps you have young children, so your eating, sleeping and exercise habits aren’t what they used to be. These blockers can seem impossible to overcome, but with the right knowledge and help, you can work around them to burn fat, increase your fitness and improve your health.
Sounds too good to be true? We’ve done the research and tested these fat-burning methods out on people just like you – and the results have been staggering! From small changes, such as swapping fizzy drinks for water, to big group exercise sessions that get you, your friends and your family moving, we’ve compiled the 12 tips that are most effective for burning fat and keeping it off for good.
1. WORK IT OUT
There are many reasons why we pack on the pounds, but one of the biggest culprits is not realising how many calories we’re actually consuming during the day. One study by Cornell University, showed that we tend to underestimate the number of calories we’re eating in large meals by around 30%.
The guideline maintenance calorie amount for men is 2500 calories, whereas it is 2000 for women. By keeping a food diary for one week, you will be able to track where you’re consuming additional calories above these guideline amounts and figure out where you can begin to make healthier food choices.
If you’re unsure about where you can make changes to your diet, speak to a personal trainer or nutritionist who can help you craft a plan which will cut the calories, without leaving you feeling hungry and miserable!
2. SMALL BUT SMART CHANGES
The best way to start your fat burning journey is by making small changes that will have a big impact. If you find yourself snacking on biscuits or crisps at work, try swapping these for a handful of nuts. If you tend to drink fizzy drinks throughout the day, try water instead. If your dinnertime weakness is a portion of fries, try healthier sweet potato fries.
Although it is tempting to restrict your calories and only eat lettuce all week, this isn’t a realistic way to lose weight and is likely to cause a food binge when your willpower gives out! Instead, by making one small change a week and swapping rather than cutting out entirely, you will be able to build better habits and lose weight in a more sustainable way.
3. HEALTHY & CONVENIENT
We all slip up when we’re out and about. Maybe you’re rushing around with the kids or perhaps you’ve had to work late and don’t feel like cooking. This is usually when we turn to convenience food.
The trick to losing weight is consistency in keeping your healthy eating habits up, no matter where you are. This is where you need to create your own diet-friendly meals and snacks. Tupperware tubs filled with cherry tomatoes, almonds, beef jerky or edamame beans are ideal for munching while you’re out and about. A resealable bag prepped with spinach, cooked chicken and wholemeal pasta is perfect for storing in the fridge and tipping onto a plate when you are too tired to cook.
All of these things may take a little time to prepare, but it won’t take any longer than a trip to the drive-thru – and it’ll be 20-times as nutritious!
4. HIIT THE GYM
Cardio is important for weight loss, but the best kind of cardio is High Intensity Interval Training – otherwise known as HIIT. This is a form of exercise that focuses on short, intense bursts of cardio, followed by an active rest period. For example, you sprint for 20 seconds, then gently jog for 40 seconds, then repeat this for 15 minutes.
The purpose of HIIT is to burn the most calories in the shortest period of time and to rev up your metabolism so you’re still burning calories even after you’ve left the gym! Of course, if you don’t fancy running, you can try HIIT on a bike, a rowing machine, a cross-trainer or using battle ropes.
5. WHENEVER, WHEREVER
Many people set aside specific ‘training time’ during the week, but if you can get exercise in outside of those allotted times, you’ll burn even more fat. Some of the best ways to maximise your fat-fighting time include:
Getting off the bus or train a stop early and walking the rest of the distance • Taking a brisk walk during your lunch break • Walking or jogging up stairs, instead of taking the elevator, putting a pull-up bar on a doorway in your house and doing as many pull-ups as you can each time you pass through
By using a step counter or pedometer app, you’ll quickly see how much movement you do during the day and where there are opportunities to get in a mini-workout. It is also a great form of motivation as you’ll find yourself trying to beat your target number of steps each day!
6. LIFT WEIGHTS TO LOSE WEIGHT
Many people are put-off lifting weights as they fear they may become too muscular and bulky. However, weight training actually burns a significant amount of calories and will help sculpt the body of your dreams.
How does it work? Weight training boosts your metabolism in both the short and the long term. This means that you’ll be burning calories even up to 36 hours a fter your workout! You’ll also build lean muscle mass which not only gives you sculpted shoulders and a tight tummy, but increases your basal metabolic rate which is a permanent change to your fat-burning ability.
If you’re not sure how to incorporate strength training into your weight loss goals, the best place to start is by talking to a personal trainer. They can give you a weightlifting plan to fit your skill level and provide you with guidance on how to best achieve your goals.
7. STAY HYDRATED
Ever heard someone say “you’re not hungry, you’re thirsty”? More than likely, they’re right! We often confuse the feeling of dehydration with the feeling of needing to eat, which results in us giving our bodies the wrong thing – usually in the form of additional calories.
If you start feeling peckish, drink a large glass of water instead. If you still feel hungry after half-an-hour, you should get yourself a healthy snack.
Water not only keeps cravings away but it also helps with fat burning as it improves digestion and enables you to more effectively metabolise calories. Around two-three litres of water a day is ideal for staying hydrated, but remember that if you’re exercising, you’ll probably need more.
8. DRINK YOURSELF SLIM
As well as drinking plenty of water, try to get your fill of green tea too. A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that people who drank 3-7 cups of green tea per day, reduced their body fat by around 2%. This is because green tea contains an ingredient called EGCG that helps to stimulate your metabolism and improve fat oxidation.
If you’re not a fan of green tea, try black coffee instead. Whereas a standard sized cappuccino contains 120 calories, black coffee contains just 2 calories and has a similar effect as green tea on your metabolism.
9. FAT-FIGHTING FOODS
Believe it or not, but some foods actually help you to burn fat instead of putting it on! See if you can add one or two of these foods to your daily diet to give yourself an added fat-burning bonus:
Wholegrains Fibrous wholegrains, such as oats or brown rice, take twice as many calories to break down when compared to processed foods.
Lean Meats Protein has a high thermogenic effect. This means that you burn about 30% of the calories that the food contains during digestion. Try adding chicken, turkey or lean steak to your next meal.
Chilies Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their heat, also helps to melt away calories. Add it to soups or as a salad seasoning for extra flavour and extra fat-burning.
Celery This hydration-packed vegetable is great for filling you up and contains only 10 calories per stalk! You’ll feel significantly fuller after eating celery, which means you’ll eat less calories overall.
10. CHANGE IS A GOOD THING
It is important to change up your exercise routine, not only to prevent it from becoming boring, but also to boost your body into burning more fat. Studies show that after eight weeks of performing the same exercises, your body will adapt to the intensity and require more stimulation in order to continue cutting calories.
There are a wealth of different exercise options and classes available too. Boxing, running, cycling, bootcamp, circuits, dance – think about what you’d like to try, then find a qualified coach in your area. Whatever you decide to do, it’ll be sure to shock your system into fighting the fat again!
11. DON’T GO AT IT ALONE
If you focus too much on your fat burning journey, you can find yourself missing out on the more fun, social aspects of your life. However, your weight loss expedition doesn’t have to be a lonely one!
Whether it is a group workout class or a team challenge, invite your friends and family along to your next exercise session. You’ll not only get some much-needed social time, but you’ll get to burn calories in an exciting new way, which will keep boredom at bay.
Some great group exercise options to try include:
• Hiking in the local countryside
• Spinning classes
• A team mud run, such as the Spartan Race or Tough Mudder
• A group personal training session
• Circuit or bootcamp classes
12. THE STRENGTH OF SUPPORT
The reason why most people give up on their weight loss goals is because their willpower caves in and their motivation starts to wane. However, by creating a strong system of support, you’re more likely to stick to your fat-burning plans and achieve your goals.
Working with a personal trainer or a fitness coach is a great place to start. With their exercise expertise and nutrition knowledge, they can change your plan to keep things interesting, keep track of all your stats and measurements, and provide a much needed boost if you find your enthusiasm decreasing.
They also provide a degree of accountability, which makes it much easier to strap on your running shoes and get to the gym!