What’s the purpose of your exercise and diet? Is it to lose weight? Yes and no. You want to lose weight, but not lean body weight. Instead, your goal is to burn the excess fat on your body. It’s not easy to lose body fat. Your body is designed to cling to fat, as it has stored the fat in case of “emergencies”–periods of hunger or starvation. It takes far more work to burn fat than to store it! Here are a few simple tricks to help you lose body fat:
Mix Up Cardio
If you do the same cardio workout every day, your body will grow accustomed to it and the effectiveness of the workouts will decrease. Instead, switch it up and keep your body guessing. Cycle for 30 minutes one day, do a treadmill HIIT workout the next, and hit the cross-trainer the next day. Switch it up regularly, and you’ll increase your endurance overall without allowing your body to acclimate to the workout.
You don’t need to become the world’s next strongman, but you should try to add more weight to your resistance training. Working in the 4 to 6 and 12 to 15 rep ranges will build strength, which will lead to increased lean body mass (muscles). The increase in lean body mass will raise your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories every day. The more calories you burn, the more your body will have to tap into fat stores. Lifting heavy is DEFINITELY the way to go!
Don’t think of snacks as treats to eat throughout the day. Instead, see them as small energy boosts that will keep you going until your next meal, or help you have enough energy to get through your workout. Your snacks shouldn’t necessarily be tasty, but they should provide a quick dose of energy–in the form of whole grains, fruits, and veggies. You should also mix in a bit of healthy fat and lean protein, as that will provide your body with a balance of nutrients. Keep the snacks under 300 calories, and make them as nutritionally-rich as possible. Think nuts, seeds, fruits, proteins, oats, etc. These are the foods that will keep you going all day long, and they’ll help you to burn more fat!
Eat More, Smaller Meals
Your body will always use the same number of calories to absorb and process the meals you eat, so eating smaller meals won’t lead to an increase in calorie-burning. It will, however, keep your body working all day long, producing a steady stream of energy throughout your day rather than giving you lump sum right after your meals. It’s better to eat five or six smaller meals in the day, as it will keep your metabolism working and make you more effective at burning any calories you eat.
Drink Cold Water
And not just water that is chilled to a pleasant temperature. Think ICE water! Your body cannot use water if it is too cold, so it has to warm up the water. This uses up energy, forcing your body to burn calories to heat up the water. Ice water is great to help you burn more calories throughout the day, and it will raise your internal body temperature slightly. It won’t make a HUGE difference, but every little bit counts, right? Bonus: Take freezing cold showers, and you’ll get the same effect. Your body will have to burn energy to keep warm in the cold water, leading to a metabolism boost. It’s not easy, but it works!