No “lose 10 pounds in 5 seconds” gimmicks here – just real advice on how to burn fat, backed by science!
Fat loss: is there a more coveted health goal in the world? Many of us are not losing weight for somewhat obscure reasons, so be sure to read my article (4 reasons you are not losing weight), before proceeding further here. Once you’ve done that, take a look at these steps, and if you’re feeling extra bold – start doing all six of them regularly – to really ramp up your fat loss!
No scams here – just real advice, that works! I’ve personally helped thousands of people lose weight, and I know what works, and what doesn’t. These are real tips, which I follow myself. So without further ado, let’s get to burning off those love handles!
1. Walk Anywhere You Can
This is an easy one, and anyone can do it! Besides work (where you may get fired if you’re continually late) walk anywhere and everywhere!
Have to go to the grocery store? Guess how you’ll be getting there! Forgot to pick up your allergy medicine at the drug store? That’s another mile of walking!
Though this may not be terribly fun, this will be very effective, and after one month, you will truly see results from just using your legs more.
On top of the weight loss benefits, walking more will cause around a 3% growth in brain tissue after a year. Those who do not walk? They will lose 2%. Pretty big difference, when you get right down to it! Think of all the places to which you drive or take transportation.
Those are (potentially) quite a few steps you could be taking, with each step leading you closer and closer to that coveted six pack you want (and no, I don’t mean beer here). Walking can lead to a 3% growth in brain tissue, while not walking can lead to a 2% loss.
When we were kids, we walked everywhere. Sure, we may have indulged in a delicious treat from time to time, as well, but we likely walked somewhere to get it!
This concept is easy to incorporate into your adult life, and if you do nothing else on this list, make sure you take this step. If you are worried about the environment, you’ll be happy to know that this is an environmentally-friendly move as well, since you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint.
If you’re having trouble getting started, bring a friend with you, and make it part of your daily routine. A walk around the block after work will help you to de-stress, and also allow you to make some healthy social connections. So do your brain and waistline a favor, and start using your feet to hit the pavement, instead of the gas pedal!
2. Drink Green Tea
Though green tea is not the hyped “mega-ultra weight loss super-cure” that everyone wanted it to be, it does show a little bit of promise when it comes to fat loss.
Having a cup or two in the afternoon, rather than your regular cup of coffee, will allow you to enjoy the thermogenic effects while avoiding the drawback of not being able to sleep later that night. Green tea contains L-theanine – an amino acid which has a calming effect.
This will give you all the energy of coffee – minus the jitters and horrible crash. Don’t overlook how effective green tea can be as part of a more comprehensive fat burning regimen.
Green tea also contains polyphenols, which have been shown to possibly help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as being anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, antibacterial, antiangiogenic, antioxidative, antiviral, neuroprotective, and helpful in lowering cholesterol.
3. Strength Train
If you are not already exercising – what are you waiting for!? Building muscle will help shed away all that extra fat around your belly, as well as help to tone up your arms and legs. Not to mention, you’ll get an awesome rush of beta-endorphins which will make your brain quite happy!
I have seen too many clients who are scared to pick up any weights – but this does not have to be the case. You don’t have to start like Arnold – just start going to the gym regularly and do some push-ups, pull-ups and bench presses.
Follow that up with a few sprints, and you’ll be feeling better and burning more fat in no time! You are the sum of your closest friends, so pick healthy comrades to keep you in line.
A partner or personal trainer here can also be a good way to get a nice kick in the butt – resulting in better results and an improved social network. You are the sum of your closest friends, so pick healthy comrades to keep you in line.
Strength training also aids in bone health as we age, and keeps the body and brain stimulated. Even if your exercise routine consists solely of walking and strength training, you will be doing much better than if you had stayed sedentary!
4. Drizzle Your Food with EVOO
Studies have shown that after 8 weeks of an olive oil-enriched diet, dieters will lose more weight than by following other methods. Since extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has many other benefits as well, it makes total sense to drizzle every meal with some EVOO.
Having a big Paleo omelet for breakfast? Drop some olive oil on it! Having a spinach salad for lunch? It’s not complete until it’s covered in extra virgin olive oil!
And remember: fat doesn’t make you fat, meaning dietary fat doesn’t add to body fat. The right kind of dietary fat will actually help you burn body fat! Avocados are another good choice here, so to help burn off those love handles, load up on good fats!
5. Eat Fewer Carbs
This is the classic “easier said than done” way, but if you are consuming lots of healthy fats, this shouldn’t be a problem. The high satiety levels of protein and fat will help keep the carbs out of your mouth, and the promise of weight and fat loss should further slap that spoonful of ice cream away from your lips!
Don’t go overboard here, though – you can actually gain weight if your metabolism gets out of whack from going too low carb. 100-200 grams of starchy, fibrous and nutrient-dense (read: not sugary) carbohydrates per day will keep your body and brain happy.
When eating fewer carbs, be careful not to go overboard. Going too low carb can throw your metabolism out of whack and cause you to gain weight.
Stick to sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and some lower-sugar fruits. Stay away from juices, soda, dried fruit and candy. If you get an even dispersion of carbohydrates throughout the day, and they are the right kind, your hormones and fat-burning furnace will be firing at full tilt!
And remember – lower is not better here! Make sure you are eating at least 100 grams of carbs per day – unless you are exercising furiously – in which case you need even more!
6. Use MCT (Medium-Chain Triglycerides) Oil
MCT oil is a supplement made from a type of fat called medium-chain triglycerides. MCT molecules are smaller than those in most of the fats you eat (long-chain triglycerides [LCT]). This makes them easier to digest. You can absorb MCT in your bloodstream quickly. This turns it into energy you can use
This is even the case for the studies involving Alzheimer’s. But the fact of the matter is, MCT oil leads to greater weight loss than even extra virgin olive oil does, so you need to be loading up on this fat!
Your brain will thank you for this step, too, as the lauric acid in coconut oil (which has an MCT content of 54%) turns into monolaurin inside your body, eventually turning into a great source of fuel for your brain, without any glucose needed.
Some people even like to ingest MCT oil strictly for its reported mental benefits. But the truth is, all of the steps on this list will help you shed the fat, and by lowering your sugar intake, the neurons in your brain will be firing better, too!
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, I hope I have inspired you to go out and get rid of any excess body fat you may have. The process isn’t that hard – it is well within your grasp! By simply making a large amount of small, miniscule changes – we can see big results!
The hidden secret to fat loss is one dirty word: patience. You will not melt all the fat away overnight – but you will get there! Do not be discouraged or give up – consistency and patience are what will really get you to your goal! Keep all six of these tips in mind, and go forward – as a leaner and meaner fat-burning machine!
Written by Casey Thaler
Casey Thaler, B.A., NASM-CPT, FNS is an NASM® certified personal trainer and NASM® certified fitness nutrition specialist. He writes for Paleo Magazine®, The Paleo Diet® and Greatist®. He is also an advisor for Kettle and Fire and runs his own nutrition and fitness consulting company, Eat Clean, Train Clean®.
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