1. Interval Workouts
Working out in intervals means you exercise all out for 1 minute, then go slow for 1 minute and then repeat. Interval training is meant to simulate sports, where you run/cycle intensely and then grab quick rests. It’s shown to burn more calories than steady-state exercise, and will burn fat throughout the day, even when you’re not working out.
Warning: the extra calories you burn in interval training (as opposed to steady-state) ads up to about 70 calories per day. So it makes a difference over time, but doing intervals doesn’t mean you can eat ice cream every day!
2. Green Tea
The more research comes out about green tea, the more it seems like a magical elixir for your health. A recent study had participants switch from drinking two cups of regular coffee a day to drinking two cups of green tea. The green-tea drinkers lost three pounds over the three month study! Green Tea contains ‘catechins’, which increase norepenephrine, which in turn speeds up your metabolism. That’s just among the many benefits of green tea.
3. Eat more Protein
Switching out some carbohydrates to proteins will cause your body to burn fat all by itself. Your body spends 30% of the proteins’ calories in the digestion process itself, which means every time you eat protein you are burning calories. All that, and adding protein will help you to grow more muscle, too!
4. Pump some Iron
Lifting weights has been shown time and time again to be a more effective fat burner than cardio exercises. It also slows the ageing process! We lose muscle mass as we get older, and lifting weights can slow or even stop this process. (If you don’t use it, you lose it!).
Building up muscle will also give you that toned healthy look. It also stimulates testosterone, which in itself burns fat (the reason men have an easier time burning fat than women.) Women have testosterone in their systems as well, and studies have shown that when women increase their levels of testosterone, they have an easier time burning fat, have a greater sense of well-being, and a higher libido!
5. Eat Low-Fat Dairy
Another by-product of ageing is calcium loss in the bones. Lifting weights can help reduce that, but eating low fat dairy products like yogurts and non-fat milk can actually help you lose weight. Having a lot of calcium in your system signals your brain to start burning fat. To have dairy as part of your fat-burning plan is absolutely essential.
Note: studies have found that eating low-fat dairy is more effective than calcium supplements.
6. Do Squats and other Compound Workouts
You don’t have to use big, heavy weights, but compound exercises (meaning exercises that work many different muscle groups at once) are the greatest answer to the question: How to burn fat fast? Squats and lunges will make your body go into fat-burning mode, and as a result will burn more calories in less amount of time.
It will also challenge your cardiovascular system to get better, meaning you will be more efficient at getting oxygen to all the cells in your body. Squats are best because they work out almost every single muscle in your body, including your core (see my page on proper squat technique’).
7. Get Lots of Sleep
Your body resets your metabolism at night and a full night’s sleep ensures that it is reset properly. If you don’t, your body releases cortisol to keep functioning normally, and cortisol is mainly responsible for breaking down muscle and converting it into sugar (not good).
8. Avoid Processed Sugars
Let me put it simply: processed sugars (especially high-fructose corn syrup) are not meant to be consumed and never should be. HFCS was actually only created in the mid-80’s as an even more unhealthy version of regular corn syrup.
Sugars raise your insulin levels, which promptly convert that sugar into fat. You also don’t feel full (you can still be hungry after a whole six pack of mountain dew) so you consume way too much.
9. Drink Lots of Water
Increasing your water intake to 17 glasses a day will rev up your metabolism. That sounds like a lot, but if you’re taking vitamins, staying hydrated before and during your workouts, and drinking three cups of green tea a day, all that adds up quickly. Hydrating at least 20 minutes before your workout will also help you work our harder and longer (which means more fat burning!!)
This is the most important one of all, but it’s the one that is hardest to combat directly. How do you “don’t be stressed”? As you set out on your fitness goals, you’ll start exercising more, eating better, and staying hydrated, the stress itself will dissipate naturally. Nothing is a better de-stressor than working out (Meditation people might disagree, but I’m still going with exercise as the best way to burn fat).
As you can see, each action you’re taking will become easier as you take the other steps as well. Giving up coffee for green tea won’t be as much of a problem if you get enough sleep (you’ll start sleeping better without coffee, too!) You’ll gain momentum and all your efforts will start snowballing.