If you are like me, you were not born with those amazing genes that allow you to eat whatever you like and workout when you feel like it. Instead, you know you need to put in the work and dedication to see a change. Losing body fat is a marathon, not a sprint when wanting to change your body composition. It takes time, patience, and consistency. I have put together my top 5 tips to start burning body fat today.
What is Body Fat?
Body fat is key for proper body functioning, but not all types are created equal. Body fat can be broken into three categories that include essential, reserve, and storage. Essential fat is vital for proper body and reproduction functioning, reserve body fat includes fat that is available as an energy source, and excessive storage body fat is harmful to a person's health. The location and amount of where body fat is stored vary from person to person due to multiple factors such as age, gender, activity level, and genetics.
My Top 5 Tips for Burning Body Fat Today
Tip #1: Exercise in the Morning
Have you ever told yourself, "I will work out later" and then found yourself not getting your workout in? With two little kiddos at home, this has happened more than I care to admit. Our lives are busy and like many other things in our life, exercise needs to be scheduled in. If you workout first thing in the morning there are fewer distractions than perhaps later in the day. I find that getting up before my family wakes up is how I can guarantee a workout. This time has become sacred to me even though it can be hard to get started so early at times. It helps to scorch extra calories throughout the day with energy afterburn and usually leads to better food choices throughout the day. Set your alarm and give it a try for a couple of weeks, not just a few days, your health is worth it.
Tip #2: Drink More Water
Drinking water to lose body fat is one of the easiest things we can incorporate into our lifestyle. In a study from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, scientists found that drinking 500ml, almost seventeen ounces, increased metabolism in both men and women by 30% for over an hour after consumption. That would be an increase in expenditure of approximately 200 calories per day according to the study. Approximately 73,000 extra calories per year would be burned by doing nothing more than drinking water. Remember one pound is 3,500 calories. How much water per day should you be drinking? A good rule of thumb is 1/2 to 1 ounce of water per pound. Grab a glass and start to reap the benefits.
Tip #3: Lift Weights
Muscle is more metabolically active than fat cells are even at rest. This means that as your muscle mass increases, so will your metabolic rate. One pound of muscle burns three times more calories in a given time compared to one pound of body fat. In order to increase muscle mass, performing at least three thirty-minute full-body weight lifting sessions per week is encouraged with a rest day in between. Weight lifting sessions can be completed on back-to-back days as long as different muscle groups are being targeted in each session and not exercised on consecutive days.
Tip #4: Sleep
Who doesn't like the feeling of waking up from a full night's sleep? I vaguely remember what this was like from before I had kids, I have faith someday I will return. Amazing things happen within the body while it is at rest including muscle recovery and growth. You should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
Have a hard time falling asleep? Here are a couple of my tricks: try changing your evening workout to earlier in the day as it can affect your ability to fall asleep quickly, enjoy a relaxing bath with dim lighting and Epsom salts, or enjoy a cup of warm decaffeinated tea before bed.
Tip #5: HIIT Your Workouts Hard
HIIT workouts burn nine times the amount of calories after the workout has ended compared to steady-state cardio. Another great aspect of HIIT workouts is that due to their intensity, the duration of the workout is also shorter than steady-state cardio. Great results have been seen in the form of changes in body composition with as little as just a couple of these workouts per week. Not sure where to start? Try my fifteen-minute Tabata workout.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to losing body fat it can be a long process and a lifestyle change for sustainable results. The tips above can help get you started, but it is imperative that they are combined with a healthy diet. If your nutrition is lacking then so will your results. Losing body fat is not a quick fix, but takes effort and dedication. You can do this!
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. (2003, December 1). Water-Induced Thermogenesis. Retrieved August 1, 2020, from https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/88/12/6015/2661518