What is the best way to burn fat? The answer is pretty simple; burn off more calories than you consume. However, as I’ve said before life, is too short to be counting calories.
It might seem like I’m stating the bleeding obvious here but if it is that easy why are so many people overweight? It appears some people still don’t get it so here are my top tips to burn body fat:
1.) Eat Less energy-rich food on the days when your doing less. Foods like potatoes, pasta, rice etc are great to eat. They taste nice, they fill us up and they are highly efficient sources of energy but if you are eating lots of these types of foods without exercising/ burning off the calories then the reading on the scales will continue to rise.
Excess calories are stored by the body as fat. It is a slow process but it is inevitable.
This doesn’t mean you can’t eat these foods, it just means you need to think ahead. For example, if you are planning to go for a run on Tuesday then this would be a good day to have a jacket potato for lunch. If Wednesday is your rest day have less starchy carbs like salad or veg alongside your protein instead of the potato.
2.) Lift Weights 2-3 times per week. Resistance exercise increases muscle mass and burns calories regardless of sex or age so there isn’t really an excuse for anyone. The greater muscle mass we have the faster our metabolism is when we are at rest so its simple science that adding some muscle will reduce body fat.
3.) Stay Hydrated. As discussed in one of my previous posts staying hydrated has a massive impact on how we perform. Dehydration means our brains don’t function efficiently and therefore we can end up making poor, ill-disciplined food choices. We also often confuse dehydration with hunger so always carry a bottle of water with you to sip on throughout the day.
4.) Do Cardio 2-3 times per week. Cardiovascular workouts tend to keep the heart rate elevated at a higher level throughout (compared to resistance workouts) and therefore burn significantly more fat during the activity. Whether it be running, cycling, rowing, swimming or even walking it is a good idea to aim for a minimum heart rate of 60% for the duration of the exercise. I recommend a heart rate monitor to ensure you are in the fat burning ‘zone’. I have found this very useful and more accurate than the machine sensors at the gym.
5.) Sleep More. Seems a pretty easy tip huh!? Just lie down, close your eyes and you’ll lose weight… But as most of us know only too well, sometimes our quality of sleep is severely jeopardised. It might be a newborn baby (the hardest problem to resolve!); it might be eating too late; drinking too much alcohol; exercising too little. Either way if your body’s circadium rhythm is disrupted then your ability to sleep might be reduced to a point where your body isn’t getting the rest it needs to recover. This is a vicious circle as lack of sleep can cause us to raid the fridge in the dead of night or even reach for a quick fix; a wee dram of whisky for example. These are empty calories that when consumed at the wrong time of day will cause weight gain.
Losing weight isn’t rocket science it’s a case of discipline and consistency. If you find it hard to satisfy all of the tips above then aim for at least 3 out of the 5. This isn’t about an overnight transformation this is about a slimmer future and the chance to minimise the health risk associated with increased body fat.