Everywhere you turn someone is trying to sell you a miracle product that will help you shed fat. Most of the time, these overpriced gimmicks just don’t make any difference and leave you looking around for the next magical fat burning product, gadget, program or diet. Thankfully, there are some science-backed ways to lose fat which can’t be sold and therefore these are not pushed as much as the more expensive options.
Sleep for longer
Studies show that not sleeping enough can decrease our ability to lose weight quite significantly, as we are more stressed and our muscles do not have as much time to recover. We also release a hormone called Ghrelin which comes out when we have not had enough sleep and causes us to feel hungrier which is usually when we reach for the worst food choices. Give yourself a few extra hours sleep and not only will you feel more refreshed, but it will help you shed that fat too.
This is a controversial one as we are so often told that you should never miss breakfast, however, breakfast is usually a very carb-heavy meal and eating them first thing in the morning can set you up on a slippery slope before you’ve even gotten dressed! When you wake up, your blood sugar levels are stable but very vulnerable and if you take in a significant amount of sugar you are likely to cause a spike in insulin and the surge of energy that results from this, if it isn’t used, will be stored as fat.
If you train in the morning, do so on an empty stomach. If you do this, the carbs you eat afterward (those sweet, sweet carbs!) will actually deliver the nutrients to your muscles super quickly and efficiently to help with the recovery process.
Switch cardio for strength training
Although we all seem to associate cardio with losing fat, you can actually see better results if you focus on strength training instead. Strength training can help increase your metabolism, raise your lean mass and keep those hormones at optimal levels! Step off the treadmills and pick up the dumbbells.
But don’t forget to do some cardio
Although strength training is going to be your new focus, that doesn’t mean you can forget about cardio altogether, it’s time to shake things up a little! For optimal fat burning, try HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), which is short bursts of workouts where you work at your top ability. This has been shown to be more effective than strong and steady workouts where you keep the same pace or effort level throughout.
Avoid stress… or at least try!
This is probably one of the more difficult tips to action as stress is often something that just happens to us whether we like it or not. When we are stressed, a hormone called cortisol is released which is known as the ‘fat hormone’ – it leaves us unmotivated to stick with our eating plan or to head to the gym. Where possible, try to let go of stress. In fact, if you are able, when you are feeling stressed, do a strength workout and channel your energy into that. Exercise is a great way to de-stress, and it releases feel-good hormones, so you will be able to turn something negative into something positive!
So before you spend money on the next fad product that a famous Instagrammer is promoting, try these tips instead, and instead of losing money, you will be losing fat!