Becoming the New You: How to Burn Fat and Keep It Off
Once upon a time, fat storage was one of the major factors in our survival as a species. Our bodies stored any excess calories we ate as extra fuel, keeping them available for days when our food stores ran low.
For most people on the road to losing weight today, figuring out how to get around this efficient fat storage system can feel like the biggest obstacle to success!
If you feel like you’ve been struggling to burn fat, even as your body builds up more of it, you’re far from alone. Let’s take a look at some healthy routines that can help you burn the calories you eat every day, as well as the ones your body’s still clinging onto.
Hit the Weights
When most people think about weight-loss solutions, the first thing their mind jumps to is cardio. This makes sense, as fast-paced cardio workouts can burn more calories than you will during strength training.
However, strength training requires your body to continue burning calories even after you put down the weights. Because repairing your damaged muscle fibers requires ongoing energy, your body will need to burn up calories—meaning that it won’t store them on your waist.
Ramp Up Your Cardio
Aerobic exercise is still an effective way to burn fat, and it’s also a crucial part of an active lifestyle, so don’t leave it out! Striking a balance between cardio and muscle building can be tricky, but it’s important to focus on both.
The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes of cardio per week, though you may want to increase this if you’re trying to burn fat. You can do any form of cardio you like, but it’s worth noting that HIIT workouts are great options for losing weight fast. The variations in intensity can help prompt our metabolisms to switch to burning fat, even once the workout is complete.
Aim for Fewer Calories, Within Reason
In simplest terms, eating fewer calories than you burn is one of the easiest ways to burn fat. In addition, because each pound of fat contains 3,500 calories, eating less food can prompt your body to burn that fat for additional calories.
However, it’s worth remembering that our bodies are complex machines. Eating at a caloric deficit isn’t always as easy—or as effective—as it sounds!
Diets that encourage extreme caloric reduction can be harmful to your health, impacting your metabolism and even weakening your immunity. Worse, people who go on super low-calorie crash diets of 1,200 daily calories or fewer often gain back the weight when they stop their diet.
Instead, focus on reducing your calories by enough to sustain you without going overboard. Your diet should be one you can envision continuing for years, not one you’re focusing on for a few weeks.
Eat Healthy Foods
It’s not enough to consider how much you eat: you also need to consider what you eat.
Get More Protein
If you’re going to be focusing on strength training, following a high-protein diet can be a great way to fuel your body while increasing your fat burning. Research shows that high-protein diets are associated with a lower risk of obesity. Protein can even help you feel more full for longer!
Eat Healthy Fats
Sure, you’re trying to burn body fat, but that doesn’t mean cutting all fats from your diet. In fact, healthy fats—like those in olive oil, avocados, and nuts—can help with weight loss in the long run.
Put Fiber on Your Plate
Plant-based fiber is a great way to feel full for longer. Filling your plate with vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, and whole grains is a good idea, and it can help you keep your calorie intake low throughout the day.
Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbs
We all know that sugary beverages and refined carbs are packed with calories. However, it’s worth noting that these foods and drinks don’t just ramp up your caloric intake; they also don’t offer much in return. Because they have so little nutritional value, you’ll often feel hungry sooner after eating them, prompting you to eat more food to make up for it.
Probiotics may feel like a passing fad, but the truth is that they can help you enhance your gut performance, which can help with weight loss. Getting more probiotics in supplements, or in foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha, can help.
Get Enough Sleep
You might not think sleep has a clear link to weight loss at first, but many studies have found that getting enough sleep can help you shed those pounds. One small study even found that missing one hour of sleep per night may lead to less fat loss.
Experts suggest that the average person should get around eight hours of sleep per night, but the key word is “average.” Eight hours may or may not work for you, and some people need as few as five hours or as many as eleven hours per night. Check the expert recommendations and consider making sleep a priority if you want to lose weight.
Get Moving to Burn Fat
If you’re hoping to burn fat and keep it off, get started! From adjusting your diet to increasing your activity to getting the rest you need, making some key lifestyle adjustments can help you lose weight for the long term.
As you continue your weight loss journey, we’d love to be a part of it. Check out one of our locations, get in touch with us, or fill out our online form to try us for free.