As I'm still going through a "bad phase" where I'm chronically fatigued, in constant pain, and just feeling lousy overall, my brother-in-law, The Gym Maniac, has once again agreed to a follow up post for me. I'm incredibly grateful since my health is poor at the moment. I do have posts that I will get to soon. I still have to edit the pictures and write the post. Hope I can bring myself to get to them soon. Until then, enjoy these weight loss tips to help get you into summer shape.
So with summer rolling on in I decided I would help my readers out with some fat loss tips.
Tip #1 Take the Stairs – The basic concept behind losing weight is to burn more calories than you consume. When you do this it forces the body to search for alternate sources of fuel, such as your body’s fat stores. The bigger your calorie deficit, the more weight you will lose, and a little goes a long way when added up. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, stand instead of sit, walk instead of drive, park in the back of the parking lot, or just get to the gym.
Tip #2 Eat Smaller Meals more often – Contrary to popular belief when you diet you want to eat more! You need to help get your metabolism revved up in order to burn more calories. In order to do this you need to eat meals more often, such as five to six meals a day. The meals won’t be big,you are going to want to eat smaller meals. If your body is constantly ingesting and digesting food it will speed up your metabolism to keep up with the demand, and a faster metabolism means more calories burned!
Tip #3 Cardio in the Morning – Doing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is the optimum time for burning fat. Basically your body hasn’t eaten in so many hours and your glycogen levels are depleted. The body uses glycogen as its first source of energy, before it goes into burning fat. With your glycogen stores are depleted the body can immediately start burning fat. Working out on an empty stomach will allow you to burn 300% more fat.
Tip #4 Eat Breakfast – You absolutely have to eat breakfast if you want to lose weight. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, because it gets your metabolism revved up at the beginning of the day. Starving your body will make it think it’s going to go long periods without food. As a survival instinct it will go into fat storage mode not knowing when the next meal will come. Without breakfast your metabolism will have trouble getting kick started for the day.
Tip #5 Cut the Junk – If you want to lose weight you have to cut the junk. I’m talking about refined sugars and processed food. No pop, chips, cookies, crackers, white bread, sugary cereals, anything that comes out of a wrapper, and basically anything that comes from your grocery’s frozen food section. These foods will spike your insulin which will then drop it very low causing your body to store fat. So eat foods less processed to keep your insulin levels steady to meet your fat loss goals.
Tip #6 No Late Night Snacks – You shouldn’t eat three hours before you go to bed at night. Any food your body hasn’t digested before you go to bed your body will end up storing it as fat when you go to sleep. You see your body doesn’t need much energy to sleep, so whatever energy from food it has it will store as fat for later use.
Tip #7 Brush your Teeth – Yes you read it right tip #7 is brush your teeth. A great way to curb your appetite, especially at night when you are craving carbohydrates is to brush your teeth. After you brush your teeth you will have that clean minty fresh taste in your mouth, and you will not want to eat anything. Try it, it really works!
Tip #8 Drink Plenty of Water – Water is the best thing you can have when trying to lose weight. Keeping well hydrated keeps your body healthy and happy. You have to have water in order complete the body’s many processes. Water can also help give you that full feeling when you’re eating smaller meals. Also drinking cold water will give your body a metabolic boost increasing the amount of calories burned.
Tip #9 Get Your Protein – Protein is very important when trying to lose fat. First, protein will help preserve muscle mass when you restrict your calories. Second, it is said that ingesting certain proteins, such as soy and whey, will help burn more fat. Thirdly one of your body’s greatest fat burners is muscle! The more muscle you have the more fat you are able to burn.
Tip #10 Eat Plenty of Fiber – When dieting to lose fat it’s very important to try to get at least 25 grams of fiber a day. Fiber helps you digest your food and keep things moving. Also fiber will help slow down the digestion of carbohydrates which will help keep your insulin levels steady.
Tip #11 Eat Whole Grains – Adding whole grains to your diet is a wise choice when trying to lose weight. These type of carbohydrates are slow digesting and won’t spike your insulin levels putting your body into fat storage mode.
Tip #12 Have a Grapefruit – Grapefruit contains a type of fiber called pectin. The pectin found in grapefruit tends to slow the digestion of carbohydrates preventing your insulin from spiking. One study that I read stated that three servings of grapefruit or grapefruit juice lead to significant fat loss around test subject’s midsection.
Tip #13 Spice it Up with Cinnamon – Cinnamon is all the craze right now for fat loss. In an article published by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry they showed how cinnamon was a great way to cut fat. In the studies they found the “polyphenolic polymers” in cinnamon mimicked insulin, which increased sugar metabolism and reduced the need for sharp spikes in insulin. So try adding cinnamon to your meals in order to melt the fat away!
Tip #14 Bring the Heat! – Eating spicy foods is a great way to speed up your metabolism. The “heat” or “burn” you feel from the capsaicin in spicy foods has a thermogenic effect on your metabolism, meaning it speeds it up. Ever started sweating after eating something extremely spicy? This is a sure sign your metabolism is picking up to break down the capsaicin you just ingested. With your metabolism revved up it will be able to burn more fat. I like to add things like hot sauce, salsa, cayenne pepper, and fresh jalapeños to my food for that extra kick.
Tip #15 Drink Your Tea – Green tea is a powerful antioxidant and is a well-known “fat burner”. You can look on the ingredient list of almost any diet pill and you will find green tea as one of the main ingredients. It is said to help lower your blood sugar levels and is beneficial to diabetics. Try adding 2 to 3 cups of green tea a day to your diet to take advantage of it’s benefits.
Tip #16 Antioxidants are Key – Antioxidants are substance’s that prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are formed as a by-product caused by oxidative stress when working out. Adding antioxidants to your diet is necessary in order for your body to help repair itself which will drastically help your recovery between workouts. Proper recovery is needed if you are going to exercise regular in order to burn fat. Try adding berries into your diet as well as great sources of vitamin C.
Tip #17 Caffeine – Caffeine is not only a powerful stimulant to help be focused and energetic during your workouts, but it is also said to help utilize fat as an energy source. In addition to this, caffeine is also said to be a thermogenic (substance that speeds up your metabolism). Caffeine can be used to help meet your fat loss goals, but it’s fat loss effects are only realized in people who don’t regularly consume caffeine on a daily basis. Try getting no more than 300mg of caffeine a day, which is equal to about a cup and a half of coffee.
Tip #18 Cheat on Your Diet – I know, I know, this sounds crazy, but you will drive yourself crazy dieting all the time and you will be less likely to follow through with your diet if you keep it strict 100% of the time. Some people will have one day a week where they are off their diet, or a “cheat day”. On “cheat day” you can eat what you want and whatever you have been craving. On this day your diet does not apply. Doing this will actually help confuse your metabolism and make it more reactive to your diet when you go back on it the rest of the week, giving you better results.
Tip #19 Be Accountable to Someone – It’s always good when starting a diet to have a buddy to diet with. This person can help keep you accountable as well as you can help keep them accountable for their diet. If you can’t find someone to diet with it sometimes helps to at least announce your intentions to people, because you will more likely keep to your diet knowing that other people know you’re on a diet.
Tip #20 Set Goals – Like any other task in your life you need to have some goals. You will not be able to do what you want, if you can’t specifically right out your intentions on a piece of paper. For more information on setting goals you should reference one of my posts on goal setting here.
There you have it 20 great fat loss tips and tricks. I hope this helps each and every one of you with your fat loss goals. Now get to the GYM!
The Gym Maniac
For more health and fitness tips, plus workouts, check out The Maniac's Gym blog