Ah, body fat. Pesky, annoying, stubborn body fat. If we had it our way, we would zap them all away and get our dream bodies.
But here’s the thing: your body actually needs some fat. This is known as essential fat, which our bodies require in order to keep our brain, organs, and central nervous system in top condition. Unfortunately, having too much of it is often linked to a host of diseases including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Now, you might be blessed with a slim, lean physique and not have to exercise or even skip the junk food to maintain your figure. But do you know that you could actually be holding on to the most dangerous kind of fat? This phenomenon is known as skinny fat and – guess what – it’s just as bad as obesity.
Before you panic and make an appointment for a body checkup, why not read on to find out what you can do to melt away body fat? (Of course, you should still go for that checkup!)
Today, Evolve Daily shares 12 Laws of Shedding Fat:
1) Eliminate junk food
We know this one would be tough for some of you – it’s difficult to give up your favorite fast food or snacks. But in the long run, you’ll realize that it’s worth making this change in your diet, because junk food such as sweets, french fries and potato chips offer nothing but calories. Hence, your body does not get any nutrients from them.
Tip: Allow yourself to have a cheat meal (yes, whatever you’re craving!) every now and then, perhaps once every two to three weeks.
Psst! You might also want to include some of these fat-melting foods in your diet.
2) Cut those carbs
Carbs are necessary because they fuel our body with energy to carry out daily activities, as well as workouts. However, if you wish to lose fat, you shouldn’t consume too much of them.
In order to zap body fat, you should reduce your consumption of starchy carbs. That means cutting down on pasta, rice, white bread and potatoes; because they give your body more than it requires for energy and glycogen stores. That means anything excess will end up getting stored as fat.
Tip: Instead of starchy carbs, go for slow-digesting carbs such as oatmeal, whole-grain bread and legumes, instead. As they don’t dramatically raise insulin levels, your body wouldn’t have as much difficulty breaking down fat.
3) Eat more (small) meals per day
Did you know that you can burn more body fat by having 5 to 6 meals daily? Of course, these are small meals, and should be spread evenly across the day, so that you don’t get overly hungry (and end up binging) at any point. Also, eating more meals increases thermogenesis, which is the production of body heat. That means having more meals burns more calories!
Tip: Ditch excess dietary fat such as oils, butter, whole-milk dairy products and marbled red meats.
4) Consume healthy fats
At this point, you might be wondering, why should I consume fats if I’m trying to lose fat?! Well, fats play a role in reducing your cravings and keeping you satisfied, as they take a longer time to be broken down. So if you want to shed body fat, you shouldn’t completely cut out fats – especially the healthy ones such as salmon, avocado, peanut butter, nuts and seeds.
Tip: Instead of margarine or butter, spread natural peanut butter on your toast.
5) Drink more water
Your mom might have probably told you to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily; and we hope you’ve been listening to her because your body requires water in order to effectively transport and burn fat. What’s more, it is calorie-free, and can keep you feeling full for longer periods of time!
Tip: Use an app like Waterlogged to monitor your water consumption, or simply set some phone alerts so you’ll have reminders throughout the day.
6) Cut down on alcohol
We know how important happy hour can be for some of you, especially when it’s a regular thing you do with your friends. But did you know that this could prevent you from burning fat? This is because alcohol does nothing but give you empty calories and produce a substance known as acetate, which helps your body maintain its fat stores.
Tip: If you can’t bear to ditch your favorite drinks, then cut down on your alcohol intake or go for smaller-sizes – opt for a bottled beer rather than a pint, or share your drinks with friends.
7) Increase your vegetable intake
If you want to shed your body fat, then eat your greens! Being nutrient-dense and rich in fiber, veggies will keep you feeling full on fewer calories. So aim to have 5 servings of vegetables daily.
Tip: If you’re not a big fan of veggies, try blending them with your favorite fruits. We promise it’ll taste better!
8) Get enough quality ZZZ’s
No matter what you do, never deprive yourself of a good night’s sleep. This is because having sufficient quality sleep helps to regulate your metabolism. If you don’t get enough rest, you’ll not only feel cranky the following day but also crave junk food.
Tip: Try eating some of these sleep-inducing foods for a good night’s rest!
9) Exercise regularly
Apart from maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough sleep, you should make it a point to exercise regularly if you want to burn fat effectively. Not sure where to begin? Why not sign up for martial arts classes! It has been proven to be a great way to melt away stubborn body fat while boosting your fitness.
Tip: Get a workout buddy to keep you on track and motivate you whenever you’re feeling lazy.
10) Include strength training in your workouts
Strength training is a great way to build muscle – which actually plays a part in helping your body shed fat. That means you’ll naturally be burning more calories even when doing day-to-day activities like walking. According to research, just having one extra pound of muscle can help burn up to 50 more calories a day!
Tip: You can do strength training at home with some bodyweight exercises, or simple equipment.
11) Fuel up with the right pre- and post-workout foods
We’re sure you don’t want to waste your workouts. That’s why it’s extremely important to make sure you’re fuelling up with the right foods before and after your workout. (Don’t forget to hydrate, too!)
Tip: If you’re unsure where to begin, start off with these pre- and post-workout smoothies!
12) Make a plan and stick to it
This is probably one of the most important points, because making a plan would keep you on track and you’d be able to monitor your progress over time. What’s more, you’re more likely to take action and establish a routine once you have your plans laid out.
Tip: Log your workouts and meals in a journal. It might sound tedious, but all you really need is 15 to 20 minutes a day – we promise it’s worth it!
So tell us, are you ready to shed that pesky body fat and get into the greatest shape of your life?