If you feel like you have been working hard at the gym but you still can’t shift weight from those stubborn areas like your stomach, then we may have some good news for you. Well, we will start by telling you that it’s not you, it’s genetics and science. As we age we begin to store more fat in those stubborn areas such as our tummies and thighs due to hormonal changes, a naturally occurring loss of muscle mass, a slowing metabolism and well, quite frankly, because that is the body shape our grandma’s gave us. Now, when you add in lifestyle factors such as working an office job and a love for processed carbohydrates and crushed grapes, it becomes evident why it takes more than a run on the treadmill every few days to burn through our fat stores.
Now, it’s not all doom and gloom, let us tell you that right now. When it comes to giving your fat-burning capabilities a boost, there are steps that you could be adding into your repertoire, which don’t require signing up to a boot camp or cutting your calories down to three digits. The process may be far more simple and requires you to make small yet significant changes to your fitness and nutrition. Here is a hint; you may in fact be exercising too much. So before you hang up your Nike’s here are 6 tips to kick your fat burning into overdrive.
Incorporate strength training
You may be a runner or enjoy a leisurely walk every morning, but if you are really looking to boost your body’s fat burning process then it may be time to start lifting some weights. While it may be tempting to focus predominantly on cardio, as a means of burning through unwanted fat, there is significance in combining cardio with strength and resistance training. This is because as we age we naturally begin to lose muscle mass, and we know that muscle has a higher metabolic rate than fat. The more muscle we have the higher our resting metabolic rate, which means you end up burning more calories even when sedentary.
Not sure where to begin? Strength training involves any exercise, which requires you to contract your muscles against external resistance. This may mean lifting weights or even using your own body weight in the form of exercises such as push-ups and planks (learn more here).
Eat more fat
Did you know that you need to eat fat to burn fat? Now before you get too excited and run out to your corner pizza shop, we’re talking about the good kind of fats. Healthy, unsaturated fats from sources such as avocados, fish, olive oil and nuts can actually help you burn through more calories and keep your weight in check in several ways. First of all, fats help promote satiety which means that you will be left feeling fuller for longer and will be reducing your overall calorie intake throughout the day. In fact several studies conducted have linked high-fat, Mediterranean diets (rich in healthy fats) to overall reduced body fat in participants.
Use a fat burner
Fat burners are a stimulant, which means they increase calories burnt even when sedentary (we’re looking at all you office workers sitting in your chairs as you read this). Containing green coffee bean extract and other fat fighting properties, the Happy Way fat burner range works to increase your metabolic rate significantly while delivering a plethora of added benefits such as energy and focus that would leave Clark Kent feeling envious. But don’t take our word for it, just ask the University of Nottingham.
While studies have regularly highlighted the calorie burning properties of coffee, recent research suggests that coffee can stimulate the growth of ‘brown fat’ in the body. According to research, there exist two types of fat cells, brown cells, which create body heat and white fat cells, which store fat. By promoting brown fat cells, coffee boosts the body’s internal fat fighters and can help regulate healthy body weight. So whip out the fat burner when that 3:30itis hits and give your metabolism the boost it needs.
Track your water intake
If you are drinking coffee, adding a dose of chillies to your lunch and doing a HIIT session every morning, you could be undoing all your hard work with one little overlooked step – hydration. As published by Frontiers of Nutrition, studies have shown that chronic dehydration not only slows down our metabolism but it also promotes the storage of fat cells around our vital organs. In the short term this means stubborn belly fat while in the long term this increases risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. If that’s not enough to prompt you to reach for your water bottle, then the knowledge that you can burn an between 2-3% more calories just by drinking water should do the job.
Increase your protein intakeWhen it comes to weight loss the equation is pretty simple, eat less calories than you burn. However, while a calorie deficit is important, the type of calories consumed is equally if not more significant. This is especially true when we begin to age with women gaining an average of 15 pounds of fat every decade after the age of 30 and losing an average of 5 pounds of muscle at the same time. Consuming more protein can help you burn through more weight in several ways. It not only helps us preserve muscle mass and in turn increases our resting metabolic rate, but it also helps stabilise our blood sugar levels throughout the day. That means we are less likely to go looking for those mid morning snacks.
HIITHere is the good news. When it comes to burning fat, it’s not about exercising more but rather about exercising smart. That means that you could be spending hours at the gym unnecessarily, so before you fold away your exercise mat, here is what you need to know. To really blast and melt away fat you should be incorporating HIIT into your fitness repertoire.
HIIT describes any workout, which alternates between intense bursts of activity with fixed periods of less intense activity or rest periods. As an example, this could mean running at full speed for a minute, followed by a light jog or walk for two minutes, repeating the cycle 5 times. Studies have shown that a 15-minute session of interval can burn more calories than running on a treadmill for an hour. This mix of cardio and toning will not only help change your body composition faster, it will also ensure that you continue burning calories ling after your session has finished.