If you’re trying to lose weight website Health.com has a whole collection of articles and slide shows with handy fat burning tips that will help you with your goal. And let’s face it, most of us can do with all the help we can get when it comes to burning fat. The wobbly stuff has got to go!
Here are the best tips of the bunch IMHO based on how easy they are to implement and how likely they are to make a big difference. Of course, all these tips involve some effort in either changing your diet or getting more exercise or changing your lifestyle but we all know we have to do that to lose weight. There’s no getting away from that.
Fat Burning Exercise
If you’re looking for fat burning workout ideas then there is no shortage of tips, plans and strategies on the site. Just make sure that what you choose to do is right for your current fitness level and try to find a set of activities you’ll enjoy as much as possible so that you stay motivated.
Torch the fat by starting a running or jogging program. Health.com reports (based on a study by Yale University School of Medicine) that runners who exercise more than 4 hours a week burn more calories than non-runners even when they’re sleeping.
Push Harder at the Start of Your Workout
A study by The College of New Jersey showed that if you increase intensity during the first half of your workout you burn 23% more fat than if up increase intensity during the second half. (Of course, you still need to do your warm up first to avoid damaging your muscles).
According to a study published in “Obesity”, if you work out at 80% of your max heart rate for 40 minutes you increase your metabolism for 19 hours afterwards. (Use a heart rate monitor to see how hard you are working). Also, if you’re pushed for time, it’s good to know that you can get better results by doing a shorter, more intense workout than a longer one at 50% of your max heart rate, according to a Colorado State University study.
Alternating bouts of fast and medium pace activity has been shown to burn 36% more fat than just going at a steady pace. Susan Hall from Health.com suggests repeating this group of exercises 6 times to give a 30 minute routine:
- Walk at a moderate pace 1 minute
- Walk briskly 1 minute
- Run at a moderate pace 1 minute
- Sprint 1 minute
- Lunges 30 seconds
- Squats 30 seconds
Use Dumbbells or Kettlebells
Muscle burns calories even at rest and gives your metabolism a huge boost so do all your can to build your strength. According to Gregory Haff, PhD, an associate professor in the exercise physiology department at West Virginia University using dumbbells activates more muscle fibers than using machines (and has the advantage you can easily work out at home). As for Kettlebells, Health.com says
Not only does working out with kettlebells build muscle, but doing it for 20 minutes burns as many calories as running at a 6-minute-mile pace for the same amount of time.
You’ll find a kettlebell fat blasting routine from health.com here.
Use super slow reps to build strength (and therefore calorie burning muscle tissue) more quickly. Apparently this is 50% more effective than regular speed reps.
Another way to build strength faster is by using heavier weights for fewer reps. Make sure that whatever you use is challenging but not too challenging.
Combine Light Weights With Walking
A weighted vest (up to 10% of your body weight) or carrying small dumbbells or backpack can help you burn fat faster on a walk.
Listen to fast paced music to help speed up a walk or run and make it more fun. You’ll naturally tend to cover more distance in the same amount of time than if you don’t listen to music or listen to something slower.
According to the The Cooper Institute in Dallas you can burn 20% more calories if you make use of Nordic poles during a walk (and it will feel like you use less energy).
Team sports make exercise more enjoyable and bring out your competitive spirit. Health.com says according to a study from the University of Copenhagen
playing soccer not only torches more fat and builds more muscle than jogging, but it feels less tiring.
Try One of these 7 Top Fat Blasting Activities
According to LA–based celebrity trainer Ramona Braganza, the top seven fun fat-and-calorie burner activities are inline skating (425 calories burned in 30 minutes), running (374), jumping rope (340), hula hooping (300), tennis (272), dancing (221) and fast walking (170). There’s no need to even get to the gym.
Don’t Worry If You can’t Walk Fast
If you are put off starting an exercise program because you don’t think you can’t manage a quick pace, don’t be. Research posted in the in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, shows that the best speed for fat burning is 3.1 miles per hour if you have more than 10lbs to lose. See “The Magic Number: This Walking Pace Burns More Fat”
Most people don’t think of dancing as exercise, it’s just a fun activity but you can burn a lot of fat in the process. It’s even one of trainer Ramona Braganza’s top fat blasting activities (see above). But don’t forget all the different kinds of dancing there are from hip-hop, to ballroom to ballet. (Did you ever see a fat ballet dancer? I don’t think so!) You could do a different dance routine every night of the week if you like to ring the changes and never feel like you are working out but the fat will just disappear.
Lose Fat with a Wii
Another fun activity. Who knew that playing on a games console would help you lose weight? Of course you need to opt for the more active games on the Wii like tennis and bowling, and throw yourself enthusiastically into them but you can have a blast as well as burn fat.
Exercise First Thing in the Morning
Get your metabolism stoked early in the day, by exercising in the first few hours after you wake up.
If you want to burn fat don’t pause between weight-lifting sets. If you go straight from one exercise to another, you’ll keep your heart rate high and maximize calorie and fat burn, according to Wayne Westcott, author of “Get Stronger, Feel Younger”.
Strength Train Last
You’ll burn more calories if you lift weights after running or other cardio exercise (not before), as reported in a study in the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research”.
Use All Your Muscles
Hold your stomach in and push off with your glutes as you walk, so that you build strength in your muscles as well as burn calories. Think about every exercise as you do it and how you could get maximum benefit from it.
Try Something New
Don’t just follow the same old exercise routine. You’re bound to get bored with it over time. Try some new classes at the gym, a new exercise DVD at home or try a new jogging route. Anything to switch things up and keep you motivated. And don’t limit yourself to cardio or weights, do both for maximum impact!
Fat Burning Food
Of course, you need to eat less food to burn fat but we all have to eat so you may as well eat in a way that will help rather than hinder your attempts to lose weight.
Eat Enough Calories
Not eating enough causes your metabolism to slow down and retain whatever fat you have, so don’t go mad with the calorie reduction. Health.com advises staying above 1200 calories and not dropping your calorie intake by more than 250 calories to avoid sending your body into calorie retention mode. (Presumably once your body gets used to 250 calories less after a few weeks you can reduce a bit further until you get to the 1200 limit).
Have Eggs for Breakfast
If you eat 2 eggs for breakfast you’ll lose more weight than if you eat the same number of calories from carbohydrate foods like bagels according to Health.com. (That’s the theory behind all those low carb diets too). This is the case throughout the day too.
A calorie is a calorie, but your body burns about 25 to 30 of them while digesting 100 calories of protein versus only 7 of them while digesting 100 calories of simple carbs, says Barbara Vinciguerra, MS, an adjunct professor in the movement-sciences department at Westfield State College in Westfield, Mass.
Choose Low GI cereals
If you’re going to eat carbs for breakfast, eat low GI foods (such as muesli and peaches) rather than foods that will give you a sugar high such as waffles.
Take Care with Alcohol
Apart from the actual calories it contains, Health.com reports on a study that shows as few as 90 calories’ worth of vodka can slow your metabolism by 73%. Eek!
Don’t Go For Long Periods Without Eating
It may be that your body thinks it’s in starvation mode when you do that or some other reason, but in any case Health.com says that women who go for long periods without eating are likely to have a higher body fat percentage than those who eat more regularly. (That is not an invitation to eat non stop all day though!)
Don’t Stuff Yourself
Maximize fat burning by restricting any one meal to less than 600 calories. That way your body can deal with the food rather than storing it as fat.
Eat the Fruit Rather Than Drinking The Juice
An apple is more satisfying and less likely to pile on the pounds than a glass of apple juice.
Choose Your Foods
In 5 Surprising Fat Burners to Help You Lose Weight the Natural Way health.com writer Sarah Jio describes 5 studies where eating 3 pears a day, a grapefruit, a handful of almonds, half an ounce of dark chocolate or navy beans can help you burn fat.
Eat a Smaller Dinner
If you eat a lot right before you go to bed, you will not burn off the calories as effectively as you would if you ate earlier in the day, and you will store more of your meal as fat. That’s because your metabolism is slower while you sleep.
The caffeine in about two cups of coffee boosts your metabolism for about an hour after you drink them. Just don’t add cream and sugar or it’s more likely to boost your weight than your metabolism. Also, skip this one if it affects your sleep as you need to get plenty of that. (See point 35 below)
Fat Burning Lifestyle
There are a few more small lifestyle changes you can make that will help you be more successful in your weight loss fat burning program.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
Even if you can’t exactly go to work in a track suit, at least wear comfortable clothes that let you move freely so you are quite happy to walk up and down stairs or move around while you are on the phone.
Get into your workout clothes on as soon as you get home, so that you actually feel like working out and before you know it, you’ll be working out before have second thoughts about it.
Switch Off the TV
According to a study from the University of Vermont, if you cut TV time in half you’ll burn more calories every day. And I suppose you won’t be tempted by the food commercials to raid the fridge either.
Imagine You’re Getting Stronger
It sounds weird, but if you visualize your muscles getting stronger, they actually increase in strength and so burn more calories when you are at rest. Could it be true? Weight loss by weight training in your mind?
Apparently eight and a half hours sleep a night (as opposed to five an a half) helps you lose more weight and maintain your weight loss according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (and at least you can’t eat or think about food for over a third of the day if you do that!)
Whether it’s a new lipstick or the latest blockbuster, plan to treat yourself to something (non food) when you stick to your fat loss program.
“I make a deal with myself: Every month that I go to the gym at least four times a week, I get to buy a cute new piece of workout wear.” Chris O’Connell
For a less costly “reward”, motivate yourself by marking off the days you workout with a big red “X” on public display and feel proud of yourself every time you look at it. (If you tell everyone what the crosses mean, it will make it less likely you skip workouts too).
Use The Bathroom Furthest Away
Take the stairs to another floor and walk around a bit whenever you take a bathroom break too. Every step counts in fat burning.
Be Active on the Phone
Whenever you’re on the phone, either stand rather than sit or move about to burn as many calories as you can. Alternatively sit and do bicep curls using 5lb dumbbells you keep under your desk for just that purpose. (Don’t think this would have gone down well when I worked in an office but if it would work in your set up, why not?)
If you’re one of those people who can’t sit still and you’re very expressive with your hands when you’re talking, you use something like 350 calories more than average every day according to the Mayo clinic. Become one of those people!
Don’t approach the things you do to lose the blubber as punishment but as something positive you are doing to care for yourself because that is exactly what it is.
“It may sound simple, but I’ve stopped calling it ‘working out.’ Instead, I’ll tell myself I’m off to ‘burn some fat.’ That helps me think of it less as work and more as something positive I’m doing for myself.” Lauren Fine