Losing body fat is a revered topic amongst the health and body conscious, for which there is an overwhelming amount of research, theory and plain old wives’ tales.
The three keys to burning fat are; diet, exercise, and your metabolic rate or the speed by which your body converts food and drink into energy.
The thirty tips below give you simple and easy ways to influence these three areas in your normal day to day life without having to resort to desperate measures and join an iron man competition.
Kick start your metabolism. Exercising within the first few hours of waking can boost your metabolism for the day allowing you to burn more fat.
Walk more. You need to walk for at least thirty minutes a day for your body to derive any significant effect.
Dress casually for work as it encourages you to move more, and stand on your breaks rather than sit at your desk, as you can burn up to 50 calories more per hour standing rather than sitting.
Work sociable hours. Night shifts lower the hormone levels which affect satiety, increasing blood glucose and insulin levels causing you to eat more.
Sleep for at least 8.5 hours a night. The Annals of Internal Medicine say that any less and your body will burn calories at a slower rate to preserve energy. Less sleep also increases the production of the hormone controlling satiety, so you wake up hungrier.
Reduce your TV viewing by half and you will burn around 120 more calories a day, that’s 12 pounds over a year, a study by the University of Vermont showed.
If you drink 5, 5 ounce cups of green tea a day, or 2 cups of coffee, you will burn an extra 70 -80 calories through thermogenesis, an increase in the body’s metabolic rate.
Eating cherries, yogurt, almonds, grapefruit, whole grains and spicy foods are proven to increase fat burn.
Eat a high protein breakfast and lunch, as Australian researchers found that you will burn more post meal fat than if you ate a lower protein meal.
Eat 2 eggs for breakfast, as you will lose more body fat than if you ate the same amount of calories in a different food type, as their high protein content leaves you feeling fuller for longer, according to the International Journal on Obesity.
Don’t eat less than 1200 calories a day, as below this your body goes into starvation mode and the resulting stress leads your body to store more fat.
Eat a diet high in monounsaturated fat as this is linked to reducing body fat. Foods include nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocado.
Stop gorging. Meals should be around 600 calories to optimise fat burning ability, as the body can only process so much food at one time.
Cut calories from your daily diet slowly. Reduce you intake of calories by no more than 250 a day, as cutting any more slows your metabolism leading to reduced fat burning.
Eat a smaller dinner. Your metabolism slows right down before and during sleep, so eating a large dinner near bedtime means your body cannot burn as many of the calories.
Reduce your alcohol intake. Just 90 calories of vodka a day has been shown to reduce metabolism by 73%.
Eat regularly, don’t starve. Studies have found that women who go long periods between meals are more likely to have higher body fat than those who eat regularly, as the body is encouraged to burn the regular supply of calories rather than storing them as fat.
Taking 6mgs of fish oil a day with three trips to the gym a week, has been shown by Australian scientists to increase fat burning levels.
Take 400-550mg of vitamin C a day, and 800mg of vitamin D. The former has been proven to help the body burn more fat, and the latter helps the body lose fat.
Before exercising smell something nice! A Chicago study found that people who inhaled the scent of strawberry and buttered popcorn burnt more calories than those who smelt neutral odours.
Run for four hours a week. A Yale study showed this amount of running significantly increases fat burn, with 100 calories being burnt per mile.
Exercise intensely for 45 minutes. This allows you to burn calories during exercise, and also to burn an extra 190 calories over the fourteen hours after the workout, a study at the Appalachian State University in Kannapolis, N.C found.
Workout harder for the first half of your session. You will burn 23% more fat than if you work out harder during the second half.
Alternate periods of high intensity cardio with low intensity cardio to increase weight loss.
Walk with Nordic Poles, as these allow you to utilise more than 90% of your body muscles so you can burn around 20% more calories.
Wear a weighted vest while you are jogging, one which weighs 10% of your body weight can boost your calorie burn by 8%.
Lifting heavier weights for less reps makes you burn more fat than lifting smaller ones more frequently.
Play football more often. Danish researchers have found that football burns more fat and builds more muscle than jogging but feels less tiring.
Keep fit regularly and use only natural diet supplements. It has been proven that fit people have more metabolites in their blood than more sedentary people, so being fit helps maintain your metabolic rate at a higher level, creating a positive cycle of weight loss.
Listen to pop or dance music while exercising. Studies show that up-tempo songs make you train faster and quicker than slower paced music such as classical.
Visualise success. Studies have shown that people who imagine training a particular muscle boosted the strength in it.