How Can I Reduce Body Fat?
Would you like to shed some body fat while gaining muscle?
It’s actually a lot harder to reduce body fat than it seems. The worst thing you can do to your body is go on a crash diet. Why? Because you’ll begin burning muscle tissue, which can increase your body fat percentage. Your metabolism will also begin to slow down, which means you’ll pile on even more weight.
Want to Reduce Body Fat?
If you want to reduce body fat, we’ve got some great tips to help you do so.
- Sleep more. Numerous studies have found that people who are sleep deprived tend to have a higher body fat percentage. This is because people who don’t get enough sleep excrete more cortisol, a stress hormone, that causes increases in fat cell production.
- Eat more protein. Muscles are made up of protein, so it makes sense that you want to eat more of it. You should aim to eat between ½ and 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, especially if you’re doing strength training.
- Drink cold water. Did you know that drinking 6 cups of cold water a day can raise your resting metabolism by almost 50 calories a day? While it might not seem like a lot, it’s enough to shed 5 pounds in one year without doing anything differently.
- Eat breakfast. Eating breakfast jump starts your metabolism, so you’re more likely to shed fat. But don’t grab something quick on the run; make sure to eat a full meal consisting of protein, complex carbs, and fruit. Eggs, oatmeal, and bananas are all good options.
- Eat fewer calories than you burn. Weight loss all comes down to eating less calories than you expend. To figure out how many calories you burn a day, you’ll want to calculate your Resting Metabolic Rate using this formula: bodyweight (in pounds) X 13. Then figure out how many calories you burn through exercise using an online calorie burning calculator. Then add your RMR to the calories you burn exercising, and make sure to consume less than that per day.
- Consume fewer carbs. Why? Because carbs like potatoes, rice, pasta, and breads provide your body with more than it needs for energy, so any excess is stored as fat. While you don’t have to eliminate carbs altogether, you should aim to no more than eat three to five servings of carbs per day.
- Limit sugar intake. Did you know that any excess sugar your body doesn’t use as energy is converted into fat? So try limiting your sugar intake to fresh fruit, and cut out all soft drinks and juices.
- Eat 5 to 6 small meals a day. Most dieters think that they should decrease the number of meals they eat per day, but nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality, by eating small, frequent meals throughout the day, you boost your metabolism and the ability to burn fat. Aim to eat every three to four hours.
- Consume more vegetables. Why? Because they are nutrient dense, meaning they pack maximum nutrition with minimal calories, helping you to feel fuller for longer. Try to eat five servings of vegetable per day.
- Eat more fiber. Fiber helps to lower insulin levels, which increases your fat burning potential. Plus it takes up more space in your stomach, fighting off hunger pangs. Some excellent sources of fiber include beans, bran cereal, and oatmeal.
- Ditch the junk food. This is a no brainer. Foods like French fries, potato chips and ice cream are just empty calories that have little to no nutritional benefit. So if you’re serious about lowering your body fat percentage, you’re going to have to give up some guilty pleasures.
- Eat more healthy fats. While many people think you have to follow a low-fat diet to shed fat, this is totally false. Healthy fats take longer to break down in your stomach, leaving you feeling more satisfied and reducing cravings. Some good sources of healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, salmon, olives, coconuts, seeds, and nuts.
- Drink green tea. Green tea is actually a natural fat-burner, and it suppresses your insulin response, making your body less likely to store fat. In fact, green tea can boost your metabolism by up to 12 percent.
- Eat spicier foods. Caspaicin, a compound found in most spices, boosts your metabolism by up to 23 percent. Great sources of capsaicin include chili peppers and paprika.
- Consume more iron. Did you know that iron is essential for carrying oxygen to your muscles, and can actually help burn more fat? Shellfish, meat, beans, and spinach are great sources of iron.
- Take vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D helps to preserve muscle tissue, and is an essential vitamin that a lot of people are deficient in. If you don’t like taking supplements, then excellent sources of vitamin D include eggs, milk, cereals, and fish.
In addition to following these tips, you should strength train several times a week to continue building muscle, and also engage in cardio exercise. But which cardio exercise is the best for burning fat? We’re here to give you the lowdown.
The Best Cardio for Burning Fat
Unfortunately, walking isn’t the best form of exercise for losing weight and shedding fat because it’s low intensity. But it is still a good choice if you’re severely overweight and can’t engage in more intense forms of exercise.
Running is an excellent form of exercise that helps shed body fat and improve cardiovascular fitness. It also provides a great lower body workout, and can enhance muscle shape. Running raises your metabolism for up to 24 hours after exercising.
Rowing is truly the perfect exercise to reduce body fat, and it provides a total body workout. Why? Because it engages all the body’s major muscle groups. Plus rowing burns a ton of calories!
Swimming is also up on the list, although not the best workout for shedding fat. This is because it can be challenging for swimming to be intense. That being said, it does work all the body’s main muscle groups and can burn a lot of calories.
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