When you realize that you’ve gained an unwanted amount of weight, the first thing that comes to mind is to lose it. While that’s not entirely wrong, doctors say you don’t want to focus on weight loss per se.
That’s because ‘weight loss’ is concerned with your overall weight—fat, muscle, and everything in between. Losing it can mean cutting down on things you shouldn’t, such as muscle.
If you really want to cut back a few pounds, focus on a specific aspect that adds to your overall weight, namely body fat. It’s different from general weight loss for several reasons, one of which is that you won’t necessarily lose weight.
That’s not a bad thing, as it’ll help you gain in several essential places and be a lot fitter.
Here are seven science-backed tips on trimming body fat:
Protein Is Your Best Friend
One study found that people who consumed a high-protein diet not only lost more body fat but also gained more muscle mass than those on a low-protein diet. Because muscle tissue is active even at rest, the body will burn through more fat the more muscle mass it has to support.
Protein is such an important nutrient that many fat-burning supplements, like LeanBean Fat Burner and other brands, are formulated to help the body synthesize it more proficiently. For example, Vitamin B12 in these supplements is necessary for processing select amino acids.
Cut Back on Unhealthy Carbs
Just as in weight loss, regulating calorie intake is still a must. However, you don’t want to eliminate it entirely, lest you risk losing muscle and other vital tissues. The ideal amount of reduction for fat loss should be no more than 500 kcal a day. (2)
There’s no need to eat less of everything. Steer clear of refined carbs, like processed foods and sugary beverages (whose links to obesity can’t be stressed enough), and add more fruits and vegetables. This diet can promote the body’s metabolism, helping it burn through more of its stored fat.
Trick Your Body with Fiber
Fiber can be quite the trickster, but in a good way in this case. It makes you feel full because of acetate, a polymer in fiber that suppresses hunger signals in the hypothalamus. Eating fiber-rich foods will satisfy your hunger for fewer calories, on top of promoting a cleaner colon.
Short-Term Fasting Works
If you have to reduce your intake to lose fat, do so in a way that doesn’t wreak havoc on your body. You can achieve this with short-term or intermittent fasting, in which nutritionists advise any of three methods:
• Alternate Day Fasting – Eat 25% of your regular diet on a fast day, every other day (3)
• 5:2 Diet – Consume up to 600 calories on your two chosen fasting days for the week (4)
• 16/8 Diet – Eat only between 12:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; fast for the rest of the day (4)
Do Some Strength Training
Strength or resistance training refers to physical routines that improve your overall strength and endurance. These exercises increase muscle mass, which means more fat burned. According to one study, 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) of muscle burns around 13 kcal a day at rest. While it might not look a lot, it’s better than burning the same weight in fat by itself (4.5 kcal a day). (5)
Perform strength training at least three to four days a week. The best thing about it is that you don’t need gym equipment for this; lifting a barrel or bucket of water at home counts.
Get Enough Sleep
Studies show that most people are falling short of their eight-hour sleep by as much as two hours. Lacking adequate rest can affect the body’s metabolism, particularly its ability to convert fats to energy. It also promotes the production of cortisol and insulin, which encourages fat storage.
Mitigate Stress Factors
Lack of sleep also results in feeling more stressed-out than ever. Remember all that cortisol from before? This hormone can motivate you to eat more and undo everything you’ve done so far in your fat loss regimen.
Regular exercise can help decrease stress, but there are methods beyond keeping physical fitness. Go for a nice walk, hang out with friends, or maybe practice yoga or tai chi.
Fat loss should be a priority activity in any weight loss program, better achieved through natural means. You can steer clear of diseases and disorders that claim hundreds of lives every year by keeping fat in check. Take these tips to heart to be the best you can be.
1. “Higher compared with lower dietary protein during an energy deficit combined with intense exercise promotes greater lean mass gain and fat mass loss: a randomized trial,” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26817506/
2. “Changes in body composition with a hypocaloric diet combined with sedentary, moderate and high-intense physical activity: a randomized controlled trial,” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6935245/
3. “Alternate day fasting for weight loss in normal weight and overweight subjects: a randomized controlled trial,” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3833266/
4. “How to naturally lose weight fast,” https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322345
5. “Dissecting the energy needs of the body,” https://sci-hub.se/10.1097/00075197-200103000-00011
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