Nothing is more exciting than how rapidly your pounds can drop off at the beginning of a diet. Unfortunately, even those who follow the most hardcore weight loss regimens can expect to plateau within six months.
This seemingly inevitable conclusion doesn’t signal the end of your weight loss journey. Your body has just adapted to your new lifestyle. Now, it’s about the little things. Here are small changes you can make to your everyday routine that can help you burn that lingering fat.
Institute A Healthy Caloric Deficit!
Nothing beats the tried and true and when it comes to burning fat, there's only one real way to get results - achieving a daily caloric deficit.
This is a simple equation for burning fat that can't be denied.
Here's how it works, if you burn more calories throughout the day than you put into your body (while staying nutritionally fulfilled) you will burn fat. Period.
The only reason people suggest something other than this when it comes to burning fat is because they're trying to sell you something. Period.
Don't fall for any BS about keto, paleo, Atkins, etc. etc. etc.
The only thing you need to burn fat is a basic understanding of your macros and calorie tracker.
First understanding your basic macro's (macronutrients)
- carbohydrates (needed for energy),
- fats (needed for nutrient absorption)
- proteins (needed for muscle support)
The idea is to get an appropriate amount of each macronutrient at each meal while maintaining a specific caloric intake. In a nutshell, the basic macro equation is your total calories = carbohydrate + protein + fat.
Until recently, a popular macronutrient distribution goal was 45% protein, 30% carbs and 25% fat.
However, modern research has shown this second formula to be more effective at reducing fat in the body when coupled with a basic workout routine.
- 50% carbs
- 35% protein
- 15% fat
Next you need to figure out your daily total caloric intake and match your macronutrients to meet this number on a per meal basis.
On average, a moderately active male needs 2200 calories per day to burn fat with a moderately active female needing 1600-1800 calories per day to burn fat.
So if your daily caloric intake needs to be 2200 calories, you would divide that by three meals and two snacks. So 600 calories per meal which gives you 1800 calories total and 200 calories per snack.
Now you divide your macronutrients up within those 600 calories meals. Meaning of those 600 calories, 50% can be carbs, 35% can be protein and 15% can be healthy fats.
And that's it, if you do this daily you will burn fat!
Just remember not to overcomplicate things and if you're not getting the results you want you can tweak these numbers to better match your body type.
Many of us think we're hungry when we're not. Sometimes we're really just thirsty and confuse this autonomous need for hunger pings.
Drinking water is actually an appetite suppressant. Consume a glass before eating a meal to assist with portion control.
One small study of 12 people found that those who drank 500 mL of room temperature water would burn up to 3% more calories within 90 minutes.
That’s because water is rich in ions. These little electric currents help set off many metabolic functions, which result in burning calories.
Water and calorie-restricted fasting is an excellent way to burn excess fat. Drinking water will help fight off a growling stomach during intermittent fasting. Even on non-fasting days, start your morning off with lemon water. It’s rich in electrolytes, minerals, and antioxidants that help kick off your metabolism.
Many of us hear the word “bacteria,” and it conjures up negative images of bug infestations. However, most of the bacteria that we are born with are actually helpful.
Stomach bacteria are responsible for a load of critical human functions, including digestion, fat accumulation, and energy production.
There are thousands of bacterial species. Each plays a role in your communal gut society. One of those roles is to ensure that other gut bacteria don’t become invasive.
When we put on a few extra pounds from dietary choices, it also increases the presence of specific bacteria. These bacteria make it harder for beneficial stomach bacteria to survive. They also crave sugary treats, which cause us to binge-eating on junk food.
An abundance of the following four gut bacteria are linked to obesity:
It’s essential to get a high-quality probiotic to help bring the balance back to your gut. Probiotic supplements can counteract the damage caused by harmful bacteria. Combined with a change in dietary patterns and you should be able to lose some extra pounds.
You don’t need to rely solely on supplements to get probiotics. Greek yogurt is an excellent source of Lactobacillus bacteria that help promote growth hormone. With probiotic foods, you will also turn the burned fat into lean muscle!
Get More Sleep
Getting adequate sleep isn't just about functioning in the morning. It's also about losing those extra pounds you've been trying to drop.
We burn calories in our sleep. This process is known as our resting metabolic rate.
One study kept 15 men awake for 24 hours. At the end of the study, the men's collective resting metabolic rate dropped by 5%. Even worse, their metabolic rate after eating food plummeted by 20%.
Therefore, missing out on sleep also disrupts your nutrient absorption. We rely on many nutrients to help us burn off fat and convert it to energy. So, losing Zs means adding lbs.
Don't eat for a few hours before bed. The less your body has to break down overnight, the more efficient your metabolism will be in the morning. Plus, you're less likely to burn off all the calories you consumed like you would if you were to eat earlier. So, the calories will just accumulate around your waist.
Fat Burning Food Combos
What you eat matters just as much as not eating at all. Some of the foods you consume may actually speed up the weight loss process.
Make sure to fill up on:
- Healthy Fats (Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated) - Avocados, Nuts, Seeds, Fruit Oils
- Fiber - Sprouted Grain Bread, Whole Grains, Leafy Greens, Fruit
- Lean Protein - Chicken, Salmon, Turkey, Plants, Nuts, Seeds
Healthy fats help offset high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. They also increase the absorption of nutrients in your food that are necessary for fat burning.
Fiber helps you remove waste from your gut lining. It also serves as nutrition for probiotics in your gut. Add fiber to your routine slowly to avoid uncomfortable stomach issues.
Try cutting down red meat consumption. Lean protein is more manageable for our body to burn off than an abundance of fatty red meats. You don't need to get rid of red meat entirely; you just need to integrate some other food sources into your meal plan.
Add a dash of cinnamon to your next BBQ, pasta sauce, or oatmeal. It contains polyphenols that keep blood sugar levels stable. Kick up the heat by adding some cayenne pepper.
Capsaicin in cayenne helps curb appetite, stimulates fat burning, and may control inflammation associated with weight gain. Lastly, consider drinking green tea with breakfast or iced green with lunch or dinner. It contains the antioxidant, ECGC, which has shown to help burn fat.