1. Write down your goal
You need to have a goal so that you know what you want and what you are working towards, it will also keep you motivated. Be specific with your goal and make sure it is measurable write down exactly what you want to achieve and when you want it by. You may want to start getting ready for wearing a bikini, work on increasing muscle tone or flattening your stomach, lose the mufifn top etc – if you need to lose fat or maybe you want to drop a few lbs, be specific with the amount put a number to the lbs you want to lose and take your body measurements so you can see your progress as weighing yourself doesn’t always show your result, especially if you are gaining muscle and toning up.
2. Reduce Stress
Stress increases cortisol in your body and this can lead to weight gain, stress can also cause you to feel lethargic which may well stop you from working out, and it has also been known to cause some emotional eating. Exercise is a great way of reducing stress, it helps you clear your mind and makes you feel great afterwards as when you exercise your body releases endorphins which are the body’s natural feel good chemicals and together with the release of serotonin, adrenaline and dopamine all these chemicals work together to make you feel good. You can also take a yoga class, meditate, read a book, anything that si going to help you de stress and relax.
The fastest way to burn off that fat is by doing cardio exercise, anything that is going to raise your heart beat and get you working your cardiovascular system will have you burning off that fat extra quickly. Go for a run, cycling, a swim, grab a skipping rope and skip in the garden or outside, or even in your house if you have enough room. Join a spinning class you will have that felt melting away. You need to do some cardio 5 days a week to see the best results.
4. Strength Training
Grab those weights and start working out those muscles. Once you lose that fat you want to be toned and ready to show off all that hard work. Working out with weights and firming up those muscles will actually increase your metabolism which means you will be burning off that fat even when you are relaxing or even sleeping.
5. Drink Water
Dehydration slows down the fat burning process. Your body needs water to function properly, you need to drink approx 2 litres per day but this can vary depending on your weight, level of activity, temperature and humidity. Drink regularly throughout the day. You can get your 2 litres by drinking other liquids such as juice but remember that juices can be high in calories. If you don’t like water by itself try adding a lemon or lime slice.
6. Eat Healthy
This is going to be the main way of losing the fat. Your diet is the most important bit. A healthy balanced diet is something that will keep your body working with all the nutrients it needs and you will find it will have positive effect on the condition of your skin as well. The estimated average daily calorie requirement is 2000 for women and 2500 for men, this is just an estimate and will depend on your age, weight, height, body composition and levels of activity. Don’t just reduce your calories as a way to lose weight as you will be slowing down your metabolism and encouraging your body to store more of what you eat as it will go into starvation mode.
7. Drink Green Tea
Green Tea contains antioxidants called catechins that will help your body burn off fat according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
8. Smaller meals but more of them
As long as you eat regularly and have the amount of calories you need then your body wont want to store fat. If you skip meals or eat irregularly that’s when you will find your body’s metabolism will slow down and start to store more as it wont know when it’s next meal is going to be. And on the flip side if you eat too many calories than you burn off your body will store the extra as fat. I find it easier to eat 5 times a day and have smaller portions for my main meals and healthy snacks in between. This way I don’t find myself with that feeling during the mid morning or mid afternoon where I need something to keep me going until lunchtime or dinner and it would often lead me to reaching for a chocolate bar or a few biscuits. 3 meals a day 5? It is up to you. Try it out and find which works best for you.
9. Low GI foods
If you want to snack then choose foods with a low glycemic index as these will leave you feeling fuller for longer. They will help prevent you reaching for a biscuit or chocolate bar during the day for that extra boost of energy.
10. Stop the fizzy drinks
Fizzy drinks are very high in sugar and I am sure you have read about how many teaspoons of sugar there are in each can. Too much sugar will cause your body to start storing fat. When you consume sugar your body reacts by increasing it’s blood sugar levels (glucose) this in turn causes the release of insulin who’s main purpose is to keep your blood sugar at a constant and safe level. If you are not burning off that extra glucose (which is what the body uses for energy) and your cells that use it are already full then the body will store it elsewhere – in fat cells!
11. Reduce high sugar and fat content foods
There is no need to cut out everything that you like, just remember to keep things in moderation. A dessert after a meal or a chocolate bar should be considered a treat. Remember your goal and think about how much extra exercise you will need to do that day to burn off the extra calories contained in that chocolate bar or pack of chips. Beware of foods with trans fats which are not good for your body they can lead to weight gain and have been linked to various health risks.
12. Eat Slowly
Your body takes time before it realises it is full, if you are hungry then don’t eat your meal really fast as you will more than likely over eat and once you have finished and waited 10 minutes you will feel over full. Slow down take your time and chew.
13. Drink when hungry
Sometimes we mistake our body’s signals, dehydration can often be misinterpreted as hunger signals. So next time you are feeling hungry have a glass of water first and see if that does the trick. Do not replace food with water, you still need to eat a healthy and balanced diet, but sometimes if you have eaten then a little bit later you are hungry again it could be that you are dehydrated. Drink a glass of water before you eat.
14. Reduce Alcohol
Alcohol can be preventing you from burning off those extra lbs as it reduces your body’s ability to burn fat. When you drink alcohol your body will use that first as fuel to burn. So whilst you are burning off that alcohol you are not burning off the fat.
By sitting and standing with good posture you will be engaging your core muscles, these are all the way around your middle so your lower back, abdominals and obliques. Building muscle increases your metabolism which means more calories being burnt. Plus an added benefit by sitting and standing with good posture you will look slimmer than you would if you just slouched.
16. Listen to music whilst working out
Listening to music helps break the monotony of the exercise and keeps you motivated. It also lowers your perceived rate of exhaustion and improves your ability to exercise for longer meaning you will be burning off that fat in no time.
17. Read food labels
You may be surprised at how many calories some foods contain. Just because they say reduced fat, reduced sugar doesn’t necessarily mean they are the lowest in fat or sugar or healthiest option. It’s not just food labels you should read either, make sure you check the labels on what you drink.
18. Core Exercises
The Plank – this is a great exercise for your core and abs. Once you have melted away that fat you want to have a toned stomach and this is one of my favourite exercises that I have found works the best to achieve that enviable looking stomach. There are different variations of the Plank so if necessary you can start off at an easier level and work your way up to the harder levels.
The best way for you to burn off that fat is to stick to your exercise and healthy eating. Motivation is what will keep you going, reward yourself when you reach your goals. Keep a record of your results (the amount of inches or cms you are losing) write them down. Go try on some new clothes and see how much better they fit. Take a picture of yourself when you start and then every 4 weeks so you can compare the difference. When you start to see results that’s what will keep you going.
20. Exercise Buddy
Sticking to an exercise programme can be easier if you have someone to do it with, it is harder to miss an exercise session if there is someone else relying on you to join them. Plus it can make it more fun, if you don’t have someone to follow a programme with then you could join a class. Circuit training is a great way to combine resistance training and cardio to get a good fat burning work out. There are many other classes out there that will help you reach your goals find ones that you will enjoy and that get you an aerobic or resistance workout or both a these are the exercises that will have you melting away the fat and burning off that weight.
21. Take the stairs, get off a stop early, park the car further away
You can burn off extra calories during the day than you normally would and on top of your normal exercise programme. When going anywhere take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. If you take public transport to work or when you go out shopping then get off a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way, maybe you could even cycle to work instead of taking a bus. If you do have to drive anywhere how about parking further away from the building than you would normally so that you have to walk that little bit further. You will be surprised how much it all adds up and you will be burning off that weight in no time.
Get in your full 7-8 hours sleep per night to make sure you have enough energy to get through your day and keep your metabolism from slowing. A slow metabolism means less calories being burned.
23. Reduce the Salt
Too much salt can lead to water retention so be careful how much salt you have. You may be eating more salt than you think, check the labels on your foods. Don’t add too much salt to your cooking or on to your food at a restaurant as you may not know how much the chef already added.
24. High Intensity Interval Training
Increase the intensity your work out at during your cardio session, if you are jogging then alternate between jogging and running. So do a 1 min jog, 1 min run, 1 min jog, 1 min run etc. If you exercise this way you can reduce the amount of time you do your cardio and you will burn off more calories than going at a steady pace. You can do this for any of your cardio exercises.
25. Do Compound Exercises
A compound exercise that uses more than one joint and muscle group and means more calories burned during exercise. Squats, lunges and deadlifts use your hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes (the best way to a firm and perky butt), lower back and core. Push ups and chest press uses your chest and triceps. Rows (seated, bent over row, one arm row) use your back and biceps. Shoulder press uses your shoulders and triceps.
26. Portion Control
Portion sizes have increased over the past decade, be careful you don’t accidentally overeat by filling your plate with food, restaurants often serve up larger portions so only eat what you need. Losing weight is about eating healthy and exercising. If you take in too many calories than you burn off in a day these extra calories will be stored as fat.
For you to lose weight and burn the fat off fast you need to be committed to your goal. Everyone goes through days where they don’t want to work out or they fancy a pizza or just lose their momentum to keep working at losing the weight. Well how about giving yourself some inspiration. Find picture of physiques that you would like to have, there are so many out there on the internet, interest, tumblr they are all great places for inspiration. Find a few picture, print them out put them somewhere you can see them. It is not impossible to get fit and healthy and lose the muffin top or that extra weight it just takes dedication and hard work. You will be rewarded for your effort.
28. Take your measurements
I mentioned this under setting yourself a goal. There is nothing more motivating for losing weight than seeing results and the best way to see how your body is changing is by seeing the inches drop off. Measure your hips, waist and chest at the beginning and then every 4 weeks. This is better than weighing yourself as once you lose fat and start to gain muscle the scales may not show much of a difference, this is due to you firming up those muscles and the old saying goes that muscle weighs more than fat. Although we all know that weight is weight so if you have a 1ln of muscle then a 1lb of fat is exactly the same, yes but the density of muscle and fat are different so you can lose a 1lb of fat and put on a 1lb of muscle but you will still be smaller in size as muscle is much more dense than fat so takes up less room.
Dancing is a great form of cardio, you can either join a dance class such as Zumba or just dance in your own home. You will have fun and that fat will be burning off in no time.
30. Don’t Give Up
If you miss a day of exercise don’t give up, you have not failed, just get back out there and start again the next day. It will be easier to get back into it the sooner you start again. Remember why you are doing it, remember your goal, look at the progress you are making and keep going.