Fat Burning How-To
It’s all about the basics. If you don’t understand the basic building blocks of how your body metabolizes fat, stores fat (and where it stores it) then losing the extra weight can be a daunting task. We’ve numerated 20 techniques to burn fat.
- WHEN COUNTING, FAT IS LESS IMPORTANT THAN CALORIES
- You may have heard that your body stores fat whenever it has more calories than it needs to satisfy its energy requirements, and that it deposits fat calories faster than it deposits calories from protein or carbs. Fat also has twice as many calories as protein and carbs do per unit volume — 9 versus 4 per gram. So if you are going to cut out an ounce of something from your diet, fat gives you the best bang for your buck.Focus on eating healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, nut butters, olives, olive oil, avocados, and fatty fish.
- LIMIT YOUR INTAKE OF PROCESSED FOODS
- Processed foods remove vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other stuff that’s good for you, it also replaces them with fat and carbs like sugars. Consequently, they’ll be absorbed into your bloodstream double-time. High glycemic carbs quickly lower blood sugar, making you feel tired and hungry. And if you are not a serious athlete needing to store those sugar calories for muscle fuel, you’ll store them as fat.Consume carbs in the form of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds, which allow for timed release into the bloodstream.
- EAT SMALLER MEALS, BUT EAT MORE FREQUENTLY
- Don’t get ahead of yourself just yet! This isn’t a suggestion to eat more, it’s a suggestion to eat more frequently. Surely you’ve heard this before, and the goal behind it is to keep your metabolism in constant motion, preventing intense hunger pangs to sprout up throughout the day. When you get the munchies, your less likely to be selective about what you eat, because you’re starving.Eating constantly throughout the day provides your muscles with plenty of fuel for exercise, wherever it falls in your schedule.
- INCREASE PROTEIN CONSUMPTION
Protein is an important part of weight loss. You need protein to build muscles that boost your metabolism. When you restrict calories, your body turns to protein to meet those energy demands. If you are not exercising but are cutting calories in an attempt to lose weight, you to eat about 60% more protein than someone who’s not trying to lose weight.
Vegetarians – you’ll need to eat even more, about 10% more. Plant proteins typically lack adequate levels of amino acids, and as a result, they must be combined with other plant proteins.
- SWAP OUT FAT PROTEIN FOR LEAN PROTEIN
- To help build lean muscles, consume lean protein; egg whites, chicken, turkey, and lean red meat. Lean proteins are thermogenic, in fact, its 20-30% more thermogenic than carbs. Buy yourself a blender and some protein powder. The next time you crave fried chicken or a cheeseburger, drink up.
- EVENLY DISTRIBUTE PROTEIN CONSUMPTION THROUGHOUT THE DAY
- To compound the fat burning impact of high-protein foods, consume them frequently throughout the day. This allows for the most efficient absorption of protein and helps maintain high levels of internal energy production to promote weight loss.
- CONTROL YOUR PORTIONS
To control your portion sizes, favor foods that are low in energy density. Energy density refers to calories per gram, and the higher the energy density, the easier it is to overeat. Lower density foods include things like fruits and vegetables.
- KEEP IT SIMPLE, NO EXTREMISTS HERE
Don’t be extremist concerning fats and carbs. Carbs provide fuel for your workouts, drastically cut carbs, you drastically hurt yourself. Eat mixed, well balanced meals.
- REDUCE LIQUID CALORIES
- It’s so simple. Yet, most adults today can’t piece this together. The calories in sodas and fruit juices, not to exclude beer, add up quickly. Replace soft drinks with water, limit your fruit juice intake, and it doesn’t just stop with beverages… look to replace your salad dressings with low-fat versions or something else entirely. Forgo sweeteners of any kind.Don’t booze it up either. Drink too much alcohol and watch your waist grow exponentially.
- HYDRATE YOURSELF
- Water is a key component in weight management. Water is an excellent appetite suppressant too! But it does more than just making you feel full… it provides a great alternative to the 2 or 3 cans of soda you’re drinking per day. Water also flushes your digestive system and cleans out contaminants.
- EAT MORE FIBER
- Eating 30 or more grams per day will keep you feeling fuller, longer. Fiber also helps to escort excess calories out of your gut and helps you to eat less. Seek out oatmeal, apples, and beans. Vegetables, whole-grain breads, shredded wheat, fruits, and soybeans (edimame).
- CONSUME STARCHES EARLY IN THE DAY
- After 6pm your, body’s insulin mechanism slows down at which point your body becomes less capable of handling carbohydrates as efficiently. So eat those breads, rice, potatoes, and other starchy carbs early on. Later in the day favor low-calorie vegetables, like tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, lettuce, and other sources.
- PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER
- Your lifestyle has to be compatible with fat loss. If you don’t exercise, your dietary adjustments will produce limited results. Get plenty of sleep and reduce stress. Not only do you need to watch what you eat, but you need to complement your food plan with a friendly life plan.
- NO MORE FAST FOOD
- Enough said. Want to blow your daily caloric & fat intake through the roof? We didn’t think so.
- EAT SLOWER
- Almost all people who are overweight eat so fast that they negate their body’s fullness signals. They shove in a whole bunch of calories before the brain can register what they’ve eaten. If you can relate, then you need to train yourself to slow down. Avoid distractions like T.V., Internet, magazines, etc… try eating with your opposite hand to slow things down.
- EAT FISH
- Eating fish is not only healthier, but they pack lower calories than red meats. More importantly the fat found in fish appears to enhance the efficiency of the hormone leptin. That’s one more reason to incorporate fatty fish like salmon, halibut, or shellfish to help decrease the size of fat cells and assist with fat loss.
- STICK TO THE LOW END OF THE GLYCEMIC INDEX
- The Glycemic Index (GI) categorizes carbs on a scale. The ranking determines how quickly your body converts carbs to glucose. The higher the number, the faster your body converts that food to glucose. The basic technique for eating the low GI way is simply to “this for that” approach – ie, swapping high GI carbs for low GI carbs. You don’t need to count numbers or do mental mathematical back flips.
- Use breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran
- Use breads with whole grains, stone-ground flour, sour dough
- Reduce the amount of potatoes you eat
- Enjoy all other types of fruit and vegetables
- Use Basmati or Doongara rice
- Enjoy pasta, noodles, quinoa
- Eat plenty of salad vegetables with a vinaigrette dressing
- SWITCH SATURATED AND HYDROGENATED FATS TO MONOUNSATURATED FATS
- Mono-unsaturated fats are fatty acids. Foods containing monounsaturated fats lower LDL cholesterol, while possibly raising HDL cholesterol. They can be found in natural foods like nuts and avocados, and are the main component of tea seed oil and olive oil. Other sources include grapeseed oil, ground nut oil, peanut oil, flaxseed oil, and sesame oil to name a few.
- No surprise here. Fat loss comes down to 50% exercise, 50% nutrition. You are not going to achieve the results you want without exercise.
- AVOID FAT-FREE, CARB-FREE TRAPS
Many people read labels that say “fat free” and they think not only that its okay to for them to eat, but that they can have double or triple-size portions! They may be fat free, but that is just thanks to fat replacement chemicals that substitute real fat for engineered fat. Gross.
Most of these fat free, fat reduced products are often still quite high in carbohydrates because companies replace some of the fat, with sugar.
BONUS: The most important weight loss tactic you will need to shed fat. Wean yourself off foods that contain an additive called high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Far more insidious than reduced-fat foods is the rise of HFCS, a sweetener manufactured from cornstarch. Major source of HFCS is soft drinks, and we all know how popular those are. This isn’t your average glucose. The problem is the way the body metabolizes this stuff. The body prefers to turn glucose into energy or store it as glycogen, the fuel in muscle cells. Not so with fructose, which the body metabolizes in the liver and prefers to turn it into fat.
Source – adapted from Susan M Kleiner’s book. Power Food (Rodale)