Tips to lose fat

Fat Burning Tips

We have trouble shedding excess fat because our bodies and brains have an innate drive to form and store body fat. Combine this tendency with the typical American high-fat diet, and you’ve got a prescription for weight problems.

The good news is that by switching on your natural fat-burning mechanisms, you can counteract your body’s fat-storing tendencies and boost your energy level at the same time.

Fat Burner 1: Turn up the light. To jump-start your metabolism each morning, expose yourself to sunlight by opening the curtains or blinds and standing there for several minutes.

Fat Burner 2: Eat three low-fat meals a day, with several low fat snacks in between. Eat breakfast. The more food you eat early, the higher your metabolic rate will be later in the day. Skipping breakfast also encourages bingeing at the end of the day, when your body’s tendency to store fat is at its peak. Follow the “3 plus 4” eating plan -- three low-fat meals a day, plus four low-fat snacks.

Recommended snack times...

10 am -- making it less likely that you’ll stuff yourself at lunch.
3 pm -- to head off the desire for a salty snack later in the day.
5:30 pm -- a pre-dinner appetizer, so you won’t binge at dinner.
9 pm -- a small snack of fruit or grains, if desired.

Appropriate snacks include...

  • Whole-grain bread, crackers, bagel or English muffin topped with low-fat cottage cheese, fresh fruit or all-fruit preserves.
  • Low-fat granola bar.
  • One cup of nonfat plain yogurt with fresh fruit added.
  • A cup of nonfat or low-fat soup.
  • A whole-grain-bread sandwich with Dijon mustard, nonfat mayonnaise and two slices of turkey or chicken breast (not a good choice for a nighttime snack, however).
  • A piece of fresh fruit.

Fat Burner 3: Drink eight glasses of water daily. Most people don’t drink enough water to replace fluids lost during the day. Dehydration inhibits the body’s ability to metabolize fat for energy. To maximize fat burning, drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water or an equivalent low-calorie non-caffeinated beverage every day

Fat Burner 4: Fit in 30 minutes of daily aerobic activity. Thirty minutes of daily aerobic exercise burns hundreds of extra calories each week, while training your body to burn fat more efficiently. Exercising a few minutes at a time is just as beneficial to your health as doing it all at once. Follow the “Four Fives and a Ten” plan -- a five-minute walk just before or after breakfast, another five-minute walk before and after lunch, five minutes of walking or other light activity when you get home and a brisk 10-minute walk or cycle after dinner.

To accelerate fat-burning...

Add walks of 20 to 30 consecutive minutes, three or four times a week.
Add regular strength-training sessions every other day to increase muscle mass.

Fat Burner 5: Practice on-the-spot stress reduction. When you feel frustrated, anxious or upset, your body produces stress-related hormones that promote the storage of body fat. Stress also leads people to overeat and eat foods rich in fat and sugar. To keep your fat-burning mechanism in full gear, use diaphragmatic breathing whenever a stressful situation arises...

  • Sit or stand with your shoulders relaxed, your spine straight.
  • Place your hands on your stomach just below your rib cage. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling your abdomen expand slightly downward and forward. As you complete the inhalation, feel your chest expand comfortably.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth, feeling a wave of relaxation flood your abdomen, chest, throat and face.

Other ways to reduce stress...

  • Shift your attention to focus on what you can control, rather than what you can’t.
  • Trigger calming regions of your brain by imagining a “relaxation wave” running through your body -- beginning in your face, then passing through your neck and shoulders and down your arms and legs, ending in your fingertips and toes.
  • Close your eyes and visualize the people, possessions or memories that you value and love.
  • Write to or call someone you love.

Fat Burner 6: Get deeper, high-metabolism sleep. No matter how much shut-eye you get, improving the quality of your sleep will increase the amount of fat you burn at night... and speed the building of new muscle tissue.

For deeper, more restful sleep...

  • Switch to a lighter blanket or just a sheet, to allow your normal body thermostat to kick in. (Cooler temperatures increase metabolism.)
  • Do light exercise or take a hot bath or shower three hours before bed. This will trigger a drop in body temperature as you’re falling asleep, which helps deepen your rest.
  • Make your bed a time-free environment. Set an alarm if you must, but turn the clock so you can’t see the face if you wake up during the night.

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