If you’re consistently hitting the weight rack and scheduling cardio kickboxing classes at your local gym, you’re already on your way to losing your gut. But stepping into your workout space isn’t the only way to ensure you’re getting the most out of that sweat sesh. If you’ve been sticking to your exercise regimen and not seeing the waist-trimming results you’d hoped for, don’t sweat it; we’ve got some science-backed ways to improve your fat-burning capacity and make every sweat droplet count.
Go for a swim and up your fluid intake, drink loads of water and green vegetable juices. Every season offers us an abundance of water-rich fruits; in summers you have fruits like melons, in the winter months go for amla-water or warm nimbu-paani. Go for the incredible summer fruits and vegetables that are 96% water. In fact a study showed how 14 men and women increased their metabolic rate by 30% by just increasing their water intake on a daily basis.
First a little background so you understand the value of the list below. We mention blood sugar and insulin several times as both are key components in the fat loss equation. Blood Sugar levels are affected by food choices, combinations and timing. Certain food items will spike blood sugar which causes insulin to rise. While insulin is not always bad; in the case of losing fat it must be kept under control as it is the most potent fat storing hormone the body produces.
The final possible culprit behind stubborn weight issues may be the stress hormone, cortisol. Too much cortisol will increase hunger levels, bringing along subsequent weight gain. The most common cause of elevated cortisol is chronic stress and lack of sleep (see tip #10), or cortisone medication (tip #9). It’s a good idea to try your best to do something about this.
Eat only fresh fruits with a high level of antioxidants such as lemon, oranges, etc. The meals and snacks must strictly comprise fruits, as these contain more water, essential nutrients and less fat. To make low-calorie snacks out of fruits, you could prepare smoothies with low-fat yoghurt and lots of fresh fruits. Pour in a glass of banana or apple smoothie to gratify hunger for a long time – a perfect start to your 10-day weight loss plan.
"Your body has been starving all night long, and it needs nutrients to rebuild itself," says Matarazzo. "If you just catch something quick on the run instead of eating a full meal, it negatively impacts your workout, and everything else you do during the day." Eat sufficient protein (30-40g), a complex carbohydrate, like oatmeal, and a piece of fruit to start your day off right. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzWc0JTsPhg
A number of athletes told us that they don't abandon heavy free-weight workouts when trying to get cut. "I've lifted weights for over 10 years," says Louisville personal trainer Lindsay Cappotelli, "and I've found that heavy weights lifted for 5-8 reps with a focus on big lifts like the squat, deadlift, and bench press has worked best for me. You always hear, 'Train with light weights for high reps to burn fat,' but I've found the opposite to be true."
By far one of the most effective exercises to burn calories. If you don’t have enough time, patience or equipment, just get on the floor with simple push-ups and squats. Push-ups and squats require only 15 minutes of your time and the results will make it look like you have been spending some serious time sweating in the gym. Both are fantastic exercises to burn fat, tone arms and legs in no time.
Throw out the junk in your house. You've got the plan. You've got the motivation. Now all you need to do is set yourself up for success. It sounds a bit harsh and it may feel like a blow to your wallet, but go through your kitchen right now. Throw out the junk food and prepackaged stuff you know you don't need. If you're serious about this 10-day weight loss thing, you'll make the sacrifice. It's the only way to avoid the temptation.
While there may be no scientific studies showing it’s the ultimate fat burner, water will help fill you up more – something that staves off hunger and stops you overeating. A good trick is to drink one or two glasses of water 10 minutes before you eat a meal – especially if you’re out at a restaurant – this will help with dietary adherence and stop you over-eating. We advise clients to try and drink a litre of water per 25kg of bodyweight every single day.
Avoid Junk Food – While you are at it, make sure that you do not eat junk food by any chance. By eating junk food, you are creating your chances of getting slim, very slim. Junk food like fries and burgers and flavored sodas are the worst enemy when you are aiming to lose weight. Instead of snacking on these, you must eat nuts, and fruits when feeling hungry.
To figure out how many calories you burn a day, calculate your resting metabolic rate—the number of calories you burn daily doing routine activities, not including formal exercise—using this formula: RMR = bodyweight (in lbs) x 13. Next, determine how many calories you burn through exercise—a half-hour of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise burns around 350 calories in the average man, and a half-hour of lifting burns around 200. Add your RMR to the calories you burn in the gym, and keep your daily calorie consumption below that total.
Creatine, a potent muscle-builder, may also help you burn fat. The muscle added during creatine use increases your resting metabolic rate, stoking your fat-burning furnace. This is critical during a fat-loss phase, when low calorie intake can compromise your muscle mass and lower your metabolic rate. Begin with a five-day loading phase: 15-20g daily, divided into 3-4 equal doses. After that, take 3-5g of creatine per day with a meal post-exercise.
Reversing hormone weight gain can be incredibly difficult. This is where ordinary diets so often come unstuck — you may lose a little weight, but if your body is hormonally tuned to hang on to fat, all too often you’ll reach a plateau and no matter how hard you try, it can be impossible to shift any more. ‘You can juice, you can cleanse, you can diet all day long,’ says Haylie Pomroy. ‘But you have to be able to create the right balance of hormones in your body to regain your health and get weight loss started again.’
1. Clean up your diet. Eliminate all grains, processed foods and sugar. Limit salt intake to mineral dense salts like Himalayan Pink Salt and enhance foods with herbs and spices instead of condiments. Focus on 4 oz of wild or grass fed protein at each meal, eat water rich and fiber packed vegetables to cleanse the colon and include at least a tbsp of healthy fats at each meal. (i.e.: coconut oil, avocado or raw nuts) If you are looking to kick your weight loss into overdrive, replace 1-2 meals with a #bewellsmoothie.
We also love yoga, hula-hooping (yep, great for the abs) and the good standby “Abs of Steel” videos, and trust me the outfits in the 1990’s video will increase the cardio aspect just from laughter alone! There are also a slew of videos online, find one you love and can stick to every few days and you’ll be toning as you shed the unwanted belly fat.
Cut carbohydrates. To lose weight quickly, you should eliminate the sugars found in most carbohydrates. Simple, or bad, carbohydrates include foods like bread, pasta, and potatoes. All carbohydrates break down into glucose which provides your body with energy. In a weight loss study, people who cut out carbohydrates were more likely to lose weight than going on a low-fat diet.
All of our RD experts agree: H2O is crucial for weight loss. “Water is so important when trying to lose weight since it helps to you feel full between meals,” says Amy Shapiro, RD, founder of Real Nutrition NYC in New York City. Here’s a simple hydration rule of thumb: Shoot to consume half as many ounces of water as your total body weight in pounds. (So if you weigh 180, sip on 90 ounces of water each day.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GVZYDOBMXk
This could be because the body increases insulin secretion in anticipation that sugar will appear in the blood. When this doesn’t happen, blood sugar drops and hunger increases. Whether this chain of events regularly takes place is somewhat unclear. Something odd happened when I tested Pepsi Max though, and there are well-designed studies showing increased insulin when using artificial sweeteners.
To banish stubborn belly fat, you have to ramp up your workouts. In a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, people who completed a high-intensity workout regimen lost more belly fat than those who followed a low-intensity plan. (In fact, the low-intensity exercises experienced no significant changes at all.) "You need to exercise at full intensity because the end goal is to burn more calories, and high intensity exercise does just that," says Natalie Jill, a San Diego, Calif.-based certified personal trainer. High intensity workouts mean you're going all out for as long as you can. If this sounds intimidating, think of it this way: you'll burn more calories in less time.
2. After the juice cleanse, drink plenty of water (room temperature is best as drinking iced water can be harsh for the digestive system) with a few slices of lemon, limes, (and in the summer you can add sliced cucumbers) to keep body hydrated, your skin radiant and to keep your stomach filled. Also, most often than not, when you feel the sensation of being hungry it can be thirst. Have an 8oz glass of lemon water before eating any food, wait 10 minutes, and if still hungry, eat your food. Leave at least two hours or more in between intakes of food so your body can have time to digest. Notes: Make sure the lemon water is homemade, lemonade sold in stores is packed with sugar. Also, when making your own lemon water, make sure you do not add any sugar.
Say cheese! Adding some extra calcium to your diet could be the key to getting that flat stomach you’ve been dreaming about. Over just 12 months, researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville found that obese female study subjects who upped their calcium intake shed 11 pounds of body fat without other major dietary modifications. To keep your calcium choices healthy, try mixing it up between dairy sources, calcium-rich leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.
While it’s often assumed that bread is off-limits when you’re trying to lose belly fat, the right bread may actually expedite the process. Switching to sprouted bread can help out carb-lovers eager to get their fix without going up a belt size, thanks to the inulin content of sprouted grains. The results of a study published in Nutrition & Metabolism reveal that found that pre-diabetic study subjects whose diets were supplemented with inulin shaved off more belly fat and total weight than those whose meal plans didn’t pack this healthy prebiotic fiber. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY7XCPpyrvM
Leafy Greens – Help you feel satisfied longer, boost your metabolism and turn off your hunger receptors. You will eat less and lose more belly fat just by increasing your leafy greens! They’re low in calories and high in fiber, making them the perfect weight loss food. Not a fan? Try one of our yummy green smoothies. Examples include spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, bok choy, arugula, chard, and mustard greens.
That’s because women tend to store more temporary fat in their bellies. “The fat stores are gained and lost,” says Lawrence Cheskin, MD, chair of the department of nutrition and food studies at George Mason University and director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. “By and large, belly fat comes off easier in the sense that it comes off first. That’s where a good amount of the fat is lost from.”
However, due to the intense exercise, the total calorie consumption is higher. We burn more calories due to the hard muscle work – even AFTER the run. The body needs more energy for recovery, thereby burning even more calories. That’s how you benefit from post-workout fat burning and the afterburn effect (EPOC, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CN-1CUm3J8