Want to lose that belly fat? In your dreams! Seriously, though: a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to get rid of that extra fat around your waist for good. Among the 60,000 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study, those who snoozed for fewer than five hours a night were at the greatest risk of becoming obese and gaining 30 or more pounds over the course of the 16-year study period when compared to those who slept for seven or more hours.
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.
Saturated fats are considered healthy when eaten sparingly, but since too much consumption of these fats raises the level of cholesterol in our blood, they come with a heart disease warning. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and come mainly from terrestrial animals and some tropical fruits (dairy, eggs, meat, coconut, cocoa, palm oil, etc.).
Meal prepping takes a few hours a week, but it's worth it: By getting your meals ready ahead of time, you won't be so tempted to order your go-to Chinese takeout when you're tired and hungry after work. "When you plan an entire week of dinner in advance, you're way less likely to go off course and indulge in foods that aren't good for you," says Pamela Salzman, a certified holistic health expert and cooking instructor. And since you planned things out, you'll actually get the protein, fruit, and veggies your body needs — and you'll lose weight in the process.
Don’t let extra hours lounging in bed stand between you and a flatter belly. While getting enough sleep can help boost your metabolic rate, sleeping in may undo any benefit you’d enjoy from catching a few extra winks. One study reveals that late sleepers who snoozed past 10:45 in the morning ate nearly 250 more calories over the course of the day, despite eating half as many fruits and vegetables as their early bird counterparts. Even worse, they chowed down on more salty, sugary, and trans fat-laden fast food than those who woke up earlier. If you happen to head out of the house early, you’re in for an additional metabolic boost; researchers at Northwestern University have found that people exposed to just a short period of early morning sunlight had lower BMIs than their late-waking counterparts.
There's a reason you've been hearing so much about cutting meat out of your diet lately. It's not just great for your body, but also a quick way to shed some extra pounds. "Consider swapping a few meat-centric meals each week for ones centered around vegetarian proteins — or give a full-fledged vegetarian diet a try if that's of interest to you," Gorin says. "Research shows eating a vegetarian diet may boost and speed up weight loss, resulting in a loss of up to 10 pounds." Gorin recommends topping a salad or filling a veggie taco with vegetarian protein sources like pulses — which are beans, chickpeas, lentils, and dried peas — to give your weight loss a boost. One study found eating ¾ cup of pulses daily led to a loss of close to a pound over about six weeks, versus people not eating pulses daily.
Experience has taught me that eating carbohydrates after 6:00 PM will increase my potential for fat storage. Many people I have trained have also experienced a similar effect. After our final meal of the day, which no doubt would, or at least should, comprise around 45 percent complex carbohydrates, especially if we had trained prior to it, there is little point in eating more of this macronutrient until the following morning.
Pace around your office while talking on the phone or run into the bank to cash your check instead of using the drive-thru. When researchers at the Mayo Clinic fed a group of volunteers an extra 1,000 calories a day over the course of eight weeks, they found sedentary individuals gained eight times more weight than those who fidgeted a lot during the day.
Successfully flattening your stomach is a matter of burning body fat and building muscle. The best way to burn body fat is through cardio exercises such as running, walking, elliptical training, and bicycling. With these exercises, burning stomach fat, shedding love handles, and building a six pack is completely do-able. So send your body the memo: flat abs are in style and it’s time to get yours!
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 making your chances of getting slim, very slim. Junk food like fries and burgers and flavoured 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.
So how does all of this relate to fat loss or weight loss? Initially, during aerobic exercise, glycogen is used. But, in its absence or when the activity lasts a long time, fat metabolism is initiated and fat is broken down to be turned into ATP. Generally, a workout performed at a moderately high level of intensity over a long period of time will use fats for energy. But, research also shows that HIIT can activate fat metabolism as well.
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