We all know that we sometimes go a little overboard over the weekend, where we had a take away or just ate too much chocolate or we just had a little more beer and wine that we’d initially planned. Our waistlines are quick to tell us how much damage we’ve done, but can we fix it? What are the best ways to get rid of the fat and go from fat to fit? Let’s take a look.
1. DO SOME INTERVAL TRAINING
Cardio is not created equal. While it’s better to do some exercise than do nothing, there have been plenty of studies that show interval training is your best bet to lose weight. This means that if you were to run for one minute, followed by jogging for two, and repeat it without slowing down too much, you’d lose more weight. You can take this interval training approach to other cardio workouts too. It can be used on a rowing machine, an exercise bike, on a cross trainer, and even in a circuit class.
2. EAT MORE OFTEN (YES IT’S TRUE!)
Restricting your calories and starving yourself will never work. It may work over a short-term period but in the end you become fatter. This is because you start losing lean muscle mass, which slows down your metabolism. When the metabolism slows down, your body burns fat slower. In order to get rid of the fat you need to eat regularly, start eating healthy snacks like a bit of fruit between nutritious meals. This keeps your levels of insulin stable and gives you the energy you need.
3. CUT OUT SUGAR
Sugar is your mortal enemy. Too much of it makes you fat, gives you diabetes, and also leads to heart disease. Those are becoming the biggest killers in the world. But what does this have to do with fat? When you limit your intake of sugar you keep your insulin levels stable. When too much insulin is released the body becomes resistant to it. This causes more insulin to be released, even though it’s still not effective at moving sugar around. Insulin also tells your fat cells to cling on to fat in the bloodstream, which makes you fat. Ideally, you should try and get your sugar from natural sources such as fruit. This sugar is more nutritious and has other goodies including vitamins, minerals, fibre and water.
4. SLEEP MORE
Sleep is one of the best ways to lose fat and is often overlooked. Not getting enough quality sleep leads to an increase in cortisol, the hormone that breaks down tissue in the body including muscles. This brings down your metabolism, meaning your body burns energy poorly and you gain weight. Not getting enough sleep also causes fatigue. When you’re fatigued your body makes you eat more to keep your energy levels up. Do your best to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
5. LIFT WEIGHTS
The idea that weight lifting is only for steroid junkies and meatheads is completely false. Everyone stands to gain by having just three short weight lifting sessions a week. To put it simply, lifting weights increases your muscle. Increasing your muscle increases how many calories your body naturally burns in a day. Muscles need a lot of calories to stay active. So you can see how building a little muscle presents a great long-term solution to continued weight loss. Focus on weight lifting that gives you the best workout. This is things like assisted dips and pull-ups, chest and shoulder presses, rows, deadlifts, squats and lunges. Remember that lifting weights keeps you lean.
6. EAT MORE FAT
It sounds impossible but the body needs fat as fat is responsible for producing hormones. These hormones are in turn responsible for burning away energy and building up muscle. If you don’t have enough fat you don’t have enough hormones that help your body gain and maintain muscle. Your muscles burn calories every second of every day. If you don’t produce enough hormones then your metabolic rate is damaged, which causes you to gain weight. Even though you are eating fat, try to stick to the healthier fats. These are the fats you get from fish, nuts, seeds, and oils made from olives, sunflower, and sesame.