We all know that slow and steady is the best way to lose weight in order to keep the flab off long term – but sometimes you just need to see results to keep you motivated.
Many quick fix diets achieve this but can leave dieters feeling deprived, depressed and downright hungry and all too quickly they are tempted to quit.
There are, however a host of ways we can encourage the body to burn fat faster without resorting to crazy fad diets and starvation. Here are a few of nutritionist and author of four fat loss books, Fiona Kirk’s top tips:
Get outside ‘Exercise outdoors first thing in the morning for 30 minutes on an empty stomach.
Exercising first thing in the morning has been shown to efficiently burn calories for up to 8 hours afterwards plus exercising on an empty stomach encourages the body to pull energy from fat stores and burn 20% more calories than when we eat beforehand. And, exercising outdoors increases the production of Vitamin D from the early morning light – vitamin D deficiency and weight gain are closely linked.
Have coffee and a cool shower Why? Caffeine increases the use of body fat as fuel and preserves glycogen levels stored in the liver and muscles. It should be small, dark, rich and with no milk or sugar.
Switching the shower to cool for a couple of minutes before you dry off encourages the body to burn extra calories in order to bring body heat back to its normal temperature.
Include calcium-rich foods in your diet at least twice a day Diets that include medium to high levels of calcium have been found to result in up to half the amount of fat being stored to those providing low levels.
Tinned fish with bones (salmon, sardines, anchovies), natural live yoghurt, calcium-enriched soya milk, Swiss cheese, spinach and beans are all great sources. Fish also provides excellent levels of energy-enhancing and fat busting Omega 3 fatty acids.
Eat small and often and include a little protein in every meal and snack Small and often counteracts energy dips which often see us reaching for sugary, salty snacks and adding a little protein keeps blood sugar balanced for longer so the nutrients in our food are used to create energy and build and repair body tissue rather than being dumped and stored in fat cells.
Substitute beans and lentils for other starchy carbohydrates Beans and lentils contain a starch known as resistant starch which promotes improved digestion, reduces blood sugar ups and downs, keeps us feeling fuller for longer and feeds the friendly bacteria in the bowel which fights off disease-causing toxins.
Avoid starchy carbohydrates after 6pm Unless we exercise in the evening we don’t need the quick energy they produce and many find that an evening meal including potatoes, bread, pasta, rice and other grains leaves them feeling bloated and uncomfortable at bedtime and promotes a less than restful night’s sleep.
Add herbs and spices to your dishes Because they turn up the heat and the body has to use more calories to bring it down, they help detoxify the body and they are rich in protective, antioxidant plant chemicals that protect body cells from inflammation; inflammation interferes with the balance of our weight-controlling hormones.
They also add flavour to food enabling us to cut back on salt which encourages fluid retention and bloating.
Have a bedtime snack Many dieters have difficulty getting to sleep and/or staying asleep which is usually because blood sugar dips occur in the night. A small snack rich in the amino acid, tryptophan half an hour before bed encourages the production of the sleepy chemical, serotonin.
One egg, lightly scrambled on an oatcake is a good choice. Plus, studies show that those who regularly get less than 6 hours sleep per night gain weight more readily than those who get 7 to 8 hours because hunger and appetite hormones become disrupted.
If you are on regular medication or have a heart complaint, always consult with your GP before adding these stimulatory tactics into your day.
For more health, diet and fat loss tips, see nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk’s website, fatbustforever.com where you can also preview her books, So What the F*** Should I Eat, 2 Weeks in the Fast Lane, Eat Live & Lose the Flab and Soup Can Make You Thin
FOCUS YOUR MIND WITH A SIMPLE MEDITATION
THE A TO Z OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS
VICTORIA BECKHAM DOES TRACEY ANDERSON WORKOUT
- ^ More Fiona Kirk articles (www.handbag.com)
- ^ fatbustforever.com (www.fatbustforever.com)
- ^ FOCUS YOUR MIND WITH A SIMPLE MEDITATION (www.handbag.com)
- ^ THE A TO Z OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS (www.handbag.com)
- ^ VICTORIA BECKHAM DOES TRACEY ANDERSON WORKOUT (www.handbag.com)
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