Summer is right around the corner! Shorter hemlines, crop tops and bikinis quickly become the center of your beach or vacation wardrobe! Looking for a few ways to burn fat and get you more metabolic? Here are 4 tips to burn off fat fast and get you feeling bikini-ready this beach season!
1. Eat The Right Foods, Eliminate The Wrong Foods
The truth is excess fat on the body is mostly attributed to a bad diet! If you are eating a diet high in refined sugars and carbohydrates, this will negatively impact metabolism and stimulate a neural addiction to sugar, which will eventually facilitate weight gain. Simply eliminating refined sugars and carbohydrates from your diet can help improve blood sugar balance and help shift your body to burning off more fat. In fact, eating a diet high in refined sugars and carbs leads to overconsumption of food, lower sleep quality and whole body inflammation.
Diets that are higher in fiber and lower in sugar have been shown to significantly reduce markers of inflammation. For best results, fill yourself up with whole natural foods. Eat lean proteins like white fish, eggs or chicken breast, low glycemic carbohydrates such as dark leafy green vegetables, fresh fruit and healthy fats from sources such as coconut oil, nuts or avocados. Try carb cycling to help maximize use of your body’s carbohydrate stores so you can burn fat faster!
2. Train Legs Like You Mean It
Many women shy away from training legs heavy and intensely for fear of getting big and bulky! But the reality is us ladies don’t have enough testosterone to ever develop huge amounts of muscle. In addition to developing tight curves, training legs helps with fat burning. The legs (quads, hams and glutes) are the largest area of muscle in your body, and training this region burns more calories than training other body parts due to the size and type of muscle.
Muscle is three times more metabolically active than fat, so the more you got, the more active your metabolism. In fact, a good workout will even continue to elevate metabolic rate long after you have left the gym!
One study showed that exercise including a resistance-training program resulted in greater increases in energy expenditure, greater reductions in markers of inflammation and more fat loss versus a group of overweight individuals following only a calorie-restricted diet.
The other benefit of leg training is that it can increase fat oxidation in the areas where we hold more of our fat (quads, hams and glutes) due to higher estrogen levels and less fat cell receptors to activate. Increasing activity increases blood flow and fuel utilization, which means greater fat oxidation!
3. The Right Type of Cardio
High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is one of the most effective forms of cardiovascular exercise to elicit fat burning fast. Performing short intervals can help access fat more effectively than performing long drawn out cardio sessions. They can also increase mitochondrial demand. Mitochondria are the powerhouse cells that transfer energy, such as fat into ATP, allowing us to power our muscles during a workout.
Higher demand for energy by muscles creates a higher demand for mitochondria. HIIT can increase mitochondrial production up to 24 hours post high intensity exercise.
When you have more mitochondrial production, the body not only goes faster, it also increases turnover of energy to be used as fuel thus increasing fatty acid oxidation.
Perform 20 to 30 minutes sessions 2 to 3 times per week, using bike or treadmill.
To be effective, you must perform speed intervals at a maximum rate (all out effort) followed by an interval of low to moderate speed to act as a recovery. Start with 1-minute of low intensity followed by 30 seconds of a fast pace. As you become more adjusted to performing this type of cardio, you can start to decrease the recovery interval and increase your high intensity speed until you reach 80% – 100% of your maximum heart rate.
4. Sleep More
Inadequate sleep promotes whole body inflammation. In fact, in a clinical setting, these inflammatory effects could be observed with reduced sleep in as little as 10 days. When inflammation is high, the body sends out inflammatory signals that can reduce your body’s ability to burn fat and process sugar.
Another study showed that after two nights of reduced sleep, hunger cravings and appetite increased significantly! Loss of sleep can also result in hormonal imbalances, elevating the catabolic stress hormone cortisol, leading to more fat retention. The body preserves fat because of its high caloric content, versus carbs and protein, and in turn, can lead to muscle wasting, if not careful.
Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night to ensure adequate recovery, prevent excess weight gain and help control the inflammatory response!
Seaman DR. Weight gain as a consequence of living a modern lifestyle: a discussion of barriers to effective weight control and how to overcome them. Journal of Chiropractic Humanities 2013; 20: 27-35