By PrettyFit Team – curating monthly packs for fit women – imPrettyFit.com
Even though we all know that our eating habits are the most important non-genetic factor in determining our physiques, there are many non-diet related changes we can make to significantly boost fat-loss efforts.
In this article we are going to show you five simple, yet highly effective strategies that you can implement into your life to help you build lifestyle habits that will lead to sustainable, long-term fat loss.
1. Sit less
We’ve all heard it— people sit too much. We sit at work all day, we sit in our cars to and from work, we sit on the couch when we get home. It’s time to stand!
Here’s the problem with sitting for prolonged periods: your glutes deactivate, your posture deteriorates, and studies show it can lead to increased blood pressure, decreased metabolism, high blood sugar and increased belly fat. While we can’t always control our commute time or desk time, there are a lot of things you can do to decrease your sitting time.
Standing desks are a great option for sitting less throughout the day, though they may not be a realistic option. Simply getting up and stretching out every 30 minutes or so can reduce the metabolism-killing effects of the sedentary work day. Research shows that breaking up your sedentary time is positively associated with healthier waist circumferences, body mass index, triglycerides and blood sugar. A short two-minute standing and moving break every half hour will not only help your body, but your brain as well.
NOTE: Even if you work out regularly, it may not offset the damage done to your body by sitting too much. Research shows the harmful effects of prolonged sitting are independent of the protective qualities of regular, vigorous exercise.
2. Decompress outside of the living room
When you come home from a long day at work, sometimes you just want to turn on the TV and kick your feet up. This is natural— as humans, we need a way to decompress and relieve ourselves of the stresses of the day.
Who doesn’t love a good Netflix binge, am I right? However, coming home from work and popping on the telly could be ruining your waistline and all the hard work you put into your diet and workouts. One episode turns into three very quickly and next thing you know it’s time for bed. So, set limits on your TV time and stick to them. Make physical activity a part of your decompression from work. Take a walk, go to the park, play Twister— it doesn’t matter. Just add some activity to your evenings.
3. Adjust your workouts for fat loss
If you were still a student, it wouldn’t make sense to study economics to pass a chemistry exam. So why work out if your methods aren’t pushing you toward your fat-loss goals?
Oftentimes we cruise into the gym and find ourselves doing the same workouts week after week, yet expect different results. It’s been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It’s time to focus on the right ways to work out for fat loss. Here are two different workout methods/styles you can easily incorporate to burn more fat:
Compound lifts: Lifts that work more than one muscle group with movement at more than one joint. Core exercises like the squat, swing, carry, push, pull and lunge. These exercises increase blood flow, burn more fat and result in better strength increases than isolated, single-joint exercises like bicep curls. Want to learn more about this? Check out why weightlifting is more important than cardio for fat loss.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT has been shown in studies to be more effective than steady-state cardio for fat loss. Try adding these awesome HIIT workouts from Jessica James into the end of a strength-training session.
4. Get more quality sleep
Getting a proper amount of sleep each night is critical for maintaining a healthy metabolism. Sleep contributes to your body’s natural maintenance of body mass through several different channels. For example, even just one night of sleep deprivation can cause you to crave more fattening foods while limiting your brain’s more rational, decision-making center. In addition, studies show that not getting enough sleep can also cause elevated cortisol (stress hormone) levels in your system. This can cause a decrease in metabolism and deflated results from proper nutrition and exercise.
5. Walk More
Let’s say you work out for one hour three days a week, and average seven hours of sleep a night. This would mean for the time you are awake during the week, you only use 2.5 percent of your waking hours to work out. So the question is, what are you doing the other 97.5 percent of the time?
There’s a great old saying, “Move a lot a little, and a little a lot.” If your goal is to burn more fat and keep the inches off your waistline, you must move more regularly outside of the gym. This means taking the stairs instead of the escalator, walking or biking for short trips around town and generally being more active.
We all know where we can make healthier decisions in our lives that will ultimately help us attain our physique goals. As always it comes down to implementation and following through. Extreme lifestyle changes rarely result in sustainable long-term results. We recommend starting with small changes throughout your day. Over time you’ll notice larger healthier trends in your lifestyle, and your waistline will thank you for it.
Looking for awesome healthy snacks and supplements to complement these lifestyle changes? Try PrettyFit’s monthly fitness packs designed to help you achieve your physique goals and discover the best products for you!