8 fat burning tips from home
Losing weight is no easy task. It requires hard work, dedication and attention to detail. But, there are a few things you can do to fast track the process, making your results come quicker and more effectively.
Start your day with a ‘mini – workout’
Often we wake up to our alarm feeling slow and sluggish. This is normally followed by a gradual rise from bed (after hitting snooze a couple of times of course), a quick breakfast, and then we are rushing off to work. While there isn’t necessarily anything ‘wrong’ with this routine, there is something we could add to help promote fat loss.
By getting up 10 minutes earlier (or not hitting snooze on our alarms…) we can give ourselves enough time to squeeze in a quick bodyweight workout. This bodyweight workout only needs to take 5-10 minutes and serves two purposes. Firstly, it promotes blood flow to the muscles and increases our metabolism, increasing fat loss. Secondly, it will improve mental alertness and cognitive functioning throughout the day.
- Deep bodyweight squat x 15
- Plank hold x 30 seconds
- Reverse Lunge x 10 / side
- Push Ups (3 second down phase) x 10 (if you’re anything like me, you might want to do these on your knees)
- Side Plank 15 seconds per side
Repeat twice. Quick and easy!
Avoid sitting for long periods
I know after a long day consisting of work and other inevitabilities, there is nothing better than spending time relaxing on the couch or in bed. BUT, this can cause some issues. We have a hormone in our body called lipoprotein lipase (LPL). LPL plays an important role in fat metabolism (our ability to use fat for fuel). Unfortunately, LPL secretion has shown to reduce after 60 minutes of sedentary activity, which ultimately reduces our fat burning capacity.
By standing and doing a small amount of exercise (walk to the kitchen and back, do 10 squats) in between longer bouts of sitting or lying down we keep LPL secretion active. By making sure we move every 30-45 minutes we can keep our body using fat as a fuel source effectively.
Spend some time outside
I know a lot of people who spend the majority of their free time on the couch or at the computer. They might be healthy, and go to the gym regularly, but they don’t actually spend much time outside. This can actually limit their Vitamin D intake, as we get Vitamin D from sunlight (artificial light doesn’t count unfortunately!).
Vitamin D plays a vital role in hormone production (testosterone and leptin are big ones), with people deficient in Vitamin D having increased difficulty losing weight.
By spending 30 minutes of our time outside in the natural light we can boost our Vitamin D intake significantly, which in turn, can improve our ability to lose weight!
Go to sleep earlier
While not all the mechanisms are known, sleep is essential to good health and hormone profiling. If we do not get enough sleep we see significant increases in the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to weight gain and energy saving. By making sure we get 7-9 hours of sleep per night, we can keep our stress hormone levels low and improve our capacity for weight loss.
Drink more coffee
Everyone knows that coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that can improve mental alertness and even physical performance. But, what a lot of people don’t know, is that caffeine can also help mobilise fats from our fat tissue, making them more available to use for energy, and can also directly increase our metabolism.
Both of these have positive effects on our ability to lose weight. Firstly, by making fat more readily available as a fuel source, our body will prioritise its use for energy over carbohydrates (mainly glucose and glycogen), increasing our rate of fat loss. Secondly, by increasing our metabolic rate we actually use more energy for day to day function, increasing our total daily energy expenditure, and increasing the rate at which we can lose weight.
There does need to be some caution here, while caffeine does have positive effects, try to avoid drinking any more than 3-4 cups per day, and try to limit intake to before 3pm as consuming caffeine after this time may limit your ability to fall asleep. If you’re looking to get the most flavour out of your coffee, take a look a some of the best pour over coffee makers.
Eat more protein
Protein is arguably the most important macronutrient we can consume. It is essential to our recovery after a hard workout, helping us build strength and muscle. But, it actually has a few other benefits that can help make fat loss easier.
Protein has the highest satiety rating of the three main macronutrients. This means that per calorie, protein is the macronutrient that makes us feel fuller. This is extremely beneficial as by feeling full and more satisfied after a meal, we are much less likely to get cravings throughout the day, causing us to eat less. By eating less we consume less energy, which can increase our rate of fat loss.
Additionally, protein also has the highest thermic effect of food (TEF) of the three main macronutrients. TEF describes the energy required to actually breakdown and digest food once it enters our body (that’s right – we actually use energy to eat!). Protein is quite difficult to digest and, as a direct result, 20% of the energy content contained in protein is actually used to breakdown and digest itself. This again reduces our daily energy intake.
This may go against the traditional suggestions of breakfast being the most important meal of the day (which isn’t necessarily true, by the way), but can have some seriously positive effects towards weight loss.
By skipping breakfast we increase the fast (period of no eating) created by sleep by a few hours. During the early stages of a fast (12-18 hours in) we see significant increases in growth hormone, which plays an important role in fat metabolism. By increasing the fat we use for energy, we can improve our rate of weight loss.
Additionally, by skipping breakfast we will reduce our overall daily energy intake. By reducing the amount of energy we consume we can create a greater energy deficit, increasing the amount of weight we can lose during a given week.
I would recommend trialing this 2-3 days per week to see how you feel.
Drink more green tea
Green tea contains substances known as polyphenols (flavanols or catechins for those within the scientific community). Some of these polyphenols have shown to increase fat mobilisation, making it more available to use for energy, and fat metabolism, increasing the rate at which we can break down fat for energy.
By consuming more green tea throughout the day we can increase the amount of fat we use for energy, maximising our capacity to lose weight. Green tea is also a fantastic alternative to coffee later in the afternoon, providing the fat burning effects without the extra stimulation.
Try drinking a couple of cups of green tea per day to notice the difference!