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10 Things You Need To Know To Lose Body Fat

10 Things You Need To Know To Lose Body Fat

Wanting to lose weight is too broad of a claim. In almost all cases, what you actually want to lose is body fat. It’s only that excess layer of soft fat that’s hiding your sexier physique! Resorting to drastic weight loss methods will sacrifice your precious muscle mass, leaving you looking (and feeling) starved and weak. This is certainly not a desirable result for women either!

So, we need to lose body fat while preserving existing muscle mass to reveal a fantastic figure. Here are 10 essential tips to help you reach that beach body you deserve!

1. Don’t Starve Yourself

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    In order to lose body fat, you must be eating less than you are burning. In other words, you need to have a caloric deficit.

    Experiment with your diet to find your maintenance calories, i.e. the amount of calories required to maintain your current weight. When you think you have found it, reduce it by 500-800 calories per day. Cutting calories to dangerously low levels will lead to muscle loss with fat staying put! Use a calculator to estimate a good starting point.

    2. Be Careful With Cardio

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      With your diet on point, cardio can speed up fat burning by using up extra calories. However, getting carried away will actually hurt your progress. Too much intense cardio in a caloric depict can turn your body catabolic, shedding muscle over fat. This will also make you feel depleted, flat and tired!

      To lose body fat as fast as possible, use cardio, but limit it to a maximum of 3 x 30min sessions per week.

      3. Start Weightlifting

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        Yes, that’s right, weight lifting is actually a great way to supercharge fat loss! It’s a common misconception that it can only be used to build muscle. In this case, you can use it to maintain muscle mass and burn a significant amount of calories.

        For best results pick a popular barbell routine (such as “Strong Lifts”). These full body movements will engage the most muscles at once and burn off fat like a knife through butter!

        4. Control Your Carbs

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          Low carb is not the answer for everyone. However, many can benefit from cutting carbs and boosting protein/fats. But depriving yourself of carbohydrates for too long can lead to muscle loss and generally feeling lifeless. Manipulate your carbohydrates primarily before and after your workouts for best results!

          5. Allow Yourself Time to Transform

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            Don’t set unrealistic expectations; otherwise, your impatience will force you into dramatic measures. Depending on how much body fat you need to lose, commit to at least 3 months of solid commitment to the cause. You may well look like a different person!

            Make sure you track your caloric intake, weight and before/after photos.

            6. Eat a Grapefruit Before Sleeping

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              Now, this may sound like one of those bogus claims, yet medical studies have actually found grounds for grapefruit’s metabolism boosting abilities. Try squeezing or eating a fresh grapefruit every night before bed!

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              7. Are You Hungry? Good!

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                If you are dieting correctly you are going to feel hungry at times. Otherwise, something has gone wrong in the calories department. If you’re severely restricting your calories and suddenly don’t feel hungry anymore, your metabolism has slowed down. However, you need a fast metabolism on your side to help with fat loss efforts.

                You should feel moderately hungry when you wake up and between meals, but not excessively. A weekly “cheat meal” can be used to fire up your metabolism once more!

                8. Be Careful With Weight Training Volume

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                  Weight training is a double-edged sword. Yes, it helps to preserve muscle mass while dieting, but you don’t want to over-train or injure yourself. When you’re in the gym, work on maintaining your strength levels and push gently. You should not be doing extra sets, going to failure or going there more than 3 times per week!

                  9. Get Plenty of Rest

                  Dieting can have an effect on sleep; it can be harder to sleep if you feel a little hungry. However, 8-10 hours of quality sleep per night is vital, many of fat-loss processes occur during this time.

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                  Consider taking a melatonin supplement to help you get to sleep. Otherwise, you could save a small carbohydrate dense snack, such as oats, for before bed. So long as your total daily calories are in check, this will not hurt progress!

                  10. 3 Drinks To Boost Your Metabolism and Lose Body Fat

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                    If you can drink only these three beverages for 99% of the time, you will be able to lose body fat faster than ever.

                    1. Coffee – The caffeine boosts metabolism and helps you feel energized
                    2. Green Tea – Contains many beneficial antioxidants that support weight loss
                    3. Water – Essential for all manner of body functions but also boosts metabolism

                    Featured photo credit: Leeroy via stocksnap.io

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                    Last Updated on November 27, 2020

                    12 Stretching Exercises to Increase Your Flexibility

                    12 Stretching Exercises to Increase Your Flexibility

                    When thinking about stretching and learning how to become flexible, consider you are doing more than just elongating and strengthening your muscles. You are, in fact, improving circulation of the blood (lymphatic system), and optimizing the depth of your breath, which further enhances circulation[1].

                    Stretching and yoga aren’t just trends; they are practices that have been utilized by humans arguably for hundreds of thousands of years or more. In many cases, modern humans have simply forgotten much of their ancestry, and stretching/yoga is certainly an integral part.

                    The following stretching routines, if practiced consistently (every day, or a few times a week), will improve your physical and mental well-being, so let’s get into them!

                    Here’s a breakdown of all the exercises I’ve covered in the video:

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                    1. Standing Hamstring Stretch

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                      • Stand straight and tall with your feet hip-width apart, knees just slightly bent, and arms by your sides.
                      • Exhale as you bend forward (think of a door hinge movement at the hips), lowering your head toward the floor (imagine the top of your head being parallel with the floor), while keeping your head, neck, and shoulders relaxed (do not tense up).
                      • Wrap your arms around the backs of your legs, or simply grab and hold the back of your legs; holding anywhere from 45 seconds to two minutes.
                      • Bend your knees and slowly “roll up” back to the standing position when you’re done.

                      2. Downward Dog

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                        • Start standing with your feet hip-width apart.
                        • While exhaling, hinge at the hips and lower your head toward the floor.
                        • Place your hands/palms on the ground.
                        • Step back with your feet while keeping a neutral back/spine and with your head/neck in-line with your shoulders and arms.

                        3. Deep Lunge and Twist

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                          • Start standing with your feet together hip width apart.
                          • Take a large step forward with your right foot.
                          • Bend your right knee and drop into a lunge, keeping your left leg as straight as you can behind you with your toes on the ground, so you feel a stretch at the front of your left thigh.
                          • Place your right hand on the floor or in a pray position, and twist your upper body to the right as you extend your right arm toward the ceiling (for a deeper stretch).
                          • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes while taking slow and steady breaths.
                          • Repeat on the other side.

                          4. Piriformis Stretch

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                          See the source image

                             

                            • Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you to start.
                            • Cross your left leg over your right, and place your left foot flat on the floor.
                            • Place your left hand on the floor behind your body.
                            • Place your right hand on your left quad or your right elbow on your left knee (as shown), and press your left leg to the right as you twist your torso to the left.
                            • If the spinal rotation causes back discomfort, remove the twist and simply use your right hand to pull your left quad in and to the right.

                            5. Figure Four Stretch

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                              • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor.
                              • Cross your left foot over your right quad.
                              • Lift your right leg off the floor. Grab onto the back of your right leg and gently pull it toward your chest.
                              • When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold there.
                              • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
                              • Switch sides and repeat.

                              6. 90/90 Stretch

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                                • Sit with your right knee bent at 90-degrees in front of you, calf perpendicular to your body and the sole of your foot facing to the left. Keep your left foot flexed.
                                • Let your leg rest flat on the floor.
                                • Place your left knee to the left of your body, and bend the knee so that your foot faces behind you. Keep your left foot flexed.
                                • Keep your right butt cheek on the floor. Try to move the left cheek as close to the floor as possible. It may not be possible if your hips are tight.
                                • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
                                • Repeat on the other side.

                                7. Frog Stretch

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                                See the source image

                                   

                                  • Start on all fours.
                                  • Slide your knees wider than shoulder-width apart.
                                  • Turn your toes out and rest the inner edges of your feet flat on the floor.
                                  • Ensure your legs are maintaining approximately a 90-degree angle (squared off).
                                  • Shift your hips back toward your heels.
                                  • Move from your hands down to your forearms to get a deeper stretch, if possible.
                                  • Hold for for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                                  8. Butterfly Stretch

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                                    • Sit tall on the floor with the soles of your feet together, knees bent out to the sides.
                                    • Hold onto your feet (or ankles), engage your abs slightly to keep an upright posture with steady breathing, and slowly lower your body toward your feet as far as you can while pressing your knees toward the floor. Keep a neutral spine during this stretch.
                                    • If you cannot lower your torso, then simply hold the stretch and aim to lower your knees closer to the ground gradually.
                                    • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                                    9. Tricep Stretch

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                                      • Kneel, sit, or stand tall with feet hip-width apart, arms extended overhead.
                                      • Bend your right elbow and reach your right hand to touch the top middle of your back.
                                      • Reach your left hand overhead and grasp just below your right elbow.
                                      • Gently pull your right elbow down and toward your head.
                                      • Switch arms and repeat.

                                      10. Extended Puppy Pose

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                                      See the source image
                                        • Start on all fours.
                                        • Move your arms forward a few inches.
                                        • Push your hips up and back halfway toward your heels, or until you feel a deep stretch.
                                        • Push through the palms of your hands to keep your arms straight and engaged.
                                        • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                                        11. Neck Stretch and Release

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                                          • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, or sit down with your back straight and chest lifted.
                                          • Drop your right ear to your right shoulder.
                                          • To deepen the stretch, gently press down on your head with your right hand.
                                          • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                                          12. Standing Quad Stretch

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                                            • Stand with your feet together.
                                            • Bend your left knee and use your left hand to pull your left foot toward your butt. Keep your knees together.
                                            • If you need to, put one hand on a wall for balance.
                                            • Squeeze your glutes to increase the stretch in the front of your legs.
                                            • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
                                            • Repeat on the other leg.

                                            Conclusion

                                            The key take away here is that consistency with your stretching routine, followed by good quality sleep and lots of hydration, will instantly begin to improve your quality of life. Find which stretches feel the best in your body and add them to a daily routine you can enjoy.

                                            More on How to Become Flexible

                                            Featured photo credit: Scott Broome via unsplash.com

                                            Reference

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