Let’s face it, losing weight is great but the process of making it happen absolutely sucks.
Whether you’re just losing a few pounds, or planning an entire body transformation, diet and exercise is always key.
But what kind of diet and exercise, and what else can you do to speed the process along?
Lots of things – and we’re going to give you 10 of the best.
In this short article we outline a combination of the best 10 diet, exercise and lifestyle hacks you can incorporate into your weight loss plan to start seeing the results you deserve, in a much faster time frame – this is what you need to know:
1. Cardio Sucks – High Intensity Training Doesn’t
Running on a treadmill for hours on end is literally one of the worst experiences you can have. If you don’t want to go to the gym today, this is probably why.
But what if we told you that you can burn fat with just 10 minutes of hard work?
It’s true. There’s an easier way to do this – High Intensity Interval Training.
It’s essentially just sprinting and stopping for a small amount of time – but it is tough stuff.
A good example of this is to imagine being on an exercise bike:
- Set it to the lightest setting and pedal for 30 seconds
- Increase the resistance to as high as you can handle and tough it out for another 30 seconds
- Rinse and repeat for 10 – 15 minutes
- Enjoy the burn!
This is a great way to burn fat fast, and the science is there to prove it. For example, a 2013 study compared a group of men who cycled 40 – 60 minutes five times a week at a pace of 65% intensity to a group that did less than 12 minutes of HIIT 3 times a week.
The fat and weight loss results were strikingly similar with the HIIT group only taking up a fraction of the time compared to the other groups long slow grind.
2. Clever Calorie Counting – Math Yourself Slimmer
This one’s pretty obvious, but sometimes it can be hard to keep track of exactly what you’ve eaten, so we suggest keeping a log.
Calories in vs. calories out is your ultimate weapon in losing weight quickly.
Think about it. If your body needs X amount of calories to maintain its current weight, then X – 200 calories will shrink it down as it doesn’t have enough to maintain your current size.
It’s straight forward as long as you keep track of your calories – but don’t go overboard.
200 calories is a safe place to start – test it out for a few weeks (because you’ll be taking in 1400 calories less a week!) and see where your body stabilizes. If you want to lose more, take more out of your diet and little by little you’ll get closer to that body you deserve.
3. Alcohol is out – Green Tea is in
Booze is fun, but it’s packed with calories. The second liquid fun gets taken out of the equation you take a big step towards less calories in your overall intake.
But you can take all that one step further.
Booze will make you gain weight, but did you know there are drinks that will help you lose it? We’re not kidding, enter: Green Tea.
Green Tea is one of the best fat burners around. Packed with catechins, Green Tea helps by inhibiting the enzyme in your body that suppresses norepinephrine – this is your body’s fat burning hormone, and the more of that circulating in your system the better.
4. There’s nothing Sweet about Sugar
Sugar is one of the worst nutrients in your diet – if you can call it a nutrient.
Although it tastes sweet, and makes any dessert pretty darn incredible – it will work against you in the long run.
One of the main reasons sugar is just so bad is the nutrient profile. It literally has no benefits; no minerals, vitamins, amino acids or otherwise – it’s literally just powdered calories.
On top of that it’s also addictive. Studies have shown sugar releases dopamine in your brain – the reward hormone, making you subconsciously wanting to take more of it. It works in the same way a drug does, and the end result is stubborn fat.
Go after something sweeter than sugar, go get that body you’ve been working for.
5. Lift Heavy – Get Lighter
Contrary to what you may have heard, lifting weights is actually a good way to lose weight.
One of the main things working out does besides building muscle, is increase muscle metabolism – and the faster your metabolism the more overall calories you’ll lose.
The best exercises to get these results are squats and deadlifts. These work the bigger muscles in your body, like your back and legs which creates the most metabolic benefit – and the most weight lost!
6. Snack Strategically – Veg Out
Snacking is one of the only things that is amazing and awful at the same time.
Although it feels good to treat yourself between meal times, the extra calories aren’t going to do you any favors. There needs to be a middle ground – and vegetables are the best way to get there.
Here’s the great thing about vegetables – they’re low calorie, full of vitamins minerals and fiber, and guess what? They’re filling!
The next time you feel yourself itching to get the snack draw, why not serve yourself a full bowl of steamed veggies? Healthy greens like broccoli, cabbage and beans are great choices, and they all help stave off hunger.
7. Wake Up Earlier
If you love lie-ins you’re going to hate this section because guess what? Waking up earlier helps you lose weight.
In an interesting study by Northwestern University found that in a group of 54 volunteers, those that were exposed to the most light during the day from waking up early saw a bigger reduction in their overall BMI.
And plus being awake and moving around more than when you do usually can’t hurt either.
8. Freeze off the Fat – Cold Showers!
Nobody likes a cold shower, but everyone like losing weight – and studies have shown that the two are pretty connected.
When you put your body in a colder environment – like a freezing shower, it compensates to warm you up – and the main way it does that is by burning fat.
A study from 2009 showed that cold showers can increase fat burning by up to 15 times as much as a warm shower – they did the math and it worked out (based on average shower time) around 9 lbs a year in fat loss through cold showers!
9. Punch the Clock on Weight Loss – Intermittent Fasting
Another tip for fast dieting results is to remember it’s not always what you eat, but when you eat it.
Intermittent Fasting is an incredible example of that. By giving yourself a window throughout the day of when you’re allowed to eat, you can rapidly speed up your weight loss journey. That means for the rest of the time you’re taking in absolutely no calories, only water.
There are several ways you can do this, but the most popular is the 8 hours off, 16 hours on. That’s 16 hours of fasting with only 8 hours to eat all your daily calories.
It’s an interesting approach and has been seen to reduce insulin levels, preserve muscle tissue (while burning fat), lower blood pressure and improve metabolism.
It’s also incredibly convenient if you prepare your meals in advance.
10. Start to like it Hot
Lastly, chili pepper is a great nutrient to have in your diet if you’re looking to lose more weight.
This all boils down to the capsicum in the nutrient – this is the compound that give the fruit its ‘heat’. These hot foods help achieve a state of thermogenesis in your body – which causes your body’s core temperature to rise.
This is where you lose more weight. With a higher core temperature, your body kicks into gear and starts to cool and regulate itself. This process requires a lot more calories to perform, allowing you to burn more calories without lifting a finger! It couldn’t get any easier.
So there you have it, 10 easy tips you can start today to lose more weight.
We think there’s a lot to be said for cutting out the booze and sugar, those calories really add up. But what about you? Which do you think are the best tips up here, and can you think of any more that you think should be on this list?
Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to like us on Facebook for more fitness tips.
Featured photo credit: Bikini Colors/Rafael Antonio via flickr.com