As we get older, our metabolic rate naturally slows, which translates into an average weight gain of at least 1-2 pounds each year – even if nothing else changes.
Here are nine easy ways to burn extra fat fast:
1. Get Moving
Do 5 minutes of quick, whole-body exercise first thing in the morning.
After several hours of much-needed sleep, your metabolic thermostat is waiting for signals to start up. Try a few squats, lunges, crunches, or jumping jacks to get your heart pumping and help burn extra fat.
2. Eat Breakfast
Eat a healthy breakfast within 1-2 hours of waking up.
Just as exercise cues your metabolism to get going, so does eating breakfast. It gives your body a much-needed boost of energy, which establishes the base rate for the day.
Plus, research repeatedly shows that people who eat breakfast are leaner than “breakfast skippers.”
3. Pump It Up
Do 2-3 strength training workouts each week to help build and maintain muscle mass.
This includes exercises like lifting weights, using resistance bands, climbing stairs, or bodyweight exercises (push-ups, planks, crunches, etc).
Lean muscle burns more calories than fat, so decreased muscle mass is one of the main reasons for a drop in metabolic rate.
In fact, women can lose as much as 10 pounds of muscle between the ages of 30 and 50, and rapid weight loss can further accelerate catabolism of lean muscle tissue.
More muscle means a faster metabolism, which means more fat burning, so it’s crucial for you and your doctor to monitor both lean muscle mass and weight throughout your weight loss journey.
4. Eat Your Iron
In addition pumping iron, it’s important that you eat it too. The recommended intake for menstruating adult women is 18 milligrams/day.
Without enough iron, your body can’t get oxygen to your cells, which in turn slows down your metabolism.
So make sure to include adequate amounts of iron-rich foods like lean red meat, chicken, fortified cereal, and soy nuts, or take a daily multivitamin/multi-mineral supplement with iron.
5. Add a Supplement
Adding a supplement can help some people burn more fat-
Common supplements to take include melatonin, capsicum (cayenne pepper), pre-workout, vitamin B12, CLA and 5-HTP.
6. Take a Walk
Do 5-10 minutes of light activity after eating.
About 15-30 minutes after your healthy snack or meal, take a few minutes to take the dog out for a walk, do some light housework or water your plants.
Your body’s metabolic rate increases by 10% after eating in order to process the food you’ve just consumed, and just a few minutes of activity following a meal could double that boost for up to three hours.
7. Include Daily Dairy
Aim for three servings per day of low-fat/nonfat dairy each day.
Recent studies have shown that women who ate three daily servings of dairy lost 60-100% more fat than women who ate less than that.
This is because the calcium found in low-fat dairy produces enzymes, which burn extra fat.
Taking calcium supplements did not show the same effects, so make sure you get your quota from food sources like milk, yogurt, and hard cheeses.
8. Up The Intensity
If your workouts aren’t challenging you, up the intensity.
To burn extra fat, you need to step up the intensity and/or duration of your workouts – especially if you’ve hit a plateau.
Elevating your workouts, as able, will both kick-start your metabolism and speed up weight loss. Keep workouts challenging and fun by mixing up the activity (try a new class at the gym!), walking on different terrains, or upping the intensity/duration of your normal workout.
9. Embrace Protein Power
Have a little protein at every meal to fire up your metabolism.
Your digestive system uses more energy to break down protein, so you burn more calories when you eat protein-rich foods like meat, fish, nuts, eggs, or dairy.
However, eating too much of it can cause strain kidneys, and actually prompt your body to store more fat. So, keep daily protein intake to no more than 20-35% of total calories.
Do you have any fat-burning tips of your own? We would love to hear them, so please comment below!