Burn that Fat!
If you are horrified when you stand on the weighing scale, here are some easy tips to shed those unwanted pounds
Burning fat is all about using up more calories than you consume. If you eat more calories than your body uses throughout the day, these additional calories will be stored as body fat. To prevent an accumulation of body fat you need to either lessen your calorie intake or increase your daily activity levels – doing both will have the best effect on reducing body fat. The more fat you want to lose, the greater the amount of calories you have to burn off. This means exercise! A regular workout, coupled with a healthy balanced diet is the best way to burn off that fat. Once you have trained your body to be an efficient fat-burner, life becomes easier.
To be an efficient fat burner you need to increase your muscle density. The muscles are where all the calories are burned during exercise – the more efficient the muscles are at burning fat – the faster weight loss will be accomplished. By adding muscle, you increase your BMR because it requires more energy to ‘maintain’ muscle mass. Adding more lean muscle tissue, and decreasing your fat tissue means calories are burnt even when you rest.
Do you know how much time the average person spends sitting? Most of our waking hours are spent driving, working (which means sitting at our desks), eating or watching television at home. Many people spend up to 75% of their waking hours sitting down. How does one burn fat in a scenario like this?
Moving will burn more fat and calories than sitting. That’s why exercise is so vital. Your body will only burn a certain number of calories per day. If most of your day is spent in the chair, your metabolic rate slows down. The best way to burn fat is by increasing your activity levels. The more lethargic you are, the greater the chances of gaining weight. Increase your daily activity levels to burn more calories. Burning calories is merely a matter of grabbing more opportunities to move.
With pressures of work and family, many of us find it difficult to fit in a regular exercise routine into our lives. If so, here are some simple tips that you can incorporate into your life to burn that fat.
- Don’t find the closest parking space at office or when you go shopping. Instead park as far away as possible and walk. If you live within walking distance of your office, ditch the car and walk. A half-hour walk could burn anything from 100 to 200 calories depending on your weight, the distance you walk and the speed at which you walk.
- Make time for exercise during your lunch break. During summer, it is tough to recommend a walk in the afternoon, but you could do some stretches or just walk within the office. The important thing is to develop the habit of walking every day during lunch.
- If time, weather and distance permit, why not cycle or walk to work or college?
- When you go shopping, kick-start your shopping routine by taking a walk around the mall before you begin to shop.
- If you have a dog, take it for a 30-minute walk every morning or evening.
- If you take a bus to work, try getting off a couple of stops earlier so that you get more opportunities to walk.
- Don’t equate weekends with lazing. Why not find an activity you enjoy? It could be swimming, cricket, squash or any other game.
- Little things add up.
- Walk around while you are talking on the phone.
- Leave your desk every half an hour for a short but brisk walk.
- Take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Even if you have household help, try to take on some chores yourself. You could sweep or swab the floors, make your bed, do the dusting, water the plants, do some gardening every weekend, wash your car, scrub the bathrooms…
- Instead of getting the kids or your household help to answer the doorbell, get up and answer it yourself.
- Avoid using the TV remote. Get up and change the channel. In fact, restrict your TV watching to a maximum of one or two hours a day.
- Take a half-hour stroll after dinner.
- Walk around during commercial breaks when you are watching TV. Or do some squats, lunges, sit ups or pushups.
The aim is to keep moving as much as possible everyday so that you can burn more fat and calories. All these small activities add up and help burn that stubborn fat. Ideally, add on an exercise program and watch the fat just melt away!