Confident that your workout program is ideal for scorching fat, but you still you want to give yourself a leg up? Fat burning isn't exclusive to the weight room, CrossFit box, or fitness class. Here are some tricks to lose fat outside of the gym.
DIET AND NUTRITION
Let’s kick off this list with the most important part of any weight loss program: diet and nutrition. The following tips will help you tweak your diet to maximize fat-burning potential.
WATER BEFORE FOOD
During food prep, just before your meal, and while you are eating, be sure to have a glass of water. Drinking water is a great way to feel fuller faster. It also acts as an appetite suppressant so before you indulge, drink some water to see if that knocks out those hunger pangs. Water can also support weight loss by helping to remove daily waste.
SLOW YOUR ROLL
Have you ever paid attention to how quickly you eat? If you’re like most people, you quickly devour whatever is on your plate, taking big bites and chewing only a bit before swallowing. Studies suggest that by taking your time and thoroughly chewing your food, not only will you have better digestion, but you’ll also feel more satiated and require less food per meal. (1)
REFOCUS YOUR MACROS
The three main types of macro-nutrients in the order that they are usually eaten are carbohydrates, fats, and protein. The majority of people have a diet that is heavy in simple carbohydrates such as white bread and white rice, which is contributing to their weight gain.
Try changing up your macro-nutrients so that eat meal is rich in lean protein and healthy fats with a small amount of complex – not simple – carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet and the paleo diet are both great examples of this.
Why protein and fat first? Both of these macros have been shown to be more satiating than carbohydrates, helping you to eat less and feel full longer.
Humans have a long history of abstaining from food, but only recently has science shed light on how beneficial it is for our bodies. By voluntarily withholding from eating for a prescribed amount of time, studies show that you’ll support waste removal, weight management, and overall health.
Referred to as intermittent fasting, this is when you avoid solid foods and calorie-based beverages for sixteen hours each day, allowing yourself an eight-hour feeding window. Most people have their last meal at 8 p.m. and then refrain from eating until 12 p.m. the following day. (2)
Mindfulness has become a buzzword in the fitness and wellness community and with good reason: it turns out that being more present in your life is insanely good for you, especially when you eat. As mentioned above, the majority of us eat without thinking. We play on our phones or watch television, not paying attention to how much we’re eating.
Mindful eating is a way that can bring you back to the present, and help you lose fat. For one meal per day, turn off your phone and television, and pay attention to the entire process of eating. From cutting the vegetables or meat to picking up a piece with your fork, be completely present for the meal. You’ll be surprised at how much more you enjoy the meal.
While the primary focus of any weight loss program should be on a nutritious diet and comprehensive exercise program, supplements have become a powerful way to support your goals. Here are several proven ingredients to consider taking to support your goal of fat loss.
GREEN COFFEE BEAN
A green coffee bean is what you have before roasting it in order to make your morning cup of coffee. While the caffeine content is very low, it contains high levels of chlorogenic acid, which is thought to be responsible for kickstarting fat burning.
Used in Asia for thousands of years, ginseng is an excellent way to support cognitive health, weight loss, and overall wellness. A number of studies have shown that ginseng extract possesses an anti-obesity effect while supporting healthy gut bacteria. (3)
BITTER ORANGE EXTRACT
Bitter orange extract contains three tyramine-based metabolites: N-methyltyramine, octopamine, and synephrine. These three metabolites have been shown to effectively increase your metabolic response while utilizing fat as fuel. (4)
Found in yerba mate tea, guarana is often used to increase energy levels and support a healthy weight. Studies have shown that guarana extract is effective as both a nootropic or brain-boosting supplement and as a fat burner. (5)
Found in the cacao plant, theobromine is a compound that supports weight loss and energy levels. An animal-based study showed significant results in weight loss after only one week. What’s more, the good cholesterol of the animals increased during the study. (6)
WHITE WILLOW BARK
Also known as salicin, white willow bark can act as a fat burner as much as it can a post-workout supplement. Half thermogenic, half anti-inflammatory, white willow bark has been shown to increase fat burning while supporting overall weight management.
Check out our article to get our full list of fat-burning supplements that have been proven to work.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY (NOT WORKING OUT)
Let’s wrap up our list with ways you can be more physically active and not step foot inside of a gym. All of the tips below involve creative ways to get your body moving and being more active overall. After all, the more you move, the more calories you’ll burn.
WEAR A BELT
We don’t recommend wearing just any belt, but a thermogenic waist trimmer belt. This type of belt is made with a material that safely and effectively increases your body temperature in the area where you wear it. Why is that important for weight loss? Studies show that increased body temperature can promote better blood flow and improve fat oxidation. (7)
Try wearing it during your workouts, but also put it on while you are out for a walk, doing chores around the house, or simply sitting and watching television.
TAKING THE STAIRS
Whether you’re going to work or the store, opt for the stairs when it’s reasonable to do so. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator can burn a lot of calories when you do it consistently.
During your next Sunday meetup, instead of going to a cookout or brunch, try being more active with your friends. Go for a walk with a coffee, arrange a group hike, or bike along a canal. The point is to ditch your normal plans of gorging on Sunday fare and becoming more active instead.
If you still watch television the old-fashioned way with commercials, use those few minutes to get in a quick bodyweight workout. During a commercial break, try to complete all of the following repetitions:
Bodyweight Squats: 15
Bodyweight Lunges: 15
If you’re able to complete the whole workout before the show comes back up, see if you can complete a second round.
PARK FURTHER AWAY
Little actions add up: Instead of parking next to the store or building you want to go to, park in the last available spot. These extra steps can help to burn more calories and if you do it throughout the day, those extra calories can make or break your caloric goal for the day.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Let’s end our list with something that seem contradictory to weight loss: sleep.
Studies show that those people who don’t sleep enough typically have issues with their weight. This is because a hormone called ghrelin is released in higher concentrations in people who don’t sleep well. Ghrelin is responsible for triggering your appetite and causing you to snack more than you should.
Aim to sleep for no less than seven hours each night. The more active you are, the more sleep you need.
DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN TRICKS TO LOSE FAT?
What do you do to burn fat? Have you been using any of the tricks listed above? Have a before and after pictures using your own list of tricks to lose fat? Tag us on Instagram so we can share your results!
- Li J, Zhang N, Hu L, Li Z, Li R, Li C, Wang S. Improvement in chewing activity reduces energy intake in one meal and modulates plasma gut hormone concentrations in obese and lean young Chinese men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Sep;94(3):709-16. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.015164. Epub 2011 Jul 20.
- Collier R. Intermittent fasting: the science of going without. CMAJ. 2013;185(9):E363–E364. doi:10.1503/cmaj.109-4451.
- Song, Mi-Young, Bong-Soo Kim, and Hojun Kim. “Influence of Panax Ginseng on Obesity and Gut Microbiota in Obese Middle-Aged Korean Women.” Journal of Ginseng Research 38.2 (2014): 106–115. PMC. Web. 26 June 2018.
- Stohs SJ, Preuss HG, Shara M. A review of the human clinical studies involving Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) extract and its primary protoalkaloid p-synephrine. Int J Med Sci. 2012;9(7):527-38. Epub 2012 Aug 29.
- Kennedy DO, Haskell CF, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB. Improved cognitive performance in human volunteers following administration of guarana (Paullinia cupana) extract: comparison and interaction with Panax ginseng. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Nov;79(3):401-11.
- Eteng, Mbeh & Ibekwe, HA & I. Umoh, U & E. Ebong, P & B. Umoh, I & Eyong, Eyong. (2007). Theobromine rich cocoa powder induces weight loss and changes in lipid profile of obese Wistar rats. Discovery and Innovation. 18. 10.4314/dai.v18i3.15745.