Unlike the common myth that fat is bad for the body, it is actually an essential micronutrient of your diet. It acts as an energy booster, produces hormones, keeps skin and hair healthy, maintains body temperature and processes fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Then, why you should lose fat?
Because, excess fat, especially the bad ones like saturated, triglycerides and trans fatty acids, could negatively impact your health. A gram of fat contains 9 calories. If consumed in excess quantity, it can pile up extra calories on your body. This further leads to weight gain, diabetes, heart diseases and other medical conditions. Hence, the focus should be on reducing the intake of bad fats and consume only unsaturated fats. The American Heart Association recommends eating between 25 – 35% of your total daily calories as fats from good foods like fish, nuts and vegetable oils. A few other healthy sources of good fat include flax seeds, chia seeds, avocados, eggs, tofu and soy milk.
It is the excess fat stored in your body that you need to burn, and which can eventually help achieve weight loss goal successfully and lead a healthy life.
Here are 7 ways to burn fat:
- Exercise and keep moving – You should do a moderate intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. When you do this regularly and consistently, your body starts using fat as a source of fuel. Apart from this, you also need to keep your body moving throughout the day. Don’t remain seated for longer periods in your office or at home. Do the majority of your work in a standing position and/or take a break every hour to take a stroll or do stretching. This way, your muscles will get action and cut down the fat.
- Reduce calorie intake – Try to consume food which has lesser calories, but will fill your stomach. For instance, whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice, green veggies, fruits and beans. Did you know a cup of broccoli contains only 25 calories, but takes 80 calories to digest? There, you have lost 55 calories! However, do ensure that you reduce calories steadily over a period of time instead of opting for an ‘all low calorie diet’ at once. Or else, your body will hit the starvation mode and reduce metabolic rate, due to which fat burning process will slow down.
- Say ‘No’ to unhealthy foods – Eat a diet that is healthy, right and balanced. Reduce the intake of starchy foods such as white bread, potatoes, pasta & rice; junk food such as pizzas, French fries & burgers; and sugary foods such as chocolates, cakes, sodas, canned soups & salad dressings.
- Eat 5 -6 times a day – Sounds strange? How can you eat more when you are trying to lose fat? When you eat every 2-3 hours, your metabolism rate goes up and prevents you to overeat. Your body gets more food to burn calories and shed fat. Ideally, your daily meals should be divided into three big meals and three small meals: breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, an evening snack and dinner. But, do remember to keep your meal well-balanced (a good mix of proteins, fibre, carbs and fat) and limit them to healthy and low calorie foods.
- Drink healthy – Whenever you are thirsty, ditch sweetened juices and soda drinks, which are nothing but empty calories. Instead replenish your body with water, freshly squeezed fruit juices, green tea, coconut water or any other beverage which is nil or low in sugar. Also, drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of healthy fluids. That will make you feel less hungry and, thereby, automatically lower your fat intake.
- Sleep early and well – There is a lot of wisdom hidden in the saying ‘early to bed, early to rise’. If you stay awake for longer hours, your body needs more energy and you tend to consume more food. A study revealed that sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain of 2lb in an under a week. When people sleep more, they reduce the intake of fats and carbohydrates, enabling to lose weight.
- Take vitamin D – Go for a walk under the sun, pop up a Vitamin D pill or eat dairy products, egg yolks, fatty fishes & cereals. When your body has sufficient Vitamin D, it releases a hormone called Leptin, which signals your brain that your stomach is full. Also, the fat cells in your body slow down the process of making and storing more fat. Vitamin D helps you to avoid overeating and lose weight faster. It is not difficult to lose fat. All you need to do is to improve your lifestyle and eat ‘good’ fats in the right quantity.