There are simple ways to help in the process of burning fat, but an overall change in lifestyle is the ultimate way to change and maintain any weight loss.
If you are going to make changes in your lifestyle, be sure to make changes you can live with. Make them slowly, so you have time to adapt and get use to them. It can be hard on the body and also counter productive to fat loss if you make a drastic change that you have a hard time adjusting to and then return to old habits. Changing diets too quickly can easily slow the bodys metabolism down. A slower metabolism will increase body weight and body fat.
Exercise. The first step to any lifestyle change is increasing exercise. If you begin an exercise program do it while maintaining your current diet for the first few weeks. If you begin by cutting out foods that your body is use to, it may react by slowing down your metabolism. Where as if you begin with exercise the bodys metabolism will automatically increase. After 2 or 3 weeks slowly introduce your diet changes. Again make changes that you can live with.
Drink plenty of water. I know you have heard this one before but water is the vehicle for cellular activity, which includes the movement and burning of fat. Also, water helps to make you feel full and its calorie free!
Eat a balanced breakfast. Okay, more advice that has been given for years, maybe there is important true here as well. Basically throughout the night your body has been starving. The word breakfast originated from the act of breaking the fast that takes place from the time you finished dinner the night before. The bodily functions are very efficient and as soon as your body thinks it is not going to get any more food it slows the metabolism and holds tight to the fat that it stores for emergency fuel. So therefore giving the body all the nutrients it needs first thing will help to keep it from hanging on to that excess fat. A balanced breakfast should have protein, a complex carbohydrate and a piece of fruit.
Limit the amount of sugar you intake. Be careful with the consumption of NON-fat foods. They often contain high amounts of sugar. The body stores sugar as fat.
Reduce the amount of starchy foods. Foods like breads, pastas and potatoes can provide more carbohydrates than the body needs, the unused carb will be turned into glucose (sugar) and then stored as fat. Consuming these foods moderately will help greatly with the amount of fat the body produces.
Increase the amount of vegetables. Vegetables are filled with nutrients; these nutrients help the body to better function in all areas. They will also leave you feeling full longer than a simple carbohydrate. Eat 5 servings a day, either as main or as a side dish.
Be sure to eat more healthy fats. It is important to reduce the amount of bad fats like deep fried foods, but healthy fats help to control blood sugar levels and can help reduce cravings. Some good choices are nuts, flaxseed, olives, and avocados.
Eat 5 to 6 meals a day. If you take a look at most fitness gurus, bodybuilders and athletes you will find that most of them consumer more than the regular 3 meals a day. Keeping the body full will maintain and increase the metabolism, which in turn helps to burn fat. Spread the amount of calories you eat in 3 meals over five.
Eliminate junk but dont deny yourself your favorite foods as a treat. Eliminating all your favorite cheat foods forever will probably not work. If you love pizza dont cut it out completely (life is too short) just keep it as a special treat you give yourself occasionally and when you are indulging try eating just a couple of slices and savoring the taste.
A lifestyle can only be maintained if you are happy with the changes. Pick them carefully and add them slowly and before you know it you will be on your way to a leaner, healthier self.
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© Melt Magazine 2003