Raise your hand if you want to say adios to fat this year! I know I am! These strategies from fitness are super easy to work into my daily routine - and not just easy, but actually doable! Let's dive right in shall we :-)
1 - use fat to burn fat. Did you know we actually have "good fat" in our bodies? Yup. It's true and it's powerful. This good fat is called brown fat and is packed with mitochondria (the part of your cells that generate heat). Which means, when you are exercising, your body releases the hormone irisin that converts bad fat to good fat.
2 - vitamin D. Research has suggested that vitamin D helps to boost the effectiveness of the hormone leptin which signals the brain that you're full. Because vitamin D is hard to get from food, you may need to work in a supplement to get your 1,000 international units daily.
3 - change your mindset and be ready to say no. Have you heart of sociotropy (people pleasing)? Me either, but apparently it's a thing and can play a role in gaining weight. Think about a night out with friends and they decide to splurge on dessert. You know you shouldn't, but after their urging, you give in. Sociotropy. Don't get me wrong, it's ok to say yes once in a while, but once your mindset is in the mood to lose, be firm in saying thanks, but no thanks to that piece of chocolate cake. I mean I'm sure they'll share 1 bite with you, but know saying no to the whole piece will have you happy in the morning!
4 - speaking of splurging...tell yourself no more. We've all done it. We eat a healthy meal, but then ignore exercise or pig-out the next day because we're "hungry." We feel like we deserve to be self-indulgent. In reality, it's all about self-control. Know your body and when you're really hungry v. craving something sweet. If you do get the urge to munch, drink a big glass of water, eat some fruit, and give yourself time to see if you really need to eat or if you're mind is trying to play tricks on you.
5 - slow down at the dinner table. A recent study showed that people who chewed each bite of food 40 times at around 12% LESS than those who chewed 15 times. The more you chew, the more your food is broken down, and the quicker those nutrients may be released into your blood, BUT your brain still needs time to register that you're full. Give yourself some time and see what happens!
6 - be smarter than your appetite. This one resonated with me, because my willpower can be close to zero some days. Our bodies are wired to crave those rich foods, that may not be so good for us, and the taste of fat can give us the munchies by releasing chemicals similar to those a drug addict experiences. Just like an addict needs to steer clear of their vice, it's the same with food. Know which ones are your weakness and try to limit or eliminate those from your house. Have healthy foods and snacks on hand so when you start to notice a craving coming on, you can feed yourself something healthy and not feel guilty about it!
7 - great outdoors. Would you rather go for a mile walk outside, sun shining on your face, enjoying being outside...or in the basement on your treadmill? Chances are you'd rather be outside (unless you live in ND in the winter...then the treadmill wins, but only in the winter). By getting outside, your strides are longer / faster, you feel less exertion, and in the end people tend to be happier walking outside v. inside.
8 - take action. You'd be surprised at how good it is for your body to get just a 5 minute walk during the day! Think about it. If you're glued to your desk for 8 hours a day, or in a position where you're sitting / lying around more than moving around, your body may be speeding up the production of fat. The simple act of standing uses more muscles than sitting! Plus, find a coworker or friend at work to go with you and get some much needed social time in!
9 - green tea. It's been concluded from studies, that regularly sipping green tea can help you shed those lbs. In addition to reducing fat absorption, green tea also increases the amount of fat your body eliminates! Try giving up your 3 pm coffee for a cup of green tea.
10 - beat your weight fate. Just because you think you're big boned or because your family is on the heavier side, you will automatically be, isn't necessarily so. A British review found that exercise can trump your genetics. Aim for an hour a week, five days a week and watch what happens! Hint, it will probably give you better results than those chillin' on the couch :-)
What are your thoughts after reading through the list? I told you they were doable! If you're feeling overwhelmed, try incorporating 1-2 items today. Once you're in the habit of drinking green tea and going for a small walk every hour, try getting an hour of exercise in 3-5 days a week. Start out small, just don't quit!