The 10 Commandments for Fat Loss
Everyone has their own health and fitness goals that vary from one individual to the other. Whether it’s for health reasons, athletic performance or pure aesthetics, what most people have in common is that they want to lose body fat.
One type of stubborn body fat many focus on getting rid of is belly fat, which is a major risk factor for type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Although many health organizations use BMI (body max index) to categorize weight and forecast the risk of metabolic illnesses, sometimes this information can be misleading. People with excess visceral fat (fat around their belly) have a high risk of metabolic disease, even if their BMI says otherwise.
The following are our top expert-approved suggestions on how you can shed body fat safely and effectively.
Avoid Trans Fats
Trans fats are formulated by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats. Common sources of trans fat include, soybean oil, margarine and spreads and most processed foods, such as chips and cookies.
Trans fats are unhealthy fats that add unnecessary calories to your diet. A diet high in trans fats has been linked to insulin resistance, inflammation, increased belly fat, and heart disease. If you’re looking to reduce body fat, consider reading ingredient labels carefully and keeping away from any product that contains trans fats (also called partially hydrogenated fats).
Consume More Protein
Protein is critical for weight management. Eating more protein increases levels of hormone PYY, which makes you feel fuller for longer, suppresses your appetite and allows you to eat less than you normally do – creating a calorie deficit. Protein also boosts your metabolic rate, helping you burn fat and maintain muscle mass as your body loses weight.
Include plenty of high quality of protein sources for every meal from, eggs, grass-fed meat, fish, beans and your choice of protein supplement.
Increase Your Soluble Fiber Intake
Soluble fiber, found in most plant-based foods, absorbs water and forms a gel in your gut, slowing down the passage of food through your digestive tract. This helps slow down the digestion and absorption of nutrients from your food, helping you feel fuller for longer.
Research also shows that soluble fiber may be effective in reducing belly fat. Some excellent sources of soluble fiber include flaxseeds, oats, chia seeds, Brussels sprouts, legumes, avocados, blackberries and shirataki noodles.
Cut Back on Sugar
Table sugar contains fructose, which when consumed in excess, has been linked to numerous chronic diseases, including obesity, type-2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and heart disease. Sugar is a source of empty calories and can be highly addictive and appetite-boosting. Even natural sugars, such as honey, should be used moderately.
Avoid Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol can be seriously harmful to your health when consumed in excess. Studies show that drinking too much alcohol is significantly tied to increased abdominal fat storage.
Although you don’t have to give up alcohol altogether, cutting back can have a massive impact on how your body stores fat.
Stress is notorious for increased fat storage in the body, especially around the waist, as is stimulates your adrenal glands to produce the stress hormone, cortisol.
High cortisol levels have been linked to increased appetite and a greater likelihood to choose unhealthy, processed food. What’s more is that people with a higher waist circumference tend to produce more cortisol during stressful situations. An increase in cortisol levels contributes to further fat gain around the midsection, placing you in a vicious cycle.
To reduce body fat, consider managing your stress levels by engaging in rejuvenating activities, such as yoga, meditation and running.
Consume More Fatty Fish
Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies and herring are rich in high quality protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids that protect your body from obesity and chronic disease.
According to one study, participants with fatty liver disease who took fish oil supplements showed significant reductions in their liver and abdominal fat.
Stop Having Fruit Juice
Fruit juices may provide you with vitamins and minerals, but they’re also packed with sugar, just like soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks. One 8-ounce (240ml) serving of unsweetened apple juice will give you a whopping 24 grams of sugar. More than half of this sugar comprises of fructose, which when consumed in excess may increase your fat storage.
Instead of choosing packaged fruit juices, consider making your own smoothies with a mix of fruit and veggies that will provide you with plenty of minerals, vitamins and enzymes – minus the excess fructose.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has become a popular choice these days for losing fat weight. It’s an eating pattern that alternates between periods of fasting and periods of eating. The most popular method is fasting for 16 hours a day (including sleeping hours) and eating within an 8 hour window.
Lift More Weights
Resistance training is crucial for gaining and maintaining muscle mass. According to one study, combining strength training with aerobic exercise resulted in the greatest reduction in belly fat among participants. If this is your first time lifting weights, be sure to receive advice from a personal trainer before you get started.
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