When it comes to looking good and feeling great, fat is the ball and chain that can derail those efforts. You can work out and tone the muscles in your stomach, for example, but unless you burn the fat on top of it, no one will see those six pack abs.
There are many ways to burn fat, but you need to find something that works well for you – something that’s easy for you and that you enjoy so you can have some consistency with it.
#1. Use Cardio to Fight Fat Quickly
The main goal of most people’s fitness is to simply lose weight. Many people today are overweight, and it’s almost always due to the amount of fat they keep on them. There are plenty of options out there that you can use in order to fight fat and get yourself back to looking thin, but the most common one is certainly cardio.
In just about any gym you go into, you’ll find that they have rows and rows of cardio equipment. Whether it be treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers, or anything else, they’ll have cardio machines there because they’re in high demand.
Running and other forms of cardio are fantastic both for burning off fat and making your heart healthier and more efficient. The reason it’s called cardio is that it’s a shortened version of the term “cardiovascular,” meaning something related to the heart.
Your cardiovascular health is your heart health, for example. When you run and do cardio, your heart rate goes up, and practicing that with consistency over a period of time means that your heart will continue to get stronger and stronger, with increased blood flow and an overall healthier body.
Cardio helps you fight fat by using up stored sources of energy to keep you going as you get tired. Your body uses two different things for energy. First, it uses carbohydrates, or carbs for short.
This is the most baseline energy source for your body because it’s the most efficient. However, your body will also use fat, because fat is there to act as storage for energy in the event that it’s needed later down the line.
In order to get the best results out of using cardio for fat burn, you should combine it with a lower-carb diet. This means that your body will have to go through less carbs and will start using fat as fuel sooner, making the time between starting cardio and fat burn shorter than it would be on a normal diet.
There are tons of ways to get cardio in, whether it be in a very formal fashion or one that’s more enjoyable. Many people stick with treadmills or exercise bikes, but there are so many other good options.
You can go hiking, go on long walks if the weather is nice, swim at an indoor pool, and so much more. No matter what you like to do, there’s going to be a form of cardio out there for you.
#2. Let Strength Training Help You Burn Fat Faster
Burning fat isn’t solely based on cardio. While many people think of weightlifting and strength training as just a way to build muscle, it’s actually a good way to burn off fat as well if you do it right.
There are tons of benefits with strength training that will help you burn fat, build muscle, and look more toned very quickly. There’s a big difference in strength training between high reps and low reps.
This is basically referring to the amount of repetitions you do in each set of your workout. For example, if someone was doing 3 sets of bench press, there’s a big difference in doing 3 sets of 15 reps and 3 sets of 5 reps.
Naturally you’d change the weight you’re using to do more or less reps, but it does different things for your body. When you do heavy weights and low reps, you’re making your body stronger.
Your body becomes more used to the high amount of pressure and the work it takes to move that weight, but it doesn’t help you much in the weight loss department. Doing low weight and high reps doesn’t make you as strong, but it’s much better at helping you put on muscle mass and burning fat.
When you’re doing high reps, you’ll probably be a bit sweaty and out of breath after the last few reps. This is a great sign. If you’re sweating, you’re burning calories. It takes a lot of energy out of your body to continuously move weight like that, so in a very similar vein to cardio, your body has to use fat as a source of such energy.
One major benefit of strength training is that, unlike cardio, it’s purely taking away fat as a source of energy. If you do nothing but cardio, you’ll get thin, but you won’t have much muscle on you, as cardio can burn muscle a bit on its own.
By doing strength training, you’ll still lose the fat, but you won’t have to sacrifice any muscle. In fact, you’ll be building up muscle, giving you the strong, toned look that you want much faster.
Strength training can help you focus on areas that are problem spots for you. In cardio, you’re losing weight equally across your whole body. With strength training, you can pick exercises that only target certain areas. For example, with stomach fat, you can focus on core workouts, or tricep workouts for things like excessive fat on underarms.
#3. Use Protein to Reduce Fat in Your Body
Many people’s weight problems today stem from their diets. The average diet is predominately carbs, followed by fats, and then in last, protein. This would be normal for someone who’s working out constantly like an Olympic athlete, but for the average person, this diet leads to a lot of issues – the main one being weight gain.
What a lot of people don’t understand about nutrition is that carbs are our fuel source, but they have to be used when you eat them. The worst thing that you can do is eat a lot of carbs and then sit around doing nothing, because you’ll have all that fuel go to waste.
What your body then does is create fat deposits to store that energy in case you need it later, leaving you with excess fat and more weight. Carbs come in plenty of forms, from sweets to sodas to bread.
Some are better than others, but none of them are great if you’re not using them enough. Instead, you’ll want to replace some of your carbs with proteins. Protein is what your body uses predominantly to build itself up, specifically in terms of muscle.
While this doesn’t mean that you’ll magically gain muscle from eating protein, your muscles will be less prone to injury and will not get as sore as they would on a low-protein diet.
You want to make sure you don’t lose all your carbs, because just by existing your body needs some fuel to keep going. However, just substitute out the unnecessary amounts with protein to get a more balanced diet.
There are plenty of great sources of protein out there for anyone to enjoy. The most common one for a lot of people is meat. This means things like beef and pork, but more importantly things like chicken or turkey.
While red meat does provide a good amount of protein, it’s often accompanied by fats and other macros, or it’s paired with carbs. Take, for example, a burger, which does have red meat, but is also filled with things like bread and cheese and condiments that make it less healthy.
For a healthy meat-based source of protein, you want to look towards poultry and fish. Chicken and turkey provide sources of lean meat, meaning that they’re low in fat but high in protein. These can be paired with things like salads to make for a great, healthy lunch that will improve your protein intake.
#4. Increase Your Fiber Intake to Shed Fat Swiftly
Fiber is an often overlooked nutrient that you need from your food. People tend to get so caught up in the calories and the macros of their diets that they forget about all the other things that go into getting a healthy meal.
Fiber helps your body in many ways, but one of the most beneficial is in terms of weight loss. Specifically, fiber has been shown to help people lose and keep off belly fat, which is one of the worst kinds of fat health-wise.
One way that fiber helps you burn fat is by bettering your gut health. Inside your digestive system, you have an expansive network of bacteria that is extremely important for you to survive.
These bacteria help you break food down and digest it properly, so it’s important to have the right array of them there. For some people, their gut bacteria may be low or all very similar, meaning that they can have problems fully digesting their foods.
Fiber has been shown to help diversify your digestive bacteria, which can help quite a bit with weight loss. One of the best ways that fiber helps you lose fat is simply by making you less hungry.
Some people eat whether they’re hungry or not, but a lot of people also just have a big appetite. By naturally suppressing your hunger, fiber helps you eat less, meaning that you’ll have a better calorie deficit, leading to fantastic weight loss.
There are plenty of great sources of fiber out there. In most stores, you can simply find fiber pills, which can give you most of your daily dose of fiber. This is for those that can’t really adapt to a new diet, but still want to experience some of the benefits of more fiber.
These pills are fairly inexpensive, and you can get plenty of fiber easily. However, the healthier way of increasing your fiber intake would be to slowly up the amount you’re getting over time, so that your body can adjust as needed.
This would be from making little changes in your diet here and there by adding in things like oatmeal or certain vegetables. If you’re not used to fiber, a sudden influx of it can lead to a few minor digestive problems. Nothing dangerous, but nonetheless uncomfortable. If done right, though, fiber can be a great contributing factor to your weight loss.
#5. Cut Carbs to Shape Up and Say Goodbye to Fat
Carbs are one of the largest contributors to weight and fat gain for most people today. So many foods are absolutely loaded with unhealthy carbs that cause your weight to skyrocket, and it ends up being very detrimental to your health for a number of reasons.
In order to effectively get rid of fat, you need to adjust your carb intake quite a bit. The reason carbs cause you to gain weight is that, when going unused, your body creates fat deposits and stores them there for another time.
They also tend to be accompanied by high amounts of calories, which, if you’re not burning them off, will naturally cause weight gain by giving you a greater amount of calories in than out.
One common misconception is that since carbs cause weight gain, you should cut them out altogether. In reality, that can lead to a few complications and is not advisable. Carbs are a very important part of your body’s natural cycle to produce energy.
Carbohydrates, such as sugar, have glucose which your body uses to create ATP, the molecule responsible for just about everything you do. It allows your muscles to move, your mind to think, and so on.
However, your body doesn’t need a ton of it to keep you going throughout the day. Instead of cutting out carbs altogether, you just need to cut back on the amount you’re consuming.
There’s plenty of foods that you might be eating that contain an insane amount of unnecessary carbs. One of the greatest offenders in modern society is soda. An average single can of soda contains upwards of 40 grams of sugar, a very common carb.
This amount is about twice what you would need to simply sustain yourself throughout the day. With people drinking multiple cans or even glasses of this drink per day, it’s no wonder weight gain is so common.
Cut out any and all sweet and sugary drinks in order to make some serious progress towards weight loss. Other common suspects include fast food, which is cooked in very high carb breading and oils, as well as sweets.
These are foods that people typically think of when dieting, but there are lesser known high carb foods out there as well. Foods like potatoes, bread, and pasta are high carb and typically not considered to be unhealthy, but they can certainly lead to fat gain just as any other high carb food can.
Keep in mind that if you ever get to a point where the fat isn’t burning as fast as you’d like it to, you can swap things up and implement a new strategy to kickstart the fat burning process after a plateau.