Many trending fitness programs and weight loss products are advertised with the promise that they will help your body get into fat burning mode and shed the excess weight faster. So, is there a switch in our body that can turn it into a fat burning machine?
Short answer is no, not really. Long answer is that there are certain foods or even activities that can affect your metabolism temporarily but not significantly enough to make a difference on your long term fat loss journey.
So what works actually to lose weight, and specifically to shed body fat off? The solution is much more simple than many participants of the industry makes you believe. It's all about a healthy balance of energy in and out of your body. Calorie is a measure of energy.
Basically, you just need to consume less calories than your body uses if your goal is to lose weight. This calorie deficit can be achieved by eating less, becoming more active or the combination of the two. Finding the right balance that works for your individual situation can be the best course of action you can take.
With that said, here are 5 important steps to help your body lose fat and keep it off.
Step 1. Start Lifting Weights
Weight training has many health benefits, especially as we age. It helps maintaining muscle and bone mass and can play a role in heat disease prevention. Besides there is little scientific evidence that the more muscle you have, the more calores your body burns as you move. Again, it may not be significant enough. However, if yo stop moving as you get older due to busy work and family life, you run the risk of gaining weight as you lose muscle mass and potentially eat more than your body uses.
STEP 2. Consume Protein & Fibre With Your Meals
The food you consume is broken down and converted into sugar. Your body can only take so much sugar, so when there’s too much, it gets stored as fat cells. Protein and fibre slow everything down, meaning you can regulate sugar levels and avoid storing fat and shutting down your metabolism.
Step 3. Eat Protein Before Anything Else
Consuming protein will help with satiety and especially if you exercise regularly, it will have recovery benefits too. Eating the protein and vegetables from your plate first can also help you control your portion sizes and ensure you don't overeat.
Step 4. Maintain A Steady Blood Sugar Level
Maintaining a steady blood sugar level is the key to keeping your metabolism in great shape, and activating your "fat burning machine". While not everybody need to have 4-6 small meals a day to stay in conrol, planning your meals so your body gets a consistent level of balanc macronutrients can help you prevent energy highs and lows. Things like nuts are a great snack to have as they contain protein, good fats, and lots of fibre.
Step 5. Don’t Consume Sugar On An Empty Stomach
Thinking of having a banana, even an apple only for breakfast? Think again. Just make sure you have fibre and ideally even protein with your sugars. This could mean a greek yoghurt, some peanut butter and a wholemeal toast with that fruit, or eggs and oats with berries. The fibre will help your digestion and slow down the absorption of sugar, so the energy is distributed more evenly throughout the few hours following the meal.
The trick to burning fat is ensuring you stop storing it by working out an energy balance that aids weight loss. Try these five suggestions, and you’ll notice a difference in weeks.
Have any questions on the topic or need advice on how to get started? Feel free to get in touch!
Owner and creator of One Small Step, Joe has been in the health and fitness industry for 8 years and takes an all-round approach to his coaching.