Are you doing these 10 daily fat-burn friendly tricks?
1) Up Your NEAT
NEAT is non-exercise activity thermogenesis – The calories you burn through everyday activities. Increase your NEAT and you’ll expend more energy, burning a few more calories every day without noticing it. Walk or cycle locally rather than driving. Mow your lawn or tackle the garden. Take the dog for another walk. Get up and walk around the block. Take a stroll between tasks at work. Use the stairs. Do more chores at home rather than using labour-saving devices. Active people tend to be slimmer, and it’s not luck!
2) Do More on-Foot
It’s amazing how many daily chores we automate, or carry out whilst driving. Make a conscious effort to be on your feet more during the day. Walk to the post box, do your own grocery shopping rather than getting it delivered, shop in town rather than online. There’s solid research to suggest that using a standing desk for at least some of the working day can add significant calorie burn to your day.
3) Drink More Water
Are you hydrated? Most of us aren’t. Make an effort to drink more water – at least 2 litres a day, and more if you are a larger, heavier or more muscled person, or if you have an active job or a busy workout schedule. Get most of your hydration from simple, plain water. You could also add sugar-free squash, fresh fruit slices, fresh mint or other herbs, or slices of cucumber. Herbal and fruit tea counts, too. You could even make it as an iced tea!
4) Get Outside
The more time you spend outside; the more calories you are likely to burn. Being outside is active, whether you’re just walking, or doing chores like gardening, washing the car, or running errands on foot. This Summer, pledge to spend more time outside in the sunshine. Sunlight is the only way our bodies can make vitamin D, which helps maintain general health and encourage a strong, lean body.
5) A Mid-Meal Break
When was the last time you slowed your eating habits down? Many of us eat whilst watching TV or being online. Not only does this often lead to overeating, but it takes us away from our bodies natural hunger and satiety cues. Focus on your food, and actually put your cutlery down halfway through your meal. Sit back, and pause. Ask yourself how much more of the meal you actually want, and need. Develop natural portion control and listen to your body.
6) HIIT It
Rethink your approach to cardio if you want to boost your metabolism. Rather than setting aside 30-60 minutes for slow, steady-state stuff, slash your workout time in half and up the intensity. HIIT – high intensity interval training – is tough (but short!) and keeps your metabolic rate higher for up to 24 hours. Think sprints, tabata, sled pushes, hill sprints, bike intervals, or kettlebell interval training.
7) Fat-Loss Friendly Foods
Include foods in your daily diet that may help boost metabolic rate. Plenty of lean protein, herbs and spices like cayenne and red chillies, green tea, and omega-3 fats from healthy sources like oily fish. Support your body as it works hard to become a lean and active fat-burning machine.
8) Break Bad Habits
We all have them. The negative lifestyle habits which are directly impacting our ability to get leaner. Staying up too late, snacking mindlessly, grabbing food on the go, not making time to work out. Identify the habits and behaviours which are standing in the way of healthy eating, exercising, sleep, and activity. Then dig deep and work out how to get around the roadblock and replace one habit with another – more positive – one.
9) Plan Tomorrow’s Food
Lean people tend to plan and prepare their food. Every evening, plan what you will eat the next day. If you track macronutrients and calories, this will help you hit your numbers (and see where you have wiggle room for a small treat). Be prepared ahead of time, so you don’t find yourself without a plan, grabbing something from a shop when you get hungry. Planning your food doesn’t take long, and will soon become second nature.
10) An Early Night
Sufficient quality sleep is directly linked to fat loss and maintaining a leaner body. Enough sleep helps regulate hormones, which helps prevent our body from hanging on to excess fat. An earlier bed time means less time to sit up late, eating in front of the TV. And when you’re well rested, you’re less likely to crave stodgy food, and more like to make healthy food choices. Start going to bed earlier, and make it a new habit!