I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I’m back and super excited about this post. I think these things are super awesome and offer big returns on little investment. Who doesn’t love that?!
When it comes to fat loss, 99% of the time we talk about fitness and nutrition. But there are other strategies that aren’t talked about as much, but can absolutely help (or hinder) your progress. And the most exciting part?? They are simple. So simple in fact that your dog could do any one of them. How’s that for simple?!
So I’m just gonna get right to it. Three simple things you can be doing to increase fat loss…..
1. Drink more water.
I know I’ve gone over this before, but seriously, there’s a reason doctors and fitness experts have been saying it for years….because it works.
Here are just a few ways being hydrated will help you lose fat….
*Your hunger cues will decrease and will be much more accurate. Because most of us don’t drink enough, our bodies have become accustomed to getting water through food. So instead of feeling thirsty, our body sends us hunger signals when we are dehydrated. Next time you’re hungry when you think you shouldn’t be, try drinking a big glass of water and giving it 10-15 minutes. If you’re still hungry after that, then maybe it’s time to have a snack.
*Your metabolism will be faster. The process of burning calories requires an adequate supply of water in order to function efficiently; dehydration slows down the fat-burning process.
*Water lubricates your joints and helps your muscles contract more efficiently, therefore your workouts will be more productive.
*Add a little lemon and it helps your liver flush out toxins in your body.
…so drink up! A good measurable goal is to drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day. (example: 150 lb person would need 75 ounces a day.) However you can also just start with a big glass in the morning to give yourself a good head start and then start carrying around a water bottle and try to sip on it throughout the day.
2. Walk 30 to 60 minutes a day.
We have dogs, so this is a bit easier for us because we have 2 little accountability partners that sit there and stare at us until we walk them.
The thing is, in this age of gyms and fancy equipment and Crossfit, I think we tend to overlook anything that seems too easy. Because of that, walking has become one of the most underrated exercises. Let me just list some of the benefits of walking…
*First of all, the more you move throughout the day the better. Always.
*It’s a great low impact exercise that is completely free and you can do it anywhere.
*It’s been shown to decrease your risk of heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and certain forms of cancer.
*It gets you outside which has been shown to improve mental health and stress levels, which in turn improves energy and productivity. Plus, it gets you your daily dose of vitamin D. That’s like 5 benefits right there!
*When combined with strength training, it creates an awesome fat-burning effect!
Walking is a magical exercise because it regulates your hormonal stress response in a positive way. Walking lowers stress hormones, sensitizes insulin, and ensures a constant steady release of the metabolic messengers….Walking should not be seen as exercise but rather as a necessity. ~ The Metabolic Effect Diet
I walk shorter on the days that I lift or do intervals and longer on the days that I don’t. It’s not always easy. I often find myself fighting it because I feel like I have more important things to do. Sometimes that means I cut the walk short, and often times getting out the door is the hardest part. But once I’m out, I end up going the whole time because it’s so enjoyable.
3. Get 8 to 9 hours of good quality sleep.
I used to be that person that bragged about being able to run on 4 to 6 hours of sleep. Looking back, it was a stupid thing to brag about, because, first of all, who really cares, and besides that, I was doing way more damage than good to my body. I have struggled for years with hormonal imbalances. Not so coincidentally, those imbalances started about half way through college – which is also when I started sleeping a lot less.
God tells us He gives us sleep because he loves us. (Psalm 127:1-2) I’ve always assumed it simply meant that He was being nice by giving us a “forced break”, if you will. While that’s true, I’ve learned recently that there’s a lot more to it than just a forced rest time. Why is it that we feel so much better and refreshed when we get a good night’s sleep?? God set up sleep to do a whole host of amazing things in our bodies. Instead of listing all the scientific specifics (say that 5 times fast), let’s just say that sleep is like hitting a big honking reset button each day. Not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, hormonally, and metabolically.
The thing is you have to get good quality sleep and enough of it. This was hard for me at first because I had to change up my schedule a little but I’m finding the benefits to far outweigh the costs. (And that’s why we have the ability to record our shows, right?!? So I don’t have to worry about watching them right away!)
When you do, God made sleep to be “the ultimate anti-aging, muscle-building, fat-burning, and mood-enhancing process the body has available to it”. (The Metabolic Effect Diet)
No wonder, then, when she was asked recently in People mag what her number one beauty secret was, Jennifer Aniston said getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water.
I think we can all agree that these things are simple, but not always easy. That is why I gave you measurable goals for each. But remember, make them easy enough to implement so that you know you will and then commit to it.
I don’t know if you noticed this, but the really cool thing about all of these strategies is that they do much more than just burn fat. They regulate hormones and help manage stress, which have been shown to make people happier, healthier, and thinner. I’m not giving you these things to add stress, but rather because I believe these things will enhance your life! So if you need to change around your schedule a bit or record that TV show and watch it later, isn’t that worth it?