Fat. We all have it – in fact it’s an essential part of our biological make-up. It stores energy, it absorbs essential vitamins, and it keeps our bodies warm, among other things – so it has an important function.
But too much fat is unhealthy and can have an adverse impact on our health and wellbeing. Our bodies tend to store extra calories as fat to keep us alive and safe but too many of those excess calories can lead to a build-up over time. The challenge is how we go about getting rid of that excess fat.
As soon as the words ‘fat burning’ are mentioned you may automatically conjure up images about spending countless hours slaving away in a gym. But what if you didn’t have to? Fat burning is more that trading your time for pounding the treadmill. Here’s how to burn fat fast at home, your way.
How Fat Loss Occurs – A Quick Look At The Basics
The process of burning fat is actually a simple one. Fat loss happens when you are in a calorie deficit (you are consuming fewer calories through food than your body is burning off through exercise and normal day-to-day functions). If the amount of calories you consume is lower than the number of calories your body needs to burn then it will tap into its body fat stores and this is when fat loss occurs, as your body uses that stored fat for energy.
The most popular thing to do to burn fat is, of course, to exercise – after all this is typically when our bodies will use up the most energy. But fat loss is so much more than just killing yourself at the gym and a ‘calories in vs energy out’ approach. When you have a better understanding of what it takes to burn fat and you realise that it takes a broader approach and doing the little things right, your fat burning journey will be all the easier and, I hasten to add, a lot more successful.
So here are some excellent ways to burn fat fast that don’t all involve the gym! Try them and see your body transform.
10 Tips To Burn Fat Fast
Start lifting heavy things
When I say heavy things I am, of course, referring to weights. By incorporating even a small amount of weight training into your weekly routine you begin to build muscle and increase strength.
Strength training has lots of benefits when it comes to burning fat. Your body typically uses more calories when you are lifting weight than it does through cardio. Strength training also has a positive knock-on effect in that it boosts your metabolism which then remains elevated even after your workout is complete helping to continue the fat burning process long after you’ve hit the shower.
Think of your body like an engine – the bigger the engine the more fuel it needs to power itself. So the more lean muscle you can create through strength training, the more calories your body will need to burn to fuel it. Try to build a good strength training routine into your daily or weekly workouts and your body will become a calorie-burning machine.
Eat lots of protein
Protein is essential for muscle building, but it’s also really important to aid fat loss.
Protein is very satiating (it makes you feel fuller for longer) and therefore including more protein rich foods in your diet is a great way to help reduce your appetite and burn fat.
In particular when focusing on consuming lower calories, increasing your intake of protein will help to preserve that lean muscle you’ve gained through strength training and help to keep your metabolism high (the higher your metabolism the more calories your body burns).
One thing that can really hamper progress when it comes to fat burning is over-eating because we feel hungry from the exercise we are doing and the fact we’re consuming fewer calories. By incorporating high protein foods into our diets such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, to name a few, we can help ourselves to feel fuller for longer, thus decreasing our appetite, and helping to reduce our overall calorie intake.
I’ve written an article about some of the best protein rich foods, feel free to check it out.
Get more sleep!
You might think that lying down and going to sleep would be counter-intuitive to your fat burning goals, but it’s actually an essential part of them. Going to bed earlier, or waking up a little later, can actually help to boost fat burning and prevent weight gain.
There have been numerous studies over the years showing the association between getting enough sleep and its effects on fat loss. Some research has shown that a lack of sleep can contribute to alterations in hunger hormones meaning your appetite increases, you eat more and you then pile on the weight.
A study carried out in 2012 showed that better sleep quality, and sleeping for at least seven hours a night, increased the likelihood of successful weight loss by up to 33% in 245 women who took part in a six-month weight loss program.
So get into a regular sleep schedule to help boost your energy levels and maintain a healthy appetite.
Eating (healthy) fat is good for you!
Again this may seem weird – why would you eat fat to help you get rid of it? But increasing your daily intake of good fats may actually help prevent you from gaining weight and help you to feel fuller for longer.
Fats take more time to digest than other nutrients and can therefore slow down the emptying of the stomach, helping to reduce appetite and hunger levels.
Try to consume healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, but do so in moderation as any fat is high in calories. Instead of eating more fat overall, try swapping unhealthy saturated fats such as meat, whole fat dairy and butter, for the healthier versions above.
Feel fuller by increasing your fibre
A bit like protein and healthy fats, fibre helps you to feel fuller for longer. Fibre absorbs water and moves much more slowly through your digestive system, keeping hunger at bay for longer.
In fact an increase of just 14 grams of fibre per day could help decrease your calorie intake by up to 10%.
In a study of 1114 adults, that looked into abdominal fat accumulation over a five-year period, those who took part lost 3.7% of their belly fat with an increase of 10 grams of fibre per day, without any change to their diet or exercise.
Foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes are some examples of foods that are high in fibre and can boost your fat burning goals.
Cut down on the carbs
Decreasing the amount of refined carbohydrates you consume from foods such as pastries, white bread and pasta, and processed foods may help you shed fat. Refined carbohydrates typically have a lower level of fibre and nutrients and a higher glycaemic index which can cause blood sugar levels to spike and crash, making you feel hungrier.
Try to reduce your intake of refined carbs and replace them instead with whole grain foods such as wheat, barley, oats and quinoa for a slower energy release throughout the day and to feel fuller for longer. Your waistline will thank you for it.
If you’ve ever tried fat-burning supplements you’ll most likely have noticed that caffeine is almost always a key ingredient.
This is because caffeine is a stimulant that increases metabolism and helps to boost the breakdown of fatty acids. It can also help to increase energy expenditure (calorie burn) by up to 11%.
To get as much of the health benefits from coffee as possible, try and side-line the cream or sugar and have it black, or with a small amount of milk (skimmed or semi-skimmed is best) to reduce the calories.
Take a HIIT with the cardio
Increasing cardio is one of the most effective ways of ramping up fat burning.
Most research suggests that between 20 – 40 minutes of cardio per day through exercise such as running, walking, cycling and swimming is enough to help decrease belly fat and overall body fat.
But you can overdo it with cardio, especially if you’re also incorporating strength training into your routine. This is where HIIT (high intensity interval training) can be incredibly effective at giving you the benefits of cardio but in half the time.
HIIT is a form of exercise that includes quick bursts of activity with short rest periods to keep your heart rate high thus ramping up fat burning to higher levels than traditional cardio. In fact HIIT can burn up to 30% more calories than cardio in the same amount of time.
An easy way to get going with HIIT is to try and alternate between walking and jogging or sprinting for 20 seconds at a time.
A shot of probiotics
If you haven’t heard of probiotics before then you’ll want to know all about their beneficial effects on both physical and mental health.
Probiotics are a type of good bacteria found in your digestive system and they have been shown to play a role in everything from boosting your immune system to improving your mental health. Increasing probiotics through the food you eat can also help to boost fat burning and keep weight under control.
The best way to increase your intake of probiotics is through supplements, but you can also try adding some probiotic foods such as kefir, tempeh and sauerkraut to your diet to give your gut (and waistline) a healthy boost.
Try intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and fasting, and research has shown it to be beneficial in increasing fat loss.
A key difference between intermittent fasting and dieting is that with fasting it doesn’t specify what foods you should eat, but rather when you should eat them – so it’s more of an eating pattern than a diet.
In fact intermittent fasting can have increased benefits when done in tandem with regular strength training. A study that took place in 2016 showed that eating during an eight-hour window every day helped to decrease body fat and maintain muscle mass when combined with a strength training program.
There are several variations of intermittent fasting which can include only eating on certain days of the week, or others where you are restricted to eating during specific time windows during the day (for instance eight hours, with the following 16 hours fasting).
Find a variation that fits in with your lifestyle and experiment a bit.
Look At The Bigger Picture
Although the crux of burning fat is combining exercise and reducing calories, there is a much broader picture to fat loss and it really is the small things that together create the biggest impact. Even minor changes can have a positive effect when it comes to fat burning. It’s not just about eating less and exercising more.
And the great thing is all of these options can be done at home to help turn your daily habits into healthier ones that, when added up, can have a real and significant impact on your fat burning goals.
So try and incorporate some of these tips into your routine and see how you really can burn fat fast at home. Have you tried some of these tips already, or are there some here you weren’t aware of that you now want to try? Let me know below in the comments.