8 ways to lose body fat

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Losing weight is perhaps the most common New Year resolution for people. And you have diligently exercised and followed a diet but still the weighing scale refuses to budge despite your efforts. But there is a lot of confusion about how to lose body fat, as opposed to burning the muscle you’ve been working hard to achieve in the gym. London-based nutritionist May Simpkin shares some useful tips to lose fat around the middle, some that most people struggle with.

Studies have shown that eating dinner by mid-afternoon changes the body’s fat and carbohydrate burning patterns, which could help you lose fat. There are different forms of Intermittent Fasting like the popular 5:2 (fast for two days on 500 calories, eat healthy but normally for five hours) or 16:8 (finish eating by 8 pm and start eating again at mid-day the next day leaving 16 hours between last night’s dinner and the next day’s breakfast) diets. This fasting concept works on the idea of restricting your energy intake to certain times. By doing so, it could be an effective way to lose body fat.

  • Studies have shown that eating dinner by mid-afternoon changes the body’s fat and carbohydrate burning patterns, which could help you lose fat. There are different forms of Intermittent Fasting like the popular 5:2 (fast for two days on 500 calories, eat healthy but normally for five hours) or 16:8 (finish eating by 8 pm and start eating again at mid-day the next day leaving 16 hours between last night’s dinner and the next day’s breakfast) diets. This fasting concept works on the idea of restricting your energy intake to certain times. By doing so, it could be an effective way to lose body fat.
    • Protein can boost your metabolism as part of the digestive process. A study found that those eating high protein diets lose more body fat. Though the study involved a rigorous program of exercise and a controlled diet over four weeks, a similar outcome can be achieved by having a more balanced meal with good amounts of protein. Protein rich foods include meat, fish, chicken, eggs, cheese, nuts, beans, lentils and other pulses.
      • Aerobic exercise uses fat as a primary fuel, hence, incorporating more aerobic activity into your daily routine will help you lose body fat. Low-intensity activities like walking, cycling and running at a steady pace, and which is done for at least 30 minutes at a stretch, can push your body into its fat-burning zone.
        • Alcohol contains no nutrients and only provides empty calories. In addition to this, alcohol is high in sugar (especially when combined with cold drinks and juices).It provides an immediate fuel for the body to use, rather than fat, but which can quickly turn into excess fat when it’s not burned off, thus sabotaging your efforts.
          • Fizzy drinks, sweetened coffees, milkshakes, freakshakes, fruit juices are loaded with sucrose and calories, and will spike your blood sugar, which will eventually be converted into fat. And, you will still crave more. Have green tea, buttermilk or coconut water instead.
            • Have a varied exercise routine by incorporating weight training, whether it’s lifting, doing lightweight programmes, using resistance bands or your own body weight to train, will help your body burn fat. That’s because lean muscle mass needs more calories to survive than fat does because the former is quite metabolically active. A body high in lean muscle will burn more fat even at rest than someone with more fat on their bodies

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