Often overlooked, fat burning is the third component to lasting weight loss, behind building muscle mass and shedding water weight. If you’re losing water weight and toning muscle, yet the numbers on the scale aren’t budging, try these five strategies to burn fat and lose weight.
- Slash your sugar intake — Many people consume a lot of sugar, often unknowingly since it’s hidden in common processed foods. Reducing sugars will help you lose weight and burn fat faster. Avoid sweet treats and eat natural foods rather than processed convenience items. You don’t need to eliminate sugar from your diet altogether, especially if you think this will encourage you to cheat; however, the more you cut down, the better success you’ll enjoy with lasting weight loss.
- Eat smaller portions — If you eat until you feel stuffed, your body won’t be able to digest all of the food. By switching to smaller servings, consumed more frequently, you’ll absorb more of the food you eat. As a result, less will be stored as fat. Since both diet and exercise play a role in fat burning, this is a place many people get stuck.
- Try high-intensity cardio — If your runs or bike rides aren’t affecting the scale, it’s time to kick things up a notch. High-intensity cardio workouts challenge your mental and physical acuity while boosting your aerobic and anaerobic endurance and shredding fat. Examples of high-intensity cardio include cardio kickboxing, spin class, running, and HIIT (high-intensity interval training).
- Don’t forget about strength training — The bigger your muscles, the more calories you will burn, even when you’re sitting at your desk. If you’re looking to lose weight, strength training will get you there. When you’re just getting started with strength training, technique and safety are essential. Visit a personal trainer or take a class to understand the basics of safe strength training.
- Build protein to slim down — Protein helps your body put on muscle mass, which boosts your metabolism. By eating right to give your body what it needs, you’ll unlock the last key to slimming down. As a general guideline, aim for 1 gram of protein per day to lose weight and burn fat.
By working through these fat-loss strategies, you will be able to figure out what’s not working for you, alter your approach, and find success.