Losing weight and achieving your goals isn’t an overnight fix, but there are numerous ways to expedite the process. Below are 12 tips that focus on burning belly fat and toning your abs.
By incorporating three or four of these tips into your daily routine, you can start seeing results sooner and reach your weight loss goals faster.
1. Eat more protein
About 25 to 30 percent of the calories in each gram of protein are burned in digestion, compared to only 6 to 8 percent of the calories in carbs. Do the math: You save 41 calories every time you substitute 50g of protein for an equal amount of carbs.
2. Read labels
Avoid foods with “high-fructose corn syrup” in the ingredients list. Since 1971, consumption of this sugar substitute—which is used to sweeten soda, commercial baked goods, and even condiments—has increased more than 350 percent in the U.S., paralleling the rise in obesity.
3. Get off your ass
Do every exercise standing instead of sitting. You’ll expend up to 30 percent more calories. The solution for the bench press? Dips.
4. Mix up your movements
When you lift, perform supersets in which you alternate between sets of lower-body exercises and upper-body exercises. That way, your lower body rests while your upper body is working. This allows you to work your muscles maximally with very little downtime between sets for a faster, more effective workout.
5. Exercise blind
When you’re using the elliptical trainer, try letting go of the handles and closing your eyes. (Be careful!) Without the visual feedback, your core muscles will have to work harder to keep you balanced, burning more calories to supercharge weight loss.
6. Embrace yardwork
View any type of physical activity—even those you try to avoid, such as mowing the lawn—as a chance to burn fat and condition your body. (Just make sure you use a push mower.)
7. Snack on dill pickles
They have one calorie per slice.
8. Take larger steps
When using the stair climber, skip one out of every five steps. Then take one large step to get back to your normal walking pattern. This step recruits additional muscle, accelerating weight loss.
9. Break a record
Challenge yourself to run farther in the same amount of time—even if it’s just one-tenth of a mile—every single workout. This ensures you’re always burning more calories (key for weight loss) from one workout to the next.
10. Smash your dinner plates
And buy smaller ones. That way, even if you fill your plate to capacity, you’re ultimately eating less than what you would likely pile on your existing platters.
11. Cut carbs
Yes, you’ve heard it a zillion times. The reason: It works. In just one of many recent studies, a Journal of Nutrition report found that men who reduced their carb intake to just 8 percent of their daily calories lost 7 pounds of fat and gained 2 pounds of muscle in six weeks.
12. Lift first, then run
By doing cardio after you’ve lifted—when you’re already tired—the same speed or intensity will have a greater effect than had you done it beforehand.