Fat helps our bodies to function and it can keep us healthy, yet too much fat can cause serious health problems. To make sure your body doesn't store too much fat use these five ways to burn fat and shape up.
A lot of people wrongly assume that in order to burn fat you ought to steer clear of foods that contain dairy. Yet a study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating dairy helped to reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs.
Similarly, a study in Denmark found that those participants who ate a lot of calcium in their diet tended to excrete more fat in their faeces. This means that people who eat foods high in calcium will absorb less fat.
Just before you go out and gorge on cheese though, we have to state that eating foods that are high in calories, despite their calcium content, can still lead to obesity. Instead of eating calorific foods such as cheese, opt for yoghurt, sesame seeds or tofu. Interestingly it is thought that eating yoghurt daily can lead to a two-pound drop in weight per year.
You may not want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but lifting weights can help you to burn fat and lose weight, and just because you do the odd bench-press doesn't mean you'll get arms like Arnie. It is thought that weight training is great for burning fat and losing weight because it helps you to build lean muscle and every pound of muscle you have burns around six and half calories per hour.
In addition to burning more calories, weight training will give your metabolism a boost for up to two hours after your weight training session, which again means you will burn more.
Exercise before breakfast
It can be hard for some people to find the motivation to get out of bed early and exercise, but hopefully a study conducted by the University of Northumbria will help give you the incentive to throw back the covers and get moving.
The researchers who directed the study found that the participants who worked out before they ate breakfast burnt 20% more fat compared to those participants that worked out after their breakfast.
If you fancy doing an early morning workout before your breakfast you could go for a gentle jog, do an exercise DVD or go for a morning swim - you can't get a much better start to your day.
Do some interval training
One of the best ways to burn fat and lose weight is to fit some interval sessions into your training plan. Interval sessions are great because they force the body to burn fat for fuel because training at a high intensity causes you to use up your carbohydrate stores and your body then burns fat for energy.
If you want to burn fat by doing some interval training sessions you should aim to work at a high intensity, for example sprinting for a minimum of 10 seconds and a maximum of three minutes. Then you should take a rest period where, for example, if you had been running you would walk. You would repeat this run/walk scenario until the end of your session.
Good news for us food lovers, if you want to burn fat you can eat more meals. It is thought that those who want to lose weight and who want to burn fat should eat three meals and three snacks throughout the day. This is because eating regularly maintains your blood sugar levels. If you did not eat regularly these levels would dip, resulting in your body burning valuable muscle tissue instead. Consequently, as a result of this lowered muscle mass you would have a lower metabolism and not be able to burn as much.
Although eating regularly seems to promote fat burn, the type of food you put into your body still matters. Try to eat some fiber and lean protein within each of your meals and snacks and steer clear of foods containing 'empty calories' such as chocolate and cakes.
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