What is The Secret of Fat Loss?
Updated: Jun 15, 2020
There are a lot of opinions and misconceptions about how to lose fat. We've always heard people talk about juices, teas, get your stomach stapled, sleep in a foil suit, try hypnosis, and take fat burner supplements for fat loss. The problem here is that everybody wants simple, effortless solutions. What people don’t understand is that fat loss is not a miracle; you have to work hard to get it. Now let's move on to some science-proven solutions that have a real effect on fat loss.
Reduce sugar & refined carbs
Sugar is one of the main reasons for excess body fat, we're talking about processed sugar, like those added to your tea, coffee, desserts, artificial juices, soft drinks, condiments, sauces, and dressings. Excess sugar intake leads to the production of insulin, which in turn triggers the storage of fats in the body, especially belly fat.
Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, rice, and pasta, are removed from the fiber part, which is the nutritious and filling part. Refined carbs can raise blood sugar quickly, resulting in hunger, cravings and increased food intake, which is highly linked to an increase in body and belly fat.
Eating high protein foods can minimize muscle loss, which should help in keeping your metabolism high as you lose body fat. High protein foods can control appetite hormones to make people feel full. This is mainly due to a reduction in the hunger hormone and an increase in satiety hormones, which can last for several hours.
High protein foods include poultry, beef, lamb, seafood, dairy products, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, and eggs.
Fiber stays longer in the digestive system, which makes us feel full for longer. In return, this will reduce hunger leading to fat loss.
High fiber foods include oats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, and dried fruits.
Intermittent fasting tends to help reduce body fat by requiring people to eat fewer calories in a limited time. There’re different methods for intermittent fasting including, fasting two days a week; this is how we (Muslims) do it, by fasting Mondays and Thursdays. The prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) said, "Deeds of people are presented (to Allah) on Mondays and Thursdays. So I like that my actions be presented while I am fasting." The other method is 16/8 where you fast for 16 hours and eat in 8 hours; this is very similar to Ramadan.
One of the most effective ways to enhance fat loss can be by adding cardio to your routine. Cardio can also help decrease waist circumference, decrease body fat, especially belly fat and build muscle mass. Studies suggest taking 150–300 minutes of moderate to vigorous weekly exercise (2.5 – 5 hours), or approximately 20–60 minutes of cardio every day.
Examples of cardio exercises include walking, jogging, running, biking, swimming, dancing, jump rope, etc.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT takes 30 minutes to complete and provides higher health benefits compared to cardio exercises. Fat burning occurs both during and long after HIIT exercise; and thereby, the after-burn effect happens. HIIT burns calories throughout the day and not just during exercise. Not only does HIIT help you lose fat, but it also helps you build muscles, the more muscles you gain, the higher your metabolism and fat loss.
Lack of sleep can cause changes in hunger hormones, increasing appetite and increasing the risk of obesity. Research has shown that lack of sleep is related to low metabolism and higher fat storage. When it comes to fat loss, having at least seven hours of sleep a night is strongly associated with the most benefits. Keep a daily sleep schedule, restrict your caffeine consumption and reduce the pre-bed use of electronic devices to help maintain a healthy sleep pattern.
Stress will lead to bigger belly fat by allowing your body to release cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. If cortisol stays in the bloodstream, appetite increases, leading to overeating.
Some stress-relieving techniques include yoga, meditation, breathing exercise, and spending time in nature.
The human body relies on our lifestyle, you only get what you've been working for. You can't eat crap and expect realistic results. Many of the previous methods are mainly dietary, getting more protein or reducing sugar. Some are more lifestyle-based, such as enhancing the quality of sleep, reducing stress, or adopting a workout routine. Fat-burning supplements and teas aren't as successful as they're being advertised. They will in some cases make the fat-burning efforts harder. Losing belly fat isn't just something to aim for to look healthier; it also has health benefits like reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and much more.
And remember fat loss is a process it doesn't happen overnight, so you have to be patient and consistent.
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