A healthy body image is built from the inside out. It is nurtured by a healthy diet and shaped through lots of exercise. What is your idea of a healthy body? You want it fit, sexy and belly bulge-free, don’t you? That’s why it’s crucial to reach and maintain a weight that is realistic for you. You need to lose excess fat to look great and be really healthy – inside and out.
Here are five tips to rev up your metabolism to burn fat and maintain a healthy BMI (calculate your BMI here!)
1. Cardiovascular Fitness – the #1 calorie-burner.
Cardio is more than a hallmark for burning calories fast, it’s very beneficial to your health. It controls body weight, burns fat and keeps your heart working properly. There are plenty of choices when it comes to picking your favorite cardio workouts; just stick to what you like the most and give it high energy five times a week for a 30 to 60 minutes.
Accepting the cruel truth that 1 pound of fat is the equivalent of 3500 calories; try to burn 700 calories each day to get rid of 1 pound every week. Keep the fat off with these two cardio activities – they can be repeated according to your energy and drive.
- Jumping Rope – you can lose fat with every jump – around 300 calories with a 30 minute workout.
- Kickboxing – alternating kicks and punches not only increases coordination but zaps calories too – approximately 300 calories in 30 minutes.
For beginners, try moderate intensity cardio workout such as brisk walks, which burn from 90-200 calories in a 30 minute session.
2. Resistance Training.
As you know, the metabolic rate is the body’s capacity to burn calories – that’s why keeping the metabolic rate high means keeping the body fat down. In this case, you need to build lean muscle to burn calories even when you don’t exercise. Muscles not only burn more calories than fat, but they also sculpt your dream fit body. Build, and most importantly maintain muscles, by lifting weights and training like a beast at least three times a week! You’ll definitely look like a beauty!
Very important: don’t forget of your weekly cardio sessions even when you lift weights! Cardio and strength training complement each other for maximum results. Without cardio, layers of fat will cover your muscles.
3. Keep cortisol levels down.
Too much cortisol, known as the ‘’stress hormone,’’ wreaks havoc with your metabolism and causes you to gain weight. Cortisol increases sugar in the bloodstream, and has been shown to increase food cravings. Its nightmare mission is to store fat in the abdominal area! Sleep deprivation, anxiety and stress increase the cortisol levels and encourage your body to store more fat. Decrease your cortisol levels by exercising, sleeping at least 8 hours per night and eating foods full of vitamin C such as citrus, kiwi, broccoli or red pepper.
4. Eat small, smart meals frequently.
Excessive food intake is the culprit that puts fat deposits all over your body. Instead of binging on three huge meals a day, it’s better to have five mini meals throughout the day. This will help your body burn more calories at different times and you will feel less hungry overall. When you are less hungry, you eat less! Starving yourself is not the solution – a normal caloric intake of 1,300 calories should be divided into your mini meals.
5. Cut out starchy carbs and fill up on fibers.
Too much bread, pasta, potatoes or rice is nothing else than extra fat for your body. They don’t even keep you full or satisfied for a long time. Limit your consumption to 3 servings per day in small quantities: instead of a big bowl, use a cup as a portion control size. Alternatively, fibers keep you full longer and are low in fat. Whether from oatmeal, beans or fruits, you need eat 25-30 grams of fiber a day.