There are countless articles out there about this subject, so we did our best to analyze the reports, the latest scientific research and the best anecdotal evidence we could find from busy people who have successfully lost weight and belly fat. Each of these 10 tips will have a noticeable impact on your fat loss goals if you stick with them consistently.
The biggest excuse we make not to exercise is that we couldn’t make the time. Scientists have been studying High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in great detail, and most agree the results show that HIIT is more effective for fat loss than almost any other form of exercise. The bonus for busy people is that HIIT only takes 10-20 minutes for maximum effectiveness. Do your workout in the morning to maintain lots of energy throughout the day and schedule your workouts or use an exercise buddy to help you stick to the routine. Aim for 3-5 days a week and squeeze in walks whenever you can.
2. Drink lots of water
Drink at least a litre of water first thing in the morning and make sure to keep well hydrated throughout the day. It is best to fill up 30 minutes before a meal to keep from diluting your stomach acid and impairing your digestion. A lot of fat is caused by inflammation and staying well hydrated will aid your body in its fight against inflammation. Adding some lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to your water first thing in the morning can also help your digestion and reduce inflammation.
3. Control your portion sizes
If we aren’t conscious of controlling our portion sizes, then our bodies naturally drive us to overeat. One prevalent method of portion control involves getting smaller plates and bowls. Although it may sound silly, a lot of people swear by this tactic for successfully changing their eating habits. Another excellent way to control your portions is to prepare your meals for the week ahead of time or try a meal prep service.
4. Try a meal prep service
Much more than controlling your portion sizes, a meal prep service allows you to select healthy meal choices ahead of time. For those with busy lives, there probably isn’t enough time to cook all your meals, but a meal prep service takes just a few minutes to order, and you’re set for the week.
5. Don’t get takeout
You waste a lot of money, but more importantly, the food is cooked with unhealthy oils and additives that cause inflammation. Most of us already know that the takeout we eat is probably the most significant thing keeping us from reaching our fat loss goals.
6. Declutter your kitchen and get healthy snacks
If it isn’t the takeout, then it is definitely the unhealthy snacks that are keeping those extra pounds from falling off. The best way to cut back on unhealthy snacking is to throw it out or give it away so that your kitchen doesn’t have the junk in the first place. Next step is to go out and get a bunch of healthy snacks you like, so you always have something on hand when food cravings hit.
7. Cut out the refined sugar and dairy
Refined sugar is by far the most significant contributor to fat and inflammation. If you’re trying to lose fat without cutting back on refined sugar, then you will undoubtedly be fighting an uphill battle. Dairy is not far behind sugar for causing your body to store fat and create inflammation. Even if you don’t notice the adverse effects, both of these things are working against you.
8. Don’t drink your calories, reduce alcohol and drop that smoothie
We often forget how much of our unwanted fat is coming from all the sugar we are drinking. Whether it is soda or juice you will be drinking a ton of sugar and alcohol is just as significant a source of inflammation (especially wine and beer; stick to clear hard liquor if you’re still going to drink). Best to go with tea or coffee if you can drink it black. And forget about smoothies if you’re trying to get that flat stomach. When you blend fruits and drink them, you bypass your salivary enzymes that are essential for digesting the fruits in your stomach. This will cause the fruit to ferment in your GI tract and create tons of inflammation. Best to eat fruits whole, without other types of food and in the evening.
9. Time your eating or try intermittent fasting
It’s not just fruit that is best eaten in the evening. Scientists have discovered that starting your morning with sugar is one of the worst things you can do for energy and fat loss. Start your morning with healthy fats for lots of energy and save the sugars and carbs for the evening. Paying attention to the timing of your eating can induce drastic changes in your weight and body composition. In scientific studies on meal timing, subjects can eat the same food, but those who snack throughout the day will tend to gain weight, whereas those who eat within a restricted time window will have greater success losing weight. A popular form of restricted eating is called Intermittent Fasting. Many of the success stories we interviewed attributed a considerable amount of their fat loss to intermittent fasting.
10. Proper sleep
Last but certainly not least is getting a healthy amount of restful sleep. There are two things to focus on here: the QUALITY of your sleep, just as much as the time. Everyone will have a different ideal amount of time to sleep for their biology, but for most, it is 6-8 hours. Investing in the quality of your sleep is where most people can make improvements, though. Get a free app to help track your sleep. Don’t sleep near cellular devices unless they are in airplane mode. Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth devices. Sleep in a pitch-black environment (invest in some blackout curtains). Limit your exposure to blue light and LEDs a few hours before bed (shut off the TV and read a book). Invest in some incandescent light bulbs.
The most important thing is to have a healthy mindset. Don’t try to be perfect and aim to cheat meals instead of cheat days. Make your goals realistic, stay positive, and stick to these tips long term. If you fall off track, remember to pick it back up again, and you will reach those goals no matter how busy you are.