50 Best Fat-Burning Tips

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Some of us have put on a few extra pounds during the pandemic, with gyms closed across the country and many people staying home in self-quarantine. If you’ve fallen off the wagon a bit in terms of your diet and exercise program, no worries because life is full of second chances – they are called tomorrow. Now that things are opening up again, it’s an opportunity to recommit to your plan for optimal health and meet your weight-loss goals. Keep in mind that diet is the key to the success of any fitness program, whether you want to add lean body mass or drop some extra pounds. In addition, many healthy lifestyle choices can and should also be implemented as part of your program to become healthier and leaner, and here are 50 tips that will help you burn fat.

  1. No magic pill. There’s no magic involved in fat loss. You must diet. In other words, monitor and/or limit your intake of food and drink. If your energy expenditure is less than your caloric intake, you’ll get fatter and fatter. You must have an unwavering commitment to this fact or you will fail.
  2. Maintain or increase muscle mass. Specifically, lift weights. Muscle is metabolically active – it requires calories. The more muscle you have, the more calories you need to sustain it, the more food you can eat and still lose weight.
  3. Do your cardio. Sixty minutes with your heart rate at 70 percent of maximum will not only burn about 500 calories, but it will also maximize fat burning.
  4. Map out your diet. Figure out the total number of calories you’ll need to consume in a day based upon your body, activity level, etc. Divide your daily calorie target by the number of meals you’ll eat. When constructing a meal, stick to the plan.
  5. Be a warrior. Be conscious of your willpower – you and only you are in control of what you eat. Exercise this power freely. Who’s going to win, you or that row of Hostess cupcakes? Only eat what’s on your diet – NO CHEATING!
  6. Picture the end result. Look in the mirror and ponder the future. Imagine what you’ll look like in eight weeks – lean, fit and healthy. Use the image to make good decisions.
  7. Keep away from the refrigerator. Get out of the habit of walking into the house and peering into the fridge. You did that when you were a kid. Besides, there’s nothing in there but diet food, right?
  8. Attach a picture of yourself in killer shape to the refrigerator door. Every time you open the door, you’ll see it and it will motivate you to do the right thing. If you’ve never been in killer shape …
  9. Attach a picture of an overweight, unhealthy person to the refrigerator door. This should encourage you not to eat.
  10. Don’t eat before bed. Sleep uses little fuel – those calories are going to get stored somewhere, since there isn’t much chance they’ll be burned. At least two hours should pass between eating and sleeping.
  11. Consider eating small meals often throughout the day. If you space small meals about three hours apart, as opposed to three square meals a day, you’ll keep your energy levels constant and prevent ravenous hunger.
  12. Eat low-glycemic carbohydrates throughout the day. Slow-burning carbs, such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes and whole grains will keep your blood sugar stable. Sugars found in some fruits, fruit juices, refined and processed foods cause wild fluctuations in insulin. Insulin bursts enhance fat storage, plus they can leave you feeling starved and foraging for more to eat.
  13. Don’t show up at mealtime with a voracious appetite. Hundreds of extra calories can be consumed amid mindless, uncontrolled grazing. If you feel as though you could eat a horse, start with a handful of unsalted dry roasted peanuts. It’s enough to satisfy your hunger so you can sit down to a meal and take human bites!
  14. Drink plenty of water. Aim for a gallon per day, or close to it. Being properly hydrated keeps you feeling full and will make you less likely to eat. Often hunger is actually dehydration that you are experiencing. Dieters who drink lots of water are more successful in meeting their weight-loss goals.
  15. Eat foods high in fiber. Salads, leafy green vegetables, etc. fill you up and are loaded with healthy phytonutrients – with barely negligible calories. Just watch the dressing!
  16. Eat foods low in saturated fat. Eat monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, which boost metabolism.
  17. Read the labels. Loads of fat and sugar are innocently consumed, hidden under label claims of “90% fat free,” “light,” “low fat,” etc. FDA labeling requires that sugars be listed separately from total carbohydrates as well as total fat calories per serving. The healthy label claims are based on net weight, not calories. So do the math! One gram of fat equals nine calories.
  18. Keep a diet journal. Writing down everything you eat and drink as well as computing the calories is an excellent way to be absolutely sure you stay within your calorie guidelines.
  19. Rid the house of junk. Junk food can be defined as anything that’s not on your diet. If you share the dwelling with other non-dieters who balk at the idea of a cupboard bare of munchables, refer back to number one!
  20. Don’t shop hungry. All kinds of things can end up in your shopping cart because they look interesting. Prepare a list and stick to it.
  21. Don’t shop in stores that have bulk food sections. Just one of those innocent-looking chocolate covered peanut clusters is loaded with sugars and fat. And who eats just one?
  22. Don’t pick. If you are cooking for more than one, you can “taste yourself” right out of the ballpark calorically. Adjust questionable seasoning at the table once your portion is measured.
  23. Don’t guess. Weigh or measure everything first. How many calories are in that bowl of low-fat granola? I caught a friend with a bowl full she thought was OK. I weighed it and shocked her with the information that her measly bowl contained 800 calories, before the milk! Definitely not OK.
  24. Stay out of the kitchen. Fix your meal; wash the dishes and leave. Go hang out someplace else.
  25. Don’t watch TV commercials. Leave the room; go get a drink of water; make a phone call; get the mail, etc. For some reason, food manufacturers come out with scrumptious new products and market the daylights out of them just when it’s your turn to diet. This phenomenon is particularly prevalent at night.
  26. Make the news of your diet public. Hopefully, friends and family will show some compassion and not invite you out for unhealthy food.
  27. Never stray too far from a mirror. When all else fails and your willpower is failing, pull off your clothes and stand under some good light. You are your own best critic. Regardless of how good or bad you look, a trip to the fridge won’t be likely after you assess your shape.
  28. Compliment yourself. Positive reinforcement can do wonders for your attitude as well as your willpower.
  29. Bring your food. Don’t count on being able to find a restaurant willing to weigh and measure your food and cook it without oil. Make your meals ahead of time and bring them along with you.
  30. Avoid fad diets. If they actually do work, they won’t work for long. The only way to lose fat is as easy as 1, 2 and 3.
  31. Don’t punish yourself. If you do go off the deep end and binge, go right back on the diet where you left off. You can’t compensate by starving yourself or doing too much cardio.
  32. Allow yourself a treat. All diet and no fun can make you nuts. At least once a week, eat something that is less healthy and not on your diet. Your basic long-term diet will be unaffected by a weekly “normal meal.”
  33. Spice up your food and drink green tea or oolong tea. Cayenne pepper, ginger, chili powder and picante sauce not only make meals interesting without adding significant calories, but studies have shown that these spices and green and oolong teas have a thermogenic effect that helps burn more fat.
  34. Don’t carry cash. If your pockets are empty, so, too, will be your stomach, regardless of how many vending machines, catering trucks or golden arches you may pass.
  35. Don’t spend too much time alone. A good conversation can carry you straight through to your next meal without even the thought of a doughnut.
  36. Associate with other dieters. Misery loves company. Even if you end up obsessing over the foods you miss most, your egos will keep you honest.
  37. Weigh yourself and even get your body fat checked just once a week. Fluctuations of a pound or two, or a percent or so, are common day to day. Weekly reading should show your true progress, as well as indicate if the diet you mapped out is really working.
  38. Take a “before” picture. No matter how bad you look, you can look forward to looking better. Showing off your progress is a sweet reward.
  39. Make an effort to look your best. If you look as though a perfect fashion accessory would be a shopping cart filled with aluminum cans, forget it. To quote the late Fernando Lamas, “If you look good, you feel good” – and if you feel good about yourself, chances are less you’ll sabotage the diet.
  40. Make soup. The main ingredient in soup is water. Water has no calories. The calorie allotment for one meal can be stretched quite far by making soup out of it. A pile of veggies, fresh fish, combined with three or four cups of de-fatted chicken broth, make a huge meal that takes the better part of an hour to eat.
  41. Order à la carte. Some kind of greasy side dish, i.e., french fries, home fries, coleslaw, potato salad, etc., usually accompanies restaurant meals. Ask your server if the side can be replaced with steamed vegetables, such as spinach, asparagus and broccoli, or build a meal from single items on the menu.
  42. Order sauces and salad dressings on the side. Even the healthy-sounding dressings and sauces can be freighted with fat. Dipping your fork in the sauce first, then spearing the food can give you the flavor with a minimum of useless calories.
  43. Have a shake. Hungry between meals? Try a good meal replacement shake – one that’s sugar-free, low in calories, high in protein and low in carbohydrates that can help curb your appetite and boost fat burning.
  44. Don’t skip meals. Starving yourself does two things to foil the diet: First, sensing starvation, the body slows metabolic function to preserve energy and begins to rid itself of lean body mass that is metabolically active – that should be the muscle you are trying to keep. Next, ravenous hunger sets in, signaling you to eat. Unfortunately, by the time you heed this signal, a tornado would carve less of a path through the refrigerator. Eat small meals throughout the day.
  45. Be creative in the kitchen. Diet food can get boring fast. Want pizza? A Boboli thin crust, or pita, fresh-crushed tomatoes, Italian herbs and non-fat mozzarella make a great pizza without departing at all from your diet guidelines. Want cheesecake? Non-fat cream cheese makes it possible. A little effort goes a long way in keeping diet sanity.
  46. Stay busy. An idle mind is the diet devil’s workshop. There are a hundred reasons to go to the fridge when you’ve got nothing to do.
  47. Nighttime is the worst time. Sitting around watching TV late in the evening, even the most diehard dieter can cave in. Keep ziplock bags filled with celery sticks, carrots, sliced bell peppers, etc. in the refrigerator for easy munching.
  48. Keep the components pre-made in the refrigerator. Some cooked ground turkey breast, grilled chicken breasts, salads, etc., can cut meal preparation time to a minimum. The less cooking time – the less picking time.
  49. Make Jell-O. Sugar-free Jell-O is great stuff; it’s fun to eat, easy to make, and practically devoid of calories – the whole box only contains 40!
  50. Take your vitamins. Take a good multivitamin and mineral supplement rich in calcium and antioxidant nutrients. Recent studies indicate that high-calcium diets enhance weight loss.

Go to it you can do it!