The best thing you can do for weight loss is to eat healthier and move more. However, despite our best efforts, weight loss can reach a frustrating plateau. If you feel like you need to try something new, check out these 9 tricks to lose fat and inches. They can help you identify reasons why your body holds on to extra pounds, such as stress or cravings. Burn calories the healthy way!
1. Build muscle.
Many women don’t lift weights because they are afraid of looking bulky. They think muscles will make them look wide and manly, instead of thin and lean. However, building muscle mass actually helps you lose weight. Your body spends more calories maintaining muscle than maintaining fat. This means that when you build muscle, you raise your resting metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn while at rest). Including weight lifting in your workout plan can help you lose fat and inches. And don’t worry about looking bulky! Unless you follow an intense bodybuilding plan, your body will stay lean and trim.
2. Practice meditation, yoga, or another relaxing activity.
Stress might be a major contributing factor to weight gain. For our distant ancestors, stress was linked to a fight for survival. It usually meant a shortage of food, or an attack from a predator, both situations in which energy supplies were beneficial. Our bodies learned to store fat at times of high stress. Stress hormones trigger weight gain, and taking time to relax can help combat these effects.
3. Use life events to mark a new beginning.
You might have heard of a revenge body. You or a friend might have gone through a difficult breakup or rejection, and used it as motivation to improve your health and fitness. This is a real phenomenon that you can use to your advantage! Turn a new beginning, such as a new job, a new house, or a breakup, into an opportunity for a whole new lifestyle. Make changes you know will help. Buy more vegetables, join a fitness class, quit smoking!
4. Eat more antioxidant rich foods.
Antioxidants are known for fighting diseases and keeping your cells healthy. But did you know they can also aid in weight loss? Antioxidants stop oxidation, which produces free radicals. This can help you lose weight because free radicals damage cells, including those that help signal when you’re full. Damaging these cells can cause cravings, larger appetites, and ultimately weight gain.
5. Don’t cut carbs or fats.
A healthy diet is key to weight loss, but taking the diet too far can actually inhibit your efforts. Carbohydrates are your body’s first source of energy. While your body might be able to function from other energy sources, it won’t work at peak performance. Fats are essential for brain function, hormone production, and even joint lubrication. Furthermore, recent research suggests that the right kind of fat can even promote weight loss. Instead of cutting carbs and fats from your diet, focus on eating the right kind of carbs and fats. Load up on fiber, whole grain, nuts, and fatty fish.
6. But cut out all alcohol (if possible).
To lose fat and inches, all you might have to do is cut back on heavy drinking. Alcohol might be contributing to excess weight in three ways. First, drinks are usually loaded with sugar. This doesn’t just apply to to margaritas and mojitos. Even wine and beer are loaded with empty carbs. The second is the calorie content of alcohol. A gram of alcohol has around seven calories. Almost as much as fat and nearly twice as much as a gram of protein! Even if you skip the sugary drinks, there’s no way to drink without consuming empty calories. The third reason alcohol contributes to weight gain is that it clouds your judgment. You might say no to junk food while sober, but a few shots of tequila sends you running to the nearest burger place.
Did you know your body can confuse thirst for hunger? This means you might be reaching for snacks when you really should be reaching for a glass of water. Additionally, water makes your stomach feel full and stops you from overeating. If you just finished a plate of food but still don’t feel satisfied, try drinking a glass of water and then see how you feel.
8. Make your food a little spicier.
Certain spices are believed to raise your metabolism, and eating spicy food can actually help you burn more calories! Additionally, certain hot foods, such as red hot chili peppers, have been found to cap your appetite. These foods help signal the brain that your stomach is full.
9. Try sugar free gum.
Studies have shown that chewing gum helps control cravings. At under five calories per piece, gum is a better option to fruity candy. Additionally, a recent study from the University of Rhode Island showed that chewing gum can help you consume fewer calories at meal time.