“What is the easiest way to burn fat?”
-Exercise and healthy eating, of course.
“Well, skinnyshae, how can we burn more?”
-More? That is going to require a bit of research. So…
Women’s Health Magazine, in their infinite knowledge, created the Women’s Health Diet (of which the first guideline is Don’t Diet – go figure).
Dieting isn’t about eating less; it’s about eating more. Not just anything, kiddos –more nutrient-dense food, to crowd out the empty calories and keep you full all day, which is important because restricting food will kill your metabolism.
Dieting by restricting food sends signals to your body that say, “I am starving here!” Your body responds by slowing your metabolic rate to hold on to existing energy stores, which means fat.
“Oh, skinnyshae, that’s awful!”
-It gets worse.
If the food shortage (crash diet) continues, you’ll begin burning muscle tissue, which just gives your enemy (fat) an unfair advantage. It’s like having a tell in poker… only knowing you have a tell in poker and still doing it. Your metabolism slows further, and fat goes on to claim more territory. Before you know it, you’re all in and squishy.
“Well, that does not sound pleasant. I’m already terrible at poker.”
-I know. Me, too. But the Women’s Health Diet is here to help you burn more fat… and charge you for buying a book…
But, since they offered a sneak peak, I offer my commentary :)
Go to Bed Earlier: Researchers in Finland found in a study of identical twins that the twin who slept less and was under more stress had more visceral fat.
(Welcome to college! I have friends who don’t sleep more than two hours at a time during random moments in the day. I have friends whose hair is turning gray… at 23. My husband, who works nights and sleeps restlessly, and has dark shadows under his eyes –every one of us struggles with weight gain and loss.)
Eat More Protein: Get some meat in you! Your body needs protein to maintain lean muscle, which is why some (not all) vegans look emaciated. No offense meant, just eat more soy or some nuts. A lot of nuts…
Research argued that the current recommended daily intake for protein, 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, is inadequate for anyone doing resistance training and recommended that women get between 0.54 and 1 gram per pound of body weight. (If you want to lose weight, use your goal body weight as your guide. For instance, I need to eat 120 grams of protein daily while doing resistance training and muscle building. Zomg. That’s a lot of protein. But I eat nuts!)
Husband loads himself full of protein (via protein shake) every time he works out, and he works out a lot. For us (especially me who does not work out a lot) adding servings of 3 ounces of lean meat, 2 tablespoons of nuts or 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt to every meal and snack can really increase our protein intake. Remember, ladies, we were built to build babies, and preparing for that takes a lot of energy –even if it’s never spent. (Energy that turn into… FAT!)
Want better news? Research shows that protein can up post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35 percent.
Go Organic When You Can: Canadian researchers report that dieters with the most organochlorines (pollutants from pesticides, which are stored in fat cells) experience a greater-than-normal dip in metabolism as they lose weight, perhaps because the toxins interfere with the energy-burning process. In other words, pesticides make it harder to lose weight.
Fantastic! I cannot afford and refuse to pay for organic food. It tastes the bloody same and cooks the bloody same. Sometime… things should just be standard, or I need to make more money. Boo. (I’m shooting for more money… :) )
Get Up, Stand Up: Missouri University researchers discovered that inactivity (4 hours or more) causes a near shutdown of an enzyme that controls fat and cholesterol metabolism. To keep this enzyme active and increase your fat-burning factory, break up long periods of downtime by standing up. Good thing skinnyshae stands for 50 or more minutes at a time teaching. And I do it I heels.
Drink Cold Water: German researchers found that drinking 6 cups of cold water a day (48 ounces) can raise resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily –enough to shed 5 pounds in a year, with essentially zero additional effort. The increase may come from the work it takes to heat the water to body temperature. (I like room temperature water. The cold hurts my teeth. Boo.)
Eat the Heat: It turns out that capsaicin, the compound that gives chile peppers their heat, can also fire up your metabolism. (I LOVE spicy food. If it’s not spicy, it’s not good. I wish they made spicy ice cream… OMG they do.) Eating about one tablespoon of chopped peppers boosts your sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for your flight or fight response. The result: temporary metabolism spike of about 23 percent. Who makes an amazing salsa that is also LOADED with peppers? This chick.
Rev Up in the Morning: Eating breakfast jump-starts your metabolism. People who skip that meal are more likely to be obese. Never miss breakfast! The heartier, the better.
Drink Coffee or Tea: Caffeine (yum) is a central nervous system stimulant, so your daily coffee can rev your metabolism (especially in the morning) by 5 to 8 percent, burning about 98 to 174 calories a day. A cup of brewed team can raise your metabolism by 12 percent. Antioxidants called catechins in tea provide the boost.
Fight Fat with Fiber: Fiber fires up your metabolism by 30 percent. Whole grains? Remember? We’ve discussed this before. :)
Eat Iron-Rich Foods: Iron is essential for carrying the oxygen your muscles need to burn fat. Shellfish, lean meats, beans, fortified cereals and spinach are excellent sources of iron. Plus, ladies, we NEED to consume extra iron because of that thing… that we do… once a month.
Get More Vitamin D: Get 90 percent of your recommended daily intake in a 3.5 ounce serving of salmon. Yummy! Tuna, fortified milk and cereal and eggs also help to preserve muscle tissue.
Drink Milk: Calcium deficiency, which is common in many women, may slow metabolism. I, unfortunately, do not drink milk. However, almond milk, which is what I drink, has calcium, too. Plus, research shows, that consuming calcium through dairy foods (crap) may reduce fat absorption from other foods.
Eat Watermelon: The amino acid arginine in watermelon might promote weight loss, according to the Journal of Nutrition. In a lab study, adding this amino acid to the diet of obese mice (too much cheese!) enhanced the oxidation of fat and glucose. However! Watermelon diets are not for real. Do not do them… I’ll be mad at you. So will the mice.
Stay Hydrated: All of your body’s chemical reactions, such as metabolism, depend on water. If you’re dehydrated your burn 2 percent fewer calories. No good! Drink it.
And… buy the book. Nice. :)
While Bikini Boot Camp is technically only scheduled for Mondays and Wednesdays, Ashley R. and I went today to boot camp our butts.
My shins hurt.
Those are my observations.
In addition, I clocked 30 more minutes of cardio. Do you think grocery shopping counts as cardio activity? What if I speed shop? :)
Until next time!