The best ways to burn fat doing nothing

Did you know that the faster your metabolism is, the more fat you burn doing nothing? Factors that affect your metabolism include:

  1. Exercise
    Exercise contributes to approx. 15% of the metabolism and up to 30% in very active people. This includes both planned and incidental exercise. Planned exercise involves both cardiovascular training and resistance training. Exercise in the morning, in particular, stimulates the metabolism to burn more energy throughout the day. Incidental exercise may be enhanced simply by moving more during the day. This may be done by parking further away from work or the gym, walking to the shops, using the stairs instead of the elevator.
  2. Eating Frequently
    The process of breaking down food produces heat energy, which may contribute up to 15% of one’s daily energy expenditure. Potentially, eating smaller meals, more frequently (5-6 per day), is as important as exercising. If you were to throw two big logs onto the fire (your metabolism) each day, it would burn low and very slowly. However, if you were to throw 5 smaller logs onto the fire each day, it would burn higher and much quicker.
  3. Boost your Resting metabolism
    This contributes approx. 70% of our daily expenditure. Factors that affect it include:
  • Muscle – the more muscle tissue someone has, the greater the fuel requirements to maintain it. Another good analogy is the comparison between a V8 litre car engine and a 1.8 litre engine. Obviously the V8, being the larger of the two, will require more fuel. This is a major reason why men find it easier to burn fat than women. Fat free mass, along with age and sex make up approximately 80% of the entire resting metabolic rate. Hence, weight training and correct nutrition are essential strategies for long-term fat loss results.
  • Temperature – in the case of cold temperatures, in order to maintain core temperature, the body is forced to shiver, which requires energy and hence an increase in metabolism. In particular, during cold periods, you should not use electric blankets and rug up so much. Exercising in the cold, first thing in the morning is useful.
  • Sleep – Research suggests that the majority of people sleep 7-8 hours a night, but there are also short (5-6 hours) and long (8-9 hours) sleepers. When compared to long sleepers, short sleepers go to sleep more quickly, spend less time in Stages 1 and 2 and REM sleep, but spend the same time in Stages 3 and 4 of sleep. Investigators suggest that the final two stages of sleep are needed for bodily repair and are the only stages of sleep where growth hormone is secreted. As less movement occurs when we are asleep, the less we sleep, the greater the metabolic rate will be. Hence, you may not require as much sleep as you get.
  • Caffeine – Research strongly supports the theory that caffeine stimulates the metabolism, increases alertness and allows the fat cells to release more fat into the blood stream to be used as energy. Hence, a sugar free caffeinated drink, such as black coffee or diet coke consumed prior to exercise may improve performance and the fat burning process. Please note that we do not condone caffeine at other times of the day, as it may cause dehydration and leaches essential vitamins and minerals from the body.
  • Spicy Foods – Capsaicin, an ingredient found in spicy foods, has been found to stimulate the metabolism and suppress appetite. If you tend to eat out frequently, a good suggestion would be to include spicy foods in an entree, as it may reduce food intake in the main meal.
  • Age – The metabolism tends to fall as you get older, however, this is generally due to a fall in daily activity. By maintaining an active lifestyle the metabolism will not necessarily fall.

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