In order to lose fat there are a few variables that are essential to master and put into use. Many of these variables fall under diet and training but there are lifestyle factors such as sleep that matter as well.
The most crucial element of losing fat is keeping yourself in a negative energy balance where your energy expenditure is higher than your energy intake. There are ways to facilitate remaining in this state and maximizing the amount of fat burned.
The five most important things for losing fat easily are calorie intake and calories burned, the amount of cardio you’re doing, your activity level, your metabolism, and your overall lifestyle.
1. Calorie Intake and Calories Burned
In order to lose fat, there must be less calories consumed than there are calories burned. Eating so that you consume less than you are burning is known as a calorie deficit. By consuming less calories than you are burning off, your body will need to seek out other sources of fat energy and muscle since not all of it’s needed energy is going to be coming from food.
As long as you workout and your calorie deficit is not too large (400-500 calories below your maintenance calories is the upper limit generally), your body will burn the fat stores you have, reducing the amount of fat on you.
To initially lose fat, your calorie deficit needs to be larger than it has to be once you’ve lost the fat and are just maintaining your body fat levels.
This means that losing fat is harder than it is to stop yourself from gaining fat so the deficit needs to be higher first in order to get to an ideal level of body fat.
2. Amount of Cardio You Are Doing
The second most important thing to know when trying to lose fat is that cardio counts. Cardio allows you to burn a lot of energy which will increase your energy expenditure and force the body to burn fat in order to remain in balance.
There are many different ways to do cardio but generally anaerobic cardio is the best kind in terms of convenience, affect on hormones, and efficiency.
Anaerobic cardio is short, intense exercise where your body uses glycogen stored in the muscles for energy. Aerobic cardio is longer, less intense exercise such as jogging and biking long distances where the body uses oxygen for energy. Anaerobic cardio has been shown to burn fat at higher rates than aerobic cardio. Anaerobic cardio also increases testosterone whereas aerobic cardio elevates cortisol and does not increase testosterone.
Both forms of cardio will burn calories and help with fat loss, aerobic cardio will just make it harder to maintain your muscle mass as well. By doing anaerobic cardio and increasing your activity levels, more calories will be burned and losing fat will be easier.
3. Activity Level
A third way to burn fat easily is to increase your activity level. Many people have a more sedentary level from working office jobs and spending most time indoors rather than walking around. Raising your overall activity burns calories and helps lose fat.
Your activity level is comprised of things like walking the dog, going up stairs, and standing instead of sitting while working. Doing these activities more will allow you to gain the benefits of exercise without significantly altering your behavior. This kind of exercise can be incorporated into your routine and can burn 400-500 calories extra per day.
These extra 400-500 calories burned will allow you to eat more as well as lose fat more easily.
4. Your Metabolism
The fourth thing that will help with easily losing fat is keeping your metabolism as high as it can be. A higher metabolism means that the body is able to use and burn calories at a faster rate. This is advantageous to someone trying to lose fat because food will be processed quicker and it will be easier to to burn fat.
Your metabolism can be increased by lifting weights, doing anaerobic cardio, drinking water, and consuming caffeine.
To have an optimally functioning metabolism, make sure you sleep enough hours every night, workout, and drink green tea or coffee since those will all help reducing the amount of food that gets converted into fat by the body.
5. Alcohol Intake and Lifestyle
Finally, your overall lifestyle as well as alcohol consumption also plays into how able you are to lose fat.
If you are eating a mostly clean diet, sleeping at least 6-8 hours a night, and exercising, your hormones, metabolism, and bodily functions are going to perform well. Your testosterone will be higher and your body will be functioning at a full capacity which will allow it to effectively burn fat and save muscle.
If you are not sleeping enough and are consuming alcohol, these things will lower your testosterone and interfere with your body’s ability to allocate protein effectively. Thus, your body will not be able to repair itself as well and will pull energy from other sources, not just fat.
Occasionally consuming alcohol while out or missing a few hours of sleep once a week is not going to throw everything off course but having these habits at a good balance is going to make losing fat much easier and quicker.
The five most important things for losing fat easily are to be in a calorie deficit, to do cardio, to keep your activity level high, to keep your metabolism high, and to have an overall balanced and healthy lifestyle.
For more dieting and training, such as how to start lifting after time off and how cold water affects muscle recovery, click here.