There is no better investment you can make in life than taking time to care for yourself. Life is full of constant rushing, which leads to missing out on many healthy things like exercise, careful meal planning, de-stressing before bed, and more. If you take the time to think about how you can improve your overall well-being, it will be much easier to take steps in the right direction. For example, you may realize it’s time to melt away that stubborn body fat that’s been hanging around. Not only will you look and feel better on the outside, but you’ll also be doing great…and healthy!— things inside too.
Science proves that the steps below are integral to shedding body fat. After all, according to Harvard Health Publishing, excess body fat – especially in the abdominal area – is associated with major health risks, including strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, fatty liver, cancer and depression. While change isn’t always easy, these tweaks will prove to be some of the healthiest habits you ever incorporate into your week.
If you’re ready and growing, we’re here with five science-backed ways to lose stubborn body fat that should be on your radar. If you incorporate all of these habits into your daily routine, you’ll see a big difference pretty quickly. Keep reading to learn more about them, and for more, don’t miss the 5 Best Plank Exercises to Lose 5 Inches of Belly Fat, Trainer Reveals.
Reduce your overall intake of unhealthy fats.
The right mindset is everything when it comes to meal planning. There are many lifestyle changes you can make that will absolutely help you not only lose stubborn body fat, but also keep it off. For example, a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health revealed that reducing the amount of dietary fat can help you reduce stubborn body fat—even more than cutting carbs! The study’s lead author and NIDDK senior researcher, Dr. Kevin Hall, explained the research: “Study participants lost even more body fat during the fat-restricted diet because it resulted in a greater imbalance between the fat eaten and burned fat.”
Make it a habit to know exactly what you’re buying so that the foods you have on hand are healthy. For example, many things contain unnecessary sugar and can be high in both fat and calories, such as French fries, fatty red meat, white bread, sodas, and refined grains that are full of sugar. Consider choosing low-fat, low-calorie sources of protein, such as cooked spinach and peas, lentils, beans, chicken and turkey.
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Head to the Mediterranean—for your diet, that is!
The king of all diets when it comes to reducing body fat seems to be the Mediterranean diet. After all, research published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that following this diet can help prevent weight gain and obesity. Even more scientific evidence supports the benefits.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, a review of studies found that people who ate foods within the Mediterranean diet for a year lost 9 to 22 pounds. So be sure to shop for healthy plant-based foods like vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fruits, legumes, olive oil and seafood on your next trip to the grocery store.
Get the right amount of shuteye.
There is a direct correlation between unwanted body fat and not getting enough sleep. If you’re not getting between seven and eight hours of sleep every night, listen up.
Research published in the journal obesity found that people who got a solid amount of jerky gained less visceral fat compared to people who didn’t get enough sleep. Another study linked lack of sleep to increased feelings of hunger. So the less Z you get, the more likely you are to reach for empty calories.
Make sure you have a nightly routine on deck that promotes good sleep. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), consistency is key. Try to maintain the same bedtime and wake up time every day. Also, stay away from large meals right before dozing off and consider removing all blue light devices from your sleeping area.
Increase high-intensity interval training to burn fat.
Okay, you knew this one was coming. There’s no getting around the fact that consistent, effective exercise is key when it comes to burning fat. High Intensity Interval Exercise (HIIE) is truly the best way to lose stubborn body fat for the amount of time you spend working out, and the science backs it up.
According to research published in Journal of ObesityHIIE can be much more effective at reducing abdominal and subcutaneous fat than other types of exercise. Adding HIIE to your regular fitness regimen can significantly increase your anaerobic and aerobic fitness. In addition, this form of physical activity significantly reduces your body’s insulin resistance.
If you’re wondering how to change up your workout routine, research has revealed some HIIE training methods that aren’t challenging. Consider testing an eight-second cycle sprint, then low-intensity cycling for 12 seconds, completing this session for 20 minutes. Or do your cycle sprint for 15 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of low-intensity cycling for a total of 20 minutes.
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Practice healthy habits with your friends and family.
If your friend is obese, your chances of becoming obese increase to 57%, according to the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Your close circle of friends can have a huge impact on your attempts to lose weight and even make healthy choices—in both good and bad ways, explained Walter Willett, Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and Chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).
When we talk about his book, Thinfluence, on Boston Public Radio’s WGBH, Willett pointed out that eating junk food and living a sedentary life can take a toll on you and completely sabotage your dieting efforts. He explained in his book that many environmental factors, advertisements, friends and even family members can have a bearing on how much you weigh.
We’re not saying cut ties with your friends. But Willett suggested, “Invite friends to join you for a walk or for an evening of healthy cooking. Bring your friends in a positive way. That’s the end goal.” You can make a positive impact!