Top 7 tips to help you burn fat at home
All of us have felt overweight at some point in our lives. Regardless of the actual cold hard reality, we all feel a bit fat sometimes.
Sorry to be using that word – I do know it has acquired some rather bad rap over the past couple of years, but we are talking about burning fat here.
But to return to the subject at hand.
You want to burn fat, and you want to do it without having to add going to the gym to your daily schedule. You don’t want a PT, you don’t necessarily want a workout buddy, you would rather just stay home, in your own comfort zone, and operate from there.
Luckily, no matter what you may hear from those trying to get you to spend money on a gym membership, you can get as fit as you want to be at home.
(Side note: depending on the said goal, you will need to add more or less equipment to your home, but that is not the topic of this conversation.)
The one important thing you need to bear in mind is that the weight you want to get rid of did not magically appear overnight. If it has taken you a couple of years of being a couch potato to get to where you are, you can’t become Hugh Jackman in a month.
However, with these 7 tips for burning fat at home, you will be well on your way to success:
1. Be patient
Sticking to the Hugh Jackman metaphor I have just evoked, the first thing you need to do before you start doing anything else is promising yourself you will not lose patience after a month.
You will start to see the results at some point. Depending on your starting point, it may take a week, or it may take up to two months. But if you don’t get to where you think you ought to be in two seconds, don’t give up.
We are not offering a crash “lose 50 pounds in 50 minutes” diet here. Nor are we telling you how to lose water weight and look more skinny by solving the byproducts of excess fat. These kinds of solutions are often temporary and very short-lived. Once you are fed up of denying yourself and get back to life as you used to know it, your weight will come back. And you will be worse off than before because you now know you can be slimmer (or leaner, or whatever it is).
We are trying to teach you how to change your lifestyle, and adopt a new way of life that will get you, and more importantly, keep you feeling (and looking) great for years to come.
This kind of change will require time and energy. Science says that you need 21 days to change a habit. And that’s just one (stop reaching for the beer and chips while watching AFL games) – and changing one will not cut it.
The other important thing about patience is that you need to supplement it with a realistic goal. If you have the poorest hand-eye coordination in the world, you might not become a pro basketball player. Okay, bad example, but I hope you see my point.
You can’t expect yourself to achieve something you are not built for. But if all you want to do is burn some fat – well, my friend, once you teach yourself to be patient, everything else will fall into place as soon as you reach Step Seven of this guide.
2. Eat well
I know, right?
Every single article ever published anywhere has told you the exact same thing.
Don’t eat sugar. Cut down your calorie intake. Stay away from fried food. Meal prep. And so on.
That is NOT what we are saying.
The science of losing weight (aka burning fat) is very simple. You need to spend more than you eat. Nothing fancy about it, no shortcuts, no easy wins, no secret sauce.
However, there is a catch (isn’t there always?).
You can’t cut your calorie intake drastically, and work out like a madman, and expect to feel great.
If you want to change your diet alone, and not exercise at all, you can cut down your calorie intake by 10-25% on the daily. That’s 10-25% of your recommended calorie intake, not the calorie intake you are used to (whatever that may be).
If you want to change both your diet and add exercise to the mix – there is a different formula to work with.
You can calculate how many calories you need based on the types of exercises you will be doing, and go from there.
Needless to say, it goes without saying that you can’t base your diet on fast food, sweets and fizzy drinks. I mean, you can. But, if you are going to be cutting down on your calories, you can’t expect that Big Mac + vanilla shake to keep you going all day.
3. Work out
Any workout will be a good workout.
However, what we’d recommend is a mix of lifting weights, doing cardio and some plyometric exercises, and you’ll be all set.
The best tip anyone can give you is to do something you really enjoy doing. If you hate running on a treadmill, don’t buy one. If you like to dance, try doing a dance cardio routine YouTube is full of. If you like playing a sport, do that instead.
You can, of course, choose not to work out, and merely eat less.
But don’t forget how beneficial moving is for you, and that it’s not only a way to be burning fat.
The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will be burning when doing nothing more than sitting in front of the TV. If that’s not a clear benefit of putting on some muscle, I’m not sure what is.
If you don’t know what type of exercise you enjoy yet, try everything once. Go to a local gym or sports facility, and try different things. Who knows, you might be the biggest fan of the deadlift, but how can you know if you’ve never even done one?
4. Sleep well
The holy trifecta of health is, in case you were wondering, eating well, working out, and sleeping well.
And by sleeping well, I don’t mean sleeping 12 hours on weekends, and 5 during the week.
Sleep is your body’s way of repairing the damage you’ve caused during the day, rebooting your brain and getting everything ready for the next one.
If you eat well, work out well, but fail to sleep, you won’t be feeling the benefits you otherwise might.
As everyone is different, there is no blanket advice on how much sleep you actually need. Anywhere between 7-9 hours will work well. Try to establish a sleeping pattern and stick to it every day of the week, even if that means waking up at 7 on Saturday. Your body loves patterns and routines, and it will thank you for the effort.
Limit your screen time before going to bed, try to read instead, or listen to something. Don’t expect to be staring at a light source in bed and then your brain to doze off the minute you put the phone down.
Once you get used to falling asleep without a gadget, you will start waking up without one as well, at the point when your body is rested enough and ready to kick off again.
5. Don’t drink your calories
You may not even be aware of the calories you are adding to your daily intake via the small sips of coffee, soda and juice you are taking all day long.
Much of what we drink today is full of either sugars, additives or simply calories. Your best choice is to drink water, potentially with a bit of lemon or other citrus fruit.
Don’t trust the “no added sugar” label you see at every turn. No sugar does not mean, no calories. No fat does not mean, no sugar.
Plain old water is the best choice across the board – especially because nothing else on this earth can hydrate you like water can.
When you drink enough fluids, you are also less tempted to eat. If you drink two glasses of water before a meal, you will eat less, thus cutting down on the calories.
6. Mind over matter
While it might sound corny, cliché and unrealistic, the best thing you can learn in life is that when you decide to do something, nothing can hold you back.
In our fat burning book, that means your mind can get your body to do amazing things.
Eat one fry less. Stop drinking milkshakes. Take the stairs at work. Start riding a bike again.
How is any of this amazing, I hear you muttering to yourself?
What makes all of this amazing is that you are now battling the ingrained habits you have adopted somewhere along the line, and are making a huge effort to change. And blast fat.
When your mind is in the zone, your body will not stop you. After all, in the majority of cases, it is not a physical defect that is stopping you. It is the way your mind works, and the endless thoughts zooming around in your head, convincing you that you couldn’t possibly do a pushup.
And the best thing about getting your mind to allow your body to move is that said movement will help your mind as well. Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress and release the happy hormones you so enjoy. Yes, better than chocolate.
And while the most difficult thing you need to do to make it easier to lose weight is changing your mind, once you do that, your body will be a piece of cake.
7. Be the change you want to see in the world
Finally, let me leave you with a final piece of advice (and cake).
Like I’ve said before, there is nothing especially hard or difficult about burning fat. The math is rather simple. Calories in, calories out, pounds up, pounds down.
The hard part is making the right choice over and over again. Even when the simplest choice feels better and the right choice means getting up an hour early to go for a run in the rain.
If you want to be fitter or slimmer, the only thing you have to do is, well – be that person.
Does a fit person eat sweets? Of course, they do.
But they don’t do it every day.
Does someone who can fit into that pair of jeans lift weights? Yes, they do. But not all day. Maybe not even every day.
Change is hard, it is uncomfortable and requires shedding the person you were to become the person you want to be.
And yes, there is pain involved.
But the pain will not kill you. The pain will not stop you. Pain will teach you and let you know how far there is to go still.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
After you have adopted all of this advice and have started building your own home gym, after you have gone through the 21-day cycle of letting go, let us know how things are moving. What have you started doing you were not doing three weeks ago? We’d love to know!