5. Do HIIT instead of regular cardio.
Traditional cardio (running, biking, or swimming) keeps your heart rate steadily elevated. On the other hand High-intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is meant to push your heart rate a little higher, but only for a short burst of time.
HIIT involves doing an intense, heart-racing, calorie-burning exercise as fiercely as you possibly can. This quickly peaks your heart rate into the aerobic or anaerobic zone, where your body burns the maximum amount of calories.
Because your heart rate peaks so dramatically, in HIIT you don’t maintain a steady pace like you do in traditional cardio. Instead, you alternate with short rest periods that keep you from burning out too quickly.
One common format in HIIT workouts is doing an exercise for 40 seconds and resting for 20. So you’d do burps, going as quickly as you can, until the 40 seconds are up, then rest (or do some easy exercise) for 20 seconds, and repeat. This 12-Minute HIIT Challenge is a good way to start.
6. Substitute carbs with protein and healthy fats.
You probably know about the three macronutrients: carbs, protein, and fats. We need all three to be strong and healthy. Nevertheless, many diets include a lot more carbs than needed, and a lot less protein and healthy fats.
When we talk about carbs that includes bread, tortillas, flour, potatoes (even french fries), yams, pasta, hamburger buns, sugar, oatmeal, rice, starchy vegetables, and more. These foods are all around us. In fact, it’s often hard to think of a complete meal that doesn’t include some kind of carb.
One good way to boost weight loss is by eliminating excess carbs from our diets, replacing them instead with protein and healthy fats. Proteins are necessary for building and maintaining muscle, and, as we said before, more muscle means a higher metabolism.
Healthy fats such as those found in avocados, salmon, and nuts (no, unfortunately french fries are not made with healthy fats) are necessary for good health. They keep your heart beating in top shape and research suggests they’re even necessary for optimal brain function.
7. Drink more water.
Perhaps the easiest way to lose more weight is to drink more water. Water delivers a double weight loss whammy!
First, it fills you up so that you’re less likely to overeat at dinner or reach for the snack. In fact, according to this study, you could lose 44% more weight simply by drinking a full glass of water right before meals.
Second, water is calorie-free, but your body still uses calories to process it. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism published a study that found that drinking 500 milliliters of water burned about 24 calories. Talk about effortless weight loss!
Check out these 5 Simple Detox Water Recipes to Boost Metabolism.
8. Get more sleep.
Lack of sleep messes with our bodies in many ways. It leaves us feeling weak, vulnerable to cravings and bad moods. Lack of sleep means stress affects us more and we find it harder to concentrate.
It can also slow down your weight loss. When you’re tired, your body searches for energy anywhere it can, which often leads to heightened cravings. This means that if you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re more likely to reach for high-calorie snacks and sugary desserts.
Additionally, you won’t be as active if your body is tired. It’ll be harder to reach your step goal, to go all-out at the gym, and even do chores at home.
A study published in 2011 found that lack of sleep undermines weight loss efforts. The study compared adults on a calorie-deficient diet, and found that while everyone lost weight, people lost 55% body fat weight when sleeping 5.5 hours per night instead of 8.5.
Check out these tips on How to Get a Better Sleep at Night and Stay Asleep.
9. Reduce stress.
I know; it’s not as easy as it sounds. Too many of us live under constant stress. Between work, school, and family, we barely have time to breath. We’re constantly stressed by financial circumstances and the pressure to be more successful.
The effects of stress on our bodies have been well documented. It’s bad for our hearts, skin, hairline, and even digestive health. It can also slow or hinder our weight loss.
If you’re stressed you might not sleep as well as ideal. You’re also vulnerable to cravings, reaching for the comfort food just to calm your rapid heart.
We all have our own ways of dealing with stress. Whatever your way is, it’s always worth spending some time on your mental health. Try doing some calming yoga (this 6 Yoga Poses for a Good Night’s Sleep routine is great for R&R), go hiking in nature, or do a sweaty kickboxing workout like our Wonder Woman Superhero Workout.
10. Be honest with yourself.
One of the main reasons why weight loss progress slows or halts is because we’re not honest with ourselves regarding our bad habits. We keep justifying our actions, telling ourselves it’s okay to eat ice cream every day because we snacked on baby carrots.
Be realistic about how your habits are affecting your waist line. Chances are baby carrots don’t undo a daily bowl of ice cream.
There are many ways you can adjust your habits to match your weight loss goals. First, you could limit dessert to once or twice per week, or if you’re always craving something sweet post-dinner, you could make portions smaller or keep single servings of chocolate around.
Additionally, you could learn to make healthier versions of your favorite treats. For example, this Super Easy Cauliflower Fried Rice will let you eat some mock take-out food guilt-free, and these Zucchini Noodles Aglio et Olio are a low-carb alternative to pasta.
We hope these 10 ways to shred fat faster help you kick your weight loss back into gear! If you have any extra tips on how to beat a weight loss plateau, please let us know in the comments!