Working with clients around their health and wellness invariably leads us to conversations around fat intake and loss, and why it should be a goal for us all. Fat loss can bring massive health benefits – not to mention helping you feel better and look great.
In this post, I outline two key lifestyle strategies for burning fat – strategies that won’t mess with your hormones or metabolism, plus will result in stabilised blood sugar levels.
1. Shut down inflammation
While acute inflammation can be a healthy inflammatory response to aid the body in recovery, chronic inflammation can be systemic and wreak havoc on the body as a whole.
Inflammation also makes fat cells resistant to elimination and conversion to other cells, and so when you free the body of inflammation, fat cells will either die or be turned into other tissue types – even muscle! And it can happen so easily – the number one cause of inflammation can be the consumption of heated, toxic vegetable oils (think fried foods), followed by other factors such as exposure to environmental toxins, stress and a lack of sleep. Plus inflammation causes excess insulin – the ‘fat storage hormone’ which turns into fat cells.
3 WAYS TO CONTROL INFLAMMATION
1. THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP: Cut out polyunsaturated oils – there are so many inflammation catalysts around us – but processed, heated vegetable oils can the primary cause of inflammation. This is because they’re susceptible to oxidisation, a process which can stimulate the production of highly toxic substances in our arteries, promoting inflammation across the whole body.
Replace processed oils like sunflower and peanut oil (also found in fast foods and convenience snack bars) with healthy fats like good quality grass-fed butter, coconut oil, cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil. Read labels and cut out foods you see that contain polyunsaturated oils.
2. Stress less and get quality sleep – we know that sleep and rest are the best things for ailments like the common cold – why should it be any different for underlying conditions like inflammation? Stress and continued lack of sleep causes a rise in cortisol and fat cells in our body (especially around our midriff). Look for ways to reduce stress (think mindfulness, gratitude practice and meditation), aim for eight hours sleep a night, and switch off those screens 2 hours before bedtime.
3. Avoid toxins – environmental toxins can cause oxidation and inflammation, and while it’s not possible to control all toxins we come into contact with, we can limit toxins in our homes. Take a look at my post ‘Toxin-free living in my home’ for more tips.
2. Control blood sugar
Blood sugar highs and lows (glycaemic variablity) cause chaos in your body. Simply put, if you’re not burning off sugars you’ve ingested (whole and processed foods all convert to sugars of some kind), your GV (glycemic variability) gets out of control and even if your fat intake is low, that sugar converts to fat.
7 WAYS TO CONTROL GLYCAEMIC VARIABILITY (GV)
These are all excellent, healthy ways to keep a lid on GV:
1. Daily dry brushing, rebounding and cold shower – this will stimulate your metabolism and fat loss.
2. Boost your NEAT – NEAT stands for ‘Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenisis’ and in general it refers to activities other than exercise – think standing, walking around – even fidgeting and changing posture. Level up your daily NEAT by doing short bursts of movement 5 x per day – for example 15 push ups + 15 squats + 15 crunches + 15 lunges + 15 jumping jacks.
3. Strength work – Lift something heavy twice a week. This helps convert glucose into muscle tissue, instead of fat tissue.
4. Morning fasted cardio – get a bit of exercise into your day before you break your fast – studies show this is a highly effective way of controlling blood sugar.
5. Walks after meals – a New Zealand study found that taking more frequent walks immediately after meals reduced blood glucose by around 12% compared with a single 30-minute walk.
6. Targeted supplements – berberine resets insulin and supports weight loss – try Bio-Berberine Advanced which is further enhanced by Origine 8 Green Tea extract. Green tea has been shown to help decrease inflammation and the compound EGCG has been shown to help reduce body fat.
CBD, magnesium and pure, organic lavender essential oil can help improve sleep
7. Fibre – our gut bacteria digests fibre into useful fragments called short-chain fatty acids, improve lipid metabolism, lower cholesterol and help control blood sugar, and reduce inflammation.
Extra Fat-Burning Hacks
• Cryotherapy (think cold showers!) Start with 20 seconds at the end of a shower and build your way up to all-cold showers – you can do it!
Had a high-carb sugary feast? Hop into a cold shower!
• Regular exercise bursts (from 10-40 minutes) = sends cortisol on its way!
• Combine your morning coffee (dairy, oil & sugar free) + a blood stabiliser like berberine = targeted fat burn!