Carrying around excess body fat increases your risk for developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers. With about two-thirds of the adults in the United States being overweight or obese, finding ways to rid excess body fat is a necessity. Although exercise is beneficial for fat loss to occur, it is not necessary.
Proper nutrition is 80 percent of the battle when it comes to fat loss, with physical activity 10 percent and genetics 10 percent, notes Tosca Reno, author of “The Eat-Clean Diet Stripped.” Consume minimally processed foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, lean protein such as chicken breast, lean beef, fish, low-fat dairy or eggs. Include healthy monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats in your diet found in food sources such as seeds, nuts, natural nut butters, olive or canola oil or avocado.
It is not enough just to consume healthy foods; you must also control your portion sizes as well. Read food labels to determine correct serving sizes or use your hands as guide. For example, a portion of protein is the size of your palm; a serving of starchy carbohydrates such as oats, rice or pasta should fit into one cupped hand. A handful of nuts or 2 tbsp. is a serving of fat. Two cupped hands is a serving size of fruit or vegetables. Include a serving of protein, starchy carbohydrates or fruit, fats and vegetables in five or six small meals daily spaced three to four hours apart.
Drinking more water throughout the day and avoiding consuming beverages that contain calories can help with fat loss. Instead, save your calorie consumption for food. Drinking a large glass of water prior to each meal can help fill up your stomach and prevent you from overeating. Additionally, drinking water between meals can help suppress your appetite and prevent snacking. Drink eight glasses of water a day to help ensure you are obtaining enough.
Increase your physical activity throughout the day to help burn excess body fat. Physical activity is different from planned exercise, because it is not structure. Being physically active means moving more throughout the day and sitting less. Park in the back of parking lots or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Turn off the TV at night and go for a walk or play with your kids. If you have a desk job, stand up and walk around at least once an hour to help elevate your metabolism. The more you move throughout the day, the more fat you will burn.
- Cleveland Clinic; Understanding Adult Obesity
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Water in Diet
- The Eat-Clean Diet Stripped; Tosca Reno