Small changes to your diet, workout and lifestyle will cause big changes and will help you achieve your fitness goals. Negative calorie foods, natural fat burners and extra exercise through the day can add up to more calories than you think and contribute to your total calorie burn.
Negative Calorie Foods. A negative calorie food burns more calories than is found in the food itself. Celery, broccoli and other veggies are examples of negative calorie foods. Typically, a 25 calorie piece of broccoli (100 grams) requires 80 calories to burn. That means you create a net loss of 55 calories from body fat. Most green vegetables fall under the negative calorie food category because they are low in calories. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn and carrots will not have the same effect.
Natural Fat Burners. Some foods will boost metabolic rate or cause a similar effect to a negative calorie food. For example, drinking cold water will burn 17 calories for every 8 ounces you consume. Also, spicy foods, such as peppers, act like a natural fat burner because they have thermogenic properties. A study published in the European Journal of clinical Nutrition found that a dose of hot pepper (in an amount that could be tolerated), increased metabolism and burned 21 calories in a 24 hour period.
Fat Burning Meal Preparation. Follow these three steps when preparing meals to create a fat burning meal. First, select a green vegetable or fibrous vegetable such as asparagus, green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and salad vegetables. Fruit is also okay, but focus even more on the green and fibrous vegetables. Next, combine that with a lean protein source such as chicken, fish, or turkey. From there, add natural starchy carbs or grains such as brown rice, oats, or sweet potatoes. These foods have been show to keep you satiated between meals, build and repair lean muscle tissue and boost metabolic functions.
Bonus Exercise. Helping around the house by taking part in household activities such as raking leaves, washing dishes and vacuuming will get you moving and add to your daily calorie burn. I’m sure you’ve heard the “park far away from the store” tip but it doesn’t really do much good unless you pick up the pace. Adding more movement in your day helps but moving quickly will elevate your heart rate and really boost your calorie burn.
Increasing Intensity. Many people don’t believe it when they are told that they can burn more calories in 30 minutes of high intensity exercise then in 45 minutes of moderate exercise. High intensity exercises will greatly elevate your heart rate and cause you to burn extra calories post-exercise for recovery purposes. Combining strength and cardio exercise together, increasing repetitions or adding more weight are examples of increasing intensity. Also, high intensity interval training can be incorporated during cardio exercise to increase intensity. For example, jog 30 seconds at a moderate speed then sprint 30 seconds at a fast pace. Repeat for 20 to 30 minutes for a great HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout.