Fat loss is a primary goal for the majority of people looking to start or improve a fitness plan. But Health is a living, breathing thing. Your body’s wellness is a one-of-a-kind thing.
Because of this it’s important to try different things–especially early on. Experiment. See what works for you. Absorb the good, discard the bad, and add your own flavor to it.
Here are 3 potential tools to help you on your fat loss journey:
1. Use Thermodynamics
Use Thermodynamics is a fancy way to say practice cold exposure. It’s cooler too (pun intended) because it shows it’s backed by science.
A NASA scientist actually stumbled upon this fat loss hack not long ago. He was overweight, wanted to lose fat, and was doing something smart and simple: counting calories. Not long into this self-improvement experiment he heard a seemingly miraculous fact on TV.
Michael Phelps consumes, on average, 12,000 calories a day the TV proclaimed.
“How can that be?!” the NASA scientist thought to himself. “That kind of massive caloric consumption would be impossible to burn off in 24 hours. If he eats 12,000 calories a day he should be over 300 pounds!”
No matter how he ran the math the numbers just didn’t add up…until he considered an overlooked variable. Phelps was training in a 65-degree pool for several hours every day. His body needed all those extra calories to burn as fuel to keep his core body temperature around 98.
So cold exposure–thermodynamics, if you wanna be fancy–is a fat loss strategy grounded in science.
There’s also evidence to suggest that full-body cold exposure helps train the cardiovascular system. The miles of capillaries all over your body may become more resilient, improving blood flow and thermoregulation (how well your body controls your core temperature).
This bonus benefit is why I recommend ending your shower with cold water to test this tip.
Shower normally, at whatever temp you like. Then, turn it to as cold as you can stand (which is usually colder than you think) and stand under the water for 30 seconds. At first you may only be able to get 10 seconds, but the goal is to get it up to 2 minutes. Your body adapts quickly.
[The cold is also believed to help with inflammation. So to make it a potential 3-for-1 health benefit concentrate the cold stream on joints and sore muscles.]
If you’re emotionally committed to losing weight, thinking about how much these few moments of discomfort are going to help you do so can get you to turn the knob to C and help push thru the first time or two. After a few times feeling the pleasurable body and mind aftermath it will get easier.
An easier–yet less effective–way to practice cold exposure is with an ice pack.
Studies have shown that, for whatever reason, the most effective place to put the ice for caloric burn is on and just above your upper trap muscles, at the base of the back of your cervical spine. Keep it there for 20-30 minutes to burn significantly more calories that day.
2. Eat Organic Cinnamon
I’ll keep this short and sweet. (I’m feeling punny today.)
Cinnamon can lessen the damages caused when you commit dietary sins. Cinnamon helps stabilize blood sugar, which can help keep your body out of fat-storing mode.
So if you are going to have a cheat meal (or day) consuming 1-2 servings of cinnamon 30-40 minutes beforehand may combat some of the nastiness. This tip–and eating primarily for mouth pleasure–should be used in moderation.
Buying organic helps insure you are not consuming unwanted toxins and pesticides and promotes good farming practices. The assured quality is well worth the modest (when you buy in bulk) premium.
Remember: A little organic cinnamon can help absolve your dietary sins.
3. Track Your Calories
Last but certainly not least, count your calories.
What gets measured, gets managed. If you’re not assessing, you’re guessing. These sayings are old hat because the fit is true.
This is the simplest (and perhaps smartest) way to take control of your weight. If you have a target weight, you can calculate an appropriate daily caloric intake. It becomes a visible target for you to aim at. Simple addition and subtraction. [Quality of calories is also important. But that’s a different conversation.]
“But simple is not always easy.”
True. But luckily, thanks to current technology, tracking calories is both simple and easy. An app like MyFitnessPal can calculate an appropriate target intake and count your calories with a scan of a barcode or simple search for millions of different food (and food-like) products. The best part: it’s free.
[One caveat: This app works amazingly for calorie quantity, but not quality. For instance, it gives warnings for all types of saturated fats and follows other antiquated dietary beliefs. If you want macronutrient guidance, seek out a professional or up-to-date, reputable resources.]
Tracking your calories can be fun. It can be gamified and really help you achieve your body goals. Or it can feel like a tedious task not worth your effort. Or anywhere in between. Everyone is different. Experiment with it for a couple weeks. If you hate it ditch it. If you like it, or it’s effective enough to bear, keep it.
No harm, no foul. Simple experiment.
These are 3 tactics I’ve found valuable–for myself and others–in aiding fat loss. I hope you find at least 1 of these useful to you, too.
Thank you for reading and striving towards a better You.