Lower Your Body Fat % With These 10 Easy Steps:

1. Drink a glass of water with every meal and snack.

Depending on your age and gender, your body is made up of somewhere between 55-65% water. If that’s the case (and, I just told you that it is) it confuses me as to why people think it’s okay to ignore hydration. And no, alcohol doesn’t count. And neither does fruit juice (because, let’s face it, that stuff is just less-fizzy soda pop).  You know what does count? Water. Drink it.

 2. Eat more.

Our bodies were designed to receive fuel and run efficiently. Know what happens when we’re forced to run on minimal amounts of food for long periods of time? Your metabolism slows down in order to conserve energy and fat storage is switched ON. Know what mechanism is a big freaking deal when it comes to fat loss? Your metabolism. So, yeah, you need to eat adequately (and nutritiously). start by adding a cup or two of vegetables at every meal if you want to be a lean, mean, fat burning machine.

 3. Make it a priority to get 7-8 hours of sleep.

When sleep is shortchanged, your hormones get all out-of-whack. Cortisol and stress hormone levels are elevated and can lead to cravings for comfort foods. Grehlin (the hunger hormone) is increased and leptin (the satiety hormone) is decreased. All that to say, you on little sleep, turn into one cranky little comfort-food seeking monster, who, if left unchecked could turn into a chubbie little comfort-food seeking monster. Prioritize your sleep and you positively change your progress.

 4. Lift weights. Lift heavy weights.

Imagine this: if you added a little over 3 pounds of lean muscle to your frame, you would have the potential to burn an additional 1,050 calories a week, workouts unaccounted for. That’s crazy! And no, just because you have muscle doesn’t mean you need to get “big”. Replace body fat with lean muscle tissue by eating right and lifting smart and you’ve basically just turned yourself into an incinerator. Burning calories like it’s your job.

** Likely side effect to lifting weights: you’ll get stronger. Be warned.

 5. Get cho’ fiber.

Studies show that increasing fiber consumption can encourage fat burning by as much as 30%. Yowza. And all from eating more veggies and flaxseed! Shoot for about 25 grams of fiber per day. Keep things running smoothly, in more ways than one (yep. I just went there).

 6. Develop a liking for green tea.

Green tea is the most natural fat-burner available. Toss in a little lemon and you’ve just blunted your bodies insulin response – meaning your body is less likely to store food as fat. BAM! Can your cup of coffee do that for you?

 7. Stress less.

But seriously. Remember that hormone cortisol we were talking about? Well when you have high amounts of stress, you have high amounts of cortisol. And when you have cortisol in large amounts, you can pretty much bet that you’ll have belly fat in large amounts too. Do yourself a favor and de-stress. Take a long walk or a soothing bath. Delegate a task and learn how to say "no". Don’t try taking on the world, let’s face it - you don’t have time for that anyway.

 8. Do what your momma told you, and eat your veggies.

We’re always looking for the “magic pill”, the “quick fix” that will make us all lean and beautiful. Well folks, the secret is staring you in the face every time you walk through the produce isle. Vegetables: loaded with antioxidants, filled with fiber (see point #5), and chock full of healthy good-for-you vitamins: potassium, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C...you get the idea. There’s absolutely no reason for you not to eat them. They can be made a million different ways, you have a million different options to choose from and they give you the biggest BANG for your calorie BUCK.

3 red peppers = 100 calories.

the consequence: 300% of your vitamin C intake, great source of vitamin B6 and magnesium, support night vision, help to prevent certain types of cancer (e.g. prostate and lung).

8 peanut M&Ms = 100 calories

the consequence: sweet tooth satisfaction and an increased risk for diabetes, obesity and cavities.

 9. Stop pointing your finger at stupid stuff.

“Eggs are bad for cholesterol”, “milk makes you gain weight”, “fruit makes you fat”. No sweethearts, those things have been around forever. Stop blaming the old stuff and start looking at the new stuff. We didn’t have an obesity epidemic before things like McDonalds, Krispy Kreme, Lays, Coca Cola and Entenmanns came along. So maybe those extra pounds we’re holding onto as a nation aren’t from starting our day with healthy fats and protein, but rather, from finishing our days on the couch with our greasy fingers in a bag of {insert snack of choice here}.

 10. Be consistent.

There are a million ways to get from point A to point B. No one RIGHT way to lose weight, no one RIGHT way to lower your body fat percentage. If you want to lift weights, lift weights. If you want to keep taking zumba classes, take zumba classes. Don’t try something only to bail a week later. Don’t change your life so radically that it never becomes a true habit. Just find something that makes your life better and do it. Then, keep doing it.

 

Do these 10 things and you'll have a lower body fat percentage. you'll also probably be the healthiest, happiest version of you you've ever been. if it doesn't work, well, it'll work. #promise.

 

Eat well. Live well. Be well.