It's beach body season.
If you've been struggling to get fit in time for the warmer weather, we've got some good news and some bad news.
Bad news first: Crunching your way to washboard abs probably isn't going to work. That's because you can't spot-train your core in order to lose belly fat. In fact, you can't spot train any part of your body to lose fat in specific areas. Subcutaneous fat (one of the metrics the FitTrack Dara monitors) is the fat between the outer layer of your skin (the dermis) and the connective tissue underneath (the fascia layer). This is the kind of fat that you can touch and see. And it's probably the kind of fat you want to burn away in time for summer.
The good news? Your body breaks down subcutaneous fat all over, all at once, and there are multiple ways to make that happen. Unlike visceral fat, which is the fat stored in your abdominal cavity, fluctuations in subcutaneous fat create visible results you can notice right away. That's why you might have an easier time staying motivated if you're trying to reduce these levels in your body. The fruits of your labor are more readily apparent!
How can you start burning away your subcutaneous fat?
Cardiovascular exercise is a phenomenal way to reduce your subcutaneous fat. Whether you enjoy long-distance running, hiking, or high-intensity interval training (HIIT), cardio workouts are calorie blasters that you can do at your own pace.
But cardio isn't an ideal solution for some, which is why many rely on weight training. Lifting weights affects your body composition in a very different way. Instead of burning a boatload of calories all at once, weight training increases your body's metabolic rate. By burning more calories throughout the day, the body starts consuming fat for fuel. This is assuming you're not consuming more calories than usual to offset your newly-heightened BMR.
Calorie-conscious weight trainers will burn subcutaneous fat all day and all night. And they should notice a change in how FitTrack reports their BMR that reflects this.
But what if you could boost your metabolism without lifting weights?
Studies are revealing that certain foods have properties that can boost your metabolic rate, prompting your body to burn subcutaneous fat all day long. Here are five foods you can easily incorporate into your daily diet to boost your metabolism and help you get in shape for summer.
1) Green Tea: LOADED with antioxidants, green tea has been linked with weight loss and reduced blood pressure. Scientists believe that these results are connected with the antioxidants' metabolism-boosting properties. Try swapping coffee for green tea a few times a week, or having a mid-afternoon cup for a week or two in a row.
2) Protein: Healthy meats like chicken, fish, and lean beef require more energy to digest than other foods. It's called the thermic effect of food, and it means you can get a metabolic boost for a period of time after you consume protein. Protein also helps you maintain and build muscle. And as we pointed out with weight lifters, more muscle equals more calories burned. Try making sure you have a healthy source of protein in every meal.
3) Hot Peppers: The secret ingredient that gives peppers their fiery heat? Capsaicin. This chemical packs more than a flavorful punch, though. Capsaicin speeds up blood circulation and boosts your metabolic rate. It also curbs your appetite and can stop you from overeating. Add hot peppers to your favorite recipes for a change.
4) Apple Cider Vinegar: There's a reason you've probably heard people say they take a shot of apple cider vinegar before their meals. Studies have demonstrated a connection to increased metabolism and fat-burning genes in mice that were given apple cider vinegar. And humans frequently report feeling fuller faster and consuming fewer calories than usual when incorporating apple cider vinegar into their diets. Be sure to limit yourself to no more than two tablespoons a day, though.
5) Water: Adequate hydration is crucial for the human body. That's why FitTrack monitors your hydration levels so that you can make sure you're within an optimal range. By drinking water before every meal, and steadily throughout the day, you should notice a spike in energy levels associated with an elevated metabolic rate. Use the FitTrack Dara to monitor your hydration levels and make sure you’re getting enough water.
Watch your indicators closely to monitor how drinking more water, experimenting with apple cider vinegar, eating more spicy food, upping your protein intake, or incorporating green tea affects your body composition. You should see a change in your BMR. And when you do, you'll be on your way to the beach bod you want in no time.