Top Tips For Fast Fat Loss

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If bathing suit season is approaching and you've got couch potato belly, you're probably looking for some help with fat loss. It's a simple formula: proper diet and training techniques = fat loss. The right diet reduces three things: calories, sodium, and fat.

Start with what you drink. Trade a glass of ice water for a bottle of Coke, and you're avoiding 200 calories. Go with fruit juice and it's still half the calories of the Coke. When calories exceed normal levels - think about the 25 grams of fat in a large order of fries at McDonald's - that unused surplus becomes body fat.

Sodium, combined with fat, leads to water retention, which nice people call "love handles" and others call "flab." When you're aiming for fat loss, the goal is to jack up your metabolism, which must reach a certain speed before it can burn fat. Cardiovascular exercise - which speeds up the heart - is the clearest path to fat loss.

Here's a tip: Don't eat late at night before you go to sleep. Your body goes into shutdown mode when you are inactive, so if you've eaten half a box of Oreos before you hit the hay, those cookies are going to just lay there and turn into fat overnight.

And here's a secret: The best way to speed up metabolism is cardiovascular exercise on an empty stomach in the morning. While calories burn slowly as you sleep, your body wakes up low in blood sugar and carbohydrates. Empty-stomach training - a brisk walk, a run, a swim - forces the body to look for other sources of energy. With low levels of carbs and blood sugars, the body hunts for an alternate source of energy, and that's what generates fat loss.

After your workout, eat a sensible breakfast from among things you like: fresh fruit, whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, low-fat granola, and a glass of fruit juice. You don't have to give up your morning Starbuck—just skip the Frappuccino and head to the Cappuccino, which has zero fat.

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