Fat-loss and recovery are two things that go hand in hand, despite how different they may seem. After all, losing flab is usually associated with “doing more” while recovery is all about getting sufficient rest, yet the two could not be more closely intertwined. If you’re having difficulty with achieving either of the two, consider employing some of these tips:
1. Getting enough sleep
While it’s pretty obvious that you’re not going to recover properly if you don’t have sufficient rest, a lack of sleep can easily cost you in the fat-loss department as well. While the body does consume less calories at rest, it is also during deep sleep that the body enter “repair mode”. Muscles become stronger and the mind gets refreshed – everything that’s essential to a strong and healthy body! If you’re feeling like a zombie, chances are that your body is already in a very stressed state, on top of the stress that it experiences on a day-to-day basis. Not exactly the best fat-burning state to be in.
Our bodies are predominantly water-based, making hydration essential to survival. Aside from keeping our brains and organs functioning, water also assists in the removal of waste products from our bodies and supports a healthy metabolism. As the metabolic system is responsible for the body’s energy production, an impaired metabolic rate can adversely affect even the hardiest of fat-loss protocols. Furthermore, how often have we been awoken in the dead of the night with a parched throat?
3. Minimise/eliminate alcohol consumption
There are two very good reason why alcohol consumption is frowned upon when it comes to fat-loss: calories and cortisol. The former requires little explanation; excessive caloric intake will impede fat-loss. The latter has more to do on the effects it has on the body. Cortisol is often referred to as the “stress hormone”. In times of stress, cortisol levels become naturally elevated as part of the body’s natural fight-or-flight response, which then causes the body to enter “survival mode” and slow done its metabolic rate in an effort to conserve energy and fuel. The problem with frivolous alcohol habits is that they have the potential to send cortisol levels through the roof, not to mention that alcohol is also a potent diuretic. If you’re not keen on being a teetotaller, you can at least keep drinks to a bare minimum and save them for special occasions only.
4. Curb caffeine intake
Under normal circumstances, coffee can be a great asset for fat-loss. Caffeine’s effect on cortisol is well-documented and while too much cortisol is indeed bad for the body, some level of cortisol expression is required for the body to function. Cortisol is one of the main mechanisms behind catabolism, which refers to process of breaking down matter for energy. Like alcohol however, excessive caffeine intake can cause problems with cortisol elevation, not to mention that it makes it very hard to fall asleep! The general guideline for caffeine intake is no more than eight cups of black coffee, although this can vary between individuals based on their caffeine metabolism.
5. De-stress regularly
Going back again to cortisol, a highly stressful life can lead to chronically elevated levels of the hormone. While not everyone may be able to tailor the amount of stress experienced in their lives to their liking, de-stressing is something that’s accessible to everyone. Practicing mindfulness like meditation, deep-breathing protocol and mind-body activities like yoga or tai chi can have a calming and restorative effect both mentally and physically. Even simple things like keeping a gratefulness journal can have a big impact on how you perceive life, leading to more positive and healthy outlook.
Working out, eating your fruits and vegetables, and having an overall active lifestyle can have a significant effect on your health, but you shouldn’t forget about the subtler things when it comes to looking after your well-being. While these tips may not seem as “cool” as the main three, having a firm grasp on them can make the difference between experiencing good results and great ones!