Having a healthy, toned body is what everyone wants. However, it can be difficult to lose excess fat for some people.
In addition to diet and exercise, numerous other factors can influence weight and fat loss.
Luckily, there are plenty of simple steps you can take to increase fat burning, quickly and easily.
Here are 10 of the best ways to burn fat quickly and promote weight loss.
1. Start Strength Training
Strength training is a type of exercise that requires you to contract your muscles against resistance. It builds muscle mass and increases strength.
Most commonly, strength training involves lifting weights to gain muscle over time.
Research has found strength training to have multiple health benefits, especially when it comes to burning fat.
In one study, strength training reduced visceral fat in 78 people with metabolic syndrome. Visceral fat is a type of dangerous fat that surrounds the organs in the belly
Another study showed that 12 weeks of strength training paired with aerobic exercise was more effective at reducing body fat and belly fat than aerobic exercise alone .
Resistance training may also help preserve fat-free mass, which can increase the number of calories your body burns at rest
According to one review, 10 weeks of resistance training could help increase calories burned at rest by 7% and may reduce fat weight by 4 pounds (1.8 kg) Doing body-weight exercises, lifting weights or using gym equipment are a few easy ways to get started with strength training.
2. Squeeze in More Sleep
Going to bed a bit earlier or setting your alarm clock a little later can help boost fat burning and prevent weight gain.
Several studies have found an association between getting enough sleep and weight loss.
One study of 68,183 women showed that those who slept five or fewer hours per night over a period of 16 years were more likely to gain weight than those who slept for longer than seven hours per night.
Another study showed that better sleep quality and getting at least seven hours of sleep per night increased the likelihood of successful weight loss by 33% in 245 women enrolled in a six-month weight loss program.
Other research shows that a lack of sleep may contribute to alterations in hunger hormones, increased appetite and a higher risk of obesity.
Although everyone needs a different amount of sleep, most studies have found that getting at least seven hours of sleep per night is associated with the most benefits when it comes to body weight.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule, limit your intake of caffeine and minimize your use of electronic devices before bed to help support a healthy sleep cycle.
3. Add Vinegar to Your Diet
Vinegar is well known for its health-promoting properties.
In addition to its potential effects on heart health and blood sugar control, increasing your intake of vinegar may help bump up fat burning, according to some research.
One study found that consuming 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 ml) of vinegar daily reduced people’s body weight, belly fat and average waist circumference over a 12-week period.
Consuming vinegar has also been shown to enhance feelings of fullness and reduce appetite.
Another small study of 11 people showed that adding vinegar to the diet reduced daily calorie intake by up to 275 calories.
It’s easy to incorporate vinegar into your diet. For example, many people dilute apple cider vinegar with water and drink it as a beverage a few times per day with meals.
However, if drinking vinegar straight doesn’t sound appealing, you can also use it to make dressings, sauces and marinades.
4. Follow a High-Protein Diet
Including more protein-rich foods in your diet is an effective way to reduce your appetite and burn more fat.
In fact, multiple studies have found that eating more high-quality protein is associated with a lower risk of belly fat.
One study also showed that a high-protein diet can help preserve muscle mass and metabolism during weight loss.
Upping your protein intake may also increase feelings of fullness, decrease appetite and reduce calorie intake to aid in weight loss.
Try incorporating a few servings of high-protein foods into your diet each day to help amp up fat burning.
Some examples of protein-rich foods include meat, seafood, eggs, legumes and dairy product
5. Eat More Healthy Fats
Although it may seem counterintuitive, increasing your intake of healthy fats may actually help prevent weight gain and help you maintain feelings of fullness.
Fat takes a while to digest and can help slow the emptying of the stomach, which can reduce appetite and hunger.
One study found that following a Mediterranean diet rich in healthy fats from olive oil and nuts was associated with a lower risk of weight gain compared to a low-fat diet.
Another small study found that when people on a weight loss diet took two tablespoons (30 ml) of coconut oil daily, they lost more belly fat than those who were given soybean oil.
Meanwhile, unhealthy types of fat like trans fats have been shown to increase body fat, waist circumference and belly fat in human and animal studies.
Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts and seeds are just a few examples of healthy types of fat that may have beneficial effects on fat burning.
However, keep in mind that healthy fat is still high in calories, so moderate how much you consume. Instead of eating more fat overall, try swapping the unhealthy fats in your diet for these healthy fat varieties.
6. Drink Healthier Beverages
Swapping out sugar-sweetened drinks for some healthier selections is one of the easiest ways to increase fat burning.
For example, sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and juice are packed with calories and offer little nutritional value.
Alcohol is also high in calories and has the added effect of lowering your inhibitions, making you more likely to overeat (22Trusted Source).
Studies have found that consuming both sugar-sweetened beverages and alcohol is associated with a higher risk of belly fat (23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).
Limiting your intake of these beverages can help reduce your calorie intake and keep your waistline in check.
Instead, opt for calorie-free beverages like water or green tea.
In one small, 12-week study, drinking 17 ounces (500 ml) of water before meals increased weight loss by 4.4 pounds (2 kg), compared to a control group (25Trusted Source).
Green tea is another great option. It contains caffeine and is rich in antioxidants, both of which may help increase fat burning and enhance metabolism (26Trusted Source, 27Trusted Source).
For instance, one study in 12 adults showed that green tea extract increased fat burning by 12% compared to a placebo (28Trusted Source).
Trading in even just one or two servings of high-calorie beverages for a glass of water or a cup of green tea is a simple way to promote fat burning.
7. Cut Down on Refined Carbs
Decreasing your intake of refined carbohydrates may help you lose extra fat.
During processing, refined grains are stripped of their bran and germ, resulting in a final product that’s low in fiber and nutrients.
Refined carbs also tend to have a higher glycemic index, which can cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, resulting in increased hunger.
Studies show that a diet high in refined carbs may be associated with increased belly fat.
Conversely, a diet high in whole grains has been associated with a lower body mass index and body weight, plus a smaller waist circumference.
One study in 2,834 people also showed that those with higher intakes of refined grains tended to have a higher amount of disease-promoting belly fat, while those who ate more whole grains tended to have a lower amount .
For the best results, reduce your intake of refined carbs from pastries, processed foods, pastas, white breads and breakfast cereals. Replace them with whole grains such as whole wheat, quinoa, buckwheat, barley and oats.
8. Increase Your Cardio
Cardio, also known as aerobic exercise, is one of the most common forms of exercise and is defined as any type of exercise that specifically trains the heart and lungs.
Adding cardio to your routine may be one of the most effective ways to enhance fat burning.
For example, one review of 16 studies found that the more aerobic exercise people got, the more belly fat they lost.
Other studies have found that aerobic exercise can increase muscle mass and decrease belly fat, waist circumference and body fat.
Most research recommends between 150–300 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise weekly, or roughly 20–40 minutes of cardio each day.
Running, walking, cycling and swimming are just a few examples of some cardio exercises that can help burn fat and kick-start weight loss.
9. Fill up on Fiber
Soluble fiber absorbs water and moves through the digestive tract slowly, helping you feel fuller for longer.
According to some studies, increasing your intake of high-fiber foods may protect against weight gain and fat accumulation.
One study of 1,114 adults found that for each 10-gram increase in soluble fiber intake per day, participants lost 3.7% of their belly fat over a five-year period, even without any other changes in diet or exercise.
Another review also found that increasing fiber intake promoted feelings of fullness and decreased hunger. In fact, an increase of 14 grams of fiber per day was associated with a 10% decrease in calorie intake.
Not only that, but it was also linked to nearly 4.4 pounds (2 kg) of weight loss over a four-month period.
Fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds are a few examples of high-fiber foods that can boost fat burning and weight loss.
10. Add Probiotics to Your Diet
Probiotics are a type of beneficial bacteria found in your digestive tract that have been shown to improve many aspects of health.
In fact, the bacteria in your gut have been shown to play a role in everything from immunity to mental health.
Increasing your intake of probiotics through either food or supplements may also help rev up fat burning and keep your weight under control.
One review of 15 studies showed that people who took probiotics experienced significantly larger reductions in body weight, fat percentage and body mass index compared to those who took a placebo.
Another small study showed that taking probiotic supplements helped people following a high-fat, high-calorie diet prevent fat and weight gain.
Certain strains of probiotics in the genus Lactobacillus may be especially effective at aiding weight and fat loss.
One study in 28 people showed that eating yogurt containing either Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus bacteria reduced body fat by 3–4%.
Taking supplements is a quick and easy way to get in a concentrated dose of probiotics every day.
Alternatively, you can try adding some probiotic-rich foods to your diet, such as kefir, tempeh, natto, kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of options available to help you shed excess fat and improve your health.
Incorporating some healthy habits into your routine and switching up your diet can make a big difference. Even minor changes to your lifestyle can have powerful effects on fat burning.
Be sure to pair these simple tips with a nutritious, well-rounded diet and active lifestyle to simultaneously boost fat breakdown and improve your overall health.