Q: I’m eating right, lifting consistently and interval training, but are there any one-percenters I can do?


The speed at which your body burns fat, like time itself, is about as relative as Einstein’s haircut. In the same way that microwave minutes feel so much longer than regular minutes, when you’re highly focused on the ping at the end point, it can feel as if fat loss is operating at a glacial pace.

Does this mean you should crank up the intensity of the microwave so your leftovers sound like WW2? No, you simply need to trust the process because weight loss isn’t as straightforward as the workout salesmen would have you believe.

To illustrate this, a paper in BMC Public Health followed people on a weightloss journey and reported that it was no easy task and came with physical, social, behavioral and environmental elements that appeared to both assist and inhibit success. In other words, it’s not as simple as Eat-Less-Move-More, there’s a serious psychology connected to it because you’re trying to fight the evolutionary wiring that tells you to stockpile calories at every meal.

Fortunately, this also means that once your diet and training is on point then there are a few little everyday things you can do to hurry your goals along.

1. Avoid getting too comfortable because fidgeting burns calories and even improves fitness, says a paper in Medicine & Science in Sport and Exercise.

2. Sleep for just under nine hours a night because this can make guys lose 3kg more than guys who slept six hours a night, says the University of Chicago.

3. Walk on the balls of your feet because this uses 53% more energy than walking on your heels, explains The Journal of Experimental Biology.

4. Keep room temperature at 15 degrees because that can activate calorie burning brown fat and burn more than 100 additional calories each day.

5. Insist on green coffee beans, this can make you burn an additional 10% more body fat, says research by the American Chemical Society.

6. Take smaller bites when you eat as this makes the meal more rewarding, says a paper by the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior.

These little changes will help you improve. If you stopped doing them, you might not see a change in your weight loss and you could be doing enough with your workouts and eating plan to create a fat-burning environment. But to change your level of stored fat requires adopting a series of healthy habits.

Because the truth is, if you’re not improving your wellbeing while you’re leaning out, then it’s a bit like watching a horror movie in the middle of the day with all the lights on.

You can read this article and all others from TRAIN issue 86 by getting a free subscription here.