When we think of burning fat, we often think of exercise or restrictive diets. We don't often think about sleep or gut health.
While the best exercises for weight loss, or time on the best exercise machines to lose weight can help us burn fat, we'll get loads more benefits, lose more weight and grow more lean muscle with good digestion and a great night's sleep.
In our interview with celebrity fitness coach Don Saladino, he revealed these are the answers to the question: "what about health and fitness do you think gets ignored, or forgotten about, that more people need to know?"
Saladino is currently coaching the likes of Anne Hathaway, Ryan Reynolds, and Blake Lively, and has previously worked with Hugh Jackman, Emily Blunt, and Liev Scrieber, to name a few. He has also an extremely qualified fitness trainer with over 20 years of experience under his belt.
"Oh my god, sleep. We still don’t put enough value into sleep and digestion," says Saladino. "I’ve written thousands of programs, and we put a lot of value into supplements. You can do all the fancy bloodwork, and get all the information you can, but just by cleaning up basic things, like sleep, digestion and hydration, you’re 70% there.
"Sleep is the best fat burner, and it’s free!"
While you can hydrate more effectively by keeping one of the best water bottles close to hand, getting better sleep is more challenging. But Saladino has an answer to this: small, incremental changes, and practice.
"If you can’t go to bed before midnight, start practicing. Can’t sleep? Let’s start moving your bedtime 15 minutes earlier, and cutting down on the blue light. Maybe some meditation."
Eventually, Saladino reckons with consistent practice, you'll be able to move your bedtime from midnight to 11:45. Once you're there, you can begin to move it back to 11:30. This is a process that can take weeks, so you'll need to bear with it. But the long term results speak for themselves.
Saladino uses the same principle for digestion. "Can’t eat breakfast because you aren’t hungry? Start practicing. Start training yourself to be able to use those calories and that energy. Just by fixing these small things, you’ll be in another stratosphere, and feeling as good as you did when you were a teenager."
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Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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