There is a difference between losing body fat and losing weight. Most people never really know how to tell the difference. We all have our different goals and reasons for wanting to shed some pounds, and it pays to be informed when embarking on this mission. Some people may want just to lose body fat and maintain their weight. This is done by adding muscle instead.
Our bodies need some amount of body fat that keeps our brain, other organs and the central nervous system in a functional state. This is the reason this fat is known as essential body fat because it is imperative that it is present in our bodies. In as much as the body needs this fat for insulation, having too much body fat leads to cardiovascular diseases and, or diabetes. Visceral fat or the fat around your midriff is what most people need to reduce. This is because too much of it is an impediment to the proper functioning of your organs.
If you are to lose body fat, you should see a doctor first who will help you determine what percentage you need to lose. In order to lose more body fat, it is wise to reduce calories. If possible, it is recommended you keep a journal of the food you eat for at least three days. Eliminate the things you consume that are not in line with your body fat loss program. These include sweet fizzy drinks and reducing your food portions. There are many ways you can go about losing body fat, but the major thing is discipline.
Staying hydrated is the most important in this body fat loss journey. Water helps you feel fuller, and if you drink some water before every meal, it helps you eat less. Water acts as a catalyst in fat burning. If you are not drinking enough water, your body will not burn fat as efficiently as it should. Your entire body weight divided in half; gives you the amount of water in ounces you should be drinking every day.
The liver works extra hard if the kidneys are dehydrated. This lowers the liver’s functionality in the fat burning process. One gallon a day or more is recommended for faster fat burn. Water is a major component of any chemical process that goes on in your body! Sticking to a set portion may be hard, and the water tends to reduce the hunger pangs substantially.
The first thing you need to watch is the junk food you consume. Cut it out of your diet, and fast! Cut out any refined sugar, processed foods, and alcohol. The things you need to add to your diet should be healthy fats like coconut oil, butter, ghee and olive oil.
Fats boost a feeling of fullness and thus helps cut back on body fat, especially around the midsection. Make sure you consume more fiber which is crucial to body fat loss. An example of food rich in soluble fiber is oatmeal, beans, and apples. Berries like blueberries and raspberries are also a good source of fiber.
Leucine is one of the most important amino acids in muscle building. Leucine acts as a catalyst in muscle development. The best foods to eat that are rich in this amino acid are tuna, beef, pork, chicken, milk, peanuts, lentils, and eggs.
Trans fats are also a major contributor to loss of belly fat. They channel fat stored in other parts of the body to the stomach. Such fats are found in processed baked foods like cookies and vegetable shortening. Good fats are those fats like Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids that burn fat and speed up metabolism.
Carbohydrates (Carbs) are vital in our bodies. They supply the fuel which the body uses to create energy for movement. When you are working toward losing body fat, you sure do not need too many carbs present.
The carbs consumed are used for energy by your body. When the carbs get depleted, your body turns to glycogen. Glycogen is formed from excess carbs, which your body stores away for future use. When your body uses up all the glycogen, it turns to fat for energy. If you are working towards reducing body fat, work on reducing your carbs intake.
Do not reduce it to a low carb diet; rather, make it into a lower carb diet. Lowering your carbs intake also means pegging the carbs intake to certain hours of the day. Complex carbs enhance metabolism without causing an insulin hike, which causes more fat to be stored. These complex carbs include beans, oats, potatoes and brown rice.
Thermogenesis is a heat producing process that helps burn fat faster. Some foods are more thermogenic than others, such as lean proteins and cruciferous vegetables. It means that the body uses up more energy while digesting them. There are also fat burning supplements that you can use to boost fat burning but coupled with good diet and training.
Alcohol is full of empty calories. It reduces your appetite and also lowers your testosterone levels. Testosterone is a fat burner, which means lower levels tend to slow down the fat burning process. Alcohol is turned into acetate after consumption. The acetate is then used in place of fat for energy, which means the body keeps its fat levels even.
This goes without saying as the best way to lose body fat. There is a lot of advice all over, and especially the internet on different methods of working out. The best way is to read everything, but pick what works well for you. Before embarking on a workout schedule, see a doctor first. The next step after seeing a doctor and having gotten a clean bill of health, talk to a nutritionist and get some advice on what food you need to eat. Have a meal plan drawn for you. Some trainers are both trained as fitness instructors and nutritionists. They are well placed to draw you a meal plan that you need to follow when working out. The trainer before advising you on your fitness journey will consider your weight level. There are different weight levels or stages:
When you have excess body fat, and you need to lose more than 40% body fat, you have to have realistic goals. Approach your fat loss with a slow, but a long-term strategy. The exercise has to be very moderate aerobics which includes walking and cycling. Work on cutting out junk foods and bad fats, while also greatly reducing the number of carbohydrates consumed. Increase your water intake; it helps Cut out on alcohol. Use a trainer for motivational purposes and most of all, be consistent.
At this stage, one is not excessively overweight, and the body fat is at 17 to 18% and for women 25%.The best approach to this would be to have a gradual body fat decrease. This would be achieved by combining both low intensity and high-intensity workouts, plus health eating. The cutting out of bad fats, carbohydrates, junk food, and alcohol is essential to the journey. Drink a lot of water to maintain the feeling of fullness. You have to have a concrete plan, and for maximum effect and motivation, get yourself a trainer. Be consistent too, and you will see results sooner!
This is where the body fat is not very visible, and the percentage is at 11% in men and 15% in women. A person at this stage needs to lose 10 pounds to be considered in shape. So how do you get in shape and drop the 10 pounds and gain muscle definition? A moderate intensity aerobic training should be coupled with High-Intensity Interval Trainings (HIIT) every week.
As with the rest of the stages, alcohol intake should be reduced or cut out, bad fats and carbohydrates as well. Drink a lot of water to help with fat burn and have a trainer for motivation. Be consistent, and the 10 pounds will melt faster.
In this stage, you are at about 3 or 4 pounds short of a muscular body. The best way to lose these extra pounds would be to train with weights and alternate calorie intake by having three lower calorie days and two higher calorie days. As is the norm, cut down or remove alcohol from your diet and reduce carbohydrate intake.
There are different workouts for fat loss:
Circuit training works very well in burning fat. High-intensity circuit training, coupled with different movements, burns fat and builds muscle. There is no known way to reduce fat in just one place, so you have to train the whole body. Perform workouts like burpees, mountain climbers, jump squats and pushups.
Always alternate between cardio and circuit resistance training. This way, you will get to see results faster.
Make a point of doing more cardio. Try to get things done by moving around. Take the stairs, walk around every hour if your job is a desk job. As part of your routine, you can do 150 high-intensity workouts every week. Break them down as it suits you; say 10 or 15-minute sessions.
As bizarre as it may sound, sleeping is as important as dieting and training. If you do not get enough sleep, your body tends to release the body’s hunger hormone ghrelin. This means you tend to eat more and gain more calories.
Sleep is important as it increases the production of fat burning hormones. Research has proven that lack of enough sleep makes us crave high-calorie foods.
Muscle uses up a lot of energy. The more muscular you are, the more energy, and calories you burn. A research carried out found that for every muscle added, you gained the ability to burn 30 to 50 calories a day. Strengthening the legs, back and arm muscles should be a priority because they are the largest muscle groups in the body.
Losing body fat is not an overnight job. It took a long time to build the body fat and it will mean a longer time to get rid of it. The most important thing in this journey is to make realistic, achievable goals and stick to them. Having strict discipline and eating right is all part of the regimen. Lowering your carb intake, eating the right fats and cutting back on alcohol makes a lot of difference. Drink at least two gallons of water and crank up your thermogenic intake.
You can also take some thermogenic supplements which increase your metabolism and follow it with a workout regimen. Having a personal trainer boosts up your morale, and ensures you have some professional help and motivation at hand. Eat a lot of fiber and foods with the amino acid leucine. Both help burns fat efficiently.
A trainer knows exactly how to pace your workout depending on your body fat level. Do lots of cardio and strength training, and you will love the end result. Getting enough sleep is also important for body fat loss. Working the largest muscles in the body is a plus. The more muscle you gain, the more fat you end up burning. Knowing what your body goals are. Some people want to lose weight and body fat. Some want to lose body fat and gain muscle, meaning weight gain. All in all, you have to be patient with yourself and your body.