Shedding off excess body fat has never been easier. Today, there are numerous books, videos, tutorials, weight loss programs and manual guides on this topic. With the advent of science, there is a spike of new means of workouts and nutrition that are aligned with scientifically proven tips for losing fat.
Losing calories and keeping them off your waistline, arms, inner thighs and general body physique is pivotal to a whole, healthy and happy lifestyle. Of course, this does not negate your personal role of remaining diligent and consistent in training. There are no quick fixes or short cuts to achieve long lasting results. However, there are tried and proven tips to lose unwanted body fat to attain that perfect, defined frame you desire.
Weight Loss And Fat Loss Are Not The Same
Majority of people, who have set out on their roads to fitness, usually confuse these two terminologies. For most, weight loss and fat loss mean one and the same thing, hence they use them interchangeably. In most instances, what they refer to as weight loss is essentially the loss of fat from their bodies. Well, here is how to distinguish the two:
According to Joel Seedman, who is a strength and performance specialist, weight loss can be attributed to three primary factors. The loss of fat; the loss of muscle; and the loss of water. Weight is affected by various interwoven body components and processes. It highly fluctuates depending on the amount of weighed matter within your body in a given moment in time.
For instance, after a hefty meal, you may weigh more than what you did two hours before. Similarly, after long periods of little to no water intake, you may weigh less than you did a couple of days ago. Scientifically, our weight constantly fluctuates throughout the day in relation to our food and water intake, and the activities we engage in. It is, therefore, not prudent to measure any fitness success, primarily based on the rapid weight loss that reflects on your scale.
On the other hand, fat loss is very stable and progressive in nature. According to personal trainer Max Weber, the loss of fat is not affected by various variables as in the case of weight loss. Fat is lost when the body is conditioned to break down fat molecules residing in the body or from food consumed (as opposed to sugar molecules) in order to generate energy.
This conditioning of the body is through the adherence to a well-planned out diet, effective workouts and strength training. Contrary to what our great population believes of weight loss – which ideally, they mean fat loss – it does not occur simply by substantially cutting down calorie-intake.
Calories are instrumental to the building and maintaining of muscle mass and thus, with limited calories, there will be gradual muscle loss. This muscle loss will appear as weight loss but is destructive in the long haul.
How Do I Lose Fat Without Losing Muscle?
Losing fat and building or retaining muscle may seem as the extreme ends of a pole. The question that lingers is whether this is possible to do so. “How can I lose belly fat and gain muscle?”. Our answer would be that a cautious balance ought to be maintained when you embark on the same, since any gain or loss of either has a cumulative effect of loss or gain on the other.
Obtaining a trim yet toned body is a delicate yet possible enterprise. It entails the knowledgeable combination of fat loss exercises and strength training in a manner to positively affect your body fat to muscle mass ratio. Exercises that boost your cardiovascular activity such as running are pivotal to fat loss, whereas weight lifting is equally pivotal to maintaining muscle mass.
As advised by Gaspari Nutrition, you can achieve this balance by engaging in fat burning exercises while incorporating weights into your workout routines. Losing fat while building muscle is best summed up in the body recomposition technique. It entails loss of fat by creating a calorie deficit while exercising.
5 Tips For Losing Fat
Here are top 5 tips for losing fat that you can incorporate to help you with that stubborn fat:
1. Eat High Protein Breakfast
Protein is instrumental to muscle growth, and for the general body development and repair. According to Healthline, a daily dose of 0.73–1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, optimizes muscle gain.
Other benefits of protein include helping you boost your BMI which increases your metabolism rate, leading to faster burning of calories to up to 80-100 per day. Additionally, as a vital macronutrient, it has been scientifically proven to decrease cravings to up to 60%. Protein is also effective against abdominal fat which is closely linked to diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Kick start your day by supplementing your breakfast options with eggs, legumes, nuts, and dairy products such as milk. Feel free to also incorporate protein supplements into the mix. However, bear in mind not to overdose on the protein. Too much protein intake will result in the body converting the same into fat reserves.
2. Avoid Sugary Drinks And Fruit Juice
Processed drinks have a large amount of added sugar. Drinks such as sodas, diet cokes, sugar-sweetened beverages and even processed fruit juice have extremely high fructose levels. Increased fructose intake forces the liver to convert the same into fat. Fructose is primarily associated with buildup of fat around the abdomen and the liver.
According to Healthline, you should opt to have foods that burn fat. Take more of whole fruits rather than sugary drinks. Additional precaution should be taken by reading the labels before any purchase. Even the self-acclaimed healthy products may have large amounts of refined sugars which will be detrimental to your health.
3. Drink Water Before Meals
Water has numerous health benefits and greatly facilitates fat reduction. Staying hydrated is a scientifically proven way for rapid weight loss, and most weight loss programs and diets greatly incorporate this.
A publication by Medical News Today listed 6 scientifically proven ways that water can help you lose weight. In a nut shell they are:
- It helps in the suppression of appetite and thus, prevents overeating.
- It optimizes one’s BMI and improves the overall functionality of all body systems and processes. This leads to effective muscle growth and fat burn.
- It facilitates waste removal from body.
- It is a great substitute to processed drinks, which add to your calories.
- It helps in burning of fats through a process called lipolysis.
- It facilitates a better work out experience as muscles, joints and ligaments are well hydrated and thus, minimizing the chances of you suffering from a muscle cramp or general body fatigue after a body workout.
4. Start Strength Training
If you already did not know, strength training comes with enormous benefits and it is one the recommended tips for losing fat. You can read all about the surprising benefits of strength training. Strength training entails the use of resistance to build muscle. This is best accomplished by using weights. However, when you are cutting down on your calorie intake, you should be a bit light handed on the weights. During this period of calorie-deficit, you should be careful on the volume and tension you exert on your muscles.
It is important to maintain a weight set that does not fatigue your muscles, leading to prolonged time frames of recovery. Stick to a set that helps you work and maintain that muscle, up until you start consuming a relatively increased number of calories.
The advice is not to maintain the previous training regime before you began reducing on your calorie intake. This may be acceptable at first when you still have plenty of fat reserves to deplete. However, as time progresses, it is important to cut down on the high-level intensity so that it is proportionate to your calorie intake.
According to researchers, even with the low volume regime, you should still maintain the intensity of your regime. This is crucial to allow muscle growth. You can switch up the two such that when you have a high intensity work out, decrease your weight volume and vice versa.
5. Get Good Quality Sleep
Good quality sleep is important in maintaining a healthy metabolism rate and an overall healthy body. Studies have proven that people who clock less than seven hours of sleep each day, have lower metabolism rates than those who sleep for 7 hours.
Additionally, according to researchers, sleep apnea – a type of sleeping disorder – is closely linked to poor weight loss from persons suffering from same.
Sleep time should be cherished as it is the period of time your muscles rebuild and grow. Do not just go for long hours of sleep, but also ensure it is quality time. There are several ways you can optimize on the quality of your sleep, such as taking a relaxing bath just before sleep, avoiding all electronic gadgets a few hours prior to bedtime, and avoiding stress.
How Fast Can You Lose Weight?
How fast or slow you can lose weight is dependent on the discipline and effectiveness of the regime you keep. However, it is usual to record a higher loss of weight once you start out on your regimen. This ‘initial weight loss’ may be quite drastic and exciting to have.
However, this should not propel you to increase the intensity, frequency or volume of your workout regime. Loss of belly fat, especially, may take a while. You may be tempted to introduce severe measures such as extended fasting to see you drop 6 pounds each week! This however, should not be the case. Consider integrating healthy lifestyle changes that will in the long term have you looking defined.
A workout regimen should be consciously planned out in light of your current body weight and intended body weight. It is preferable to use percentages to represent the proportion of body weight you would want to lose. Working out your body too hard may result in the opposite results – depletion of muscle mass. It is prudent to always pace yourself and stick to your regimen. With time, the results will be obvious.
In summary, losing fat can be done in a healthy and sustainable manner. There are no quick fixes. However, these tips for losing fat that we discussed will help you be effective in losing that stubborn belly fat and build that muscle you have always wanted.