Mayo Health Care
Three Simple Steps to Fat Loss
Being overweight has now moved from a social nuisance and domestic embarrassment to an official disease. The American Heart Association has announced obesity a dangerous epidemic and a major risk for heart disease. More than 70% of US adults are overweight and that figure is rapidly increasing. But by following three simple steps in your everyday life you do not have to become one of the above statistics. They are easy to follow without time constraints and don’t require a complete lifestyle change. These three steps are: 1.
Strength Training - Nowadays you do not have to live in a gym to put on functional muscle. Short High Intensity sessions performed once a week is all that is required to elevate the metabolism for total fat burning. 2. A Small Decrease in Daily Calories - Diets don’t work (everybody knows this by now) but by decreasing your daily calories by a small amount, the weight loss is body fat alone and not lean tissue and water that is associated with crash diets. Remember fat accumulates on the body over a long period of time so it must come off slowly.
3. More Incidental Activity - Instead of driving try walking, walk instead of taking elevators or escalators; take the stairs and so on. Just keep moving through out the day. Lets have a look at the Three Steps in more detail below: Strength Training Between the ages of 20 and 70 the average person loses one quarter of their muscle mass. Running, cycling or other aerobic sports will not prevent this loss. This is very disturbing because the muscles are the engines of the body and every pound of muscle burns 100 calories every day. By adding just 10 pounds of functional muscle to your body, you will burn off 60 pounds of fat over the next year. Providing you take in the same amount of calories it will keep burning those extra pounds year after year! The amount of fat the body can burn is directly related to the lean muscle your body has. If you don't perform weight training to maintain your muscle tissue, you will lose half a pound of the fat burning tissue per year after the age of 20 years. In simpler terms the more functional muscle you have on your body the more fat you will burn up.
Small Decrease in Daily Calories For years now, we have been told to use dieting to rid the excess fat from our bodies. The trouble with this concept is that the low calorie restricted diet would throw the body into starvation mode, with the body holding onto the fat and using precious muscle tissue for energy. This would then lower the metabolism causing greater muscle loss and when the diet is broken the unwanted fat would not only return but actually increase because to the lowered metabolism. The way around this is to cut your daily calorie intake by a small amount of calories only. This will stop any starvation mechanisms from clicking in. You can do this by making up a seven day eating plan and writing down every thing you eat for the week, and then work out the calories you have eaten with a calorie counter. Divide this figure by seven and you have your daily calorie value. Decrease daily calorie value by a couple of hundred calories per day and no more. This will generate slow weight loss and the majority will be fat loss only. The daily calories should be consumed during the day with small frequent meals.
The calories should come from a balanced diet (no fad diets please) with the required amount of micronutrients, vitamins and minerals. As well as containing the required amounts of fibre, fat, protein and carbohydrates. More Incidental Activity Fat is burned from the body when cells oxidize to release energy in the form of exercise. When the exercise is done slowly to moderately then the majority of energy is taken from the fat stores. The key to effective aerobic training that burns off maximum fat is long-term consistency not intensity. It doesn’t matter if you run a mile, jog a mile or walk a mile you will burn exactly the same amount of calories. The best exercise by far for the purpose of fat-loss is fast walking either indoors on the treadmill or outdoors. Other aerobic activities are the treadmill, bike, climber or any other training gear found in or out of the Gym. Start with 100 minutes of controlled incidental activity per week increasing this to 200 minutes a week or more. In all other activities try to move, move, move.
Try parking the car further away from your destination so you can walk the extra distance, hide all your remote controls so you have to get up and change the channels manually. These all help burn those extra calories and body fat from your frame. By incorporating these three simple fat loss steps into your everyday life you will not have to change your lifestyle or be subject to time constraints.
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