Even though many people throw the ‘weight’ loss term about quite freely, it’s really ‘fat’ loss that they desire. Aren’t they the same thing? In short, NO! Weight loss is a misunderstood concept the world over. With the conditioning towards weight loss through ‘weight’ loss products and the use of B.M.I (Body Mass Index – Doesn’t differentiate weight e.g muscle vs fat), there seems to be a bit of confusion between fat loss and weight loss. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two:
Weight loss: A loss in overall weight. Your body is not only made up of fat but also muscle tissue, water, hair, organs, bones and everything else that makes up the human body.
Fat loss: Refers to the loss in fat only. Keep the muscle, burn the fat!
In order to burn current fat stores we must first manipulate caloric expenditure to become greater than caloric ingestion (less calories consumed, more calories burnt). There is two ways to accomplish this. Either by eating less or moving more. Which of the two is going to be more effective or easier to maintain is entirely dependent on the individual and current lifestyle but in theory if you’re planning on moving more than what you used to/currently are (starting an exercise regiment) then you’re on the way to producing this caloric deficit. A closer look into your current nutritional intake will ensure that this caloric deficit is achieved. Burn more calories than you ingest and you’ll start burning fat! There is a downside though, eat too little calories and you’ll burn away muscle as well, leading to a slower metabolism and increasing fat stores.
Strength/weight training stimulates muscular growth. When muscles reach fatigue under load (weight) micro-tears are created within the muscle fibers. These micro-tears stimulate a need for protein for these fibers to repair and therefore become stronger and bigger (To date there is no evidence which suggests whether we grow the muscle or new muscle fibers are created) leading to an increase in overall muscle mass.
This increase of muscle mass also increases your body’s metabolic rate meaning that you’ll burn calories more efficiently not only during exercise but also at total rest. Increases in muscle also mean an increase in weight. Don’t fret though, if you see an increase in muscle but a decrease in cm’s (e.g clothes are fitting more comfortably), you can guarantee that you’re losing fat but building muscle!
Green tea and/or water should be your main fluids in any fat loss plan. Hydration plays a massive role in the effectiveness of how well your fat is metabolised. Green tea is a fat loss secret weapon! Not only does this miracle elixir rev up your metabolism but is also jam packed with free-radical-fighting antioxidants. Not only does it hydrate, improve general health and boost metabolism, green tea also has a slight caffeine kick to give you a boost of energy.
Not only is sleep important for optimal energy levels for your workouts but also for hormonal management. Without adequate sleep, insulin sensitivity decreases, which means that your insulin will be less effective at shuttling glucose from your blood into cells, where it’s needed. How does you’re body cope with inadequate glucose in cells? It pumps out more insulin. The problem is that insulin is also a fat-storage hormone.
Losing fat isn’t as hard as what it seems. Follow the simple steps below to start your fat loss journey!
- Manipulate food intake slightly and increase physical activity to achieve caloric deficit
- Strength train a few times per week
- Stay well hydrated and consume green tea
- Get plenty of restful sleep