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The three areas of fat loss

The three areas of fat loss
Before I get into the three major areas of fat loss, let’s take a look at:

What influences your body fat

Let’s start off by admitting that the world has an increasing obesity problem that is only getting worse and it isn’t good. There are several factors that influence body fat, your diet, your genetics, hormones and activity level. Genetics you can’t change, hormones are difficult to control but you have some control through your diet and emotional state to a degree (see separate article on food and hormones), while your diet and activity level  is all down to you solely.

Genetic make up

People are all different, some have more fat cells than others and more muscle than others, some burn energy (calories) quickly, others more slowly. Some have short limbs and muscle attachments, others longer. Some are thick boned, others more thin boned. Some have more type1 muscle, others more type2. Some are pre-dispositioned for physical and health issues. Some biological genes will make you more hungry and have an increased appetite than others. Different foods can have a negative effect on one person and be OK for others – you need to make the most of what you have and tailor your diet and exercise appropriately.

What Body Type are you?

Understand that everyone is different, we all have different metabolisms, different shapes and structures. Your food and macros choices may also be affected by your body type:

Endormorphs – normally larger frame, higher body fat and larger joints

Mesomorph – normally muscular and lean, medium joints

Ectomorphs – normally tall and skinny, but can be shorter and skinny, small joints

Everyone falls somewhere within these groups. More on this is in the introduction to your body article.

The three major areas of fat loss:

  1. Weight loss is controlled by calories in and calories out.
  2. Keeping fat off, is about maintaining a good nutrition plan, plus exercise – to keep the metabolic rate from falling from those reduced calories.
  3. Finally your ability to sustain the two above.

Let’s expand a little on the above:

No 1

There is no doubt that in order to lose body weight you need to take in less calories than you use. The statement above ‘Weight loss is controlled by calories in and calories out’ is simplistic and I need to add here that not all calories are equal. The way in which you achieve a calorie deficet can be done a number of ways. I prefer a balanced approach by eating mostly foods that help the body rather than hinder it. You need to eat foods that take longer to digest, to keep you fuller and satisfied for longer and provide the right nutrients at the same time. This is what will help keep your calorie count down. For this reason I am not a true believer in ‘a calorie is a calorie’ per se, as certain foods do have a thermic affect, some can control hunger, satiety, appetite, cravings, your hormones and blood sugar levels. So while mathematically a calorie is a calorie, a calorie from certain foods are not all equal. Stick mostly to protein for their thermic effect and to feed your muscles and green vegetables and high fibre fruit which use more calories to digest. Please see the about calories calorie.

Your body uses/burns calories at a rate set by your metabolism. You have a basal metabolic rate (BMR) which is the amount of energy your body uses to keep you alive and nothing more. From there your body uses more calories to process the food that you eat and to carry out physical activity. This is your resting metabolic rate (RMR). Your metabolic rate is responsible for the majority of the burning of calories you consume and is the most important factor in changing your body’s composition. To note, while I have said the above, there will be a difference between person to person, some people have naturally high metabolic rates and others not so. This is why some people can seem to be able to eat anything and not put weight on (fast metabolic rate) and others just need to look at food and put weight on easily (slow metabolic rate).

So now you know that basic bit of information. I want to encourage you to read my nutrition plan, as your number one place to reduce body fat. By the way there’s no strict calorie counting in my plan.

No 2

While extreme or even large reductions in calories to lose weight do indeed work to lose weight fast, they unfortunately will for most people just create a temporary weight loss. Your metabolism in order to survive, has a protection mechanism that recognises a reduction in calories consumed and will therefore slow your metabolism down, thinking it is going into starvation mode, it will essentially adapt to the reduction to survive. When this happens you will need less and less calories to maintain your weight. This is why many people struggle to keep a diet going and when they can’t continue at all with it, put the weight they lost back on or even gain more weight than they started with. You have effectively reduced your metabolic rate, making it harder to keep the fat off.

So, how can I get around this? Don’t go so extreme with your calorie reduction, plus exercise can help the body become more efficient at burning more fat cells and keeping that fat off. The correct exercise can keep your metabolism raised.

Now it’s not just the exercise that you need to burn the body fat. While exercise does indeed burn calories, it normally isn’t a great amount. What you should be using exercise for, is to increase your metabolic rate. This is important, because as you reduce your calories, your body will want to slow your metabolic rate down to compensate. And remember it’s the metabolic rate that burns the most calories throughout the day and has the biggest impact on your body’s composition.

>>>>>Important, some types of exercise can also increase your hunger and so you need to choose an exercise routine that raises your metabolism and uses less energy doing it (please see my workout section).

So now you know that combining a good nutritional and exercise plan that is easy to follow and increases your metabolic rate is what is needed to remove excess body fat, what’s next?

No 3

Well, none of the first two above means anything unless you can discipline yourself to make this a lifestyle change. This part is really simple to say, just do it!. This part is also the most difficult to do and then keep doing.

We all have busy lives and the last thing we want to do is add something to our busy lives that we don’t want to do or enjoy. This is where motivation comes in. I have written a separate article about this here.

One thing you shouldn’t do is compare yourself to others, especially those you see on the internet, youtube and magazines. You simply do not know what they are taking to get to their current physical condition. And let me tell, ignoring genetics, many of them are taking dangerous drugs/supplements and doing extreme short term dieting. So don’t compare yourself and make a change for long term health reasons and not short term dangerous gains. Conversely there are many people who are in a much worse situation and therefore you should look at the positives and not the negatives.

Something to also help, is to only shop for the foods you plan to eat in your nutrition plan, that way you can’t now just go and snack on the wrong type of foods if you have a moment of weakness.

You have got to want to do it and I believe the way in which I describe on this site should make it easy to incorporate into most peoples lives. Start with reading the motivation article, then the nutrition plan, then workout plan.

Please also see the related article on body fat.