Fat loss is not a simple game. If it were there would be far fewer overweight people around. For most people, it is not lack of trying that keeps them fat; it is often lack of knowledge that keeps them there. There are some simple steps that can be taken to help improve fat loss efforts and make them less of a chore.
These tips are not meant to replace a good, nutritionally sound diet plan, but instead to compliment any diet or exercise program.
Simple Fat Loss Tips
You gained the fat over an extended period of time, don’t expect it to fall off overnight
Take in fewer calories than you expend
This should be a simple one, however, it is generally the reason people are unable to lose fat. Fat is simply excess calories stored for future needs. If we eat more than we expend then there are excess calories in the system and they get shuffled to fat stores. Simply moving more or eating less, or a combination of both, will help to shift the balance in favor of fat loss.
Sweet can be sour for the dieter
Simple carbohydrates can be a diet killer. The sweet flavor of sugars cause cravings and the quick burst of glucose cause a spike in insulin. All that glucose has to either be used for energy or stored quickly. Since the amount of energy needed at any given moment varies, much of this glucose is stored in fat stores. The insulin spike and subsequent drop in blood glucose levels can also lead to lower energy levels and a craving for more sugar.
Not all fats are created equal
The body needs some fat to function properly. Fat cushions and protects the organs, provides lubrication in the joints, is used for long-term energy, and helps with the absorption and transport of some vitamins and minerals. Fats are also vital in the production, transport, and decoding of some essential hormones in the body. Eating some fats also helps signal the body to liberate fat stores for energy, because it shows that there is energy being ingested to replace any energy used. These fats should be unsaturated fats from healthy sources like nuts and seeds, olive oil, fish, and flax.
Complex carbohydrates to simplify the diet
Complex carbohydrates are absorbed slower, leading to a more even release of energy. This slower, more sustained release of energy leads to less being stored in fat stores and more available for the complex metabolic processes taking place in the body throughout the whole day. They do not cause the insulin spike seen with simple carbohydrates. Fiber also helps with the digestion of other nutrients as well as overall digestive health.
Slow and steady wins the race
Exercise for fat loss should be longer duration and lower intensity. The muscles prefer glucose for energy when they are working intensely and for short duration bursts. The first 3 minutes of an exercise is usually powered by the ATP-PC energy system, and then the body begins burning glycogen from the muscle stores and free floating glucose from the blood, then after ten to twelve minutes the body begins to burn fat for energy. If the muscles are required to work hard, with intermittent rest periods then the lactic acid (glucose) system will be the primary energy system, but if you work out over a long period of time (over 15 minutes) with no rest with low intensity exercise the fat burning (aerobic) energy system will take over.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were you fat stores
Remember that you gained the fat over an extended period of time, don’t expect it to fall off overnight. It takes time and you must be patient. Don’t give up. Don’t focus on the scale because with exercise you may gain some muscle, which will offset the losses on the scale. Instead look in the mirror for shape changes. Set short-term goals and work to reach them then set new ones on the way to your ultimate goal.