If you are trying to lose body fat, but haven’t yet succeeded, do not despair. Here are some guidelines, different reasons that may hold you back and some issues you may want to change or improve, in order to achieve results.
Healthy weight loss equals to excessive fat loss. Overweight problems are usually associated with increased fat mass and decreased muscle mass. In some cases, like excessive exercise routines, starvation and fast weight loss methods, it is not primarily fat that is lost, but more often water from the cells and muscle tissue. This is not a healthy alternative, but it is still a loss of a “scale weight”.
To lose weight the healthy way, means to reach your healthy weight and to maintain it. Fanatic weight loss and harshly decreased body fat percentage holds different but as serious dangers as excess body fat does. Healthy range of percent body fat, varies from 15-25% for men and 20-30% for women.
The safest way, known to lose weight, is through making slow and gradual changes in your diet (decreasing your calorie intake) and physical activity levels (increasing your metabolism).
To improve your fitness levels and achieve weight loss results, you need to participate into a regular exercise program, or regular physical activity. This is essential for people leading sedentary lifestyle. By exercising from time to time, your chances of success will be decreased significantly.
Sometimes following those guidelines may not lead to any significant results, or at least not in the beginning. In general, the body needs longer periods to adapt to a new lifestyle changes, especially for sedentary individuals. By regular participating in a fitness program, essential results should be expected, at least after the fourth month. Let’s see why you should allow yourself longer times to expect to start burning fat more effectively.
Tips to Burn Fat More Effectively and Reasons That May Hold You Back
Fat is a vital source of energy for continuous, lower to moderate-intensity exercise and sport games training. To use the fatty acids as a fuel, your body needs sufficient amount of oxygen, which you acquire through intensified breathing. In other words fats are being burned during lengthy aerobic (with the participation of oxygen) work. The fat burning process usually becomes considerable after the 20th minute. General recommendations for beginners and sedentary people is from 20 to 30 minutes of low to moderate-intensity exercises or physical activities daily. Good examples are daily walking, cycling and swimming. Start slowly with short and lower-intensity activity and gradually increase the distance and the intensity.
Regular and slowly intensified daily aerobic work is the most reliable scheme for success. Even that aerobic exercises are effective way to lose weight and burn body fat, they may not present significant results (or no results at all, in terms of weight loss) at the beginning, and even during the first couple of months, but with constant efforts the results are most likely to eventually come. Here are some of the possible reasons, why you may not lose weight at the beginning, but should expect results later on.
- Cardio-respiratory system. To lose body fat more effectively, you need to have well developed cardio-respiratory system and increased maximum oxygen consumption (increased ability to supply your body with oxygen).
- Increased metabolism. Unlocking fatty acids from the fat cells and transporting them to the specific places, where they will be used as energy, depends on the proper and active working of different enzyme systems and certain hormone levels.
- Well developed capillary network. This means increased amount of capillaries over the muscles which will result in more blood flow, respectively more oxygen, and nutrients for your muscle cells. The fatty acids will be properly transported to the cells and burned more efficiently with the increased amounts of oxygen.
All of the stated above circumstances contribute to the better utilization of fats, as a source of energy, during continuous aerobic workouts, and all of them can be improved by regular exercises that can train the cardio-vascular system, i.e. continuous low to moderate-intensity physical activities. In order to expect the body to adapt to such routine, you need to participate regularly and build that solid base, after which you should expect some real results in terms of reducing body fat levels.
Resistance training. Although fat is not used as a fuel during short high-intensity work, strength training promotes muscle mass growth, respectively enhances the metabolic rate at rest. Another essential factor for fat expenditure is the growth hormone, which promotes lipolysis. This is the breakdown of triglycerides (fats) into free fatty acids, which can be used by the body for energy. The secretion of the growth hormone is affected by different factors like: age; gender; nutrition; exercise (mainly resistant training); stress, and other hormones. The most significant level of the growth hormone known, is about an hour after onset of sleep. This means for sufficient levels of growth hormone, enough rest and sleep are needed. Best if you go to bed before midnight and sleep at least one more time during the day. Additional usage/intake of growth hormone as a doping is banned and illegal. It is legally available only by prescription from a medical doctor in case of serious diseases.
Insulin. It is a hormone which helps store the nutrients from the foods you eat, into the body’s cells. Eating lots of food equals to continuous high levels of insulin, and increased blood sugar levels (especially foods rich in sugar). In response this hormone will transport the nutrients from that food into the body cells, and the excessive amount of which will be stored as body fat. If your insulin levels are high, your body will not be able to burn excess fat. If you consume large amount of carbohydrates shortly before workout, your body will use the large amount of free fatty acids in the blood as an energy, and wouldn’t need to unlock fatty acids from your fat cells. As a recommendation you should workout at least an hour and a half after your last meal, and should consume mostly carbohydrate-rich foods with a low Glycemic Index, i.e. products rich in complex carbohydrates.
Carnitine (L-carnitine). Carnitine is a substance that transports fatty acids into the cells, where they are used for the generation of energy. The body makes it in the liver and kidneys and stores it in the skeletal muscles, heart, brain, and sperm. Usually, your body can make all the carnitine it needs. Years of research show, that carnitine supplements do not appear to increase the body’s use of oxygen or improve metabolic status when exercising, nor do they necessarily increase the amount of carnitine in muscle. However, carnitine is found naturally in food. Animal products like red meat, fish, poultry, and milk are the best sources.
Essential fatty acids. These are found mostly in food products from plant origin (vegetables and seeds) as well as fish. They are called essential, because the body needs them for optimum health, but can not synthesize them by itself, that’s why we need to provide them by our food. Among the many benefits they possess, some of the essential fatty acids are found to play important roles, such as regulating the diameter of blood vessels (help to regulate blood pressure) and breaking down of fats.
I would like to finish with a very wise phrase, which I don’t recall who’ve said it: If you are not running while you are healthy, you are going to, when you get ill. If you’ve come reading so far, it’s time to start exercising and improve your health and physical performance.