Losing fat can be one of the hardest things if you don’t plan it right. You might encounter various bro scientists in your gym who say they have made groundbreaking discoveries in how to lose weight and fat. Most of the time, their theories and logics are complete BS.
Abdomen fat can be one of the most stubborn types of body fat. You need to have your concepts clear if you want to shed fat and weight. Some people are successful in losing body fat but they regain it back after a few weeks of getting off the training and nutrition.
To be able to lose fat and keep it away, you need to learn the science behind fat loss. If you’re intimidated by the idea of shedding fat without any external help and have believed you can never do it by yourself, this article will be your guide.
1. Cardio Alone Isn’t the Answer
Some people think cardio is the only way to lose weight. The only reason these people get a gym membership is to spend time on the treadmill. While you might sweat and feel exhausted after an intense cardio session, you’re losing much more than just weight.
“Studies have found that muscle growth is severely decreased when cardio is integrated into a program”, said Dr. Jacob Wilson, University of Tampa. You may lose weight faster doing cardio only but unfortunately, it’s the wrong kind of weight.
Cardio alone burns away both fat and muscle. For a lasting change, you have to integrate strength workouts into your routine. Weight training builds lean muscle mass, which elevates your metabolism and burns fat even when you’re not exercising.
2. Fasted Cardio Doesn’t Mean Fast Results
There is this theory in the fitness world that doing cardio on an empty stomach after an overnight fast sends fat burning into overdrive. Look around your gym and you’ll probably see a trainer – or a bro scientist – giving this advice to someone who wants to lose weight.
The rationale being: A prolonged absence of food brings about a reduction in circulating blood sugar, causing glycogen (stored carbohydrate) levels to fall. That leaves your body no choice but to rely more on fat, rather than glucose, to fuel workouts.
There is a problem with this theory. Your body doesn’t function in a vacuum. If you skip a pre-workout meal, your body will be short on fats as well as protein. This can lead to muscle catabolism (loss), which is counter-intuitive to your goal.
Horowitz JF in his study “Substrate metabolism when subjects are fed carbohydrate during exercise” found when trained subjects exercised at 50 percent of their max heart rate, an intensity that equates to a slow walk, there was no difference in the amount of fat burned–regardless of whether the subjects had eaten.
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3. Consuming Fats Isn’t As Bad As You Think
The war against saturated fat has to be one of the largest misconceptions in the annals of human nutrition. It’s an emotional issue with both sides strongly hanging on to their arguments based on the science that is promulgated to everyone, whether it is peer-reviewed or not.
When saturated fat began getting a bad rap relative to heart disease, high-fat dairy products such as butter were considered evil. Ironically, like with other nutrition beliefs, it turns out saturated fat is undamaging and trans fat is more dangerous.
Some people cut out fats completely to lose weight and shed body fat. This can be counterintuitive to their goal. Our bodies need fats for proper functioning and a deficiency of this macro-nutrient can cause overall health issues.
4. Brown Fat Can Be a Saviour
Everyone has at least a little bit of brown fat. Unlike regular old white fat, which stores calories, mitochondria-packed brown fat cells burn energy and produce heat. It was once thought, in humans, only babies had brown fat. But in 2009, researchers found small amounts of brown fat in adults.
Brown fat is activated by cold. Spending time in the cold makes your brown fat more active, and could even cause you to grow new brown-fat cells, according to a 2014 study conducted by National Institutes of Health researchers and published in the journal Diabetes.
Key nutrients, such as L-arginine, L-citrulline, and L-glutamate, can increase brown fat activity, which will increase caloric expenditure and promote fat burning. Scientists are actively seeking drugs to turn on brown fat and promote weight loss.
5. High Protein Meals and Hight Intensity Training Speeds Up Fat Loss
Including high protein sources in your meals speeds up your fat loss and build muscle. Protein of all the macronutrients has the highest thermogenic effect, i.e, your body produces the most heat while absorbing protein. This makes your body burn some extra calories in the process.
Stuart Phillips, a professor at McMaster University found that it is possible to achieve the elusive goal of gaining muscle and losing fat, an oft-debated problem for those trying to manage their weight, control their calories and balance their protein consumption.
For the study, 40 men were divided into two groups. Both groups went on a low-calorie diet, one with higher levels of protein than the other. The higher-protein group experienced muscle gains — about 2.5 pounds — despite consuming insufficient energy, while the lower protein group did not add muscle.
Researchers were intrigued because the high-protein group also lost more body fat. “We expected the muscle retention”, said Phillips, “but were a little surprised by the amount of additional fat loss in the higher protein consuming group.”