Written by Jamie Bantleman
What Is Fat Loss?
Fat loss can be a complicated issue for many people, mainly due to the meaning of what it truly is. You cannot confuse fat loss with weight loss; it is something that means you should be looking at two major aspects of body composition.
How do I lose body fat?
How do I not lose a load of lean mass?
It would be very easy to lose weight and therefore muscle, however does this actually ensure you are going to aesthetically look more pleasing, and does it make you healthier? Not always.
Firstly, weight loss when necessary is, of course, the key to any healthy beginning. If you are massively overweight, you aren’t going to massively concerned about losing muscle mass in the process of losing weight. You simply need to remove as much stress from organs and the joints. However, when you are in a position that means you don’t want to sacrifice much lean mass but still want to lose body fat there must be a procedure and structure in place to enable the body to continue to slowly increase lean mass and continue to lose body fat.
This structure can be broken down into 3 simple steps to a better body composition:
Know Exactly When To Use Your Macronutrients:
Eliminate high-density carbohydrates and replace with foods such a root vegetables like parsnips and butternut squash for the first phase of nutrition. One thing I very rarely recommend is going zero carbohydrates for any long period of time as it acts as a major phycological barrier for when the client genuinely needs the nutrient in their diet.
Therefore the best way in which to deal with the use of carbohydrates is to introduce different sources when necessary. While improving one’s insulin sensitivity you don’t need sources such as rice, oats and potato. However, this isn’t always the case, when you begin to lose body fat you can use these types of foods for recovery and replenishment post workout and in the evenings. A common theme in many failed diet plans is ‘very high protein, no carbs’. Now we have settled the carbohydrate issue, let’s move on to protein.
We are often advised that protein levels should be at a certain number, however, this should be based upon the percentage of calories consumed through the specific macronutrient. For example, if somebodies basil metabolic rate calculates a 3,000 calorie intake is necessary for fat loss and you are using a simple 40/40/20 split (Protein/Fats/Carbs) you are actually looking at a high figure of 300g protein per day.
Likewise, someone who is lighter in weight may only need half this amount of protein. Stating one specific number to aim for is an irresponsible way in which to build a diet plan. Protein sources should vary to reduce the risk of becoming intolerant to it, foods such as Greek yoghurt, red meat, white meat, fish, eggs and whey protein are all great sources to be eaten throughout the day, although whey protein is best-used post workout due to its fast absorption rate.
Fats are the final macronutrient discussed in this point; hopefully, we are all passed the fact ‘fat doesn’t make us fat’ if not, then this point is totally true and fat certainly should not be looked upon a nutrient that will make us fat. In actual fact, calories make us fat, too much food means too much weight gain, in this light, weight gain/weight loss is pretty straightforward.
Fats are there to increase cognitive function, joint and bone structure and improve heart health. We should look to utilise fats in the mornings for an improved level of energy and focus. Foods such as salmon, avocado, olives, nuts, nut butter and healthy oils such as coconut oil, are all fantastic sources of fats that can ensure a much healthier body and better physique.
Move More To Avoid A Sedentary Lifestyle:
We often find those who live a sedentary lifestyle increase body fat much quicker than those who live an active one. If you have a job that is based on office work and/or you don’t have the time to exercise every day you must develop certain habits to enable you to become more active. Walking where possible rather than taking a car journey or even taking a lift either up or downstairs can pay great dividends when it comes to the amount of active movement you have made throughout the day.
Although time restraints play a part in most people lives, we must find a way to do more than just the short walks. While this is important and any movement is better than none at all, it is still important to be working out, following a structured training programme. While training in the gym may not be your preferred destination, a simple dumbbell and body weight programme may be a better option for you, this also detracts you from being restrained by gym opening and closing times.
Strength Training and Interval Workouts For The Best Results:
To enable our bodies to lose body fat and maintain or increase lean muscle mass we need to perform at least 3 strength based training sessions per week alongside 2 high-intensity workouts. An example of this could be the very effective German Body Composition Phase of training followed by 2 sessions using interval work on modified strongman equipment such as prowlers and sleds. These three factors are very effective when it comes to fat loss, they provide us with the correct fuel for the body to burn body fat as well as the most effective training programmes to improve our ability to maintain and improve muscle to build a much more rounded and better physique.