Understanding how to lose body fat
- First, understand what body fat is, what it does, and how much is healthy to have. Body fat is actually a tissue our bodies really need. Lofton explains that we need a minimal amount of fat to keep our central nervous system and organs (including our brains) functioning properly. This fat is called essential fat, because it’s absolutely necessary to our health. The body also needs fat for cushioning and insulation, but having too much of it is associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Comite says that an ideal body fat range for women is 25-28% and for men is 12-15%
- Losing body fat is partially about how many calories you eat. So let’s just get that out of the way first. If you are looking to reduce body fat, you’ll most likely have to find a way to take in less calories on average, than you presently are.
- Whatever you do, don’t eat a low-fat diet. Studies show that people on low fat diets don’t lose weight as readily as those who eat more fat. Fat has more calories per gram than protein and carbs (9 in fat vs. 4 in protein and 4 in carbs), and this caloric density makes foods with fat more satisfying.
- You probably should eat fewer carbs. Carbs are super important, They’re what the body uses for energy- carbs help us think, walk and move. Not to mention works would suck without them. Keep in mind they are important but to a certain extent. How do you estimate the amount of carbs you’re eating. Keep in mind that the number listed next to “carbohydrates” on a label isn’t always representative of how much carbs your body will actually be getting.
- Get enough sleep and make sure it’s of good quality. Comite explains that getting adequate, good sleep keeps the body’s hormones in balance- hormones that are responsible for regulating metabolism. Not getting enough good-quality sleep can disturb hormonal systems that are responsible for enabling us to lose fat.
- Do high-intensity cardio exercise. Moderate-intensity steady state cardio has its own health benefits, but burning fat efficiently isn’t one of them. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a much better way to burn fat. Higher intensity exercise keeps burning fat even after you’re done exercising.
- Make strength training part of your routine. The deal with muscle is that it’s a pretty special kind of tissue because it is very metabolically active. This means that whatever your muscles are doing- from standing up and walking to the bathroom to doing a workout- they’re using a lot of energy to do it. The more muscle you have, the more energy (read: calories) you burn doing the same activities.
- Give up sugary drinks. “sugary drinks gotta go. They will never satisfy you. They give you extra carbs that will be converted into fat.”
- Make sure you’re drinking enough water. If you don’t have enough water, you can’t burn energy efficiently in the same way, including sugar. If you’re drinking water you’re going to be better at losing fat. To figure out how much water you should drink per day, divide your weight in half and drink that much in ounces per day.