5 Common Fat Loss Mistakes People Make
When you are looking at how to lose body fat, it’s common to follow the herd and do what you think will yield the fastest results. The truth is there is a lot of hype out there, and a lot of it comes from the profit motivated diet industry that is always trying to come up with the latest and greatest to capture the interest and money of desperate people. Another thing to watch out for is the hyped up promises of super-fast weight loss, and easy no effort methods, like, many supplements and diet aids tend to run with.
If there was a pill that can make anyone fit and trim by reducing body fat, do you really think the obesity rates in the United States would be at epidemic levels affecting 30% of the population? In fact, the newest data shows that rates of adult obesity increased in 6 U.S. states and dropped in none in 2013. There’s nothing wrong with being motivated and wanting quick fat loss, but, don’t get stuck buying into fluff that will surely lead to unmet expectations and ultimate failure.
1. Not eating enough calories.
It should come as no surprise that you need to reduce calories to lose weight. But this doesn’t mean you should starve yourself. If you cut your intake too low you will literally go into starvation mode and your body will hold on to stored fat for energy in times of famine. You are best served cutting back by only 250 to 500 calories a day.
2. Trying to spot reduce.
If you have fat in your stomach or on your arms, you won’t eliminate it by doing tons of crunches or biceps curls. Accept the fact that you need to lose weight through your body as a whole.
3. Doing too much cardio.
Being a cardio junkie might get you in good shape from a cardiovascular standpoint, but it is not the best way to burn fat. I know that may seem off the wall but it’s true. When you do long cardio sessions day after day, you run the risk of losing muscle and hitting a plateau. You are better served including weight training into your weekly regimen. Muscle is also metabolically active, which can cause you to lose body fat even faster.
The way you do cardio also needs to be mentioned. Long duration, low-intensity is not the way to go. Remember, the key to fat loss is getting your metabolism revving for as long as you possibly can. You won’t get it done by jogging away on a treadmill while reading a book. Once you finish your session, your metabolism will slow right back down. However, if you do interval training by alternating bouts of all-out effort with low intensity, your metabolism will fly high for a minimum of 24 hours.
4. Eliminating food groups.
Unless you know specifically that you have an allergy or intolerance to a specific food or food group, the idea of eliminating a food group in hopes that you will lose body weight is just simple insanity. Going on a gluten-free diet, for example, has become trendy over the past few years by people looking to reduce weight.
Unfortunately, a month or two after giving up gluten and not losing an ounce of weight, people walk away disgusted and go back to their old eating habits. That’s because all they did was substitute gluten-containing foods like bread, pizza, cereal and bagels with gluten-free varieties. Guess what. They have the exact same amount of calories, if not more. Don’t fall for this trap. Follow a balanced weight loss diet with plenty of whole foods that are as close to natural form as possible.
5. Not eating enough fat.
Yes, fat is a calorie-dense macronutrient, weighing in at 9 calories per gram. That doesn’t mean you should cut it out of your diet or follow a low-fat plan. In fact, fat is a very important component of weight loss. The main thing is that you choose the right kind of fat.
Unsaturated fat from nuts, seeds, avocadoes, olives, oils and nut butters is actually beneficial. It keeps your blood sugar levels under control, it stabilizes your appetite and it can also raise your resting metabolic rate. Stick with the healthy versions and use them moderately. Stay away from saturated fat that you would find in processed and deep-fried foods, and refined baked goods if you wish to lose body fat.
Which Workout Machines Burn Most Fat?
Fat burning is one of the biggest topics of concern for people across the world. With heart disease mortality rates and obesity numbers at epidemic levels, which, includes children as young as 5 years old, weight management is something everyone should be concerned about.
Those that struggle with weight tend to try every new fad diet that hits the health scene. From drastic methods of eating only cabbage soup for a week to eliminating carbs we try anything and everything to shed those unwanted pounds of fat.
But, often, people overlook the only method that always has and will continue to work for long term and permanent results, a healthy diet and regular exercise. Simple and effective, it just plain works. There are many choices in exercise options, and machines are typically the venue of choice to burn off unwanted fat.
Workout machines cause quite a bit of a stir in conversations across the globe. Certain people perish the thought of having to climb aboard one of these monstrosities to do an arduous hour and a half workout, while others rely on them to melt away esteem-threatening adiposity. Whether you want to admit it or not, machines have made their mark in the fitness industry and they’re here to stay.
Lose Body Fat on a Cardio Machine
If you have your mind set on losing body fat, then there are certain things you need to take into consideration. Honestly, ALL cardio machines help you burn fat, regardless if it is a treadmill, bike, elliptical training, stair climber, rower or arc trainer. The problem is, you may not like one machine or you may not be able to use a certain machine because of physical complications.
For example, if you experience lower back pain, running on a treadmill is off limits. The impact from your feet pounding on the track will send shockwaves of pain through your lower spine like a tornado ripping through the plains. In this case you are better served hopping onto a recumbent bike that has a bucket seat and backrest.
From a pure calorie perspective, you need to think in terms of what work your body is doing while you are on the machine. It should come as no surprise to you that the more of your body that has to work, the more fat you will shed.
Running on a Treadmill to Lose Calories
When you run on a treadmill, your arms and legs are moving freely and you are not holding on to any supports or rails. At least, you shouldn’t be! This causes you to do more work than sitting on a bike pedaling, so it loses more calories. A 180-lb person, running at 6 mph burns nearly 410 calories in 30 minutes. If this same person transferred this to an elliptical trainer, he would burn about 365 calories.
You also need to take certain variables into consideration. A manually operated treadmill is going to cause you to lose anywhere from 20 to 30% more calories than a regular treadmill.
This is because they are set at a slight incline throughout and you have to use a lot more force to move the track beneath. When you are using a regular treadmill, all you have to do is set the speed and keep up with the oscillating track below.
You also have to take speed and resistance into consideration. If you were to walk briskly on a treadmill for an hour, you will lose a decent amount of calories. But if you get on an exercise bike, turn up the resistance and do intervals for an hour, you will shed a lot more fat. The same would apply to a bike, stair climber and so on.
Regardless of the machine, it’s more a matter of training the right way to lose the most body fat. You need to be consistent, you have to work out on most days of the week and you have to pay strict attention to your intensity.
As mentioned earlier, intervals are definitely the way to go. Simply alternate your intensity back and forth between high and low for the entirety of your workout. Not only does this lose more calories, but it also boosts your metabolism. And it doesn’t matter if you use a treadmill, elliptical, bike or stair machine. The end result will always be the same. If you get bored easy, try using multiple machines in the same workout. Use the walk from one to the next as your low intensity intervals.
Body Fat Its Impact on Health and Wellness
Body fat is known anatomically as adipose tissue. You would be hard pressed to find someone who actually enjoys the sight of this substance, especially if they have an abundance of it. However, although commonly maligned for being awfully bad, there is actually a good side to fat.
Think of it as any popular city across America. There’s a beautiful side and an ugly side. It is in your best interest to become well acquainted with both sides so you can act accordingly with your personal health and wellness.
Anatomy of Body Fat
The most common type of fat is the stuff you can visibly see. It can build up pretty much anywhere on the body, but for men it is most common in the stomach and sides, while for women it is most abundant in the thighs, hips and butt. It is just as difficult to lose wherever it is located.
In medical terminology, the area around the stomach is called android, while the hip and thigh region is known as gynoid.
Women tend to have more body fat than men because of basic physiological differences, including, hormones, breasts, and sexual organs. Plus, women need more body fat as it plays a role in ovulation.
Subcutaneous fat is found right under the skin. Aside from the fact that it can cause embarrassment and self-esteem issues, it’s relatively benign. But it does have some benefits. It can be used as shock absorption if you were to fall or bump into something and it also helps keep your body warm.
Visceral Body Fat
Deep body fat found in the abdomen is much more serious. It is known as visceral fat. The word “viscera” is used in reference to the organs. When you get high amounts of fat buildup here, it packs its way around the organs and becomes dangerous. You are at greater risk for serious health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and stroke. This is the most serious body fat you need to learn how to lose.
Why Some Fat is Necessary
Although it may sound like a good idea to melt away all of your fat, think again. You have to have at least some to function properly. If you were to lose too much body fat, a battery of issues can occur that are just as dangerous as having too much fat.
Fat helps promote healthy hormone function.
If your hormones are out of balance, your sex drive will be blunted, you’ll get cold really easily, you could experience hair loss, you won’t be able to concentrate and you will likely have mood swings. In the worst of cases, your organs will just start shutting down with no warning, which can be fatal.
Ideal Body Fat Ranges
The Mayo Clinic makes the following recommendations:
20-40 years old:
20-40 years old:
Measuring Your Body Fat
One of the most accurate ways to check body fat levels is through the use of a Body Fat Caliper, which, is a tool that measures fat in the body through the folds of the skin. If you have a gym membership staff there typically have them on hand, or you can buy one of your own to test regularly.
You can also check where you place on the BMI index that provides details into healthy weight versus several obesity ranges. Weight on a scale by itself is one of the least accurate ways to measure actual body fat because muscle weighs more than fat, and other factors can skew weight, like water retention.
Good Versus Bad Fat in Diet
The correct thing to do is keep your body fat under control by exercising and eating right. When it comes to your weight loss diet specifically, not all fats are bad. Foods that are deep fried, pan fried or packaged are the ones you want to avoid. These would include cakes, cookies, burgers, fries, ribs, wings, creamed sauces and burritos.
Healthy fats are altogether different. They help lubricate the joints, improve brain function and promote healthy skin, among other things. Stick with sources that are as close to natural as possible like seeds, nuts, avocados, olives, olive oil, and coconut oil.
Remember though, that body fat is calorie dense. A single gram contains 9 calories. Supplement it into your diet throughout the day to get the best effect. For example, mix a tablespoon of almond butter into your oatmeal in the morning, smear some avocado across the top of your turkey and cheese sandwich for lunch, and use coconut oil as a topper for steamed broccoli with dinner.
As you can see, body fat is actually quite important for human function. Just like anything else, you never want to overdo it. Find a happy balance where you do not have too little or too much fat and you’ll be fine. Learn how to lose body fat the correct way, the healthy way, the safe way.