Fat Loss Fun Facts

June 17, 2013 by  
Filed under Articles, Weight Loss Articles

Let’s cut to the chase on the subject of fat loss. There’s so much nonsense written about it, so much time spent worrying about it.

Here is a short summary of fat loss facts. Snappy, to the point and hopefully there are a few facts you can use easily right away…

Alex holding 5 pounds of fake fat

FAT LOSS FACT NUMBER ONE:

The more muscle you have, the higher your resting energy expenditure (in other words, you’ll burn more calories without actually doing anything than someone with less muscle).

FAT LOSS FACT NUMBER TWO:

It takes energy to process and digest the food you eat. This is known as the thermic effect of food. Protein comes in highest in terms of its thermic effect, followed by carbohydrate and then fat. In simple terms, you burn more calories digesting protein than either carbs or fat.

FAT LOSS FACT NUMBER THREE (here’s where it gets fun):

On average the human body stores 130,000 kcal of fat, primarily in the form of triglycerides.

FAT LOSS FACT NUMBER FOUR:

A lean adult may have around 35 billion fat cells, while an extremely obese person may have 140 billion – that’s 4 times as many fat cells!

FAT LOSS FACT NUMBER FIVE (this is interesting):

The fat cells of obese people store two to three times more triglycerides than the fat cells of lean folk.

NUMBER SIX (this explains a lot):

Carbohydrate is stored in the form of glycogen, which is bound to water in the liver and muscle. This is why when you eat a lot of carbs, you weigh more (water retention) and also why, when you cut carbs out of your diet, you lose weight fast (water weight).

FAT LOSS FACT NUMBER SEVEN (why we do what we do as personal trainers)

Reducing calories only (energy input) without also increasing activity (energy output) will result in loss of muscle mass. Why is this bad? Because it has a direct effect of slowing the metabolism and the body starts to use fewer and fewer calories making it harder and harder to burn fat.

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Resistance Training – The Fountain of Youth?

Aging is inevitable – the years go by and you get older. There’s no stopping time but it is possible to redefine aging. For most of us it’s understood that aging means the body starts to decay, the hard and soft tissues gradually deteriorate and physical activity becomes more difficult to accomplish. We’ve all seen elderly people using walking frames or stooped over a walking stick moving slowly.

Sarcopenia is a word used to mean wasting of muscle that occurs naturally with age. Most people’s bodies lose about 10% of muscle mass each decade once they reach their thirties. This accelerates dramatically once the age of sixty is reached. This muscle wastage has many undesirable effects, among them:

  • Trouble with balance and, as a result, a higher chance of falling (a major problem for the elderly)
  • Poor recovery from disease or surgery. Muscle provides a storehouse of protein to aid efficient recovery and when it’s absent, recovery is slow or non-existent
  • Lack of strength and power resulting in dependence on others to get in and out of the bath or even into and out of bed in some cases
  • Osteoporisis – a disease whereby bones become porous and fragile
  • Increased fat deposits (as muscle mass decreases, metabolism slows down so fewer daily calories are burned, resulting in greater fat storage)

There are no drugs to stop sarcopenia, the only weapon against it is to maintain muscle mass and the only way to do this is with some form of resistance training, whether it be using your own body weight (as with push-ups, chin-ups, dips or body-weight squats), using free weight and machine weights or doing physical work like digging ditches or loading bricks.

Forever Youthful Sherryl

In our personal training business we are seeing more people over fifty who have realized they need to maintain their muscle mass and who are doing so very successfully with carefully programmed, fun exercises that include good doses of resistance training. There’s no better time than the present to get started and, the good news is, it’s never too late to get started.

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Weight Loss – What Works, What Doesn’t and Why

Losing weight implies a subtraction of some kind – you want to subtract body weight (preferably body fat) – and there are several different ways to go about it; one is through diet which means subtracting calories from your food intake. That’s what low-calorie diets do, you eat fewer calories (calories measure the energy value of foods) to try to reduce your body fat percentage. Basically what this means is that you input less energy (food) so that your energy output is greater than the input.

Sounds simplebut there are quite a few variables to being able to lose weight, one of which is your metabolic rate. A fast metabolism means you burn energy (measured in calories) quickly. A slow metabolism means you burn it slowly. It’s easier to put on weight if you have a slow metabolism because your body isn’t burning the calories you’re eating fast enough and so stores them, eventually, as fat.

Dieting actually slows down your metabolism and so make your body more likely to get fat. Sounds like a horror story but it’s true. Read on for the top four factors that slow metabolism and make people fat. Don’t worry, there’s also a solution for what you can do to combat them once and for all.

  1. DIETING: Eating too few calories for too long will result in loss of muscle (the body will eventually start breaking down muscle tissue in order to get the energy to survive) and a slowed metabolism. The other thing that can happen with dieting is that the body, realizing it’snot getting the calories its usedto, goes into an ages old “starvation mode” and slows down metabolism to save as much energy as possible just in case the shortage of food continues long-term (as was the case centuries ago when humans had less control of their environment than they do today).
  2. AGING: Once the body reaches full maturity (about twenty years of age) there is a gradual loss of muscle tissue each year, adding up to about 10% every decade and accelerating around the ages of sixty to seventy. With this muscle loss comes a slower metabolism which is why so many people complain that it’s harder to lose weight as they age.
  3. EXCESSIVE  AEROBIC EXERCISE: Overdoing aerobic exercise will eventually eat into muscle tissue, especially in those parts of the body that are not being moved much during the exercise. For example, you’ve probably seen long-distance runners with small upper bodies, that’s because the arms and chest are not used particularly during long-distance running. Don’t forget, loss of muscle tissue will result in a slower metabolism.
  4. INACTIVITY: If you have a sedentary job, are not active generally or you are bed-ridden due to illness or injury you will lose muscle tissue and in turn slow down your metabolism. A great example of this is what happens to a broken leg in a few short weeks of inactivity – the muscles whither and the broken leg becomes significantly smaller and weaker than the healthy one.

What do each of these four factors have in common? Loss of muscle tissue. Muscle is the energy burning powerhouse of your body; the more you have, the faster you’ll burn calories. Muscle cells burn about three times as many calories as fat cells!

Exercise increases metabolism naturally. Strength training (using machines, free-weights and your own body weight) is very important to this process because it is all about  increasing muscle tissue. Knowing how to do strength training correctly and actually doing it regularly is one big way to guarantee you keep your metabolism going and ensure your body becomes and remains a calorie-burning machine.

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Top 5 Food Tips

October 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Articles, Nutrition & Health Articles

1. EAT FOR PURPOSE

  • Don’t just eat for pleasure. Eat for the goal you want to achieve whether for health, energy, fat loss, muscle tone, muscle building, longevity or even to look great on your wedding day.

2. SUGAR: AVOID SUGAR AND SUBSTITUTES AND PROCESSED FOODS

  • Cut out all white refined and processed sugar. These can be found added to many foods. Check food labels for added sugar.
  • Avoid refined processed carbohydrates like white flour, breads, pastas, cereals. Don’t forget candy, chocolates, alcohol and soda (these are loaded with refined sugar).
  • Avoid all diet and sugar-free or sugar replacement type artificial products. These products are laced with Aspartame, which is disguised under other names and codes to fool the consumer. Typically products targeted are: diet drinks, sodas, snacks, gum, diet foods. These products are like poison to the body and act to disrupt the regulation of sugar.

3. SMALL MEALS: EAT MULTIPLE SMALL TO MEDIUM SIZED MEALS

  • Eat 4-6 small to medium sized meals or snacks per day, every 3 to 4 hours.
  • NEVER SKIP BREAKFAST – coffee is not having breakfast.
  • Eat the largest meal of the day at breakfast or lunch and have decreasingly smaller sizes towards the evening.
  • AVOID BIG MEALS for example, eating only 2 big meals a day. Extra unused food calories store as body-fat.
  • Eat for the oncoming event, day or activity. If you have a physically busy day ahead, eat a little more. If you will be sedentary or have little activity, eat less.

4. CONTROL CALORIES

  • FOR FAT LOSS: control food portions for fat loss. Reduce calories by 500 to 1000 per day to lose about 1 to 2 lbs a week. Women are to eat no less than 1200 calories and men 1800 per day, otherwise muscle will be lost and this will slow your metabolism.
  • MUSCLE GAIN: increase portion size of most meals to total 250 to 500 calories per/day. You must include some strength training workouts otherwise the extra calories will store as fat.

5. BALANCED MEALS

  • Eat balanced meals and snacks by including lean proteins, dark green vegetables (good carbohydrates) and a small amount of unsaturated fats in each meal or snack.

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