If I wanted to lose weight would you suggest working out with higher reps or lower reps? I hear a lot of conflicting information and it’s very confusing.
- 1 When We Talk About Losing Weight We Are Really Talking About Losing Fat
- 2 What Factor is More Important for Getting Rid of Abdominal Fat; Exercise or Diet?
- 3 What’s More Effective for Weight loss, a Low-Carb Diet or a Low-Fat Diet?
- 4 Reducing Calories In Small Increments
- 5 Monitoring Your Daily Caloric Intake
- 6 Can Spices Increase Your Metabolism to Speed Fat Loss?
When We Talk About Losing Weight We Are Really Talking About Losing Fat
When we talk about losing weight we are really talking about losing fat. You don’t want to lose weight by losing muscle because the more muscle you have the higher your resting metabolic rate will be and the easier it will be for your body to burn fat.
The best way to build and maintain muscle while working to lose fat is to train heavy with progressive resistance. Training with the progressive resistance will continue to stimulate muscle growth while you manipulate your diet and cardiovascular activity to lose fat.
Reducing fat is going to be the product of energy manipulation. You need to expend more energy than you consume. This happens through careful control of your daily caloric intake and increased energy expenditure through cardiovascular output.
Remember, training with higher reps will not directly burn fat it will only produce less stimulus for your muscles to grow.
What Factor is More Important for Getting Rid of Abdominal Fat; Exercise or Diet?
Energy (calorie) balance will always determine whether you gain, lose, or maintain weight. Energy balance is the proportion of calories you take in versus the calories you burn up. Fat loss from the midsection (or anywhere else), is only achieved via a negative energy balance.
A person can achieve this negative energy balance either by restricting calorie-intake or by consuming the same amount while performing more physical activity. However, fat loss is such a difficult goal due to the body’s ability to adjust energy balance via decreasing or increasing metabolic rate.
Exercise and diet are the only two aspects that influence a healthy person’s metabolism and therefore, their ability to lose unwanted body fat.
Rather than attempt to place one above the other, it is important to realize that both diet and exercise have an equally important impact on fat loss, particularly in the long term. Your approach to both diet and exercise will ultimately determine whether or not you achieve your fat loss goal.
Train to build and maintain muscle with the heavy weights and let your diet and cardiovascular training take care of the fat loss.
The past few years I have let myself get out of shape and I have gained far too much weight. I am now determined to make changes to my body and have started an exercise program plus I am really watching my diet.
This whole eating healthy thing is very new to me and the problem is I think I may be eating too little but I am not sure where to start. I don’t plan to change my eating habits once my goal weight is achieved; I want to eat healthier for life. Do you have any pointers?
Your Nutritional Approach to Losing Fat
You are smart to recognize that your nutritional approach will play a big role in achieving your results and the fact that you’ll want to carry healthy eating habits the rest of your life. You’ll look better, feel better, and be healthier.
Eating too little is a mistake that people make in their quest to lose weight. You certainly need to keep your calories controlled but if you are not supplying your body with enough nutrients to sustain and build muscle you will ultimately be hurting your progress.
Losing Fat, Not Muscle
Keep in mind that you want your weight loss to come from losing fat not muscle. If you simply stop eating or eat very little you will likely be losing muscle along with fat and slowing down your metabolism.
The trick is finding the right caloric intake for your individual metabolism and determining appropriate nutrient ratios for your allotted daily calories. Since people’s metabolic rates will differ you may need to do some slight adjustments over the first few weeks to determine the best caloric intake for your fat loss goals.
What’s More Effective for Weight loss, a Low-Carb Diet or a Low-Fat Diet?
The International Life Sciences Institute conducted a workshop to sort out the relative merits of low-fat vs. low-carbohydrate weight loss diets. This academic gathering surmised all of the research on this topic, here’s what they found.
On average, people that followed low-carb diets lost between 3-13% of body weight in five months. Those that followed a low-fat approach lost between 1.4-7% of body weight, but after a year there were no weight loss differences between the groups.
Interestingly, follow-up reports clearly showed that very few people kept the weight off for two years or more unless a calorie controlled approach was taken for the long term.
For permanent results, the research suggests that a focus on calorie control is much more important than the manipulation of either fat or carbohydrate in the diet. An emphasis on overall calorie-control to create a lean physique is also what I recommend.
So don’t get caught up in the confusion about low-carb, high-carb, low-fat, high-fat diets. Stick to what is shown to work.
That is, a structured, calorie-controlled diet. To be effective, this diet must provide just enough carbohydrates to fuel intense training but also be rich in protein, fiber and essential fats.
Reducing Calories In Small Increments
If you are really zeroing in on fat loss you can take the calorie amount and subtract 200. Monitor your progress each week. You can gradually reduce your calories in small increments to find the most effective range for your fat loss goals.
I am trying to keep my calories more controlled and have cut soda out of my diet. I love iced tea but does it have any calories?
Cutting regular soda out of your diet is a great way to shave off a lot of unwanted calories. The calories contained in regular soda’s can really add up over the course of the day if you are not careful and shoot your dieting efforts in the foot.
Avoid Sweeteners- Natural and Artificial
Iced tea is fine to drink and has no calories by itself but you do need to watch what you put into it if you use a sweetener or be careful if you are buying canned or bottled tea.
There are a lot of tea flavored drinks on the marked that are already sweetened. Although very tasty, they can contain a lot of calories so read the label and be aware of the contents before you purchase them.
You suggest eating vegetables with almost every meal. Why are vegetables so important?
Vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals but the primary reason I have my clients add more vegetables to their diet has very little to do with that and more to do the effect that fibrous vegetables have on elevating your metabolism and helping you burn fat.
Vegetables in the Diet Keeps Metabolism Elevated
Adding vegetables to your diet, especially when you are restricting calories and striving for maximum fat burning is a big key. When I’m aiming to get as lean as possible, I like to add more vegetables while my calories progressively get reduced.
The addition of fibrous vegetables helps keep my metabolism elevated as my body works to digest them. High fiber foods like vegetables almost trick your body into thinking it is receiving more food than it really is and as it is working to process those calories it is more willing to part with fat stores.
In addition to the positive effects vegetables have on metabolism, they also allow you to add more food volume with very few additional calories. The extra food can be a welcomed treat as your total calories become more and more restricted.
High Fiber Foods
High fiber foods like vegetables should be a part of any healthy diet and they take on even greater importance if you are aiming for increased fat burning so pass the green beans!
I’m trying to lose weight around my waist and keep calories low. Is it OK to use spices or sauces that contain just a few calories?
I use hot sauce on my vegetables and chicken all the time to increase flavor without adding any additional calories. Whether or not it is OK to use a spice or sauce with just a few calories depends on your current goals and how closely you are monitoring your daily caloric intake.
Monitoring Your Daily Caloric Intake
If you’re training with a serious goal and deadline you need to be aware of how many calories there are per serving and how many servings you are using. If you are not aware of this the additional calories can really sneak up on you throughout the course of the day and possibly elevate your caloric intake past an acceptable level.
If you are really trying to zero in on fat loss those extra calories become more important. If weight loss is not your primary goal and you just want to avoid gaining excess fat, then a few extra calories from spices here and there won’t make or break your nutritional plan as long as you are aware of exactly how many calories you are adding to your daily intake and you keep the amounts within reason.
My problem is I still have a lot of body fat to lose and I know in order to lose the fat I have to reduce my caloric intake. I am worried that taking whey protein and creatine will hurt my weight loss.
When you are working to lose body fat it is important that you follow an intelligent diet with sound nutrient ratios that will help you build muscle at the same time.
The more muscle you have, the easier your fat loss will become because muscle raises your resting metabolic rate.
Gradual Caloric Reductions
You are correct. In order to lose body fat you need to follow gradual caloric reductions but remember you still want to maintain good nutrient ratios and follow intelligent nutrient timing in the hours before and after you workout so you keep building muscle.
Those calories will go directly to supporting muscle growth and will supply you with vital nutrients at the precise times your body needs them the most.
I diet like crazy but I still seem to gain a pound or two particularly around my middle by the end of the year. I’ve always steered clear of dairy foods due to lactose intolerance but I’m hearing more and more about a link between a dairy calcium and fat loss?
We know that even when an individual follows a calorie restricted diet, a poor calcium intake sets in motion a series of biochemical events that favor the expansion of visceral adipose tissue (fat) in the waistline area. These biochemical changes appear to help the body resist the breakdown of fat tissue from this site even when caloric intake is restricted.
Conversely, a high intake of dairy calcium directly increases the body’s metabolic rate and the ability to mobilize and utilize fat. This has been reported in laboratory animal studies and clinical trials in healthy people.
However, before you start removing calories from your diet, it’s important to first determine an appropriate starting intake. It’s also important to remember that the clinical trials that have examined the effects of increased calcium intake on fat loss have achieved positive results by restricting the starting calorie intake by a mere 600 calories.
Increasing your intake of calcium is definitely a smart move if you’re after more efficient fat loss when dieting. Learn the most efficient and effective ways to boost your intake of dairy calcium click here.
I follow a strict nutritional plan and I am concerned my fat intake may be too low. What do you do to make sure you are getting enough fat in your diet?
You need a certain amount of fat in your diet for optimal health and performance. To make sure I am getting the essential fats my body needs I take Carlson’s Fish Oil or krill oil daily for Omega-3’s, and add the occasional coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil’s with food for the rest.
Omega-3 fatty acids have very unique properties that actually help build muscle and burn fat. A few grams per day have been shown to have very positive effects on improving body composition.
In addition to its muscle building and fat burning effects, studies have also shown Omega-3’s to have powerful antioxidant, immune enhancement and anti-cancer benefits.
This combination of oils not only gives you a quality source of essential fatty acids, it also provides a host of other benefits which make them an important part of an intelligent supplementation plan.
Can Spices Increase Your Metabolism to Speed Fat Loss?
An increasing amount of research seems to suggest that spicing up your low-calorie meals can promote better fat loss.
In a recent study, a group of Dutch researchers found that certain spices and herbs not only give flavor to foods (without extra calories), but can also increase thermogenesis and promote satiety (satisfaction from the consumption of less food). These are two key aspects that will promote better fat metabolism and a reduction in body fat.
Herbs and spices such as capsaicin, black pepper, chili, ginger, black tea and green tea appear to promote this effect by triggering the secretion of the fight-or-flight hormone adrenaline. A couple of spicy meals each day as part of a calorie-controlled eating plan would help counter the body’s natural tendency to slow down metabolism.
This would support a better chance of body fat reduction over the long term.