“How to lose fat” is the most common question that is being asked in the health and fitness industry. There are a lot of articles, videos, and information out there suggesting thousands of remedies and habits that we can incorporate into our lives.
However, I am going to discuss the basic principle of how to lose fat, to provide some education on the same, and enable you to abstain from all those bro-science methods out there.
Losing fat and getting a good shape is not only about exercising and eating less, it is far more than that. Various psychological aspects are involved as well, which will be discussed below.
Understanding What Fat Means
If you are really asking, “How to lose fat?”,
You have got to understand what fat is. I am not going into the chemical composition here, but in simple words you may say, fat is stored energy. Never confuse it with dietary fat, and it is not the same. Fat is important for you in general, and it has functions like insulating your body, providing you with energy in times of need, and so on.
1 g of fat has 9 calories, and calories are simply a unit to measure energy. Dietary fat is of the following types:
- Saturated fats: Found in animal and dairy products like chicken, milk, meat, and so on. The American Heart Association recommends consuming only 5% of our daily calories from saturated fats.
- Trans fat: This is the man-made fat found in processed food items like chips, and chocolates, and the motive is to make it spoilage resistant. It is also the only kind of fat we need to avoid.
- Unsaturated fats: They are healthy fats, and we should fulfill 95% of our fat requirements from this type of fat only. It is found in plant sources like nuts, seeds, oils such as olive oil, canola oil, and so on.
Why do we gain excess body fat?
As mentioned above, fat is stored energy. Suppose your body needs 2000 calories every day to function itself and help you to perform all physical activities. However, you are consuming 2500 calories unknowingly.
The extra 500 calories will obviously not get used and will be stored in your body. After accumulating for months and years, you finally witness your belly coming out and gaining excess body fat.
The real contributor to this process is junk food. The processes and junk food you eat along with all the excess sugar in your diet, play a big role in making you overweight. It makes sense when any nutritionist or dietitian will ask you to eat homemade food and give up on junk.
I avoid Junk, but still, I am Fat
This can again be a common scenario where you might not be eating in those fast-food restaurants, and yet you are overweight. The real reason is again in your basics, that is, you might be consuming excess calories compared to what you actually need. You might likely be consuming too many certain food ingredients, such as oil, which will easily make you gain unwanted weight. This can be regarded as unhealthy eating, and you have to educate yourself about what changes you can make.
Aging can be a problem
When you age but do not exercise(resistance training), you lose muscles. The rate is about 250 grams per year. Remember, muscles need a lot of energy for maintenance. When you lose them, your overall muscle mass decreases. Therefore, now the lost muscle will not use the energy it used before. However, your food consumption is still the same. Where does this extra energy(calories) go?
It is not used by your body, and then what happens, it is stored as fat. So, summarizing it all, with age, you lose muscle and gain fat even if you avoid fast food and bad eating habits. The only way out is by exercising and retaining your muscle mass.
How can exercise boost your fat loss?
By now, I hope you have understood that fat can simply be seen as stored energy. Therefore, when you exercise, you use energy. You use more energy than you would have used in a sedentary lifestyle.
This process is slow and must be accompanied by a calorie deficit nutritious diet that you can adhere to. So, when you work out and eat a healthy diet, begin to see results. A complete transformation will take time, and you have got to be patient.
Also, when I say a healthy diet, it doesn’t mean it won’t be tasty. You can always cook healthy food and make it tasty if you know how to. However, the priority will be calculating your BMR and accordingly setting the total calories you need to consume to lose fat by going to a calorie deficit of about 500 calories.
In exercising, you cannot only run on the treadmill and expect to get the best results. It is highly recommended to train muscles by resistance training or at least calisthenics. The increase in muscle mass will increase the metabolic activity in your body, which means your body will consume more energy all the time, even at rest(to maintain those muscles). Now, this will directly help in losing all those stored, excess calories we call fat.
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References Used in This Article
I am Adarsh, an Exercise & Nutrition Science graduate with a passion for fitness. At AD Fit Life, I am committed to delivering authentic information related to health and fitness in the simplest way. My write-ups are practical that help you bring a change to your lifestyle.