Have you ever noticed how people in the gym do the same exercises regularly yet despite their dedication their body shapes change very little? If you are a member of this frustrated group this article will empower you to break out of this stalemate.
The human body, due to evolutionary processes, is a highly efficient machine and adapts to training very quickly. This is why steady state aerobic exercise is of limited value for fat loss because after an initial period of adaptation the body learns to do the same amount of work while expending fewer calories.
This is where interval and fartlek training methods are needed to stimulate the body to produce lactic acid, which increases fat metabolism. The hormonal response to pure aerobic training is predominantly catabolic (the body breaks down it’s own muscle), which is antagonistic to lean muscle development.
Resistance training, on the other hand, has been shown to cause an increase in androgenic hormones, which stimulates lean muscle development. The reason this is important is the fact that lean muscle tissue is metabolically active 24 hours a day and the greater your metabolism the more fat you will burn. If you use resistance workouts that involve multiple joints, or what are known as big bang, exercises coupled with short or no rest periods it sends caloric expenditure through the roof. In fact, scientific studies have shown post workout energy expenditure is also greatly elevated for up to 4 hours after this type of work out.
The second and most important part of the equation for effective fat loss is nutrition. Whilst this is a vast topic some simple tips will no doubt help. The first is never to diet or dramatically cut calories as this activates lipogenic, or fat storing, enzymes in the body making it progressively more difficult to lose fat in the future.
Also the theory of the “one size fits all” diet is severely flawed. Just as everyone is physically different we are all biochemically, genetically and metabolically different and our nutritional requirements reflect this. Food intolerances are also a massive problem and commonly lead to people holding onto excess body fat through complex metabolic processes. Identification and removal of the problem foods can result in an almost instant transformation as well as a host of other health benefits.
It is also necessary for people wanting to lose body fat to eat glycemically balanced meals and snacks, particularly for females. Finally you must eat fat to lose fat, but obviously the correct type of fats or Essential Fatty Acids, predominantly from Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils and also drink the appropriate amount of water for your body weight on a daily basis.
These are just some of the considerations when looking at a holistic approach to fat loss. Just as everyone’s nutritional protocol is individual to them so is their exercise regime. Don’t just guess, take the time and effort to seek the advice of a professional personal trainer to maximise your results.
Chris Hines CSCS
Fat Lost Specialist