Guide to Fat Loss: Where to begin?
Losing body fat can be challenging. It can often involve hard work and dieting programs that can be difficult to sustain. A guide to fat loss would necessarily require some explanation as to why exercise and dieting are so important and so difficult to stick with.
A guide to dieting must necessarily begin with a simple answer to how you lose fat. There is no end to the fad diets and gimmick exercise programs that promise an easy path to lose fat. But a real guide to fat loss would offer some straight answers on this subject.
To layout a guide to fat loss, we should talk about the medical sense of how and why we gain fat and hold onto it. An honest guide to fat loss will show you how fat works in the body. It would provide some answers to questions about the metabolism of fats and other things in the body.
This guide will give you straight answers about fat loss. How do you lose fat? How do you eat right to lose fat? And what steps can you take to promote fat loss? This guide to fat loss will get you on your way to feeling and looking your best.
How do I lose fat?
In many ways, the answers to why we gain fat in the first place are quite simple. Gaining fat is a matter of simple math. We consume a certain quantity of calories on any given day. Our bodies then use these calories to generate energy to sustain all the systems in our bodies. All calories consumed must be either burned, passed through the body in the form of waste, or stored. When we begin to store these calories, we gain fat. More calories in than calories used equals fat gain.
To lose fat, you must in some way or another, reverse this equation. You must burn more calories than you consume. Any diet program is predicated on this simple formula. Some diets rely on regulating calories that come in specific forms: the ketogenic and Adkins diets for example. Other diets are based on a simple form of calorie deprivation. In either case, the diets rely on the more calories burned than a consumed equation to help you lose fat.
Exercise programs are based on the same formula. It stands to reason that if you increase your physical activity, you will burn stored fat. As long as you stay within healthy eating limits, you will lose weight by sticking with a sensible exercise program.
Difficulties arise when we start to factor in things like metabolic rate. This will impact the amount of fat you are able to burn with any program to lose fat. Some of us are simply genetically disposed to store more fat than others. For people of this type, losing fat can be difficult, and keeping the fat off can be even more of a challenge.
How Do I Eat for Fat Loss?
There is no single formula for eating to lose fat. There are many sound diet programs that have been proven to be effective, but no single system has emerged that works for everyone. There are a few simple rules you can adhere to that are known to promote fat loss. Some tips to eat for fat loss include:
Cut back on refined carbohydrates.
A good way to begin eating to lose fat is to cut down on refined carbs, sugars, and starches. These foods are known to contribute to fat gain, and removing them from your diet will be an important step toward losing fat.
Replace these kinds of foods with whole grains. Whole grains are not only more healthy and less fattening, they are also more satisfying which means you will not feel the need to eat as much. When your hunger level goes down you will begin to burn stored fats for energy. This also leads to fat loss.
Eating more complex carbs in the form of whole grains can easily lead to a calorie deficit. This is one of the best ways to lose fat, and it is central to almost any diet plan. Studies have shown that decreasing your intake of complex carbs leads to significant fat loss.
Eat protein, fat, and vegetables.
Make sure each of your meals contains a protein source, a good source of healthy fats, and vegetables. Balance your plates with a protein source, fat source, vegetables, and one small portion of whole grains.
Proteins are essential to maintain health and muscle mass while losing weight. There is medical evidence that shows proteins help improve cardiovascular health, appetite, and healthy body weight.
The average male requires 56-91 grams of protein per day. The average female requires 46-75 grams of protein per day. There are some general guidelines for protein intake:
- 0.8g/kg of body weight
- 1-1.2g/kg of body weight for people 65 and older
- 1.4-2g/kg of body weight for athletes
A diet that includes adequate protein is known to reduce food cravings and help you feel full and satisfied.
Vegetables are a great food source to rely on when trying to lose fat. Load your plate up with leafy greens instead of complex carbs. Remember that vegetables like potatoes, winter squash, and corn are much higher in carbs than other vegetables.
Vegetables to rely on one when losing fat include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard
Healthy fats are crucial to losing body fat. Your body still requires healthy fats even when you are trying to lose body fat. Good examples of healthy fats include olive oil and avocado oil. Other examples include nuts, seeds, olives, and avocadoes.
Move your body
Exercise is great for losing fat. It is not absolutely necessary, but you will always burn more fat with exercise than with dieting alone. Exercise also helps speed up your metabolism which contributes to long-term weight loss.
How many calories do I need per day?
There are many factors that influence basic calorie needs. Age, gender, and physical health will all play a part in determining how many calories you need per day. As a general rule, adult males generally require 2,000-3000 calories per day to maintain weight while adult females need around 1,600-2,400 calories per day.
Fat Loss Benefits
Even if you do not lose all the fat you want to lose, you will still gain the many benefits of losing fat. Even a small weight loss of 5- 10 percent can result in profound benefits. The benefits of fat loss include:
- Decreased joint pain
- Decreased risk of certain cancers
- Decreased risk of diabetes
- Decreased risk of heart disease
- Decreased risk of stroke
- Decreased risk or improvement in symptoms of osteoarthritis
- Decreased risk or improvement in symptoms of sleep apnea
- Improved blood sugar levels
- Improved cholesterol levels
- Improved mobility
- Lowered blood pressure
- Reduced back pain
These are just the immediate benefits to your physical health. There are lifestyle benefits to losing fat also, and these can contribute to your overall well-being. Additional benefits to losing fat include:
- Better sleep
- Decreased stress
- Greater confidence
- Improved body image
- Improved energy
- Improved mood
- Improved sex life
- Improved vitality
- More active social life
Best Fat Loss Diets
The need to lose fat has led researchers to test a great many diets over the years. Some of these diets have been shown to be quite effective. Some of the best diets for fat loss include:
The Mediterranean Diet:
This is based on observations made over many years that people who live in the Mediterranean region tend to have fewer problems with obesity and fewer problems with health issues like heart disease and diabetes. Researchers have found that the surprisingly good health of people in the Mediterranean region is due to their diet.
The Mediterranean diet is simply made up of foods commonly eaten by the people of the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean diet relies primarily on a diet that consists of:
- whole grains
- olive oil
The diet was developed to help reduce the risk of heart disease, and it has been shown to be extremely effective for this purpose. But a collateral benefit of the Mediterranean diet is that it helps people lose weight. A systematic review analyzing five different studies found that, compared with a low-fat diet, the Mediterranean diet resulted in greater weight loss after 1 year.
The DASH diet:
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet was developed to help people who live with high blood pressure. The diet emphasizes eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. It is low in salt, added sugars, and fat.
In helping people to lower their blood pressure, people also found that the DASH diet also helped them lose weight.
The DASH diet is easy to follow. On any given day, your daily diet will consist of the following things:
- five servings of vegetables
- five servings of fruit
- seven servings of healthy carbs like whole grains
- two servings of low-fat dairy products
- two servings or fewer of lean meats
Studies show that people who adhere to the DASH diet can lose more weight in 8-24 weeks than those who follow a traditional diet such as one that relies on counting calories. Studies with people who are obese have shown that the DASH diet helped them decrease total body weight and body fat percentage while preserving muscle mass.
How to promote Long-Term Fat Loss?
Losing fat is one thing. The real challenge is long-term fat loss. There are some tips you can follow that will help you maintain your weight loss over the long term. Maintaining weight loss is really a matter of re-training your metabolism to support a body that is no longer carrying extra fat.
Some things you can do to promote long-term fat loss include:
This builds lean muscle and burns fat.
Follow a high protein diet.
Protein helps make you feel full longer and reduces your appetite.
Get more sleep. Getting plenty of healthy sleep promotes weight loss and a healthy body.
Eat healthy fats.
Rely on things like olive oil and avocadoes for fats. These tend to help burn fat.
Avoid sugary drinks. Soda pop and sugary juices will cause weight gain.
Eat plenty of fiber.
A diet high in fiber promotes gastrointestinal health and helps you lose weight.
Choose whole grains over refined carbs.
Whole grains do not lead to weight gain in the same way that processed and refined carbs do.
Increase your cardio.
Cardiovascular exercise is good for your heart and good for maintaining a healthy weight.
Fat loss tips
- Drink plenty of water
- Reduce the number of processed foods you eat, especially carbs and sugars
- Increase your physical activity
- Eat more protein
- Get plenty of rest
- Eat healthy fats
Fat Loss FAQS
How do I lose fat? Increase your physical activity and reduce the number of calories you consume.
How do I eat for fat loss? Reduce the number of carbs you eat, eat more protein, increase physical activity, eat healthy fats like olive oil, and eat plenty of fiber.
What are good diets for fat loss? Two of the best diets for fat loss are the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet.
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