By Cody McGhee
This article will explore:
- The types of exercise that best helps burn fat.
- Diets and foods that focus on keeping you full and burning fat.
- Current fat burning myths that are being tried.
- Tips that help to ignite fat burning.
KENNESAW, Ga. – The sun setting later and the days getting hotter both indicate one thing: bathing suit season is right around the corner. Summer is the time where people head to the pool to show off their new bodies that they have been working on over the long, cold season. After all, summer bodies are built in the winter.
But what if you have put off getting in that perfect bathing suit shape until now? Is it too late? With the help of this article, you can learn everything you need to know to shred fat for this bathing suit season.
Initially, when people think of burning fat, the first thought is of exercise. Dustin Jackson, Personal Training Coordinator at Kennesaw State University, says exercise itself is not what burns fat but it is the intensity that you exercise with that increases the fat loss. The higher intensity the workout is, the more calories you burn in a shorter amount of time, Jackson said.
“More like circuit training style,” Jackson said. “Battle ropes for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.”
Another high intensity workout that helps burn fat is sprints. Sprinting a short distance, for example 50 yards, and then resting for 30 seconds to 1 minute before sprinting another 50 yards helps raise your heart rate up while sprinting, and then lowering it for the short amount of rest before raising it with another sprint. Having this high intensity burns more calories, thus producing fat loss, Jackson said.
Strength training, like squats, while keeping your heart rate up is kind of the big way to lose fat, Jackson said, squatting works your lower body and keeps a strength component in your workout. Lower body strength training is more functional than using the upper body, Jackson said.
Andre Irvin, a Kennesaw State health science student, says that cardio in general helps with fat loss. Cardio loses water weight, Irvin said. Aerobic exercises such as swimming, cycling, and hiking, use fat and oxygen. It produces energy, so you lose fat with water, Irvin said.
One can exercise every day but as long as they are not eating the correct diet, they are not going to lose fat and see results. Jackson said that there needs to be balance between one’s physical activity and caloric intake for the day. Irvin added onto Jackson’s belief by also saying that those who look to lose fat need to eat healthy, but also exercise.
“Move more and eat less is kind of the overall goal,” Jackson said.
It is a combination of diet and exercise which will lead to fat loss and an overall healthier body. If the diet is correct but there is no exercise, the body loses the muscle mass it once had. If the proper nutrients are not being eaten but the exercise is correct, then the muscles are deteriorating due to a lack of nutrients in the body, Irvin said.
It is not just about eating less, but eating better, Jackson said.
“People can lose weight eating Twinkies all day as long as they are eating a low amount, but they are not going to feel great off of that, or full so you want something that is high in vitamins and minerals, fiber,” Jackson said. “Things that will fill you up so you are not as hungry like broccoli, spinach, kale, apples, and bananas.”
Lower glycemic carbohydrates are another crucial food group that one should eat because it takes your body longer to digest these foods leaving you to feel full longer, Jackson said. Examples of these foods are brown rice and oatmeal. Nothing is wrong with any food, as long as it is in moderation, Jackson said, aiming for nutrient dense foods is where you will see the best results.
Josef Rakich, an online personal trainer from New Zealand, has come out with five ways to jump start fat loss. Those five tips include: Eating more protein, eating fat to lose fat, getting a good night’s sleep, taking vitamins, and eating fiber.
Starting with eating more protein, Rakich said that protein has the greatest thermogenic effect of all macronutrients. With a thermogenic effect of 30 percent, for every 100 calories of protein that is consumed, 30 of those calories are automatically burned by your body digesting the food leaving you with a net of 70 calories. On top of protein building muscle, this thermogenic effect also helps it burn fat. Rakich said good sources of protein are found in chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, and protein supplements.
Eating fat to lose fat might sound counterproductive, but Rakich said it is quite the opposite. Rakich said that fat is needed by bodies and brains to function properly; it also helps with hormone regulation. Fat does not make you fat, excess calories are what make you fat, Rakich said. Try and aim for monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats, Rakich said, these fats improve blood cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of diabetes. Rakich said good sources of these healthy fats are found in avocado, almonds, peanuts, olive oil, and salmon.
Rakich said that getting a good night’s sleep helps recover the Central Nervous System, which is important for fat loss. Also sleep is a stimulator of growth hormone secretion, which is a huge fat loss hormone. Rakich said aim for six hours of sleep minimum to maximize your fat loss. On top of sleeping, taking vitamins is important for fat loss, Rakich said. For example, Rakich said that Vitamin D can increase fat burned by 50 percent. Also, Rakich said that Vitamin A and B are important in keeping stress levels low, once stress levels go high, the body stores fat and burns muscle. Rakich said good sources of these vitamins are eggs, salmon, blueberries, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, bananas, milk, fatty fish, and sunlight.
Fiber is a natural way to lose body fat, Rakich said, it also helps fight against heart disease, diabetes, and cholesterol. Rakich said that fiber comes from plant foods such as oats, fruits and grains. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, Rakich said, they both help with fat loss by acting like a sponge for toxic waste which is crucial when losing weight.
Fad diets and exercises come out every so often leading people to try and cheat the system by finding the newest, quickest weight loss ideas. One of the most recent fads is detoxing your body.
“Detox is where people drink nothing but lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup for days,” Jackson said.
Drinking this cuts the amount of nutrients and calories your body consumes in a day leading people to believe that they will lose weight due to a lack of calories, Jackson said. By cutting these calories, you send your body into a starvation mode where it will hold onto the fat it has previously stored to survive on.
“Your body does need calories, even if you are trying to lose weight,” Jackson said. “Your body goes into starvation mode if you do not eat.”
Fat loss is a balancing act. By following all of the above tips you will begin to ignite your fat burning and be well on your way to the perfect bathing suit body.