Fat loss: your common questions answered.

For me, being a personal trainer is the most amazing job ever as I get to combine my love of exercise with helping people achieve their health and fitness goals.  Over the years I’ve been asked a lot of questions in relation to exercise and fat loss so I’d like to share a couple of the common ones with you.

How do I get rid of fat from my belly/tops of arms/back/hips………….?

The simple answer is that it is not possible to pick an area of your body and say I want the fat to go from there (unless you choose to have liposuction)  When we lose body fat it is lost from all areas of the body.  That is not to say that it will not come off one area quicker than others. 

We are all predisposed by our bone structure to be a certain shape and our hormones (both men and women) determine how we store body fat.  The key to fat loss, notwithstanding any underlying medical conditions, is to have a healthy diet at least 80% of the time. Combine a regular exercise regime, including some resistance training, with a healthy diet and you will be heading in the right direction.

I do quite a lot of cardiovascular exercise but I don’t seem to be losing weight, what can I do?

Any kind of cardiovascular exercise in undeniably great for your heart and lungs but steady state cardiovascular exercise for a prolonged period of time is not the most efficient way to burn fat.  Long cardio sessions increase stress hormones within the body and can be detrimental to fat loss. In some cases it can even cause you to gain fat.  I’m not saying don’t do it if the goal for you is to lose body fat, but try to mix your training up to include some interval training. 

Interval training is when you exercise in short, sharp bursts, harder and at a much higher intensity for a short period of time interspersed with periods of light exercise for recovery.  For example, sprint for a minute then walk for a minute; repeat this 10 times.  This type of intense training utilises fat as its fuel source and also promotes a state in the body where you can continue to burn calories at an enhanced rate for up to 12 hours after exercise. 

It is also a good idea to incorporate some kind of weight training in order to build some muscle mass (Don’t panic ladies, you will not turn into Popeye!!)  In layman’s terms muscle is a far hungrier tissue than fat and will increase the rate at which you burn calories, working and at rest.

I hope some of what I’ve shared resonates with you.

Your health is your wealth.

Leigh x