How to Encourage Your Body to Burn More Fat
To start burning fat, you have to outsmart your body. Because it will save its deposits to the last, sacrificing water, muscle, and your well-being. Why does this happen? And what should you do to burn the fat on your sides, but not your muscles?
Metabolism. Why is it so hard to burn fat?
No one can live without fat at all. Fat participates in the formation of cell membranes, protects organs from damage, plays a role in metabolic processes, and even produces hormones. But most importantly, it is a massive reservoir of energy, which the body saves in case of hunger. And this is where the main problem lies because we and our bodies have a fundamentally different view of this reservoir.
For us, excess fat is evil. But for our body, it's like a Swiss bank account: the more it's there, the better. Our distant and not-so-distant ancestors had to starve so often that it could not be otherwise. The progressive humanity began to fight with overeating selflessly and being overweight 50-70 years ago. Before that, many millennia, earthlings died en masse due to lack of food (and now in many countries, they continue to die, for Christ's sake).
The body stores fat at every opportunity so that you don't starve to death.
That is why the body of a New York top manager is just as willing to store fat as that of a poor peasant woman from some Uganda.
What happens when you go on a diet
Imagine you are a driver on an urgent trip to an area where there is only one gas station for a thousand kilometers, and it's not even sure that there will be gasoline. What will you do? That's right, push in the trunk, and maybe in the cabin, as many full jerrycans as there will fit. And, of course, you will drive in the most economical model.
From our body's point of view, fat is just an extra fuel reserve to continue the analogy. When there is plenty to eat, it is not needed. But as soon as the caloric intake decreases, the body perceives it as the beginning of hunger.
It switches on the most economical mode (hence lethargy and loss of energy) and starts to store fuel - fat - by hook or by crook. And to save it as much as possible, it recycles another asset - muscular tissue. After all, it is possible to survive without hard biceps and a cube on the stomach. And muscles expend energy even at rest. You can't afford such a luxury in times of hunger.
Not only that, but when food becomes plentiful again, the body "just in case" increases the supply.
This explains the yo-yo effect. When after dieting, the weight not only comes back but becomes even more than it was. And, worst of all, the gain comes at the expense of fat.
Weight gain after a diet comes at the expense of fat
And then the hormones get involved. As soon as the fat tissue decreases slightly, the body receives a signal, immediately producing the hunger hormone ghrelin. Hence the misery of all those on diets: it seems that the stomach is stuffed to the brim (with low-calorie products), but one still wants to eat to the point of losing willpower. It's the fat! It sends "SOS" so that you urgently began to replenish the spent, because who knows how long the hunger lasts?
It's a vicious circle. Well, that depends on how you look at it. If there is a famine (which doesn't happen in our world), then our chances of survival are significantly increased (just kidding!)
But seriously, no matter how much our body resists, making it burn fat is something everyone can do. How? Let us tell you.
Nutritional fat burners
It's a tricky subject. Yes, the network is full of advertisements for products that supposedly drown the fat no worse than the sun - spring snow. But how many people do you know who have dramatically and most importantly permanently reduced their deposits just by starting to take pills or supplements? If it were that simple, obesity in the world would have gone away long ago. Yes, there are drugs used by professional athletes. But they have many contraindications and many side effects.
A doctor usually prescribes means that prevent the absorption of fat. But they are more likely to help prevent you from gaining new pounds. But for what has already been accumulated, they might not work. In any case, you should use such preparations not for nothing but against the background of reducing the fat from food. Otherwise, you will encounter very unpleasant phenomena, such as uncontrollable defecation (and this is no joke).
As for pineapples, grapefruit, ginger, and other green tea, their fat-burning effect is, to put it mildly, greatly exaggerated. No pineapple will help if you sit on the couch and eat a full plate of dumplings and basins of Olivier.
Fat burning conditions
First, it is already clear that sitting on a diet is not an option. Instead, establish a proper diet, so that on the one hand, to get enough food, on the other - not to overeat. And stick to it constantly.
Second, to burn fat, it is necessary to consider the rate at which the body processes lipids (i.e., lard). This process is scientifically called oxidative.
Fat burning workouts
Have you ever seen men at the beach with big, bubbly abs sticking out from their stomachs? This is the result of improperly combating the deposits. Just pulling iron won't make the fat go away.
Yes, from strength training, calories will be expended in huge quantities. But during the first meal, the body will try to replenish the energy loss. And if there isn't enough nutrition at the table, it will fill it up by breaking down the muscles, but it won't let the fat go to the furnace.
The mechanism is this. When you start a workout, the body needs additional energy for the muscles. First, it gets it from the glucose dissolved in the blood and the glycogen stored in the muscles. All this is the quick fuel you refueled with a meal.
Fat is another matter. It is released from the depot only when glucose and glycogen reserves begin to deplete. Usually, this happens no sooner than 30-40 minutes after the start of the exercise. So a fat-burning workout should last for about an hour. At the same time, the training must be continuous. Hence the moral: power loads that imply approaches and rest between them are not suitable by definition.
One more critical point. Fat burns only with the participation of oxygen. This means that the most effective workouts for burning fat are aerobic, aka cardio. During such loads, the capillaries that go to the muscles expand—the blood flow increases. At the same time, the amount of myoglobin protein increases. It binds oxygen and carries it to the muscles. And this is precisely what we need.
Cardio workouts for burning fat
The good thing about fat-burning workouts is that you can choose an activity to your liking. If you don't like running, swim; ride a bike if you want to get in the water.
What matters is their intensity. Walking, stopping to ride your bike, strolling on skis, and enjoying nature will not work. To lose weight, you have to exert yourself.
At the same time, it is not necessary to squeeze the maximum out of yourself either. As soon as shortness of breath starts, the fat stops burning, and instead, the muscles start breaking down. And it's impossible to maintain such a pace for an hour.
The best way to know that you are in the correct zone is to entrust control to an assistant in the form of a watch or bracelet.
To understand if fat burns during a workout, you have to watch your heart rate.
The best heart rate for fat burning is 130-140 beats per minute.
If you're not used to it, you might not be able to get your heart rate right: it's not uncommon for beginners to have a heart rate of over 160 during the same run. This means that the pace should be lowered. But don't reduce the duration of the exercise. Over time, your stamina will increase, and you will maintain the desired intensity of the workout without any problems.
It's also convenient to keep track of how your form is improving with a sports watch. The v2omax indicator is used for this purpose. It allows you to see how much oxygen your body is recycling. It is one of the most accurate indicators of your ability to tolerate stress. The higher your VO2, the easier you work out and the faster you recover.
As we have already said, it is necessary to train at least three times a week. And not in a row, but every other day, otherwise the body will not recover, and the process of burning fat will either not start at all or will go through a stinking process.
To burn 1 gram of fat takes 9 kcal. A kilogram of fat "costs" 9,000 kcal, 10 kilograms 90,000 kcal.
An hour of jogging can consume an average of 400 kcal. But fat will start burning in the best case in half an hour after the start of the workout. So, according to the most optimistic forecasts, it will take up to 200 kcal to process it under this load.
It turns out that you will get rid of a kilogram of fat without dieting for almost four months. That is, if you do not allow the formation of new deposits. Of course, this is an estimate. Each person spends a different amount of calories during a workout. So, to estimate your efficiency, it is better to use a sports watch or a fitness tracker.
How to teach your body to burn fat faster
No "miracle" pills for turbo-burning are needed. But let's warn you right away: it will take not just a lot of time, but a lot of time. Specifically, two and a half hours of continuous training three times a week.
This is the time it takes to process all the glucose and glycogen from the blood and muscles and stimulate the release of enzymes that break down fat. If you exercise regularly in this way, your body will begin to sink the fat long before it has exhausted all of the nutrient reserves from the food.
The heart rate during such a workout should also be 130-140 beats per minute.
Don't go out for a workout on an empty stomach! Experienced trainers say, not without reason that fats burn in the fire of carbohydrates. Without them, lipids will not be broken down completely, and to digest them, the body will take glucose from muscle tissue - breaking it down.
For the same reason, you should have a little snack during a fat-burning workout lasting two or more hours. But not with just anything. Stock up on a banana, granola bar, or particular sports nutrition.
How do you know if it's fat you've burned and not muscle?
An ordinary scale is not much help here: it only shows the dynamics of mass, and fat weighs less than muscle. So, having pumped up your muscles, you may be surprised to find out that you have become even heavier. In that case, look in the mirror: it will tell you the truth.
The easiest and cheapest way to figure out how much fat you have is to measure the thickness of your skin folds with a unique device called a caliper. It is affordable and straightforward. The main disadvantage of the caliper is that it cannot measure the amount of internal - visceral - fat.
A bioimpedance analysis can get accurate data because a very weak electrical discharge is passed through the body. It doesn't feel at all, but it gives information about the body's bone, muscle mass, water, and fat content. But you can't do it every week.
Therefore, if you want accurate data, it is better to use a smart scale. It will measure weight, calculate BMI, and, of course, show the percentage of fat tissue, water, and bone and muscle mass.
However, even if you have nothing at your disposal, the result of proper nutrition and regular training will be visible to the naked eye. The main thing is to be persistent and patient.
To burn fat, you don't need rigid diets or "miracle pills. But you need regular cardio workouts at a heart rate of 130-140 beats per minute. You should train three times a week, every other day. And for your body to start releasing fat-breaking enzymes faster, the workouts should be two and a half hours long.
To encourage your body to burn more fat, you can use proven nutrition and exercise plans - The Venus Factor.