Targeted fat loss – the power of nutrition and exercise
In another installment from our Nutrition Ninja James Morehen (@1more_nutrition) breaks down the importance of correct structured nutrition & exercise for sustainable fat loss
A key part of the body that everybody aims to shift the weight from post Christmas is the trunk or stomach area. Commonly it is the most stubborn area to shift the extra layers from and many people cry out for fat burners to blitz it off.
Firstly, anyone who tells you or puts you on fat burners needs sacking and you need to consider who you now listen too. Fat burners simply do not work!
Secondly, and probably what not a lot of you want to hear but unfortunately we can’t ‘target’ areas for fat loss. The body just doesn’t work that way. Do not get upset with this news however as hopefully the below will keep you positive and remain upbeat about your new desired motivation to get in the shape you are striving for.
We all have the underlying muscles there, we all have the abdominals under the skin but some people just have more fat covering them than others and this can be said for all over the body. Men tend to carry more fat on their backs and women on their bums and back of the legs for example.
Understanding the concept on Energy Balance is key to losing total fat mass. If we lose total fat mass overall we will have less fat mass on our bodies and this will lead to muscles beginning to show better in certain areas. Again we can’t control these areas that the fat mass is lost but overall we can reduce total fat mass which is a big thumbs up.
In simple terms:
If you consume more calories than you burn then you will put weight on. Burningmore calories than you consume will lead to weight loss.
This clearly leads to the idea that we need to control the food that goes into our body and of course perform exercise to get the energy balance moving in the right direction. When you combine both together it can be a powerful formula. Therefore the timing, type and total amount of certain foods is very important and I will cover this in my next blog but for now lets focus on the idea of energy in and energy out.
During the night time we are in a natural state of fasting (not eating). When we wake up we may not have put anything into our body for 6-10 hours. Therefore a great time to perform some exercise to help elicit fat loss is in the mornings. I do this a lot personally and with clients whereby performing either a steady state cardio session of between 30-60 minutes or a high intensity training session of about 20 minutes helps to begin blitzing body fat stores. Supporting this with strategic nutrition consumption can also aid the process of the body burning fats. For example following this cardio session you may withhold the intake of carbohydrates for a time period of 30-90 minutes following the exercise to allow your body to continue oxidising fat stores as fuel. However, to ensure we help our muscles recover and reduce the likelihood of them being used as fuel we need to consume a good protein source that has no carbohydrates. A food source may be 2-3 scrambled eggs or for convenience a whey protein shake that has no carbohydrates.
Following this exercise bout we may have burnt lets say 250kcal and will now be in an energy deficit as we have only eaten 2 or 3 eggs or had a whey shake lets say for example that has 150kcals in. So currently we are in a state of -100kcal for the day.
Of course throughout the day we will be breathing, talking and walking around so we will continue burning calories throughout the day. We will of course be eating as well but it is the understanding that ending the day having expended more calories than you have eaten will lead to weight loss. The morning cardio sessions will be targeting fat stores as you are fasted and so your body utilizes the energy that is has stored – As mentioned in my next blogs I will begin to talk about the timing, type and total of carbohydrates and proteins and also the benefits of resistance training and lifting weights instead of just relying on cardio to get fitter.