The Basics of Body Fat Loss

A Beginners Guide to Losing Body Fat

In order to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume on a daily basis, this creates something called a calorie deficit. There are 3500 calories in 1lb of fat so in order to lose 1lb of fat per week you need to burn 500 calories more a day than you eat. 

Everyday your body burns a set amount of calories even if you sit down at a desk all day and are not very active your body still burns calories. This is called your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and can be calculated using the following formula

Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.8 x age in year )

For example a women who is 25 weighs 8 stone (112 pounds) and is 5 foot (60 inches) tall would have a BMR of

655 + (4.35 x 112) + (4.7 x 60) – (4.7 x 25) =

655 + (487.2) + (282) – (117.5) = 1306.7 calories

So if she did nothing all day long her body would still burn 1306.7 calories a day. However nobody lays in bed all day everyday so we need to include an activity multiplier.

To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:

  • If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
  • If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
  • If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
  • If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
  • If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

So if our example women was lightly active her daily calorie needs would be 1306.7 x 1.375 = 1796.71 Calories a day so if she ate 1296.71 (let’s call it 1297 as you can’t eat .71 of a calorie) calories a day then she would create a calorie deficit of 500 calories a day and 3500 calories a week losing 1lb of body fat per week. 

How can I turn my body into a fat burning machine?

If you want to change your body from a fat storing machine into a fat burning machine you need to consider the hormonal reaction your body has to food. Our body wants to keep the levels of sugar in our blood (blood glucose) within a particular range, if these levels are too high our body produces a hormone called insulin which allows the glucose to pass from the blood into the muscles to be used as energy. If these levels are too low our body produces a hormone called Glucagon which makes the body use fat stores as energy until the levels of blood glucose are back to normal. If the food we eat has a large amount of quick release sugar (such as refined carbohydrates) a large increase in blood glucose occurs and in turn there is a large insulin spike. When the muscles have stored all the energy they can the remaining blood glucose is stored in other areas of the body as adipose tissue (fat). This is why you hear everyone talking about eating small meals throughout the day rather than one big meal. If you can keep your blood glucose levels relatively steady throughout the day your body can become a fat burning machine. It’s when you have big fluctuations in your blood glucose levels that insulin spikes and troughs occur which causes your body to store fat and also makes you feel hungry more often which causes snacking.

Good supplements to aid fat loss and cut back on calories:

Green tea tablets – contains polyphenols and caffeine which have been shown to induce thermo genesis and stimulate fat oxidation, boosting the metabolic rate 4% without increasing the heart rate

Caffeine Tablets - Caffeine can be used as part of a fat loss stack or cycle, or for pre-workout energy. It is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that can help improve alertness which allows for more intense mental focus, and increases that "energetic" feeling you need to push yourself hard during a workout!

Protein Isolate - Bodybuilding Warehouse Pure Whey Protein Isolate 90 is made from ultra-refined Whey Protein Isolate (WPI). Whey Protein Isolate is extremely low in fat, carbohydrates and virtually lactose free so it is ideal for anyone looking to lose fat. It is best taken post workout as Whey Protein Isolate is one of the fastest digesting forms of protein available – feeding your muscles fast, when they need it most!

BCCA – INTRA WORKOUT - Pure iBCAA 2:1:1 utilises the well proven 2:1:1 ratio of Branched Chain Amino Acids (L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine) with added Citrulline Malate and Vitamin B6 to help generate a muscle building environment optimal for building lean mass, whilst improving endurance and work capacity. If you can work harder for longer you burn more calories and lose more weight.  

Exercise Styles to Adopt

The best way to lose fat is to burn a lot of calories and make your body use your fat stores as energy as quickly as possible.

When you perform steady state cardio it take roughly 30 minutes for your to burn through your muscle glycogen(energy stored in your muscles) so anyone who goes for a 30 minute run on the treadmill or ride on the bike is just getting started on their fat stores when the finish exercising. This type of exercise also only raises your metabolism whilst you are performing the exercise so has no affect on your fat stores post workout.

Resistance training on the other hand takes about 2-3 minutes to burn through muscle glycogen and raises your metabolism for 24-48 hours post workout as it repairs the muscle damaged that occurred during exercise. You can see that this has a much greater affect on your body compared to steady state cardio.

One of the best forms of exercise to burn fat Is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) During HIIT, a person consumes more oxygen than in slower, distance exercise, which can increase post-exercise metabolism. Research has shown one session of HIIT can burn calories for 1.5 - 24 hours after exercise.

HIIT divides a workout into two speeds – intense and rest – and alternates them for a defined period of time. For example, a person could alternate 60 seconds of walking and 60 seconds of sprinting for 25 minutes. HIIT is not limited to running, however. It can be done biking, skating, weight-lifting, stair-climbing and more.

By Kieran Fisher

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