What Does it Take to Lose Fat?

What does it take to lose fat is another common question, but it’s usually phrased as “How do I lose weight?” – as most of you know, it’s rarely the weight you want to lose, it’s the body fat.

So let’s talk about how you can go about losing fat.

What To Do

These aren’t a sequential set of steps, but rather a few areas that need to be addressed together are part of the full lose fat solution. They all work together, rather than in isolation.

Check Your Energy Input

Your energy output should normally balance out your energy input. If you consume more energy than you output, you will generally have that excess stored as fat.

Some Caveats, scenarios where losing fat needs more in depth support and knowledge

There are cases where this approach won’t work. Here I am talking about cases where there may be a medical condition that messes with this equation of input and output. Or even where someone who has been chronically calorie deprived, resulting in their body’s metabolism slowing down and managing the storage of energy in a more “starvation mode” in order to preserve itself. Seek the support of a dietician AND exercise/fitness professional to help you

Get clear on the reality of you calorie intake and output

There are plenty of tools and apps out there to help you establish where you sit in terms of calorie input vs output. It’s important to understand what your body really needs and how much your are actually giving it.

For some women it can be surprising to see the figures and realise they have been under fuelling their body. For others it’s surprising to see just how much they are consuming, above what they thought they were.

Check your Energy Output

There are a number of factors that go into how much energy you burn during the day or during exercise

Your Fitness Level Has An Influence on how much you Burn During Exercise

If you have a high fitness level or you have been doing the same exercise for a while, your body will adapt to it and be able to do it far more efficiently than when you first started. This means burning fewer calories. As your body adapts and your fitness improves, your activity needs to change to keep challenging your body.

How Much Effort is Really Required for An Activity

The use of tools and apps to help set the record straight can be very enlightening. It requires more time and effort to burn a lot of calories, but it can take very little to consume a heap of calories… that one tim-tam at morning tea was worth about 400Kj. That 20 min brisk walk at lunchtime was worth about 90Kj. At that rate you would need to walk for about 1.5 hrs to burn off the tim-tam.

Being Busy and on the Move All Day May Not be Enough

For a lot of people, they have a feeling of being busy which they equate to burning energy. Unfortunately, it’s probably not using up as much energy as you thought. If you are used to being on the go all day, your body has probably become quite efficient at it. You could be over estimating just how much you are burning during the day. Use tool/calculators to work out your base calorie requirement, based on your average activity levels during the day.

Exercise For at Least 30 – 60 mins 3 Times a Week For Results

3, 30 – 60 min sessions of intense exercise, per week will help get you results. Intense exercise is a rating of 8 – 9, on a scale of 1 – 10. Where 1 is barely feeling the exertion and 10 is you being at your limit. When you are starting out though, this can be difficult to achieve and maintain. In this case, starting out with 2 session a week is required and building from there. If you haven’t exercises before aim for an exertion level of around 6 – 7. If you are someone juggling a lot of pressures for your time, then you need to be aware that you are not likely to see much in the way of physical changes. Not until you are consistently hitting at least 3 intense exercise sessions per week.

Some Underlying Rules To Lose Fat

  • As an exercise plan gets easier, up the frequency or up the intensity or change the activity to challenge your body in a different way.
  • As you are starting out, aim for a frequency of exercise you can manage. If you have to turn your life and schedule inside out from the get-go to achieve at least 3 sessions a week, you won’t last long and start skipping sessions. Aim for 1 or 2, adjust your schedule around those sessions get comfortable then adjust for a 3rd or 4th.
  • Consistency will get you results. Being random in when and how you work out doesn’t help create habits, habits make it easier for you to get it done. You don’t need to think much each time you workout which makes it easier. Consistency doesn’t create room for missing skipping sessions regularly. Routine and habit lead to you exercising more often than not.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: to seek clearance and guidance from a medical professional before starting a new exercise and diet approach.